My FIRST Parkrun

Last week I decided to take part in my first Park run, as I need to be able to run 10km on 2 November – Nike Soweto race. So on Saturday I drove myself to the Bryanston Park run starting point (Cnr Bryanston Dr and River Rd, Bryanston) at 7:45am.  I’d only run 3km before this race so I had no idea what to expect.

I arrived at the start and couldn’t believe the amount of people that had arrived for this 5km fun run, approx. 500. People of ALL backgrounds, elite athletes, mums, kids, dogs, old, young, etc. It just showed me that running is one of those sports that almost ANYBODY can do, it has no boundaries! I wasn’t sure what my time would be, as I normally walk 5km in 55mins, so just wanted to do it faster than that. What’s great about running is it’s a race against yourself, I didn’t want to beat anyone, just myself.

We started the race after the organizers explained all the details and when we started, I was slightly overwhelmed as it was like a STAMPEDE.  But I soon found my rhythm and set out on this (what appeared to be) GIANT task. I’d never done trail running before, only road running, but actually quiet liked the trail. Most of the run is in the spruit and there are loads of cyclists on the way. I managed to reach the half way mark (without walking – this is the one thing I told myself – DON’T walk, EVER) and felt quite ok, meaning I could still breathe.

But about 4kms into the run I really felt weak, I wasn’t sure where the finish was, as I couldn’t see it and I could feel my very unfit heart taking strain. But I thought to myself, Amy, you’ve come all this way, please don’t give up now. I knew if I started walking I wouldn’t be able to start running again, so I just carried on, at a snails pace. I looked back and realized, I wasn’t the last person. At school, when we used to have athletics (compulsory which I HATED), I was ALWAYS last, I wasn’t last this time!

I managed to carry on and the last 10m is a GIANT uphill, I love uphills and decided to SPRINT up this! I had finished my first ever park run in 32 minutes, without stopping and without my heart packing up. To some this might be a small thing, especially to some of my friends and family who are extreme sports achievers, but to ME, this was HUGE. I was overwhelmed by a sense of achievement, I did this and I can do it again!

So as of this Saturday, Park run Bryanston will become something of a routine affair for me. Well done to the organizers, the event is very well run, and it’s FREE! I encourage ANYONE to try it out (loads of walkers attend too), check out more here. And lastly, to make it event more appealing – you get discovery points too!

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