For those of you who don't know me, my name is Tony, and although I have been a parkrunner for a while now, I have only really become active within the last 12 months or so. I started becoming more active after a long injury lay off, and also to try help shed some weight.
At first I was a bit of a solo runner, I didn't know anyone, so I just plodded round the course by myself. I also joined a local social running club "RunPals". And started to get to know more and more runners. I was looking forward to our Saturday morning meet up, followed by our runs.
What amazed me most about parkrun, was there was such a broad spectrum of runners, and everyone was so encouraging and supportive of each other, and it was with this support, I was able to improve consistently. The only competition was myself.
Then, disaster struck, and the whole country went into lockdown. parkrun was postponed for the foreseeable future. No more group runs, no more active support, no more cheering as we reached the final stretch. To make matters worse, I contracted the virus and was knocked for six!
The spirit of parkrun and the parkrunners have helped me through these difficult times. I have started building myself up again, and am getting fitter by the day. I am now going out for runs, and am using the parkrun and RunPals communities for advice, support and encouragement.
When I go for a longer run, I make sure to include at least one lap of The Big Park in Peacehaven, to remember the good times, but also so I don't forget just how those hills feel !!
Running is my freedom, not every run goes how I would have hoped, but... every run is a step in the right direction. And it is one more run closer to being able to all run together once again.