Steve Darby - 600 parkruns
What a special treat for us all at Barry Curtis parkrun on Saturday 6 August 2022. We were able to celebrate with Steve Darby doing his 600th event. What a milestone, doing his first event at Woodhouse Moor in Leeds on 22 November 2008, bringing him here to our parkrun in Auckland today, 14 years later. We had balloons and cake, and lots of clapping and cheering to help Steve on his way.
Our milestone guru Grant has run with Steve for a number of years and has researched some stats for us. Over the 14 years, Steve has run at 226 different parkruns, coming first at 61 of these locations. His PB is 17.21 at Peter Pan parkrun in 2014. In fact in 2014, Steve completed 53 parkruns – every Saturday that year. Steve has also put his hand up to volunteer on 46 different occasions.
Grant acknowledged Steve as being a good stalwart of parkrun, always enthusiastic and encouraging of others and full of positivity in his recovery.
Steve told us that the first 500 were easy, but the last 100 have been more problematic, with a pandemic, and last September a terminal cancer diagnosis (but he assured us he is ok now). Being here today puts a smile on his face.
In an interview with Dave after his event, Steve talked of some of his parkrun memories and memorable events. The interview can be seen on our Barry Curtis parkrun facebook page.
What changes have you seen in parkrun over 14 years? “The make up has changed with a wider spread of people. It used to be very much a running event and competitive, but now everyone can turn up and feel included, how ever they want to take part. This has been a particular benefit for me during the last 12 months. This was the vision that founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt had for this event.”
Do you have a comment for your fans – the people in awe of what you have achieved? “If you go to the same parkrun every week you are missing out on something, but if you go to a different parkrun every week you are also missing out on something. There’s a nice balance – for me it settles at around 50% tourism, which gives you that collection of communities that you can always tap into. I don’t know of anything else where you can do that. That is one of the biggest benefits of parkrun – if you think it is all about times and what your 5k PB is, it's not, it's about travelling, and meeting and mingling with people from all age ranges.”
Thanks for being a good sport and putting up with both the lovely pink tutu and with Dave’s interviewing skills. Most importantly thanks for the inspiration and example you are to your parkrun family, becoming the first in New Zealand and just the 45th person in the world to achieve the milestone. Congratulations Steve.