Daisy and I have been rather remiss about keeping the diary going, for one reason or another. However, I have now signed up to run a half marathon in March, so whilst we haven’t been writing, we have been running!
Having heard about the amazing weekly parkrun initiative and with training in mind we decided to give our local run a go.
All over the UK and in several other countries, a 5 km (3.1 miles) run takes place every Saturday morning at 9am in city and country parks, stately homes and beaches.
All you need to run is to register on its website, print out a barcode which is then used to time your run. It’s very clever, and I think the best bit is it’s all free. The founder, Paul Sinton-Hewitt was awarded a CBE in 2014 for his services to grassroots sport, and very well deserved it is I think. Now there are nearly 2 million people signed up to run, all for free.
Sinton-Hewitt determined that it will never be a commercial enterprise, and look what he has achieved, a huge population of new runners enjoying this weekly challenge.
Daisy and I arrived to our first run slightly anxious about what we were about to do. We found a very friendly and welcoming group of runners and volunteers (it takes quite a few to organise each race).
The event began with a welcome to new runners – a round of applause set Daisy off joining in with a howl. Followed by a birthday song for a birthday runner, again with Daisy providing back up!
The Ludlow Parkrun is a challenging one in the Mortimer forest, lots of hills to climb, a lot of mud to contend with, and a wondrous number of fabulous views.
The morning’s run was themed on Australia Day – 26th Jan – and there were lots of Aussie touches, one of the hills was renamed Billabong hill and we were advised to go into a lower gear! There is a particularly steep downhill stretch and across a stream, where we were met with (blow up!) crocodiles!
The clever timing system grades you in your age group, gives your time, notes if you have a PB (Personal Best), in general mine seem to depend on how many ‘comfort breaks’ Daisy needs to take. Today, just as we were told to ‘go’, Daisy decided she really did need to ‘go’ and so a stop was required before we’d even started!
It is a fabulous initiative and truly is fun to take part in, the Ludlow group are lovely. Daisy and I have thoroughly enjoyed the few that we’ve now taken part in.
A parkrun is always followed by a coffee or some refreshment. The Ludlow group head to the Ludlow Brewery for their well deserved libations, as yet Daisy and I haven’t joined but we will soon!
Get in touch with Ludlow Parkrun through the website, to run and/or volunteer, it is a truly fun family event.