Stephen would have given up running if he hadn’t discovered parkrun. He runs with colleagues from his club and sometimes takes part in junior parkrun with his 6 year old grandson.
Q. How did you get into parkrun?
A. I started running in 1976 at the age of 32 with a group of colleagues from British Airways. We used to run one day a week at lunchtime and we met people who were preparing for the New York City Marathon. We thought they were absolutely crazy! But a few years later the London Marathon started and after watching the first one I was amongst the thousands of recreational runners who got swept up in it. I did 10 London Marathons and many others besides. By my mid-sixties I was cutting down on longer distances and finding fewer opportunities to run with other people. I have said on several occasions that if it hadn't of been for parkrun I would have given up running altogether.
Q. Why do you parkrun?
A. I attend parkruns with club colleagues and have done one with a son and grandson. I've also taken my grandson to a junior parkrun which proved successful. The 2km distance is far more suitable for six year olds. After years of competitive running it’s difficult not to try to do a good time and my definition of parkrun together doesn't mean necessarily running side by side - rather starting together, meeting up at the finish and when it suits moving on to a café for tea or coffee, maybe even some cake!
Q. What would be your advice to someone who’s thinking of getting into running?
A. Start with your local parkrun; it’s as simple as that! Be on the internet and have an email address, otherwise you’re going to miss out on some important communications. There is such a broad range of ability and nobody cares if you are slow - and the tail walker is guaranteed to be slower!
Q. Have you made any friends through parkrun?
A. Old established friendships have become stronger through being involved with parkrun. New friendships have been made from both running close to some people on several occasions or chatting in the café afterwards.
Join our #parkrunTogether movement this September and inspire someone to parkrun!