My husband and I took part in our first Parkrun at Yarrabilba last weekend. My husband has been hounding me to join him in one of these runs for months. I have kept putting it off and putting it off. I was so glad that we took the plunge and got involved last weekend!
The Parkrun events began in Australia in 2011, and they involve a free, weekly, timed 5km run. Parkruns are organised in beautiful parks and running tracks all over the country and are designed for seasoned athletes to beginners and casual walkers. They cater for children to teenagers to inspiring seniors. I was as equally impressed with the lean and toned front runners as I was with the dedicated runners/walkers slogging it out in the 70 plus age category and those walking with dogs or babies in prams.
We turned up at our first event just before the start time of 7am on a chilly winter's morning that was just 6 degrees, very cold for us Queenslanders! We were 'shown the ropes' by an extremely friendly and encouraging volunteer. (All Parkrun events are run by committed volunteers.) The Yarrabilba run involved three full loops around a running path, followed by a half-loop to finish off. Volunteers were placed around various parts of the course to direct and encourage. There was also a photographer taking snaps of our progress. It was an amazing feeling to complete the course, cross the finish line and receive our barcode to scan for our times.
Later that day, we received an e-mail that told us our results and provided us a link to view the full results for the day. I was very impressed with how comprehensive and organised this was. We received our time, our position according to gender and age, and how we ranked compared to other runners in our age categories all over Australia.
This morning we headed off on a foggy morning, not quite as cool as last Saturday, keen for our second Parkrun. We both came away with a PB and an enthusiasm to return again and to keep improving our fitness! Parkrun is an amazing innovation to promote and inspire health and fitness! My husband and I have become big fans and can't wait to try some other locations in the future.