Tuesday, 11 June 2013

First Parkrun was an eye opener

This weekend I popped my Parkrun cherry and it was an eye opener, in many different ways.

The day started out with Clark and I getting up and out leaving Mummy and Dexter getting ready to go on their trip to Bramham for the horse trails. Clark and I were heading for Grandmas where I was gonna drop him off then jog round to Greenhead Park for the Parkrun. Or at least that was the plan, something we didn't plan for was discovering the MOT on the Suzuki had expired when Clark and I were pulled over by the police on our way there. £60 fine later I was back on my travels and arrived at my mums at 8.30am, a quick drop off and I was on my way to my first ever Parkrun. 

As this was my first Parkrun I didn't know what to expect, I wasn't sure what I had to do with my newly laminated Parkrun barcode. I didn't know how many people there was gonna be or if I would know anyone etc. etc. 

I had expected that there would be about 50-60 regulars with a couple extra all familiar with each other and their stories almost like a pub and its regulars. I was WRONG! I turned up with about 20 mins to go and there was about 100-150 people around the cafe some doing warm ups and other chatting with other runners. I headed for the office to speak to someone about what the routine is, and was informed that first timers all get a briefing a couple of minutes before the start, and barcodes are not needed until the end. So I headed back outside to wait and there was a few more people now maybe about 200 but more where arriving all the time. It was a lovely morning bright sunshine and quite warm too so everyone seemed to be in high spirits or maybe that's just norm at these events.


I walked around for a bit still feeling a little out of place and slightly lost even thou I've known Greenhead park for about 25 years. Finally it was first timers debrief and the was about 40 of us we were shown a map of the route and explained the Barcodes etc. then it was off to the start. By this time everyone had arrived and was ready and waiting at the start, there was as I found out later 460 people at this event. Which was amazing and just showed how popular the Parkruns have become, they are well done or at least the Huddersfield one is as I have no comparisons. 

I had placed myself near the back as I had no idea what other around where gonna do. As we set off even thou we started to spread out the paths narrowed and it wasn't until we were about 1km in that I could relax into a good pace. I was overtaking quite a few people which was good and bad I had obviously started too far back in the field but the boost of moral I got from passing people was great. 

I was still nursing my knee but I was happy with my low 5min pace and so were my lungs. I was bearly breathing at 3km and the start of lap 2 and I had no pain in either knee or ankles, my first Parkrun was going well. Half way round lap 2 and I was still passing people and it was still a great boost that was until I passed the rear of the cafe and could see the finish and the 100 or so runners that had already finished. It was slightly disheartening at how many had crossed the line before me but at the same time gave me a goal to aim for. Which is something my runs have been missing of late. I pushed on for the last 400m and even sprinted the last 50m crossing the finish line in a time of 25.43 which I was happy with. I was more shocked by the 7 year old that finished 3 places ahead of me running with his dad and knocking a minute of his PB. 

I was also very happy with my Endomondo running app and its GPS tracking as I crossed the 5k mark almost to the inch my app buzzed to let me know I had done 5k. It's good to know the App I use for all my training is that accurate, it is reassuring and it means I can concerntrate on running.

I was glad I had attended my first Parkrun and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it was run and the friendliness of the Marshals. The ease and the simplicity of the event is great and there is no wonder why it is so popular, especially as it is free to run. I would definitely do it again and recommend it to all runners. Whilst I was waiting around before the run I did hear a few runners who obviously run at other Park runs comment on how the Parkrun at Huddersfield was one of the best for staging and facilities. So it is no wonder there was 460+ people running it.

Meanwhile in other news, I have had to change the date of the Shepley 10k because of date clashes and low numbers to September 15th. The new date seems to be a better date as I have already had a lot more interest in the run. This will hopefully mean that the Church will have a lot more money raised for its refurbishments and the Shepley 10k will be a great event for the village.

Thanks for reading and don't forget keep running everyone.


  1. It sounds great Matt, well done. I cant believe so many people were there. Brilliant.

    1. The Huddersfield parkrun is the 5th most popular parkrun in the country maybe the world, that weird isn't it.

  2. Great blog,glad you enjoyed your Hudds run!