There have been some brilliant posts on here recently by people who are either seasoned or rookie Park Runners or volunteers.
I'd vowed that I'd finish C25K before considering having a go.
However, davelinks got me thinking yesterday, that it might be good to do one now.
Obviously that caused an onslaught of gremlins, but I decided to do a scouting mission, just in case I change my mind.
Actually, I started procrastinating so much about going, I got there just after the run started.
I wasn't familiar with the park layout, so I told the steward at the entrance what I was up to.
He pointed me in the direction of the start, as I'd requested. It turns out that the course is actually just a big loop round the main pathway.
Suddenly out of nowhere, boom! 400 runners were sprinting head-on at me, down a 6-ft wide path, fenced in on both sides.
I had to press myself against the railings pretty quick to avoid getting trampled!
It was great to get involved so quickly
So, I took a vantage point over the finish zone, and soaked up the atmosphere- which was fantastic.
I don't think any of the runners today bothered with pacing- everybody was just going hell for leather as they flew past me, about 200 metres from the start.
A few random observations (which you will have already seen on here before):
There was such a massive variety of people there- young, old, skinny, fat, rookies, walkers, club veterans. It was inspiring to see such a spectrum of people get together and run.
And some of the fat people left some thin people for dead, kids seem to be able to outrun all but the elite, older runners outrun younger ones- really cool to watch.
After the first lap, the field settled down. I noticed that one of the first two to finish (time of about 17/18 minutes) could hardly walk afterwards, for a bit.
Mothers with pushchairs- there were quite a few- I imagined they'd be doing a genteel stroll- of course not! - all of them were flying around the track
No-one gets dropped- the pacers were all really supportive. Several of the early finishers went round the course again to offer support to people at the back of the field.
Friendly support- everyone congregates at the finish zone and gives great encouragement to people still running/walking.
Photo finish dashes- everyone, and I mean everyone, does a mad dash towards the finish line, regardless of fitness or ability.
What I liked the most, is that there were loads of people who I consider to be of a similar fitness level to me (ie. noob) and plenty who I thought weren't quite as fit (ie. me a few weeks ago)- and it really didn't matter that they were walking much more of the course than they ran.
I was keen to have a bash at a Park Run, but I thought (gremlins again) that it would be frowned upon if you end up having to take breaks or start walking, or go really slowly. Not at all- the opposite is true- very friendly atmosphere.
TL;DR - It's all very inclusive and supportive to people of all abilities.
I'm seriously thinking about having a go before (hopeful) graduation