"I have a very mixed journey with running. I was never a natural runner and only started running when I was 25 or so, to try and get fit before I tried to start a family (and I was fed up of just watching my husband in events).
I was always told I'd never have children due to having suffered extreme anorexia from the age of 15 to 21. Running became a part of my recovery and enabled me to understand not just my body and how strong it is, but also how strong my mind is. If I can overcome such an extreme disorder, then I can run a marathon
I also went on to have two children, one of whom was born at 24 weeks gestation. She was on a ventilator until she was just under 2 and running kept me focused and sane during those awful years. It was my stress reliever and it was the one thing I did for me. Being a full-time carer is such an exhausting responsibility that an hour or thirty minutes respite for me was all I needed to feel recharged and empowered again.
I really discovered park run when Phoebe came off the ventilator and the joy of a large group of runners gathering for a common cause encouraged me so much to keep coming back. I've been to numerous park runs and we live in the village behind Rushmere, so it is very much my home stomping ground. I LOVE that it's a trail run in the winter and a beautiful forest run in the summer. The view is never the same.
I am also an advocate of Junior parkrun and bringing the whole family along. I regularly take my friend's son around our local parkrun with me as he is 5 and "faster than his family" 😊. I love that he completely owns the pace and we make it a social chat too. Encouraging him around runs makes me so proud."