#IWDparkrun Profile: Gina

Why did you start parkrunning?
I started initially run/walking lamppost to lamppost with a colleague, before gradually doing less walking and building my distances up. I was surprised to get a ballot place in the GNR – so needed to run more regularly throughout the week. So in June 2013 I went somewhat nervously to Newcastle parkrun and was hooked! Over the weeks, I found my times getting better and stamina increasing. I bumped into colleagues and friends at the local parkrun, so started to enjoy it more. My sister started to run at her in local parkrun – so I felt like we were running together!
The highlight of your running career so far?
Taking running up in my mid 50s, I have surprised myself in being able to run at all! But the main highlight has to be doing the GNR for the first time, running over the Tyne Bridge, all the other runners, the bands, the support and well wishes en route … and that left turn onto the sea front at South Shields, the longest mile of the run!
Favourite parkrun?
I have now done 160 parkruns, mostly at Newcastle, but also include Rising Sun, Gateshead and Hazlehead in Aberdeen. Unfortunately, I am coming back from injury ….so it may be a while before I run Jesmond Dene but I am aiming to be Tail walker in March. They all bring a smile to my face!
Favourite volunteer role?
I like to do the Volunteer Co-Ordinator Role, welcoming all our volunteers before the run starts. If time and roster permits, I can get to one of the marshal points and marshal as well. There’s generally lots of smiles and thank you’s….its a great start to Saturday!