Did you know that Eastleigh held its 250th parkrun last weekend?
We’re a quarter of the way through the year. How are you getting on with that New Year resolution to take more exercise? You didn’t make such a resolution? No, neither did I, but let’s just pretend that we did.
If, like me, you are not a runner, it can be a bit daunting to take up jogging. What if you can’t keep to a respectable speed? What if your running legs give up and you have to walk back? How do you know how far you’ve run? And who is going to encourage you?
Eastleigh parkrun could be what you need. This takes place at 9:00 every Saturday morning around the old golf course at Fleming Park. Last weekend was Eastleigh’s 250th event.
parkrun is for everyone: it’s free
This is parkrun from parkrun on Vimeo.
It’s free to enter – and you get cake at the end (well, we did last weekend; I don’t know whether this is a regular occurrence, or just an anniversary special.)
Running is all about enjoyment
You don’t have to be a “professional” runner. You don’t have to be a member of a running club – or even want to be. You just register (online, in advance), turn up, and run.
You get to run with lots of other runners but there’s no serious competition; no one really cares whether you take 20 minutes or 50 minutes. It’s all about enjoyment.
Eastleigh parkrun: images
parkruns take place throughout the country. If you are not in Eastleigh, just look online parkrun UK to find the nearest one.
You registration is valid at all events – just take your bar code along so they know who you are. The results are posted online – you get your own profile page where you can track your progress towards fitness.
Eastleigh parkrun: The Eastleigh course
The Eastleigh course is three times round a zigzag route through the old golf course. It goes gradually uphill – so gradual that you don’t really notice until the short slightly-steeper bit near the top (hint: take smaller paces – it works for walking up hills too), but there is a nice downhill section at the end of each lap.
Marshals and other supporters give you encouragement. Overall there is a very positive atmosphere – everyone is welcome, and families are encouraged (under 11s must be accompanied throughout the run). You can even run with a pushchair or dog (on a short lead) if you so wish.
And how do I know all this? Last weekend I brought myself out of a 25-plus year running retirement and gave the parkrun my first go. And (to my surprise as much as anyone else’s) I ran the entire course without stopping – and in a respectable (to me) time of a little over 30 minutes.
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