Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Parkrun has been run!

Hello everyone. Thanks for the kind encouragement on my Saturday post about my re-entry into the Parkrun event. 

After the three-week rest, I finally did my first hike again last Tuesday and the Parkrun on Saturday.
 Pieter, Grant and Naomi (see middle group) are volunteers. Joanine in orange jacket, is the Parkrun Director
 Pamela (Pieter's wife) is a serious runner who does the 5km in under 38 minutes every week
 Grant chatting to a Parkrun newcomer, Neil who's lived in the Valley for 20 years. He wanted to know that he'd not be pushed to do the 5km in record time. Grant assured him he'd be walking slowly and behind Neil all the time. After the walk, Neil told me it was so reassuring to know that Grant "had his back" !   He's hoping to bring his wife to join next week
 And then my favorite participants...
 ...the four-legged ones!

 Paddy, the Jack Russell, belongs to John Muirhead and ran alongside and off-leash, while he and Grant did their 5km

Then the Parkrun:

As always when I start off (as do many who are in my category of un-fitness 😉) I ran for the first 800m. 

And my foot held.

I took a fast walk past the 1km marker, and then halfway between this and 2km, I managed to set up a good pace running again. On top of the dam, I caught my breath and surprisingly walked strongly across the wall. 

Around 3km, I felt tired and thought I was slacking off. I didn't want to think about not doing my walk in good time but up on the top of the next dam wall, I suddenly got my second wind. I ran another half-a-kilometer and then passed the 4km marker walking quite quickly. 

I had looked back briefly to find Ant, and was surprised to see him walking without his sticks! 

I entered the last 500m behind a young couple, with two pre-teen girls and a young boy. The children wanted to beat their parents to the finish so they broke into a sprint. The parents followed and I managed to run into the end straight where Ann and Pieter, the timekeepers were calling encouragement. 

As I passed Pieter, I asked my time:

45 minutes 46 seconds!

Whoo -hoo! 

I was thrilled because even though I'd not done the 5km course for three weeks, I was still able to do it in a reasonable time (by my own standards!) 

And before anyone thinks I'm fixated on times and bettering them. This is not the case. (I used to be!) Since being forced to step down and take it easy while nursing the foot injury, I realized how much fun and how fullfilling it is to volunteer. Grant is the only volunteer who can do his 5km at the same time as delivering a service to the event. Any other volunteer is standing on the sidelines and forfeits his or her run/walk. That said; many volunteers want to do only that: volunteer.

Not I. I always wanted to take part and hoped I'd never be asked to volunteer. However, now the ball game has changed for me. I decided last Saturday that I would volunteer my services at any time from now on. 

If anyone is interested and has time (this is a long testimonial) please do read what a volunteer wrote to Bruce Fordyce. It's another thing that motivated me to offer to be a volunteer in between taking part in Parkrun. 

NOTE: If you are bored with my meanderings about the Parkrun, exit my post now! (LOL!) 

On Wednesday 9 August it is National Woman's Day in South Africa. There will be a Freedom Run at the same venue;  men are invited. Only criteria for them is they have to wear something pink or girlie to show their support! Grant has already decided on what he's wearing so watch this space...

I'm linking to Our World Tuesday here



  1. Well done, I could only walk it, running was something I could not even do at school!!! How I used to enjoy watching Bruce Fordyce win the comrades, he used to float across the ground. Take care Diane

  2. Well I would be interested to see what REAL men were game enough to do the run with e ladies. That, for me would be a real man

  3. Hello, Jo! I am so glad your foot held up and your came in with a great time too. It is awesome that both you and Grant volunteer at the Parkrun. BTW, I like all the four legged participants too. Happy Wednesday, enjoy your day!

  4. I had to laugh when you said you are unfit. wow.. there is no way I could begin to do what you do. walking on a flat ground is it and a walk of 3 miles would make me collapse.. I think you are amazing and volunteer is good for them and for you

  5. Hi Jo and very well done to you! This is a great community event for all ages and I wish there was something similar in our area!
    Cute four legged runners too!
    Have a good week!

  6. Jo, congratulations ~ am not a runner but am so glad for you and that you set your own standards ~ delightful photos and love the little dog jumping up ~ ^_^

  7. A big congrats to you. It's nice to know that you are BACK in the run and healed. Sounds like great fun with great people. Love the dog standing up, he's ready to go. :)

  8. Oh well done Jo! Congratulations, the first run after an injury is a huge deal! I think the combination of running and volunteering is the perfect fit! I remember when we did the 14km charity walk each year, my brother in law and I were highly competitive, we used to almost exhaust ourselves trying to get the better time 😀

  9. Paddy, the Jack Russell, looks so much like my Bonnie-Belinda. I'm just about to post about her.
    Love, K


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