Three Top Tips for Happy Parkrunning by Orla (Year 7)

NHEHS is taking part in the Girls’ School Association’s (GSA) initiative promoting wellbeing and resilience in March, in particular through encouraging people to take part in a parkrun.

Parkruns are free, weekly, community events taking place all around the world, with timed 5K runs taking place in parks and open spaces on Saturday mornings. The nearest runs to Ealing are Gunnersbury Park, Northala Fields and Osterley Park (where NHEHS alumna Konnie Huq took part in her very first parkrun as a This Girl Can ambassador last week).

We talked to Year 7’s Orla, a recent convert to parkrun on why she loves park running and what are her top tips for girls who are new to parkrun.

Why did you start parkrun?

I started park run in September before the start of the school year because we thought it would be interesting to take up running and give it a go.

What do you enjoy most about doing the parkrun?

I think my favourite part about park run is how you can track your improvements and get a time after each run as it motivating to see the difference in your running and finding your motivation as well as satisfaction for the rest of Saturday when I have justification to relax!

Why do you prefer parkrunning to other sports?

Because you can almost go at your own pace at the start and it always feels like an achievement being able to run the 5K in itself, no matter how you came in a relation to anybody else but it is nice to see a weekly improvement.

What was your best moment of park run so far?

Either the first time I ran the whole course quite early on in the year when we had a celebration at the end, or when I saw a girl from my class and we ran together – I achieved my top time because I was trying to keep up!

Has doing the parkrun helped you at school?

I think it has definitely improved my sports at school because I have been encouraged to join the running club which I never thought I would be able to do. With my fitness, I noticed an improvement in my stamina and how fast I could run and I was really pleased when my friend told me that I was doing really well !


Orla’s Top Tips for Happy Parkrunning:

Don’t ever think of parkrun as a race and always be proud of your individual achievements.

Don’t start too quickly at the beginning – this sounds obvious but there is quite a steep hill at Gunnersbury Park and you still have one more lap to do!

Enjoy yourself because even though you are running 5K it can be fun, especially if there are more of you taking part as a group or if you have something special to motivate you!


Watch out for us at Gunnersbury Parkrun at 9 am this Saturday 14th March! If you would like to join us, remember to register on the parkrun website here to receive a barcode that can be taken to the run for the time to be registered.

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