As a special Birthday treat, here is an extra report, courtesy of Montacute regular Simon Ferneyhough who has sent this in ahead of a forthcoming triathlon!
I am not a fast runner, in fact I'm slower now than I have been in quite some time. I started coming to Parkrun with the goal of running 5k in under 30 minutes. It's a goal to which I've gotten close (barely 30 seconds away on a much ﬂatter course than we have here), but never quite attained. So now that I'm actually slower, why do I still run? Well, since my ﬁrst Parkrun I've done a triathlon in Bournemouth (and a couple more since), and last year my ﬁrst half marathon (plus two more this year). The truth is, I no longer run to be fast. Parkrun has taught me that it's ok to not be the quickest, and it's perfectly ﬁne to be the slowest (I did actually ﬁnish last in the Portland Coastal half marathon, I did it though!). I run just because I enjoy it, and I enjoy it more in nice scenery, and even more still surrounded by the wonderful supportive people that run and volunteer at Yeovil Montacute Parkrun.
Having struggled a great deal with depression and anxiety, Parkrun has been therapeutic in more ways than one would expect. You're always told that exercise will be helpful and it is, but at Parkrun it's more than just exercise. There's the genuine support from people you've never met, and the all around understanding that whether you're running fast or slow, you're out here with everyone else and that's an awesome way to start your weekend. I've volunteered a few times now as well, and runners really do appreciate you doing it so that feels incredible too. On that note thanks to the core team and everyone that volunteers, you're all great! (if you haven’t volunteered yet, do it!) Maybe I'll eventually get back to trying to run quickly, but for now I'm happy just to run.
I'm now raising money for a mental health charity by doing a triathlon in Scotland; a 1.9km swim, 90km bike, and a 20km run from Fort William to the summit of Ben Nevis and back. And because it's all a bit of fun, in that mad way that running so often is, if I raise enough money I'll be doing the run wearing a kilt... So if you see me at Parkrun in a kilt on September 16th, you'll know I've hit my target (and if anyone asks why I'm wearing the kilt, we’ll know they don't read the run report!)
If you want to let us have your own running story please do - we have our 200th parkrun coming up in a couple of months' time and it would be good to have a "runners' tribute" Report!