On 10 June 2006 I took part in the Bushy Park Time Trial, a free 5k timed run at 9am on a Saturday morning. It was fun, I finished 52nd out of 159 runners and my time was 21 minutes. I went back the following week.
Since then the event has been rebranded as Bushy parkrun and on Saturday 9 February 2013 I ran my 250th timed 5k run. I’ve run at 29 different events, as far away as Sydney Australia for a hot sunny 5k run! I’ve run 202 times at Bushy parkrun – which I can safely say is my local parkrun (although there are now three others that are slightly closer to home).
For me it’s not about always running fast – it’s about running and socialising with friends. I get there early, I leave there late and it often seems to take around three and a half hours all in to run a 20 minute 5k! This is because the run is just a small part of what makes parkrun.
Before 855 of us set off on Saturday morning it was announced that I’d be doing my 250th run. All I had to do was get to the finish in one piece and I’d get an exclusive ‘250 Club’ t-shirt. I think this is why I ran my fastest time since September 2012! I didn’t want to get tripped up.
After finishing the run and cheering on many others who’d come along to celebrate the occasion we all stood around and drunk sparkling wine and had some lovely cake – all provided and served up by Sharon. It was a lovely touch and great to be around so many friends. As Sharon isn’t around next weekend I was fortunate enough to be presented with my 250 t-shirt by run director Ray Coward. It was a great occasion and achievement and one that I’m very proud of.
After finishing off the booze we all went to the pub. And drank tea and coffee! I’m sure there’s something not quite right about that…