Happy 1st Birthday to Naas Parkrun! I’ve spoken about Naas Parkrun and the Parkrun setup in general a number of times on this blog, never finding that the words I’ve written about it have sufficiently conveyed just how wow the whole thing is. Today they celebrate their 1st birthday. One year of perfectly organised 5km weekly races organised by the people for the people. A mix of generations, sex, complete running newbies, to the experienced sub 19-minuter, it’s a positively random hotch potch of the local town, all assembling to achieve the same goal, all runners.
If I was only allowed to tell you one good thing about it, it would be the evolving story of people like my mom. Her story in a nutshell: Always a great walker, for years she told me she could not run; went along to Parkrun this day last year planning to walk the 5km and thinking there would be other walkers there too; ended up walk/ running the 5km, not wanting to finish last of the bunch; week by week, she would run a little farther and gradually started to gain confidence; now she has been running 5km non-stop since January and is disappointed if she does not come away with a P.B every week! Today, she was awarded a much coveted official Parkrun tee-shirt as a top three female with the most points from running so many races. I am very proud of my mom and her story is not uncommon among the Naas Parkrun community.
This group has done great things for my mom and so many others, improving not only individual health and fitness, but also confidence, life enjoyment, personal development and dare I say it, happiness. And last but by no means least is the social element involved in gathering weekly as a community and doing something innately positive. My mum and I have both made new friends and have gotten to know lots of people from our town whom we otherwise might never have even spoken to so for that alone it is to be commended. Fun, healthy and community-centered… what’s not to like?
Oh and there is cake. For anyone who might still be having doubts at the end.
Oh and in the celebration atmosphere, I set a Parkrun P.R of 23:49. Yipee!
Congratulations to all responsible for Naas parkrun and thank you.