It feels like just last week that I did my very first Parkrun. Before I knew it I was on my way to fifty consecutive runs! Parkrun became my second family, my Saturday morning social event. Looking at old pictures I can see a vast improvement in the shape of my legs and I lost almost 10kg! My BIG 50 was a blast! I got spoiled and made to feel truly special. It was a day I will never forget. I framed the newspaper article about it and stuck it on my wall. Then I went on to do Parkrun 51… There were times that I couldn’t tell you if I did 83 or 85 - I just stopped counting! During the rainy season we sloshed through mud and slipped on wet rocks. I fell a few times, and wore the scars with pride. Wading through knee deep water in the gully just made me feel all hardcore. On Run number 97 a whole bunch of us ran in slip slops in honour of Danie, who did 50 runs in his slips slops as if it was the most natural thing in the world. I took my muddy slops off when we hit the beach and ran the rest of the course barefoot. It was a most liberating experience! On 29 November 2014 I did the BIG 100! Since I never missed a run, it coincided with the Sunrise-on-Sea Parkrun’s 100th event. We have the most awesome Parkrunners at Sunrise-on-Sea, and “the girls” designed a special T-shirt with the slogan “We do it at Sunrise” for the event. So instead of the usual splash of red 50 shirts, there was a sea of black shirts with a bright yellow sun picture on the back. A spectacular sight, and an awe inspiring community spirit. This is my home-run. I am so proud to belong to the Parkrun family and especially to be a part of the Sunrise group. Someday I will probably miss a run or two, for whatever reason, but Parkrunning became a habit that I don’t have to feel guilty about. And more than that, it did wonders for my health, my body, my confidence, and my sense of well-being. If you are still sleeping in on a Saturday morning, why don’t you put on your old pair of running shoes next Saturday (or even your trusty slip slops!) and just come hang around with us for a while. If you don’t catch the Parkrun bug, the Parkrun bug will catch YOU!
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