Now Rose is four, I have been desperate to take her to junior parkrun. For those who are unaware, junior parkrun is the little sibling of parkrun. It’s held on Sunday mornings for those aged 4-14 and it’s a free, timed, 2km run.
Rose loves running around at school and playing outside but she hasn’t really shown much interest in running until recently when she looked at me and asked if she could come out for a run with me. So off we went and Rose did her first mile. We went again the following week and then last week, we finally got round to visiting Newark junior parkrun.
Newark is a new junior parkrun and has only been running for 5 weeks, but it already has quite a following with 159 junior parkrunners taking part last week. It’s held in Sconce & Devon Park, which has lots to do if you want to make a morning outing out of parkrun.
Lots of the junior parkrunners were running on their own, but as Rose is small and one of the youngest, I went around with her. The run was incredibly well organised and well supported, with the lovely Run Director leading everyone through a warm up at the start and plenty of lovely marshals on the course offering encouragement and high fives. Every single participant was in sight of a marshal at all times, so there was no way anyone could get lost.
The 2km course is lovely, starting with a short downhill straight, followed by two laps, winding through woodland. The start and finish are near the main car park, with a playground and Rumbles Cafe nearby, so it really is the ideal start and finish point!
Rose and I held hands and placed ourselves near the back. We trotted along nicely for a couple of minutes before she decided she wanted to hunt for stones. She picked up a couple of interesting ones from the path and we were on our way again. We had gone about half a kilometre when she suddenly stopped dead.
“Mummy, I need a kiss and cuddle break.”
Well, what was I supposed to do? We stopped for a kiss and a cuddle break. The super speedy front-runner lapped us. We said “wow” and then she took my hand again and off we went.
“This is really fun, isn’t it Mummy?”
It was a beautiful day and we were enjoying ourselves in the fresh air, we were definitely having fun.
Soon we were on our second lap, doing a mixture of running with a few short walk breaks. And then Rose stopped. Again.
“Time to hop now, Mummy.”
So we parkhopped. Luckily she got that idea out of her head after about twenty seconds.
Not long after that, we approached the Birthday Marshal (it was his birthday) just before the final turn to the finish. “Hello, Supergirl!” he cheerily said (Rose had her Supergirl t-shirt on). He held his hand up for a high-five.
Rose death stared him and sat down on the grass.
Finally, she smiled and got up and we were off to the finish.
“Daddy! Look, there’s Daddy! Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!” she shouted, finding a second wind and running off after my husband towards the finishing funnel.
She didn’t want to let go of my hand to run through, but she took the hand of the funnel manager and was presented with her very first parkrun finishers token, finishing 147th out of 159 runners in a time of 19:08.
Over coffee (me) and juice (her) we asked her if she wanted to do it again.
“Can we come back and do it again tomorrow, Mummy?”
And that is the story of Rose’s first parkrun. I think she enjoyed it. Thank you to the lovely team at Newark, we can’t wait to come back!