W8R1/First Parkrun

Very Long Post Alert!

Regular readers will know that my run on Thursday night (w7r3) was, shall we say, 'not entirely satisfactory'. I had, whilst ruminating in the bath, decided regardless to do a Parkrun for the first time this morning - incorporating my first run of week 8. After Thursday I seriously doubted that I could get round 5k in under 40 minutes (if at all), so 40 minutes was my target (my 1k splits are usually anything from 7.40 - 8.15 ish). So I roll up at Tilgate Park in Crawley in good time to do my 5 minute warm-up walk before the start, and at 09.00 off I trotted with 312 others. I listened to Laura for the first 28 minutes, but when she said to walk at the end I only did two minutes, not wanting to ruin my chances of a (for me) decent time. (I did warm down properly for 5 mins after I finished, I promise!) Tilgate is a lovely park and a lovely course, it includes two separate circuits of a lake at beginning and end separated by 2k through the woodland. Mostly on hard paths so good conditions all round. Only one walking phase was required, up a murderous uphill stone path where far better runners than me also had to walk, so I didn't feel too bad about that. There was loads of encouragement from the volunteer marshalls all the way round, they are lovely and fantastic people, I thank all of them. And to the finish. A couple of people I know from work who had, it turns out, finished 10-11 minutes ahead of me had waited at the finish line to cheer me on, so I felt obliged to put a spurt (of sorts) on for the final 50 metres. As I crossed the line to barely deserved applause from loads of other runners too, I stopped my Nike+ app. Didn't look at it straight away as I needed to get my finishing tag and personal barcode scanned. Then I dared look. Have I beaten 40 minutes? Nike+ told me I had done 5k in 37 minutes and 35 seconds. 37.35!!!! I could have cried. After feeling so despondent on Thursday I was suddenly on cloud 9. No, cloud 99. I know pride is a deadly sin, but I feel so pleased with myself. Ridiculously happy! I'd been told that official timing was often a wee bit slower than GPS based apps, and so it proved, but if you look at the results of today's Tilgate Parkrun, this is what you'll see:

282 Steve JACKSON 38:08 VM55-59 40.65 % M 158 First Timer! (and 9th in my age group. Out of 10 :) )

So 38.08 rather than 37.35 but I'm still deliriously happy (and it makes it a little bit easier to set a PB next time :) ) Stupid grin all day and my mood hasn't even been ruined by West Ham performing so abysmally against West Brom in the FA Cup ;)

If anyone is thinking of trying out Parkrun please do it! The people are lovely and there's so much encouragement (just like on here!)

Sorry for the VLP, but if you've made it this far, thanks for reading. Today is a GOOD day!

Good luck and good running everyone, Steve

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43 Replies

  • well done on your parkrun :D a good time too :) couldnt agree more about parkrun , a relaly great "family" atmosphere :D luv it

  • Thanks Rob, it was all I'd been told it was.

  • Wow Steve, what a great result, no wonder you are on cloud 99! well done! :)

  • Thank you aliboo.

  • Fabulous! Well done Steve, what a buzz! And that graduation badge will be there in no time!


  • Fingers crossed! Thank you Madge.

  • Great run Steve - that's it you will be hooked on times now.

  • Shouldn't but will be. Got a PB to beat now!

  • Really great! I am in exactly the same position as you, wanting to get under 40 mins. You have inspired me to go for the parkrun...when my shins are better. Absolutely amazeballs!

  • Thank you. Wishing you better soon.

  • Fantastic - so inspirational! Wish we had park runs around here....

  • Thank you!

  • This is great news well done.. I started same time as you but sadly am on crutches at the moment so am stalled. Really glad that you are storming ahead so nearly finished now. !!!

  • Thank you. Hope you're up & running soon.

  • Oh my goodness Steve that's absolutely fantastic ! Well done for going for it even after your 'bad run', and not even at W9 yet. You have every reason to be pleased and proud of yourself and hope your colleagues were impressed with your progress too. Have a great remainder of your weekend. I suspect that won't be your last park run either !

  • Thank you Henpen. I'll be back for sure.

  • Well done Steve. That is a fab time :)

  • Thank you AM.

  • Amazing - you are an inspiration. Very, very brave too doing a parkrun in wk 8. I estimated my time might be 41 minutes - but I'm not planning on one for a long long time. Just need to get the next 2 weeks over first. Well done again.

  • Thank you Buffy. I surprised myself a little bit. I did wonder if it was a bit soon.

  • Wow, that's brilliant, very well done! That's made me want to try a parkrun even more now, I 'm going to register :) Congrats again!

  • Thank you. Yeah, do it! I actually registered about a 6 weeks ago but it's taken me this long to have the nerve to try it.

  • Thats really fantastic, well done you, so you'll be back next week then ?!!

  • Erm, yes, I rather think I will! Thank you JJ

  • Wow Steven! I think it's incredible that you did a Parkrun in week 8 and that you got such a fabulous time! Feel proud (forget about the deadly sin bit!) and celebrate your success. You did brilliantly!

  • Thank you so much IP. I knew it might be a bit of a risk but a gentle steady pace paid off.

  • Oops. Typo with Steven. I know you're a Steve!

  • I was always Steven to my Mum :)

  • Congratulations! That's fantastic and really inspiring. I really want to do a park run by the end of March and you might just have spurred me on to register! Great time too - I'm sure I won't be anywhere near that but it sounds as though it's so friendly and encouraging that it won't matter. Good luck with the rest of the programme and have a great weekend!

  • Thanks very much. It was a really encouraging atmosphere. Good luck!

  • That is SO great Steve (though I knew you'd do it! ) I am only on week 4 of my re-run of the Couch to 5K after illness and injury but I have just learned there is a 5K fun run near me on March 4th. After reading your post I'm going to enter-doubt I'll manage under 40 minutes but after reading this I'm damned well going to try!

  • Thank you TT. My thoughts when I committed to going this morning were along the lines of "I know I'm going to finish near the back, I know I'm going to struggle to break 40 minutes, I know I've never run 5k before, but what the heck, I'll just try my best". And I surprised myself. Amazing how good running can make you feel, why didn't I start years ago!? Good luck with all your running.

  • Whoa ! Well done to you Steve, fab stuff ! :-) xxx

  • Thank you PP :)

  • Great post, Steve. :-) (Great name too, BTW. ;-) )

    Congratulations on your first Parkrun; good time too; after graduation. as you settle more into running, you'll find you get quicker still and will enjoy Parkruns even more. Next thing you know you'll be doing races all over the place. :D

    Nothing at all wrong in feeling proud and pleased with yourself either; it's an incredible thing to do, taking up running and quite right you should take pride in every single achievement, no matter how big or how 'small' - an achievement is an achievement in our sport and something to be proud of. Especially if you take it up out of nowhere like the huge majority of us here have!

    Keep up the good work, but I have a warning for you: it gets addictive. And I mean, really, stupidly addictive. :D

    (Another Steve. :D )

  • Thanks Steve :) My only regret in all of this is that I didn't start years ago!

  • You and me both! :D

  • Great stuff and great time to. :-) I'm still to do a Parkrun, but its on the cards... hoping that a crowds may drag me along!

  • Thanks Andy, that's just what I found, it was the first time I'd ever not run solo, and it was a big help, even just trying to get past one person in front helped me keep my pace steady.

  • I was at Tilgate yesterday and finished just a little ahead of you! (I was the odd looking one running in the red peticoat along side a women in an Arsenal shirt and a bright red wig - not our normal running gear, I hasten to add...) I'll be handing out the finishing tokens next week, so if you are running again, say hello (or gasp it as you go by!). It is a beautiful run and a great crowd. So glad you enjoyed it. Really well done on your time too - that's impressive for a first go around (and you're right, an awful lot of people always walk up Chevron).

  • I saw you! Small world! Thank you, I will definitely be back.

  • There are quite a few of us who have completed C25k and ended up at Tilgate (my red headed friend is another!). We should have a C25k event one week - maybe I will talk to the organising committee...

  • Nice one Steve. Parkrun just makes you realise that this forum is just a little corner of the worldwide running family. Of course this is also the place to come and tell us about your achievements, because we all know how much those things mean and can identify immediately with your "stupid grin" and buoyant mood.

    Keep running, keep smiling.

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