Richard Perry

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George's First Full Parkrun

  |     |   George, Running
Image by Caerleon RC via Flickr

Last weekend (09/09/2017) it was my birthday and George decided that he wanted to take me running for my birthday. I thought it was a really nice idea, but I wasn’t sure he would get all the way around parkrun without getting bored. George, on the other hand, had other ideas. So Saturday morning, we all got up and headed to the Riverfront parkrun in Newport with the idea of running together. I think both Rose and I thought George would get bored and give up half way through so we tried bribery for encouragement :wink:. Whilst we got ourselves lined up at the start, we gave him a sweet to put in his pocket that he could eat at the halfway point.

Image by Caerleon RC via Flickr

After the briefing, the whistle went and we were off, running along the riverside. I set my watch up for a run-walk strategy, 5 minutes running and 90 seconds walking, to try to make sure George didn’t burn out too soon and give up. The first couple of sets we had to make sure he walked even though he wasn’t keen on it, but as we were approaching the halfway point he wanted to walk before the 5 minutes were up. I’m not sure whether he actually needed to walk, but he definitely wanted to, so we tried to encourage him by telling him we were nearly at halfway and that seemed to work :grinning:.

Up to this point, he had not stopped talking (not really unusual for George, I guess), but as soon as we rounded the last bend before the halfway point, George got very shy and quiet and wouldn’t say hello to the marshall :disappointed:. Instead, he turned on his heel and started back whilst retrieving his sweet from his pocket. Once we were going again, George resumed his chatter exactly where he left off!

The second half was a little more difficult for him and he had to walk a little bit more, but he seemed to be having a great time so it didn’t really matter. Also, he seemed to be going a lot quicker than he ever did when he did junior parkrun. Everyone around us was giving George encouragement and cheering him on and he was having a great time, but he was definitely starting to struggle a little as we approached the University building. He was starting to talk less and walk more, but he was still going, so we told him we were nearly there and kept encouraging him until he crossed the line to cheers from everyone watching. It was really nice! Given the amount of walking we did, George still managed an incredible time for his first full parkrun, finishing in 44:19! Well done George :grinning:!

Image by Caerleon RC via Flickr

Once we crossed the line and had our barcodes scanned we headed back to the car. Rosie had arranged a little surprise for George courtesy of a friend of ours (The Scouting Woodworker). She had designed and organised a custom 5k medal for George to celebrate completing his first 5k run! So Rose collected the medal from the car and presented it to George on the waterfront. He was so pleased with it that he didn’t take it off for the rest of the day!

Image by Caerleon RC via Flickr

It was absolutely brilliant being able to run parkrun with both George and Rosie on my birthday (it also helped that it was followed up with pancakes at Frankie & Bennys :wink:). As always at these events, everyone was very supportive and encouraging with George, which I think really helped him to keep going. And although it was my slowest parkrun to date, it was probably the most fun one that I’ve done. I am now looking forward to doing many more over the coming years :grinning:.

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