Okay so I’ve only been to two! But I’m converted. It was great. I was extremely sceptical of the idea of Park Runs: I expected some kind of free for all with no organisation or lots of serous runners banging out a 22 min run as I struggle in last place. Safe to say I was pleasantly surprised.
I love running and have run in quite a few events but my times aren’t elite by any stretch of the imagination. So the idea of lots of competitive runners was a bit intimidating. But, in reality, there are runners from all levels. You have the elite runners, the confident runners, the casual runners and those who are starting out. Everyone is just doing their own thing and supporting each other. It’s wonderful!
I was a bit concerned it would be a tad chaotic; after all it’s a free event. In all honesty it was well organised and a great mini event. The volunteers are fab. The level of organisation was a surprise and definitely helps make it successful and they do it with a smile. It’s without a doubt people powered: the volunteers keep everything going. The route was well marked, the gun times where accurate and the barcode system worked really smoothly: when you finish you join a queue get a small barcode which is then scanned alongside your personal barcode. You then get an email with all your stats. It was all done really smoothly and seamlessly at the Park Run in poole.
There is a real feel of community. Everyone was pretty cheerful and friendly. I love the mini event feel: running along side other people and a recorded time. But at the same time it’s very relaxed.
I felt very motivated by the people around me. It definitely pushed me to run faster and do the best 5kms I’ve done in a long time! In fact I’ve been struggling to get bellow 9min miles and I managed it Saturday. Rather than keep checking my watch I found one or two people who were going a good comfortable pace for me and I stuck behind them. I’m pretty happy with my results both days. It’s definitely helped my training. It’s easy to do a slow run when it’s just me plodding along but when I’m surrounded by other people I’m more likely to push myself.
Whether your a pro runner or a novice it’s great. If you haven’t been to your local park run get out and go.