parkrun case study

Hilary Causer from South Oxhey parkrun tells us about her own experience with parkrun

Hilary Causer, South Oxhey parkrun

  • Tell me about your first experience with parkrun?

When I first joined in with parkrun (in the summer of 2015, at South Oxhey) I was a complete non-runner.  At the time, I was doing a lot of walking, which made me believe I was fairly fit and I soon found out that I was nowhere near as fit as I thought I was!  But everybody was so friendly and encouraging, I felt OK about my bright red face and slow pace!

  • What (or who) first attracted you?

My husband, Simon, who is also a parkrun regular, started joining in with parkrun at South Oxhey when the event first started.  I used to go and watch, while I walked our dog, and became completely caught up in it.  It was surprising how exciting a run around a field on a Saturday morning could be!

  • What makes you come back to parkrun?

Taking part in parkrun was what got me in to running.  I was a complete novice but joined a local ‘Learn to Run’ course and became steadily faster and fitter.  Going along to parkrun keeps me striving to beat my PB.  I love the great feeling you get from running.  But there is a strong social aspect, too.  I’ve made loads of new friends by going along to parkrun and it’s great to catch up with them on a Saturday morning.

  • If you could describe/sell parkrun to someone in three words what would they be?

It’s for everyone!

  • What is your favourite volunteer role and why?

Marshal.  It’s great to be able to cheer everybody on, and it reminds me that it’s hard work for everybody, from the speedy to those just getting started with running.  When I marshal, I really feel like I’m part of the even.

  • What would you say to someone who is nervous about coming along to a parkrun?

Don’t wait – you are already fit enough!  Remember, everyone is trying to beat their own PB, they are not making judgements about the other runners.

  • What has been your favourite parkrun moment/memory?

When new parkrunners ask me for advice.  I love encouraging people who are new to running and are starting to realise that it is for everyone: fast, slow, experienced, novice.  I’m so grateful to parkrun for getting me in to it in the first place.