London Marathon parkrun races

Stephen afoot

I started running indoors in late 2007, and after reaching 5km indoors in March 2008, started outdoor running, and entered the first Royal Parks Half Marathon in October 2008. I did two more half-marathons in Reading in 2009 and 2010, after which my running rather lost objective and focus.

In 2014, I discovered parkrun, which gave a fresh objective, and I rediscovered my enthusiasm for running. Successful weight loss in 2016, together with several running friends (mostly online so far) and a growing love of parkrun tourism further increased my love of running.

A chance visit to the London Marathon in April 2017 (in the interval of Harry Potter and Cursed Child) generated a lot of emotion, and I found myself, having vowed not even to do another half-marathon because of the strain the training had put me under, seeking a place for the 2018 London Marathon.

To my delight and surprise, I quickly gained a place running in aid of Guide Dogs. With almost 12 months to go, my enthusiasm for longer distance running started to bubble over, and I thought it might be a good time to experiment with a blog, mixing run reports, thoughts and plans. I don’t expect a wide audience, but it may be interesting to experiment with the format.

2018 and 2019 proved to be my years with the most running so far, each containing a marathon, and each containing a lot of parkruns (48 in 2019). 2018 was also the year Lucy took up running, now joining me as a parkrun tourist, and in 2019 our new American cocker spaniel, Brindley, also took up running with the enthusiasm that he throws into everything he does.

2020 was to be the year of the Boston Marathon, and parkrun in Australia, among other running exploits. Covid got heavily in the way such that the 2020 Boston Marathon took place in 2021 like the Olympics, and we never went to Australia. After Boston I also ran Milton Keynes marathon in 2021, after which there was a lot of focus on parkrun when it returned after the Great Pause, eventually reaching 250 parkruns at over 175 different locations in April 2023.

I lost a lot of weight in 2022 and 2023 leading to faster times and after Milton Keynes Marathon 2023, I’m not sure what my next focus will be, but I’m still loving my running – occasionally the mid-week runs from home can get a bit samey, but I’m trying to keep the places and types of running nicely mixed so the thrill of the run continues.

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