Parkrun for graduation - yes or no?: Hello all... - Couch to 5K

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Parkrun for graduation - yes or no?


Hello all - I've been really inspired and helped by this forum - thank you! I'm about to do W9R2 tomorrow, which means my 'graduation' run will be on Saturday. I'm doing a charity 10k in October, so this is a huge milestone. I'm thinking about making an occasion of it by joining my local parkrun, but stupidly worrying that maybe I should just stick to doing what I've been doing. If I make a big thing of it, I might mess up. I'd be mortified to start it and not run the whole thing. I've been a pre-dawn solo runner thus far; so more than a bit anxious about running in company and making a fool of myself!

27 Replies

Hi Topsy62

You have NOTHING to worry about 😀

I did my graduation run as my first Parkrun & I loved it. I had never run with people, did the C25K solo, but I loved it. (I wrote about it back in December, if you want to read my experience)

It doesn't matter if you walk, it doesn't matter if you're slow, you have nothing to mess up! You won't be last - there's a tail walker who volunteers to be last & you'll get so much encouragement along the way.

Don't worry about the speedy guys & girls who set off like rockets, just go at your own pace. You could either do your 5 min warmup walk before it starts, or as part of it - whatever you're comfortable with

At our Parkrun we have someone giving a talk to first timers & visitors about 15 mins before it starts, so check out if your Parkrun does that, it's very helpful & good for setting your mind at ease!

Go! Relax! Enjoy! And report back. (And thank the volunteers!)

misswobbleGraduate in reply to Davoda

Just chill and see what happens. You have no way of knowing what will happen on the day so dive in and see what transpires

It's everyone moving together in the same direction, just trying to get round the best way they can. It's fun! You will see people there who maybe you'd not expect. It's not all about running. I know the name implies running but there are folks there who are just trying to move forward in any way they can. I love it that you get such a mixed bag of abilities in one go 😃 That's why it's so popular 👍✔️🏃‍♀️

ancientrunnerGraduate in reply to misswobble

Agreed, My parkrun now has a tail walker rather than runner, not sure if that is a national change.

DavodaGraduate in reply to ancientrunner

Yes it is, they changed it about a month ago to encourage all abilities to take part in Parkrun. 😀

Madge50Graduate in reply to ancientrunner

Mine too, I think it is, all the ones near me now have a tailwalker as opposed to tailrunner.


Topsy62 in reply to Davoda

Thank you Davoda! That's really reassuring. Just printed off my barcode! I'll do it.


Certainly! I started Parkrun on w6 doing c25k and graduated at it..😊


Definitely go for it! I did parkrun for my graduation run and loved it, I started with the 5 minute warm up walk then ran, after my 30 minutes running I had another short walk then ran over the finishing line, it was a fantastic way to finish c25k and lots of people ran and walked. There really is no pressure to run the whole thing and everyone there was friendly and supportive. I enjoyed it so much I can't wait to do it all over again! Whatever you decide, just enjoy your graduation run 🙂

Topsy62 in reply to trying2b

Just the advice (and reassurance) I needed. Like the idea of starting with the walk and keeping to my 30 mins running. Not sure how much will be left in the tank beyond that anyway! Thank you.


hell...yes that is all :)

Topsy62 in reply to mixindave

Ha ha - will do!


Do it, do it, do it, do it......😄👍


Topsy62 in reply to Madge50

I will, I will!


Definitely do it. I did Park run as my first post graduation run and now slightly regret not walk running it at an earlier stage in the programme. My brother came to run it with me and despite being a runner for many years he ended up walking the steep bit.

You can check how long people usually take by looking up the results page of your local run. Mine has lots of speedy runners but some who go much slower and I saw a fair few walking bits.

Very friendly and welcoming. I loved it. I like running alone too. They are different experiences.


My graduation run was a parkrun on Tooting Common with my other half and her ten year old both running rings around me. I was pleased as punch to do it and the atmosphere and support was great.

Thank you SO much everyone! Sounds like a no brainer really. I've printed off my barcode and will get there in good time on Saturday for the 'first timers' briefing. Maybe it helps that much of the route turns out to be the one I've been using for the last couple of weeks anyway. Excited now! (I think!)

Please let us know how it goes!!! I would love to be in your position right now - doing a park run is my ultimate goal out of this! x

DavodaGraduate in reply to princessbecky

There's nothing to stop you doing Parkrun as part of this. Just do whatever day you're on, probably having a longer walk than your normal 5 min cool down, but that's fine. 😀

As someone said take a look at the results page of your local Parkrun & I'm sure you'll see people your pace & slower there (i.e. Walk the whole way!) (Caveat - unless it's a very small Parkrun!)

As I said Parkrun changed the term to Tail Walker a month ago to encourage more people to take part, so no pressure & no worries!

I thought I had to be able to run the 5k before I did my first Parkrun - I was wrong, I could have done it much earlier - however having said that, there is a definite pleasure in doing it as your graduation run, or immediately after. 😉🏃‍♀️

princessbecky in reply to Davoda

I really don't think I would be ready right now, and same as the comments by Topsy - I wouldn't want to go for it and be put off if I couldn't do it to the standard I wanted!

Also - it's nice having a goal so I agree - I think I will aim for it to be my graduate run! :)

DavodaGraduate in reply to princessbecky

I understand. 😀 You could however volunteer.....

I'll definitely get back to you Princess Becky. A few weeks ago I couldn't have dreamed of doing this. Still pinching myself. Got a bit emotional when I finished W9R1 (!!) so I'll be in bits if I do this. You'll get there! xx

I'm gonna do my 1st park run once graduated. Excited and scared at prospect but gonna do it. Hv found my local one n gonna register so I'm ready to go in cpl wks. Enjoy x


I did parkrun as my graduate run. Now entering my third on Saturday. Fantastic atmosphere. Lots of speedy runs but then also people that walk and run with mixed abilities. It will be great.

Topsy62 in reply to loubeelou76

Thank you Loubeelou! I've gone from being terrified to really quite excited in a couple of days, thanks to these replies - all so positive.

I DID IT! Glorious sunshine, lovely people, flat course (yay!) and a tiny bit of tearful pride at the end when total strangers clapped me as I finished. This is the absolutely the way to graduate; it makes an occasion of it, which – for genuine ex-couch potatoes like me – is entirely appropriate. I didn't know anyone there, but everyone has a smile and it was much less painful running in a gaggle in daylight than solo before dawn! If you're anxious about Parkrun for graduation, (as I was) don't be. A day to remember.

CarolineLou71Graduate in reply to Topsy62

Woohoo! Great follow up report 😁

SueKenGraduate in reply to Topsy62

Woohoo! Well done graduate!!!

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