As the latest group of Couch to 5k of Bedale and Aiskew Runners (BAR) club members completed their program. They marked their ‘graduation’ by running the Parkrun at Catterick, with many other BAR members out supporting and volunteering adding to the Carnival atmosphere.
There were 19 members in total from BAR, 9 of which were running a Parkrun for the first time, 3 additional all time personal best (PB) and 1 course PB. Congratulations to Sharon Ellis, Carol Bowers, Ruth Hancock, Mark Temple, Simon Butcher, Kirsty Temple, Karen Theaker, Beth Caple, Katy Bamber, Christine Close, Philippa Kermotschuk, Gemma Wardle, Claire Caple, David Fox.
Talking about her experience of the C25k program and the Parkrun finale, Ruth Hancock;
Q. What benefits have you found through the C25k program?
A. I’ve tried running before, on a treadmill mainly, but was then really disappointed when I couldn’t take it outside. I wanted to, but found I didn’t have the motivation or inclination for pounding the streets on my own listening out for the alarm to tell me to walk, run, walk, repeat ad infinitum. A work colleague encouraged me to join BAR when a C25K programme was advertised on their Facebook page, and I’ll admit I dithered about quite a bit before biting the bullet, but boy I’m glad I did! I can do it now. I’m not fast by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m faster than the person who is still on the couch, and I’m starting to really enjoy it too (never, ever did I think I would say that so publicly).
The benefits are manifold: all the usual stuff about fresh air and exercise, improving fitness levels, losing a bit of weight etc, but mainly fun, companionship and a little bit of ‘me-time’ when I fasten those laces (thanks for the lesson Chris) and head outside. But the biggest benefit, and one of the contributing reasons for my running journey, is how much better my mental fitness has become as a result. Having a regular time to run now means that I can keep focused and I know that my new-found running buddies will continue to encourage and support me, as I will them – if it’s not on Strava, it hasn’t happened!
Q. How did you find running Parkrun at the end of the C25k program?
A. I’ll confess I was really worried about the weather forecast when I checked it the day before the run, but the gods were on our side and thankfully it was dry, if a bit breezy. In fact, the group I have been running with have always been lucky with the weather so long may that continue. Having run at Northallerton previously (when I realised I couldn’t run outdoors) I had an inkling of what to expect – but it wasn’t this! Loads of cheering, clapping and bells – music too – made it more of a carnival atmosphere and kept my little legs going round those 3 laps. Thanks volunteers – you do a sterling job! There was a palpable sense of everyone helping each other out, lots of words of encouragement, high fives (or should that be the praying emoji?) and the finish was quite emotional. Our little group of graduates were awarded certificates and a medal too. Maybe this will be the start of my collection?
Q. What do you think is next in your running chapter?
A. In terms of Parkruns I’m already looking ahead to challenge myself further because of the sense of satisfaction I feel when I reach those little goals I’ve set in my head. In particular, becoming an Alphabeteer appeals to the English teacher in me – a definition and further Parkrun challenges can be found here: https://blog.parkrun.com/uk/2019/06/19/parkrun-glossary/ ‘C’ is now ticked off the list; I’m running an ‘A’ next Saturday and an ‘F’ is on the cards shortly after and of course I’ve already done ‘N’. I may be in danger of becoming slightly obsessive! But in general I’m going to keep attending club on Mondays and Wednesdays because the C25K programme is designed to ensure that this is the natural progression. When I’m ready I may even sign up for the 10K programme! Never say never …