Learning to love ParkRun


Callaghan ParkRun 15 October 2016

I’m not a runner. I don’t particularly enjoy pushing myself physically and I prefer walking to running. But I’ve joined the ranks of our local ParkRun at the University of Newcastle (Callaghan ParkRun).  A couple of years ago, Jasmine and Alexa wanted to take it up (back then at the Newy ParkRun) and the first few times I dropped them off so they could do the run. Just waiting around while they got some exercise was crazy, so I joined in as well.

I started because I wanted to do something with my daughters. Now I do feel good after the run, and I no longer have to force myself to keep going. I wouldn’t say I enjoy the run, but I no longer find it really hard. I’m quite proud of having broken 25 minutes (at a couple of flat courses) and know it’s good for me.

What I really love about it is doing it with the girls. We don’t run together (I can’t keep up with Alexa although sometimes I keep up with Jasmine or even beat her), but it is still something we do together. Being a father is incredibly important to me, so doing something they initiated and enjoy is a wonderful way to start the weekend. My father (whose 90) was going to join us regularly, but his back wasn’t up to it. But this week he joined us as when we took a turn at volunteering.

I also love the sense of community at ParkRun. They are free, weekly 5km timed runs, organised by volunteers, with a focus on personal achievement rather than competition. While it is possible to push yourself, people of all abilities are welcome and we’ve certainly found them friendly and supportive. Alexa will do her 50th run in a couple of weeks (the day before she turns 13) and Jasmine and I aren’t all that far off our 50th as well.

I now see myself as a proud member of the ParkRun community.

If you liked this post please follow my blog, and you might like to look at:

  1. Being a father
  2. A great 1 minute video of fathers and their kids
  3. Parenting for a better world
  4. What’s your parenting style?
  5. Why I blog
  6. Straight to the pool room!

This post was inspired by WordPress’ photo challenge for this week – Local

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, environmentalist, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace, sustainability.
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6 Responses to Learning to love ParkRun

  1. somerun says:

    I’m currently writing my university dissertation on parkrun and community, so it’s great to read posts like this. Great way to spend time with your daughters.


    • Thanks Emma, (I looked at your blog and twitter which is how I know your name!)
      Great to hear you are looking at parkrun and community – I’ve been planning to do a post about parkrun as an example of community engagement for ages.
      Will you blog about your dissertation?
      Good luck with blogging and running!


      • somerun says:

        Thanks Graeme. Hope your running and blogging, both keep going well too. Yes, planning to blog about the dissertation, at some stage! Just started the blog, so hoping to get into the swing of it first before unleashing the dissertation haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great response to the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anna says:

    Sounds like a good activity to do with your daughters. Father-daughters run, keep it going :)


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Local: Magpie | What's (in) the picture?

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