On 4th January 2017, there were two main differences compared to 4th January 2020. The first was it was a Wednesday back in 2017 and the second being I had not heard of parkrun. The content of both days were generally similar, I was off to London both days to see West End shows. However, I imagine my day was less stressful back in 2017 where I took my time getting ready and sorting myself out.
However, after finding out a few months ago, I would get to parkrun on my birthday in 2020, it had to be done! Turns out it won’t happen again until January 2025. So I ordered myself a birthday sash, because if you can’t wear one on your birthday, when can you.
So I started planning the day so that I could start off with parkrun and spend it in London during the day. So I booked myself tickets on the 10:26 train, probably a tad bit ambitious for a 30 minute plus runner. So I decided to cycle to parkrun, where I was greeted by loads of birthday wishes. It was then time to head over to the start line where several people were celebrating milestones and special events. These included:
- Kevin Dinsdale with 100 parkruns
- Charlotte Double who was celebrating a double milestone with 100 parkruns and 25 volunteers
- Fiona Fretter with 100 parkruns and a birthday
- Nicola Spencer with 100 parkruns
- Joseph Kula-Przezwanski with 50 parkruns
- Sophie Hillyer with 50 parkruns
Market Harborough parkrun also welcomed 62 first timers on Saturday. 34 people were completely new to parkrun and 28 people parkrun tourists, with the furthest being from America.
Once parkrun had started, I was trying to run as quickly as I could so I could make it home to shower before getting on a train! It kind of worked, I did get my fastest parkrun for 2020! I did two on New Year’s Day so I can count it! What helped were all the friendly marshals who were very encouraging and sending birthday wishes.
There were also 42 people who started 2020 with new PBs - well done! Market Harborough parkrun also saw its biggest attendance ever with 473 people completing parkrun number #245.
So if you were one of the newer parkrunners or are thinking of doing your first parkrun in the next few weeks, there are so many great things about parkrun; from meeting new people to seeing fitness changes. Could I have ran 5k under 30 minutes on my 25th birthday back in 2017? No chance! Though I may struggle some weeks, 3 years later, it was a great way to start my 28th birthday and I had the whole day eating, drinking and wandering around London.
See you next Saturday.