You want to go to a parkrun but don't think you're quick enough or you think you may look silly or you can't run the whole distance?

Hi everyone,

This was supposed to be posted yesterday but because of a really busy day, this parkrun blog post is being posted today instead as well as my report from the 10km run today,

So I went to parkrun yesterday, I was really looking forward to going as I signed up to be a tail runner, a person who runs at the back making sure everyone is safe, nothing bad happens and telling the marshals when they can leave their post when you go past the last time,

So I got up and got ready, had a shower, got changed, ate some breakfast, double and triple checked I had everything for the parkrun and then I set off, I got to parkrun for 8 to help set-up the course, I help with setting up the cones around the track, the starting cones and the cones directing people off the track, so I set up all that and then I go to the run director get a hi-vis jacket as I need to be seen and for people to know that I'm part of the parkrun volunteering in case they have any questions, any worries, if they get hurt, so I then nip toilet and get ready to listen to the run brief,

I stand there listen to the run brief and then we go line up for the start of the run, I was tail runner with this guy called craig (I originally put brian for some reason but checked and his name is craig not brian oops glad I checked) so we start going round the track and then the run director comes up to me and craig (I really want to call him brian for some reason stupid brain stop it lol) so we get told that there is 3 people who started a tad bit late so we stop and wait for them to catch up as we stay right at the back behind everyone so marshals know we are last and there isn't anymore runners behind us, so once they catch up we start jogging behind them, we natter but not to much so we are paying attention to the runners, other people in the park, as we are coming around I spot a person walking around the course yes you read that right, this woman came out to parkrun and didn't care about how long she took as long as she crossed that finish line, we kept her company until the end of the run, this woman decided to go to a parkrun and walk the course, it just goes to show anyone yes even you that even if you end up walking the whole of the course it doesn't matter, you are lapping everyone on the couch, you are also doing something you may not think possible so even if you do a walk run around your local parkrun course be proud of who you are, where you have come from, how much you struggled during that first week, you have come so far already and you can only improve but take it at your own pace so you don't cause an injury,

Yesterday's parkrun could've been this woman's first parkrun and didn't feel like she didn't want to hurt herself by running the course, do you know what, people like this woman I have admiration for as well as everyone else that goes to parkrun, people go to parkrun for different reasons, a lot of people go to increase their fitness levels, lose weight, make new friends, gain in confidence and/or self-esteem,

it doesn't matter what your reason for going to your parkrun, people who help out and marshal or tail run only want you to be happy, and enjoy yourself there no matter what time you cross the finish line in, I came in with a time of 56:19 and do you know what I'm more proud of that time than any other time I've got because it meant I gave a woman who may not necessarily felt like she could get round the whole course by running but she knew she could by walking the course, and no matter if you run the whole course or walk the whole course, everyone gets treated equally and gets cheered on just the same if not more if you are at the back,

Take care everyone,

Siobhan xx

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17 Replies

  • Hi Siobhan - many thanks for your description of being a tail guide at the parkrun! I have been wanting to do a parkrun ever since I started the Couch to 5K programme, but I have always bottled it because I thought I was too slow and wasn't yet...

  • It's great that you were there to support and she'll probably carry on now, as her first time was a good experience

    Well done x

  • I also want to say that I have had a quick look at your profile and some of your earlier posts - you are an inspiration! What you have achieved in such a short time is awesome - best of luck with reaching that 500th parkrun!

  • Great post as always Hidden as so right about parkrun is for all 😊

  • What a lovely post, thanks for sharing :-) x

  • Thanks for sharing xx We are told that tail runners don't mind, but it is really good to hear that yes, it's right, tail runners really don't mind! I have to say, I had weird preconceived ideas about running and runners and yet I haven't met a...

  • Lovely post... as always....and inspiring..I may head for my first Park run soon... I don't feel so bad if I go slowly now.. thanks you X :)

  • I think tail runners are hugely appreciated. Well done for doing this Siobhan, same for everyone who'll  stand out in the cold and cheer on the stragglers.

  • I feel better now I know tailenders don't get left behind, because that would be me!  Thank you for your reassuring post xx 

  • Great post AW.  At most of our 5k events (we don't have parkrun) we have walkers as well.  It's great to see everyone out and enjoying an event, no matter the time it takes, from the super speedy to the ones gently walking the whole way.

  • Brilliant post Siobhan, you are a total inspiration and I am so pleased that you are such a supportive part of the  parkrun and this  community xxxx

    You gave that lady at parkrun yesterday a very warm welcome and made sure that she didnt feel any...

  • Great post.  You and Brian / Craig :)  are great people.  It's this kind of inclusivity that will get everyone running and enjoying it.  Long live ParkRun :) 

  • Thank you everyone,

    I went through everything I mentioned in this post as well as other mental barriers, I always had a worry about me falling over and hitting my head or hurting myself or falling/tripping up and looking silly/stupid, it took me...

  • A really useful post, we should maybe pin in somewhere?

    Had to laugh at your 'Brian injury' - not so surprising is it?! (sorry, sorry!)

  • That's a brilliant post, Siobhan, really encouraging and inspiring :)  Thank you for posting it, and well done for tail running with that lady :)

  • Thank you for writing this Siobhan, I am sure you will have encouraged your walking park runner to come back. At my Parkrun there are often people walking; also people running a bit, walking a bit; everything from 16-17 minute flyers all the way...

  • Glad you posted this as I've been thinking about going to my local parkrun, but I'm not quite at 5k yet, even though I run for 30 minutes. So thank you, I think I'll be brave and give it a try.

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