Preston Park Parkrun success for Debbie

by Debbie Plant

Debbie takes on the Preston Park ParkRun

After driving my son Joe to and from Seaford Striders for the last three years, I finally plucked up the courage to officially join when the Couch to 5k group was formed.

I have run before but very, very slowly, usually very embarrassed and with no confidence at all. A text from fellow Strider, Scott on a Friday evening was all the encouragement I needed to join him and his family at Preston Park for the parkrun on a bright Saturday morning. Joe came too, and as he has a niggling injury, came purely to pace me and keep me going.

Joe spotted a 35-minute pacer and we decided together that I would try and stick with her. I had attempted this a month ago and failed miserably. I said a quick hello to the pacer, whose name was Chris, and as we set off I told her I would try my best to stay with her, laughing at the time saying that I couldn’t possibly.

Preston Park ParkRun is basically three laps of a set route. The first mile was covered fairly speedily in 10:30, too quick for me to sustain and by mile two I could feel myself beginning to slow. Chris directly in front of me and Joe to my side wouldn’t let me fall behind and I just about managed to stay with them for the second lap. I absolutely know that I would have stopped had I been on my own, however, with Chris and Joe’s encouragement I kept going.

Lap three seemed more bearable and on the final bend Chris had to slow as she’d paced slightly too fast and I continued to the finish with just Joe beside me, encouraging me all the way. I crossed the finish line with a time of 34:28 – my first time of running a ParkRun without walking some of it and my fastest 5k to date. Not a fast time for many but for me it was just amazing!

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