Today I ran my 300th parkrun and by coincidence, it was my first day back running after a torrid three weeks of fighting off a nasty virus.
People have been really nice to me today and saying what a wonderful achievement 300 parkruns is (and who am I to argue). I remember the early days of parkrun where there was only one event outside London, in Leeds. Back then, the ultimate prize was to achieve the 100 run milestone and receive a black t-shirt and jacket (sadly no . Little did I think that one day I would be achieving the 250 milestone and even reaching 300! The thing is though, all I have done is be in the right place at the right time when it all started and simply kept going.
I think perseverance is probably one of the most, or even the most, challenging aspect of running. Many people do it for a bit and give up, or stop when it’s winter time or when they have been ill or injured. Running however is a sport that needs to be treated with respect and doesn’t react well to the hot and cold treatment.
For me, I could lament the fact that my fitness has gone back some months and I have now to train a lot to get back to where I was in June, where I managed to run 10K every day and afterwards where I was achieving stand-out times in races. I’m not going to moan though because the greatest thing is the journey. What I mean is the fun is the training, gradually getting better and fitter and building up to new goals and achievements. Where that leads is for me, the motivating factor. Keeping in tip-top shape is great and presents it’s own challenges but you can’t always do that so building yourself up again is actually a great place to be and I revel in it.
One of my favourite Bible passages is from James and I have probably quoted it before but today it has particular relevance.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”