My parkrun Journey

Here are my 2018-2020 parkrun times.

My target is to run 5k below 30 minutes by 23rd March 2020, when I'm 55.

I also want my weight down to 10st 7lbs, from just over 12st.

I'm doing this because I want to maintain a habit of fitness as I get older.

That fitness habit idea came from a friend after he recommended that I read this book in 2012:

By the way, there's also a version of the book for women:

I also have four informal goals:

  1. To run my 10th Parkrun on my 54th birthday at the end of March 2019 [Achieved]
  2. To run my 55th Parkrun on my 55th birthday at the end of March 2020 [I will do this at Bushy Park, where parkrun began, with the friend who got me into parkrun :-)]
  3. To have volunteered 25 times by my 55th birthday at the end of March 2020
  4. To have run at 10 different parkruns by my 55th birthday at the end of March 2020, with Bushy Park being the 10th.

parkrun Timings

1 – 6th October 2018:

2 – 3rd November 2018:

3 – 8th December 2018:

4 – 15th December 2018:


5- 26th January 2019:

My 5th Parkrun

6 – 2nd February 2019:

7 – 9th February 2019:

8 – 16th February 2019:

9 – 16th March 2019:

10th Parkrun
My 10th #parkrun this morning, beautiful weather and a personal best of 00:35:18 to celebrate my 54th birthday – aiming for sub 30 mins by the time I'm 55 πŸ™‚

10 – 23rd March 2019 [Birthday run!]:

Birthday weight recording - 23rd March 2019, aiming to be 10:6 by 23rd March 2020.
Birthday weight recording – 23rd March 2019, aiming to be 10:6 by 23rd March 2020.

11 – 30th March 2019 [Market Rasen race course]:

12 – 6th April 2019:

13 – 13th April 2019:

14 – 20th April 2019:

15 – 27th April 2019:

16 – 4th May 2019:

Parkrun volunteer

17 – 11th May 2019:


18 – 18th May 2019:

19 – 25th May 2019:

Morecambe Promenade parkrun June 2019

20 – 1st June 2019 [Morecambe Promenade]:

Note: Beat sub 30 mins target time for first time πŸ™‚

Tip: I stayed at Westleigh, 9 Marine Road West, Morecambe, LA3 1BS for my parkrun there, booking via [Note: This is my referral link]

It's directly opposite the start of the race and the perfect location if you're visiting as a parkrun tourist.

8th June 2019 [No run this week, I volunteered as a marshal!]

As I didn't complete a parkrun this week, I attended a local weekly running group on Thursday to run 5k there – I liked it so much I will also do this every week that I am available over summer.

parkrun marshall

21 – 15th June 2019 [Crichton parkrun in Dumfries]:

A second sub-30 minute time of 29:49

Crichton, Dumfries parkrun June 2019

22 – 22nd June 2019 [Ayr parkrun]:

Tip: While we were in Alloway – where the parkrun in based – we stayed in an AirBnB apartment which is perfectly located. [Note: This is my referral link]

It's just a 5 minute walk from the parkrun location, if you're doing some parkrun tourism.

Just do an AirBnB search for Brig O Doon apartment, South Ayrshire.

22 – 29th June 2019: I volunteered [3rd time] and ran [23rd time] in Carlisle this week:

As well as getting a Carlisle PB time of 30:55, I've hit my first big weight goal … I'm now below 11 stone in weight, that's a really crucial psychological threshold for me πŸ™‚

The first time below 11 stones – hurrah!

23 – 6th July 2019:

Run brief duties
Volunteering for the run brief at Carlisle on 6th July 2019

24 – 13th July 2019:

I ran at Penrith for the first time today and achieved a new personal best of 28 mins and 36 seconds.

My target by age 55 is a sub-30 running time, but I have to get that time at my local Carlisle run, there's no cheating with the faster times I can get at flat courses like this one πŸ™‚

25 – 20th July 2019 – no parkrun this week! 

I had a 9am hospital appointment, but did manage to squeeze in my 5th volunteering session.

Also, a local running group were running a 24-hour 5k relay, so I ran the first lap on Saturday 20th and the last lap on Sunday 21st.

Here's some photo evidence:

Eden Valley Hospice sponsored 5k relay
Eden Valley Hospice sponsored 5k relay

26 – 27th July 2019 – Portobello parkrun in Edinburgh:

The wettest parkrun ever, but a brilliant run.

Another sub-30 time at 29:09

Target reached!

27 – 3rd August 2019 –

Got a new PB at Carlisle and smashed my sub-30 mins by March 2020 target πŸ™‚

New target is 25 mins by March 2020.


28 – 10th August 2019 – Ran at Market Rasen today and got a new PB of 27 mins 17 seconds – I also managed to get my wife out on a run for the first time and my mum joined in for part of the route:

29 – 17th August 2019 – A 2nd sub-30 time πŸ™‚ We ran the 5-lap course this week – which means 5 x the hill at the end of the loop – so a bit slower this time around:

30 – 24th August 2019 – a 3rd sub-30 time:

31 – 31st August 2019 – a new PB, by 1 second πŸ™‚

New personal best time

32 – 7th September 2019 – a new PB:

Also my 10th volunteering day – in wellies:

parkrun volunteer

Also, getting very close to that weight goal:

Weight goal

Tuesday 10th September – my first time trial with a local running club – which includes a VERY big hill!

33 – 14th September 2019 – Blackpool parkrun:

Stanley Park is a superb location for a parkrun, lovely place πŸ™‚


Image 12 of 12

34 – 21st September 2019 – New PB of 27:18:

35 – 28th September 2019 – Keswick parkrun:

Target reached!

Six months ahead of schedule, I hit my weight goal πŸ™‚

36 – 5th October 2019 – Victoria Park, Glasgow.

New PB of 26:19!

Victoria Park Victoria Park

Anniversary! 1st year of parkrun on 6th October πŸ™‚

parkrun anniversary

37 – 12th October – back at Carlisle in the 5-lap winter course … that means 5 hills πŸ™‚

38 – 19th October – very cold in Carlisle this morning, I wish I'd brought gloves! A new PB on the 5-lap course, which is harder than the 3-lap course which we run throughout the drier months.

39 – 26th October – I remembered gloves this week and seeing as I'm now doing so much running, I've ordered some winter running gear from . Nothing to report with my timings this week:

I've now switched to daytime runs now the clocks have changed as I'm not a fan of running in the dark.

I tried out my first run at the Watchtree Nature Reserve this weekend – I'll be back!

Watchtree Nature Reserve

40 – 2nd November – just enjoyed a gentle run around and a chat this morning πŸ™‚

I finally invested in some winter running gear this week – I just became ‘middle-aged Lycra man πŸ™

Winter run gear

parkrun 40 completed!

Volunteering stint 15 completed!

41 – 9th November – new PB at Carlisle πŸ™‚

42 – 16th November – forgot to eat breakfast before the run today! Sneaked off to the shop before 9am to buy a Snickers bar πŸ™‚

43 – 23rd November in Chester – a VERY muddy run!

Chester parkrun

30th November in Carlisle, on the coldest day of the year so far! I was intending to run at Tyne Park, Hexham, but the event was cancelled because of the course being too icy:

45 – 7th December in Carlisle –

14th December – no parkrun this week as I've been holidaying in Spain and running along the beach every day out of six days:

46 – 21st December – Lincoln:

47 – Christmas Day in Carlisle:

Christmas Day parkrun

48 – Saturday 28th December in Carlisle:


49 – Wednesday 1st January 2020 [Run 1] in Carlisle:

Target reached!

parkrun 50 completed!

50 – Wednesday 1st January 2020 [Run 2] in Penrith:


50 T-shirt

51 – Saturday 4th January 2020 – in Carlisle:

50th T-shirt arrives!

50th parkrun

52 – Saturday 11th January 2020 – Penrith

n a wet and windy day:

January 2020 parkrun

53 – Saturday 18th January 2020 – Tyne Green, Hexham

54 – Saturday 25th January 2020 in Carlisle –

55 – Saturday 1st February 2020 in Carlisle –

56 – Saturday 8th February 2020 in Carlisle-

Target reached!

Volunteer 25 completed!

25 t-shirt

57 – Saturday 15th February 2020 in Carlisle –

58 – Saturday 22nd February 2020 in Carlisle –

59 – Saturday 29th February 2020 at Prudhoe –

60 – Saturday 7th March 2020 in Workington –

61 – Saturday 14th March 2020 in Carlisle –

parkruns cancelled from Saturday 21st March 2020

Solo running from this date, including a 55th birthday run with my wife:

Paul & Fran running

parkrun Birthday Goals

By end March 2020:

  • 50 x parkruns [+ t-shirt] Achieved
  • 25 x volunteer stints [+ t-shirt] Achieved
  • 10st 7lbs or less – photo evidence! Achieved
  • 15 x parkrun tourism locations Achieved

Weight at 55

parkrun tourism aspirations 2020 – Preston, Whitley Bay, Barrow, Whitehaven, Cleeththorpes and more πŸ™‚


Want to find out more about parkrun? Check out Jessica's parkrun heroes:

Average 5k run times:

Five ways to improve your 5k run time:

Running extras

1) Sunday 5th January 2020 – ran 5k with coaching and achieved 26m 37s … my fastest time to date was 26m 19s:

Me with Andrew Carter