I've been running for a year now and for about the same amount of time I've been pledging to get my arse along to a parkrun event. If you've not heard about parkrun it's a wonderful organisation supported by an army of volunteers to put on timed 5K runs around the UK and across plenty of the rest of the world in 333 locations. It's totally free and all inclusive with regards to your speed or experience. From world class athletes (Commonwealth Marathoner Steve Way frequents the Poole parkrun) to total beginners, those who intend to walk the distance, runners with buggies, junior runners, and those running with dogs carefully under close control are more than welcome.
I'm lucky to have a few parkrun locations within about half an hour drive (with the hope of an even more local event on the cards in the near future!) but I chose Poole for my first parkrun experience. The route encompasses the boating lake at Poole Park and I've ran here once before for my first ever race - Race for Life in 2014 so I knew I'd be confident in where I was going!
True to form for me I got there nice and early and found the race-HQ in the park cricket pavilion and watched as 730 other runners descended on the park - it was quite a sight to behold!
Just prior to the start, runners new to parkrun and to the course were gathered together for a short and friendly briefing about the course and the process at the finish (I promise it's simple - just keep in the order you finish and take your finishing token and your own barcode to the friendly scanner volunteer).
I had a great morning at Poole parkrun - not just because I was happy with my time (not far off my PB) but because of the friendly atmosphere and super-slick organisation. I'll definitely be back!
If you want to get involved with a parkrun near to you it's simply to do - sign up at parkrun.com and with just a few easy steps you're ready to get running! I can highly recommend it!
Day 2 Juneathon - Today was a post work 7.25K run in my usual stomping ground - it's a nice mix of paths, grass and trail plus some lovely scenery along the way including some lovely cygnets.