The result is in! That moment over a million parkrunners wait for every Saturday. The ping of my email announces I missed out on my personal best by 45 seconds and came 31st in my 50 to 59 age category. They don’t tell you how many there are in that category, 31 for all I know!
Although I’ve not been doing parkrun for too long I do wonder whether the imminence of my 60th birthday means improving that personal best will be an elusive goal. One thing I am optimistic about though is my age category score – I’ll be moving into the 60 plus category in July – so maybe then I’ll finish in the top 20.
For the uninitiated parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs at over 700 pleasant parkland surroundings around the world. They are open to everyone, some people whizz round in times that would give Mo Farah a run for his money, others walk the course in around an hour.
They start at 9am every Saturday morning, weather permitting. You can just turn up and run or if you sign up online you get a barcode which enables parkrun to tell you your time as well as whole load of other stats.
If you can force yourself out of bed early on a cold morning there really is no better way to start the weekend once the run is over! After the run Me and Mrs Jones get back home for a delayed but even more virtuous feeling lie-in.
Getting into running this last couple of years has really made me feel so much better both physically and mentally. It’s also helped me lose weight. One of my resolutions this year is to run 1000 km in 2020. That’s 20km, four 5ks a week with a couple of weeks off, am just about on target so far. As part of this I’m also aiming to run a few longer distances such as the occasional 10k.
It took me over a year to manage 5k without stopping on the undulating two lap course I go to. It’s the course’s six hills that used to do it for me. Now I can get round non-stop almost all the time and managed to sneak home once in just under 30 minutes.
Check it out https://www.parkrun.org.uk/. It’s a great thing to do at any age but especially when you’re nearing 60 or beyond.