#IWDparkrun Profile: Somayya

Why did you start parkrunning?
I was a very active child who loved running but unfortunately evolved into an embarrassed teenager, who eschewed running in public. Having lived in Newcastle for a number of years I watched the GNR on television every year, but was very unsure how to start training for it. A friend told me about the parkrun, I thought that it was for actual runners but she convinced me to give it a try. I was hooked after my very first run. I love the fact that with parkrun everyone is welcome, from new runners to really experienced runners and all the different levels in between. The person you are competing with is yourself. It is about your stamina and time and it doesn’t matter that you are not the fastest but that you are improving incrementally at your own pace.

The highlight of your running career so far?
I have completed GNR a few times and have improved on my times. I always am so grateful that I have been able to complete each and every one that I have attempted. However, before Christmas last year I ran the Chopwell 10-mile trail run, though I had trained for it, I was not prepared for the gradient of the hills. If not for Jesmond Dene parkrun, I do not think I would have been able to complete it. Needless to say, I am very proud to have finished that run.

Favourite parkrun?
I love every parkrun that I have done but I have to say that Jesmond Dene parkrun has special place in my heart. The volunteers are so friendly and the location is breathtakingly beautiful.

Favourite volunteer role?
I have enjoyed every role I have had so far. I love cheering people on while marshalling and congratulating people after they have completed the course whilst barcode scanning. However I do love Tail Walking. It is a beautiful course and a great way to meet all the volunteers as you pass them. It is such a friendly atmosphere and a wonderful start to the weekend.