I did it! 12 months of running, 22 parkruns in total, with 16 different routes, across four different countries, finishing at the original parkrun location, Bushy Park on December 2. My first parkrun in Melbourne, Australia seems like a very long time ago.
‘Did you ever think you might not do it?’, asked my friend Susie last month, referencing my motivation to meet my 12-month target.
Though my immediate reaction to this question was shock that anyone would doubt my commitment to the cause, Susie’s question was completely valid. My commitment to life in London over the past three and a half years has been quite poor. I’m sure I’ve been talking about moving back to Scotland since year two, and I could probably spend a good ten minutes rattling off all of the extra-curricular activities that I’ve started in London and then stopped for one reason or another. However, despite this being the context in which I started running, I never doubted that I would complete my mission. Once you’ve put yourself out there on the blogosphere especially, it’s a bit more difficult to give up! I guess there’s a level of accountability there that I created for myself to ensure that I achieved my aim. In addition, because running is such a positive thing to do in terms of maintaining fitness, as well as contributing to positive wellbeing, I felt like giving up on running would be counter-productive.
A core group of friends joined me for the final parkrun of the year in the slightly-out-of-the-way zone 6-located Bushy Park. It’s the first parkrun I’ve ever been to that started early, which caught us all off-guard.
‘What? Wait! I need to start Strava!’
Bushy Park is another flat route which winds round the park, bringing you back not far from where you started. With approximately 1000 runners every week, it’s definitely the biggest parkrun I’ve ever been to, and as a result they have a double funnel at the end to file runners through. To be honest, it wasn’t my favourite route in the world – I found it quite dull. But then again, no park looks at its best in December! My final time was 30:15, frustratingly close to be sub-30 goal, but not quite there. It’s like it happened on purpose to ensure I kept on running in 2018. Don’t worry, I fully plan to do so. Parkrun on New Year’s Day, anyone?!