Running Along the Ribble at Preston Parkrun

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It was with a little trepidation but much excitement that we left the house yesterday morning for our first ever 5 kilometre race. This was our first target and marked the end of our ‘couch to 5k’ programme.

We arrived early as I wasn’t exactly sure where to park or how a Parkrun was organised but we soon saw other runners arriving at Avenham Park cafe and after seeing someone putting out signs and having a quick chat we waited, a little nervously for things to start. The race director welcomed everyone and asked if there were any new runners. We weren’t the only ‘newbies’ and the first of a lot of big smiles was plastered on my face as people cheered and clapped to welcome us into the Parkrun community.

We elected to run separately as with my longer legs I outpace Wendy and at 9am the race was started. Runners of all abilities and ages set off on the first of 3 laps and I quickly found a steady pace with a young lady called Louisa who helped a lot, especially on the 3 occasions we tackled ‘The Hill’.

Throughout the race we were cheered and guided by Marshalls and volunteers and the spirit of this event started to rub off on me and I ‘got it’, I’d officially become a runner and I was enjoying it.

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I finished in 69th out of 100 and after a quick breather walked back along the track a little bit to cheer Wendy on, as she went through the finish a huge grin was spread across her face as she realised she’d also done it and contrary to what she thought would happen, didn’t come in last.

We ended our morning in the cafĂ© with a mug of tea and a chat with a few other Parkrun attendees and as we made our way home we couldn’t help but be amazed that just over 9 weeks ago running for more than a minute would have destroyed both of us.

Next target? Not sure but there are a couple of local(ish) 10k races at the start of next year… Looks like we’ve got the bug.

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