Today was special as it was my last hard ’workout’ in Newy and what better place than to get amongst it with a few hundred locals at Newy parkrun. Newy parkrun has been the site of my week before hitout for my previous three marathons including Melbourne ’12, Melbourne ’13 and Berlin ’15. Typically a hard 5k this morning’s workout was a 10k owing to the 2 week timeline.
Wind and rain made it challenging to set a scorching benchmark but that wasn’t the reason I needed to visit my local parkrun which was, put simply, community. I have found a deep personal satisfaction from running which is shared with an increasing number of people in Newcastle. There has been a proliferation of running groups and clubs and an equal increase in the number of events. It means that most days as you move around Newcastle you will see people running. Some run hard, some slow, some run hard and slow some run fast with seemingly little effort at all!
It has been a joy to observe the movement that running has become in this region. Previously the domain of athletic clubs and few lone rangers, now ’almost’ a mainstream sport.
So this morning I ran with 350 brave folks at Newy parkrun who came out despite the elements to get their Saturday morning running fix. I was like everyone else, needing my daily dose of everything a run provides. There was a subtle difference this morning as Doddy (Andrew Dodd) had organised a parade of nations to celebrate the opening of the Rio Olympics and a medal of Newcastle presented to yours truly. A nice touch which I am humbled by.
Ultimately we all shared the same wet and windy experience but better for it, and after a quick towel off headed to partake in the 2nd half of the ritual, a coffee at any of the nearby cafes!