Positivity Breeds Positivity
A few weeks back my wife and I turned up early for Kapiti Coast Parkrun. We have just recently moved up to Paraparaumu Beach and are still run directors at Porirua Parkrun. It is a habit to turn up early and just help out if and when needed.
As we were hanging around before the start a lovely lady called Barbara turned up and was asking about Parkrun. This was her very first event and she was very nervous and explained she had registered for parkrun a year earlier but never had the confidence to go. I talked to her about the process for the day and also about my parkrun journey. Barbara seemed to be a bit more relaxed which was great to see so I thought I would share my journey with you all.
Having started back in 2014 after my wife dragged me along I was really nervous. Why on earth would I want to go to a running event when I can't run and all these super fit athletes are around me. I was just picturing myself being everyone's joke for the day. I turned up and did the run/walk and it was nothing like what I expected, there was no judging just people out doing their thing. Over the next few years I only went occasionally, I would get injured and just not go.
My weight was close to 125kg. I didn't feel good about much but started getting more active at parkrun. This time when I got injured and was out for weeks/months I still went with my wife but volunteered just to keep being part of the atmosphere. I didn't want to volunteer at first because I did not want to stuff anything up, however before long I had done 50 volunteers and 50 runs. I had covered every role from Run Director & Results Processing to Barcode Scanning and Timekeeper.
As I was running/walking I would get the regulars at parkrun starting to make comments like "Good work" "keep it up" and I am thinking to myself that these are the super fit athletes who I was afraid of the very first time. The fact that they did not really know me or need to encourage me was a real boost. Before long these comments kept inspiring me to get better. I was losing weight and all of a sudden I am actually able to run the whole 5km.
The Run Grumpy Finish Happy team started inviting me along to run with them at other times. I went from having no confidence to feeling like I belonged as part of a group. I signed up for the 50km Taupo ultra-marathon last year (and completed it) which would never have been possible without these guys. I went from being a type 2 diabetic on insulin to having no medication and my levels being below even prediabetic. I had also dropped 45kg.
Unfortunately I had a neck injury which caused me to stop running for a long time and caused me to put weight back on. However by sticking around parkrun and the positive attitudes and either just walking or volunteering these guys have helped me start getting to where I want to be now that the neck injury is sorted. The weight is dropping off again and I have signed up for the Tarawera 100km next year. Can I go that far? Who knows, but without a goal I will not have anything to achieve and I will be giving it my best effort possible. Failure isn’t not finishing, failure is not making an effort to start.
None of my journey would be possible if it were not for all the positive comments along the way from the people at parkrun. For the reasons above Porirua Parkrun will always be my home Parkrun however I couldn’t ask for a nice place than Kapiti Coast Parkrun to be my second home.
It doesn't matter if you are passing the fastest or slowest person you never know what words of encouragement might do for a person. Thank the volunteers because without them we wouldn’t be running. Thank all those that do things behind the scenes as there is a lot more than goes into parkrun than what we see as runners.
Positivity Breeds Positivity.
This week 79 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 0 were first timers and 10 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 7 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 13 volunteers:
Sylvia MEAKIN • Steve MACDONALD • Jake ROOS • Arend LANSER • Jeff STARK • John GLYNN-BEGBIE • Lucy LAWLOR • Adam LAWLOR • Hazel OLLERENSHAW • Terry B MORRIS • Sharon HURMAN • Maggie JONES • Martin HILL
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Kapiti Coast parkrun Results Page.
The female record is held by Hannah OLDROYD who recorded a time of 18:19 on 17th February 2018 (event number 157).
The male record is held by Paul MARTELLETTI who recorded a time of 15:30 on 1st January 2020 (event number 257).
The Age Grade course record is held by Michele ALLISON who recorded 92.16% (22:20) on 19th June 2021 (event number 314).
Kapiti Coast parkrun started on 24th January 2015. Since then 2,736 participants have completed 25,064 parkruns covering a total distance of 125,320 km, including 3,751 new Personal Bests. A total of 388 individuals have volunteered 3,154 times.