Saturday, 26 October 2013

Family parkrunday

This week there was a real excitement about the forthcoming parkrun for 2 reasons. Firstly it was a Halloween parkrun run with dressing up (sorry Danny Norman) and face painting etc. Plus the second reason for the excitement was the long awaited debut of Nana (my stepmother Janice). Nana was going to attempt her first parkrun and non walking 5k, after being diagnosed and recovering from Cancer over the last 12 months. This has been a parkrunday we've all been looking forward to and with the surprise apperance of my other sister Jessie as well, our parkrun family is growing steadily. With me running, SJ pushing Flynn and jogging along side is Dexter plus my sisters Jessie and Jodie also pushing Izzie and then there is Nana. I think that's 6 parkrunners and 2 babies and could be 1 of the biggest family attendances at a parkrun.

There is still more to come too, my sister Jodie's eldest Liam hasn't run yet, and Jessie's other half Matty to make an appearance we could make it a ten strong team. It may take a bit longer to get my Dad and Mum to lace up the running shoes and join the crew, but we are still optimistic they'll do 1 at least. 

So on Friday evening (parkrunday eve evening) SJ and I packed bags with spare clothes for boys after run clothes for SJ and me. Shoes, coats, Flynns essentials, milk, nappies and of course Halloween outfits for all. Then I packed the buggy and bags into the car so that all we had to do in the morning was get dressed and have breakfast. The past few parkrundays we have been cutting it close arriving as they are doing the run brief. So we made sure we got there with
enough time to meet up with all the family and brief them on what was about to happen. 

We arrived at Greenhead park and joined the back of the pack gathering at the start. Here we saw some childhood friends and some other friends who had come too. They had arranged to come with one of their friends and bumping into each was a nice surprise. As the run was about to start Grandad (my dad) took Clark and Liam to the playground to have a play and cheer us on from there. We all got ready and in our respective blocks mine being in the 16-23 min section which still amazes me that I run that quick, and the rest of the gang in the 35+  section. After a very funny and hungover run brief we set off on our All Hallows' parkrun. 

I completed my run in 22.05 and had just enough time to get my barcode scanned and turn around before SJ was sailing past the finish just starting her second big lap of the course which I thought was in a great time. But was slightly confused as she was with Jodie not so long ago but Jodie was no where to be seen. Neither was Nana, Jessie and Dexter but I quickly discovered what had happend. Jodie had ditched Izzie with Grandad and had picked up her pace to try and beat her PB. Jessie and Dexter had slowed down because Dexter wasn't 100% and a bit of a monkey and Nana had stopped around the 3km point. She was feeling a little too tired and didn't want to hold people up or finish on her own. Not long after stopping though she had a change of heart but by then we had all passed her and Grandad so she didn't start again. But we were all proud of her and it didn't matter if she finished or not the fact that she attempted it and is now determined to complete it next week is brilliant enough. Well Done Nana (Janice)!! 

I waited at the finish until Dexter and Jessie came round then I joined in to get Dexter motivated again and sent Jessie on her way so she could catch up with SJ and Jodie. Dexter and I kept going at a slow but steady pass until we bumped into a lady called Lynne and she started talking to Dexter, who being 5 and a little unwell just ignored her. Then when she held Dexters other hand to me he suddenly started to warm a bit to her and started talking again. She was very impressed that it would be Dexters 10th parkrun next week and she also picked up his spirits a bit so when she parted ways to run with a friend Dexter was still happy to run. So as we started to close the gap on SJ and Flynn he started to smile a bit more too and even thanked the Marshals who even at that point on a drizzly day were still smiling and cheering us on. We caught up with SJ and Flynn just after the 4km mark and we finished the run off together. Also at this point I had somehow managed to be wearing Dexters Skeleton mask from his Halloween costume and had made it very sweaty so when I gave it him back for the last 200 metres all he could say was errr daddy you're sweaty. Thanks son I love you too. At the last corner SJ  set off running and pretty fast too Dexter really tried to keep up with her but couldn't. The reaction that everyone gave him at the finish was ace and made it a really great parkrunday.

Once we had all finished and met up after all barcodes had been scanned we set off back to Grandmas for our parkrun breakfast were we compared our different versions of the run and enjoy a nice bit of family since we haven't all been together in what seems months. Even Great Grandma was up from Chelmsford so there was 4 generations talking about parkrun. Since making a visit to grandmas a staple of parkrunday and the numbers growing each week, my mum has had to expand her table layout and today I think we maxed out the space.

Next week Grandma is away but is happy for the rest of us to carry on the tradition of parkrun breakfast. 

I wonder if there are many other family turnouts to a parkrun this size and do they have a family breakfast too? 

Keep up the good work Huddersfield parkrun and keep running everyone.


  1. It was a fab morning matt and I cant wait to join in again!!

  2. A great post Matt, I really enjoyed my half a park run and am determined to finish it next week, even if it takes me all day ! Thanks for all the organising you did, including lamenating ( how do you spell that ? ) our park run codes.