Apparently you get nothing in life for free. Then if that’s the case why have a bunch of wonderful, selfless people just marshaled a Park Run for free?
No entry fee, just a load of runners and ‘encouragers’ (not going to call them marshals as that doesn’t thank them enough for what they’ve just done, and probably many more do, up and down the country) who have turned up on an absolutely glorious Saturday morning at Fell Foot for a 5k run. Three words; wow and thank you!
Most people who know me, know I am not much in to superlatives. I don’t praise too much nor criticise too little- generally I say it how it is (especially since January 18th, 2016). Whoever’s brain child this was to set up the Park Runs needs a huge amount of gratitude. It’s selfless, it’s wonderful and it’s all-encompassing (not the right word I know but Plan B just said ‘vocabularising’ on Radio 2, so I think I can get away with it). There were 5 year olds (I’m pretty sure they couldn’t have been much older), dog ‘runners’, grannies, granddads, ‘real’ athletes (whatever or whoever they are), plodders, pounders, pudgies and prim, pretty sweet things (male and female) all making their way around a muddy 5k, looped course right by Newby Bridge near the base of Lake Windermere. The parking is free until 10. The ‘announcer’; some old boy with great presentation, reminding us all about 11am on 11th day of the 11th month; was clear, encouraging until he ran out of words and revealed a stammer which he then recovered; brave to reveal yourself and put yourself in a position where people can judge you, so to you Mr Announcer, plaudits.
Earlier this week I met up with Paul Tierney from Missing Link Coaching (not sure whether the name refers to me being the missing link or they have the missing link to ‘success’, whatever that may be). He was full of great advice, he listened and was patient with me. His recommendation was to do a Park Run to see what my flat speed might be like. On Monday, I finished ten days of ten runs, varying from 3 miles to 13 miles, but the point was that I wanted to see how my body would respond to running every day. I can tell you that on day 5 I really didn’t want to run, I’d left it until 10pm and ran around the Estate next to work three times a total of 4-ish miles but in the pitch dark. Every day thereafter was mind over matter, ensuring that I didn’t excuse myself, didn’t let myself off the hook. I’m pleased to say I ‘landed’ myself, a minnow of 10 in 10 but consistency and commitment nonetheless.
So the reason for the Park Run was down to Paul. I registered online, free and in less than 2 minutes, printed bar codes, turned up ten minutes before kick-off, ran, back to work, received results. Now, if I can do it, anyone can. So if you’ve not done a Park Run before, get off your ‘arch’, get down there, no excuse because anyone can do it (you’ve read my descriptions above). You don’t have to get up early and at the very most it’s only going to take an hour and a half of your time including travel time -equal or less time than a Disney movie; ‘Yeehah, Cowboy’, guess the movie if you like.
By the way 23 minutes-ish, not bad for an old boy eh?
Finally a huge thank you to the Park Run People, thank you for your time, your organisation and your encouragement, it won’t be the last you see of me. And now a quote from my former ‘sponsor’, Carolyn Henderson (my ex GM from Warren House), I believe it can be attributed to Sir Winston Churchill, somewhat poignant on a day like today.
‘We make a living by what we get , but we make a life by what we give.’