First Parkrun FAIL!

Went for my first Parkrun today. Bit nervous. No one spoke to me so I just kept my head down. Got into a really good pace early on and was doing really well until a marshall sent me the wrong way and I ended up back where I started very confused and having only run 3.3km. I felt an idiot watching everyone rolling home and very cheated! The organisers were very sorry for me but I did feel a bit teary so went home with the hump! I will go again but I was gutted my first experience was such an epic fail! My new Brooks are RUINED too just to add insult to injury! Any cleaning tips gratefully received!


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34 Replies

  • sorry to hear that it was so disappointing.

    Could you put your trainers in the washing machine? I had to do this last year when mine ( like yours were very new) got so so wet and muddy running through mini rivers in our local park. That hot wet sock feeling is quite weird!

    I have other friends who regularly wash their trainers in the machine .

  • I used to with cheap ones but was a bit nervous about doing it with these!

  • Oh no!

    I've been a bit scared of joining either of my local parkruns, although getting lost hadn't really occurred to me!

    Erm - at least next time you'll definitely know the way! And you'll have something to laugh about over coffee?

    Sounds like you'd have aced it given half a chance :) next time you will!

  • Yes at least next time I'll know! It was unfortunate that no one was in front of me at that point to follow! Just one of those things but I did feel robbed!

  • Sorry to about your Park run. You must of been miffed!

    The fact you're going to attempt another one is positive sign. I've read with these Parkruns you shouldn't wear your best trainers. I know Brooks are pricey. It's all in hindsight now.

    Hope you can forget about it tomorrow and focus on the next one.

    Be sure to post and let's us know how you got on as I want to do at least of these.

  • Wish I hadn't worn the new ones now but no point having great trainers sitting at home clean I suppose!

  • You poor thing, horrible when you pluck up courage and something like this happens - hope you can put it behind you. If you feel uncertain about running it just now how about volunteering to marshal yourself to start with? You'd soon get to know a few familiar faces that way. On your trainers I'd let them dry, brush the thick off then sponge down & stuff with newspaper & leave by radiator until dried out - my son has the worst football boots and this always leaves them like new again. Best wishes to you! :-)

  • Thanks Notbad. Good advice. I'll see how I get on.

  • Oh that's a bummer, but as gnimia said you'll laugh at this one day. On the next one, you'll probably be speedier than you would have been on this one.

  • Yes I'll probably find it funny when I've done it properly but I did feel miffed!

  • Hi Jenwrenarm,

    Well done for plucking up the courage to go, do go again, the you will get to know some of the regular faces! Just say something to others, they may well be a first timer too and feeling nervous! We always have a coffee afterwards and I find the queue a great place for breaking the ice, commenting on the mud etc!

    As for the washing machine, mine have had several turns through it but my very experienced friend was horrified saying that you could delaminate the soles?!

  • Oh yes, I will go again. It was just one of those things. I did chat to a couple of people afterwards including a lady who was also there for the first time. Thanks Cloudchaser.

  • Jenwrenarm, sounds horrible but don't let it put you off. Put it down to a practice to familiarise yourself, and the next one is the real start. Shame about your trainers but so much better than having shiny new trainers for years that never go out. I wouldn't advise putting them in the washer, notbad's advice sounds much more sensible. Sure your next park run will be amazing!

  • My Husband said treat it as a practice too!

  • AwI really feel for you Jen I think I would still be crying so well done in being so positive and thinking about your next one already Follow not bads advice about cleaning trainers Def not put in washing machine When waiting at start I always speak to someone - comment on weather or ask them how many runs they have done You do hear some interesting stories Glad its not put you off and I am sure you will ace next time

  • Sorry your first Parkrun didn't go as expected. If you find your event on Parkrun's website they have a map of the route. I checked mine out before I visited, I get very nervous about these things and like to be sure before I go. I even walked around one of my local runs before hand because I was worried about the hills. Offering to Marshall sounds a great idea if you don't know anyone going, you can always do a freedom run too as a practice and log it on their website. The very best of luck for the next time.

    As for cleaning trainers, I to leave them to dry, remove the laces, then brush off the worst of the mud with a firm brush (not too hard a brush as you don't want to damage them). Then wash with water, a sponge and mild soap if needed, rinse well, stuff with newspaper and allow to dry.

  • Hope you are feeling a bit better this morning and looking fwd to getting back in the saddle next week. You are braver than me - I have never done one as fear all sorts of things going wrong. As for the trainers - they will recover and at least they have been out there doing it and you will look like a very seasoned runner :-)

  • The thing is with Parkrun - is that you don't even have to run!! :) Some run FAST, some run SLOW - some walk!!! Some pull dogs! On Saturday, I was overtaken by a young mum pushing twins in a stroller. I told her that it was against the rules for mums pushing strollers to overtake senior citizens!! :)

  • That's a shame - Parkrun use volunteer marshals so I guess these things must happen occasionally. Please, never put running shoes in the washing machine. They are of complex construction and it will degrade the structure making them less effective. Notbad gives good advice and when you can, buy a cheaper pair of trail shoes for those muddy wet runs. Besides, I like my shoes when they look well used!

  • Oh dear that's awful. don't let it put you off and that's good advise about being a marshal. Sadly where I am in rural France there are no such things as fun runs. Just as well I enjoy running alone. of to attempt run 1 of week 8 this morning. It's bright a sunny so wish me luck

  • Please don't put your trainers in the washing machine! All you need to do is run the under a cold water tap and wash off the mud. Then stuff with newspaper and leave to dry (I generally leave mine by a radiator for a couple of hours then change the newspaper stuffing and move into the airing cupboard overnight. So sorry your parkrun experience was not better but don't be shy. Next time, introduce yourself - I have run at a couple of venues and have found them very welcoming and encouraging.

  • Oh no what a shame! I have done my local Parkrun a few times since graduating last year and they are very friendly & organised. Maybe you could volunteer one Saturday to get to know the people & the route so you feel more confident to run it again?

  • About the mud, I ruined one pair of trainers in the machine doing C25K and have been advised against putting my running shoes in there. I just run the muddy trail shoes under a warm tap (into a bucket to catch the mud, grass etc so it doesn't block the sink) and scrub gently with a washing up brush (I now have one just for this) then leave on a radiator to dry. It comes off surprisingly easily, especially if you do it straight away before the mud dries too much. I even saw someone parkrunning the other day in Nike flyknits which I've been too scared to get muddy - she said she uses a toothbrush to clean them!

  • Don't let that first-time experience put you off - Parkrun is a brilliant thing which you'll come to love! The best way to appreciate Parkrun is to volunteer to help as soon as you can - you'll see things from both sides, meet lots of lovely, generous people and feel even better about getting out early on a saturday morning - don't worry about the shoes, they're meant to get used and you're nearer to the next new pair too....

  • Aww, what i disappointment, I really feel for you. I guess these things do happen but I'm not sure knowing that helps at the time with all the emotional stuff going. I hope you are able to see it in a different light this morning and know that the next time you will be familiar with the route and what happens.

    I am also a bit anxious about doing my first park run next Saturday...but I have run the route on my own so do know the way. My anxiety is more around the fact there is likely to be between 400 and 500 runners and I will be pretty near the end. Someone told me yesterday that she sees the park run and that the other runners are very kind and clap the later finishers. That just made me worse!

  • Just your bloody luck Jen ! We don't seem to have much luck lol you & I . Next time will be great , you'll see . Congratulations on doing the run I know how nervous you will have felt I was the Same on my first , & last park run lol , but I had plenty in front of me coz I was last lol . Good luck love & well done x

  • I am so sorry to hear about your first Park Run experience. I thought that Marshalls know what they are doing, maybe she or he was new too. Of course you will laugh about this later on when you I have done few runs, it was such a pity though but not the end of the world, cheer up! My first Park Run was not the best either, I had to stop several times and was too tired at the end. It is a nervous experience of course especially when you don't know any of the other runners. Good on you for thinking that you will go again, that is what you should think, this is only a one bad experience, it really should not put you off. Good luck to you for your future runs!

    I have heard that you should NEVER put your shoes in the washing machine. I have never done that, so better be sure that it is ok, after all Brooks are pricey.

  • So sorry to hear that you had such a miserable first Park Run. I have only done 3 Park Runs, and enjoyed each one, so good to hear you are going to do it again anyway.

    I can sympathise with the 'no one talks to you. The Milton Keynes one, which I go to is dominated by two big running clubs, so there is always a clique, and some rivalry.

  • Re your trainers. I'd let them dry off naturally and then attack them with....... Baby wipes. No dirt can stand up to the sheer cleaning power of these things. They're gentle on your skin too.

  • So sorry you had a bad time. I bet the marshall was upset too. I volunteer a lot at my local parkrun and I still get a bit nervous in case I do something wrong and ruin someone's PB. If its any consolation my first parkrun was a disaster but they quickly become addictive!

    Next time why dont you introduce yourself to the marshals before the run and that way they'll remember you and watch out for you. I've found that most people who do parkrun are very friendly and helpful. Once you've been a few times you'll find that you get to know people that run at roughly the same speed as you. Chatting afterwards to them is a good way of picking up tips on how to improve. Also as others have said do volunteer. It's a good way to get to know other runners. Good luck!

  • I don't see it as a fail!

    You went started ...... it wasn't your fault the marshal sent you the wrong way.

    Just clean up your shoes ready for the next one. Run them under the tap...I have to hose mine down frequently at the moment!! :D

  • Oh no! Thats no good :( you have every right to have the hump! Hopefully in a years time, this will be something that you will smile about!?

    As for your brooks...can you wait for them to dry and brush them down? You can get those magic eraser cleaning sponges too which are meant to be good on shoes?! (don't quote me on that, I've just heard it somewhere!).

    Stay positive - we always get those frustrating 'orrible days. Happy thoughts :)

  • Sorry to hear your 1st parkrun not so good :( The marshalling idea sounds good as you will get to know a few faces, with our parkrun i went to the link from the main newsletter(for your venue- I presume each location has a similar web page?) and there was a lovely report on the previous week and real encouragement to join in. I was lucky in that i knew my best friend, her husband and kids would be running so that made things easier and i also went and watched one after christmas to get a feel for the event. I really hope when you go next time the experience will be better:)

  • sorry to hear your day was not too good, but glad you are still going to go back.I started my C25K journey with a park run, just did it in my own time, and then walked at the end of the podcast.

    I am not sure how fast you are, but there may be pacemakers who you could follow on the course, if there is one for your pace. My pace is far too slow so I am always near the back.

    Haven't done any running recently, but have been volunteering, and have loved getting involved in that as well. In a few weeks you will look back and smile at this x

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