Run Report #203 – 16th March 2019 by Nicky Garratt

It was an absolute pleasure being RD at the Market Harborough parkrun #203; it was also my last time as an RD, which brought about a number of mixed emotions. This is a brief history of my parkrun journey and what parkrun means to me.

Graham and I were given a kick up the backside from our sister-in-law (a keen runner and PE teacher) at Christmas time, back at the tail end of 2014. After finding every excuse possible, we decided that we probably should do some exercise; eat a bit more healthily and drink a little less wine! We started to run/walk to the next village, which was extremely challenging for us both. We then decided to invest in a couple of mountain bikes and then saw an advert in the Harborough Mail about a Sprint Triathlon (whatever that was) and thought we should set ourselves a goal. We signed up for the event, and started to take regular trips to Corby pool; neither of us were great at front crawl.

During this time, we met a very keen and enthusiastic gentlemen called Brian Corcoran, and as well as persuading us to join the local triathlon club, we also got to learn about a new parkrun that he was setting up in Welland Park. We both went along to his ‘test sessions’ and also made it to the very first parkrun. This was new and exciting, and the first time we had heard of this amazing phenomena that draws communities together and forges friendships and engages people to get mobile.

Very quickly I became a regular volunteer; I have always had more pleasure from volunteering than actually running at a parkrun. I still get butterflies! I was invited along to join the core team in the spring of 2016 and have thoroughly enjoyed my three years as an RD.

It is amazing how parkrun brings people together; people who you may not have had the opportunity to meet in your normal ‘day life’. It is a ‘happy’ place, with lots of positivity and friendliness and so many smiles. It almost seems incidental that you run 5km, as it is so much more than that!

I wish you all well with your running, in whatever form that may take. We should all set ourselves goals and challenges, and I think they should all scare us a bit too! The thought of failure is a great thing to drive you on and push yourself. The sense of achievement is far greater when we come out of our comfort zone. We are all capable of so much more than our minds think we are, so what’s your next challenge going to be? Go on, push yourself as you really can do it!

Lots of love Nicky x