First Park Run: Hello C25Ker's. I thought I'd... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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First Park Run


Hello C25Ker's. I thought I'd post in here to give those who are doing the programme some encouragement to show what you can achieve in a short time. I started C25K at the end of October 2017 as a non-runner and I'd been wanting to do a Park Run ever since graduating from C25K last January. I've had my barcode printed and laminated since February, but never got around to dragging myself out of bed on a Saturday morning and going...

6th October was Park Run's 14th anniversary AND my 50th birthday, so I decided that this was the one to do. I woke early and my 6 year old daughter helped me unwrap my presents, and this year she even managed not to tell me what they were before they were unwrapped :)

I was a bit apprehensive of going and was worrying about where to park and what to do with the car keys while running, but luckily my other half volunteered to give me a lift, although rather than staying to cheer me on she decided to go to Lidl :\

It was a cold and damp morning with the wind whipping across the newly created park land at Great Denham, and I'd elected to go only in my shorts and short sleeved running top. My teeth were chattering as I stood and listened to the first timer's talk and I couldn't wait to get moving.

I followed the masses toward the start line and positioned myself about a third of the way from the front, being mindful not to get caught up with slower runners but also not wanting to seem overly confident by going too near the front. The run started dead on 9am and I immediately found myself wishing I'd started a little nearer the front as I was having to dodge left and right onto the grass to pass slower runners. I tagged onto a group of 3 runners who I thought would be running at about my pace and soon settled into a nice steady rhythm. Breathing was nice and easy and my legs felt strong, and by the time the first km had passed I realised I could go faster than the group I was running with, so I upped my pace and was soon overtaking several much younger runners.

By the end of the first lap the field had spread out and I now had quite a gap between me and the runners in front, so I decided to try and pick them off one by one and see how I felt after each overtake to see if I could keep the pace up. The second lap seemed to fly by and I overtook several wearing 50th Park Run shirts and a few Milton Keynes Redway runners. I had no idea how far up the field I was and with about 1km to go I caught a very athletic looking lady who did not take kindly to being passed. She put her head down and started puffing away like a steam train as she gently passed me heading into the finishing straight. I think I could probably have taken the position back, but it seemed an ungentlemanly thing to do. I finished 1 second behind her and later found out that she was the 2nd position lady!

My strava app told me that I'd beaten my 5k PB at 22:10, so I was happy with that. When the results came in later that day I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had finished in 26th position with an official time of 22:19. I was also 4th in my age category.

This was my first ever timed event and I really enjoyed it. It has brought out the competitive side in me, so I will be returning soon to try and better my result.

Keep up the good work and happy running! :)

29 Replies

Lovely post and motivational magic Mike.

Many happy returns.

Look forward to your progress mr Blurr, both pace and distance.

You are inspiring to the forum Mike.

Take good care of you.


MikeJones68Graduate in reply to Tbae

Thank you Robert. Kind words indeed :)

Congratulations, Mike, and about time too!! Also, welcome to the Hawaii Club 😘

MikeJones68Graduate in reply to lagatachocolate

Oh there you are, stranger. You are in Hawaii??

lagatachocolateGraduate in reply to MikeJones68

Geographically; I wish!! Age wise; yes, with you! 😂

MikeJones68Graduate in reply to lagatachocolate

Oh I see! LOL. Sorry, a bit slow on the uptake there!


That’s a phenomenal first parkrun time! You’ve obviously done some hard work since C25K... I have optimistically set myself a target of getting under 25 minutes. Others my age can, but they’ve been running for years... now I see someone who started in this programme do it... that’s really boosted me, thanks for the inspiration!

MikeJones68Graduate in reply to UnfitNoMore

You can do it! When I graduated I was running just over 5k in the 30 minutes. Just keep up the good work and the times will tumble :)

UnfitNoMoreGraduate in reply to MikeJones68

Thanks... starting consolidation today and I run 12 minute miles comfortably, 10s with some pushing, so hoping to go for 30 in the next couple of runs. Then it’s 5k race plan time... I’m confident that I can get towards the 8 minute mile pace I need for my target.

Wow! Well done you and Happy Birthday! What a lovely birthday treat to yourself! All the best for your onward running journey. 😊

MikeJones68Graduate in reply to over61andstilltrying

Thank you :)

Just to say to all you C25k peeps that Mike’s time is incredibly fast for a 5k and that I’m not at all envious. Not in the least. Nope, not at all...

You don’t have to think you need to go that fast on a park run - just enjoy the run at whatever pace feels comfortable and enjoy the health benefits!

MikeJones68Graduate in reply to MadDave

Oh yes, definitely do it at your own pace and don't worry about what others are doing. If I'd tried to stay with the leaders I wouldn't have lasted one lap!

Amazing!!! Well done and happy birthday - what a way to celebrate. If you’d had any angst about turning 50, you certainly blasted it into orbit!!! Congratulations 😁

MikeJones68Graduate in reply to Hipsandknees

Thank you! I started C25K almost a year ago with the aim to be a reasonable runner by the time I hit 50. I am more than happy with my progress :)


Happy birthday and wowsers that's a great first park run!! Well done, u must be well pleased. Inspirational ! My goal is to do parkrun sub 30.

MikeJones68Graduate in reply to Deals1

You will do it :)


How did I miss this??? Firstly, happy 50th Birthday need to ask if you had a good birthday because reading this it’s clear that you did!! What fantastic results Mike?!! I knew from strava that you have a quick pace but flippin ‘eck, that’s a brilliant time!!! I can’t wait to read how much quicker this is going to get!! You really are nifty at fifty!! 😉 🏃‍♂️💨 whoosh!!

MikeJones68Graduate in reply to Mummycav

Hey Bev! Thank you! I was very happy with my run and it was a great start to my birthday :)

My whole motivation of doing C25K was to get fitter for fifty, and it has paid off.

I plan to go back as often as I can, although doing that after 11 consecutive runs, all of which were at least 5km and the longest 15km, has given me a few aches, so I plan to take it a bit easier this week.........

MummycavModerator in reply to MikeJones68

Wow?! I’m very impressed!!! I don’t know how fit you were before but crikey any fitter and I’m putting your name forward for the olympics!! 🏃‍♂️💪🏻

MikeJones68Graduate in reply to Mummycav

LOL, that's funny. I used to play badminton a fair bit at lunchtimes, but that died out during 2017 making me want to try something else. Running was ideal as you don't need to rely on having someone else turn up!

Hi Mike you have really inspired me..!!! At 49 this Dec, I started C25k 4 weeks ago, I’m suffering with the damn shins so I’ve bought compression thingy majiggys which I hope will help, but reading your post has cheered me up as I was a bit down about it all, reading that you did that and kicked their arses is fab..!!!

MikeJones68Graduate in reply to Monica1969

Hey Monica. I'm so glad that I could help you. I suffered from shin splints terribly when I started out. I think it was a mixture of weak legs and poor running style that made mine hurt (I was heel striking).

So you are almost halfway through. I have to admit that I did not enjoy every C25K run, with some of them making me swear at poor Jo Whiley, but I am glad I stuck with it as the benefits have been amazing. It's not only my physical health that has improved, but also my mental state is far better these days. If I'm having a stressful day a good run always makes things better.

Stick with it and we'll see you on the graduation podium in a few short weeks :)

I think it’s due to high arches with me but I’m doing trial and error with the sexy socks first lol

Now I have Laura, and I’ve just posted how I shout at her too 🤣🤣🤣🤣

I’m the same with the mental side of it, my daughter says she’d come with me, it was almost like she’d taken my bank card..!! OMG no you don’t..!! Lol, the head space is great isn’t it?

MikeJones68Graduate in reply to Monica1969

Yes, it is good to get out and run alone, especially in unfamiliar surroundings. I sometimes run in neighbouring villages and it becomes an exploration which takes my mind off how far I've gone etc. I also run at lunchtimes with a few colleagues at work (one of whom is a qualified running coach), and I have found that very helpful in improving pace.

Oh dear I’d be fit for nothing after a lunchtime run, tell a lie, I’d happily snooze lol

It’s handy having a running coach to hand, I’m googling everything regarding my shins thinking it’s splints, it’s the muscle on the outside of the lower leg so I think it kinda comes under the same umbrella.

I’ve lived in my village for 9 years and still don’t know my way around, it’s like a rabbit Warren lol

MikeJones68Graduate in reply to Monica1969

Perfect opportunity to explore :)

Happy birthday 🎁

Brilliant park run, don’t be such a gentleman next time!!😀

MikeJones68Graduate in reply to amanda2463

Oh I won't! And thank you!

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