parkrun #4: Gadebridge

I’d originally planned to go to Wanstead Flats, but then saw that Gadebridge was putting on a special event. Given that I was without a running friend this week, I decided on a change of plan.

Mitchell Camp, a Special Olympic ambassador and 3-times medal winner at the World Games, took part in the run and gave a talk on his experiences of training with a disability and competing for team GB. There was then an event in the town hall where people could come along, have tea and cake (yay!) and and find out more about different activities available in the area.

Mitchell explained that it was important to have determination and a positive attitude. He was not the quickest when he first started running, but trained hard, and with help from his coaches achieved a silver medal at the 100m (along with gold for long jump and bronze for relay). You can find out more about Mitchell’s story and the Special Olympics on Mitchell’s Special Olympic profile.

The event was intended to inspire people with disabilities to take part in sports, including parkrun. Mitchell is a great role model – most obviously for those with disabilities who want to get more active, but really for just about anyone who wants to push themselves, try new things or get better at what they already do.

gadebridge parkrun 1

Before the run: Mitchell with the mayor of Dacorum and 3 of parkrun’s brilliant volunteers

Now of course, I can’t get through a blog post without talking about the run…

Gadebridge won me over as the prettiest, and the most cross-country-like course I’ve done. Hills are well-rewarded with great views over the park, which looked fantastic in the frost. The grass paths are uneven and slopey, and home to a healthy population of moles. Thinking about what it must have been like over the past few weeks, I was lucky the mud had frozen up.

gadebridge parkrun 2

Setting off on the run

This was another more ‘leisurely’ week for me as I tried to shake of a cold and a hangover (oops). I finished in 31 minutes 17 and really enjoyed the run. The results are up here – Gadebridge 16.01.2016.

Many thanks to Mitchell, to the volunteers who made the parkrun possible, and those who organised the event afterwards.

Next week I’m off to Cardiff, which is a fast course and one that I’ve done lots of times before. So maybe time to up the pace and see if I can get close to my PB…

gadebridge parkrun 3

Looking pro

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