Parkrun: Celebrating in the Rain - Ruth Parsons

It was a soggy morning, with no hope of it brightening up anytime soon, but dedicated individuals pulled on their trainers, grabbed their barcodes, and headed to the park (bandstand where it was dry!) ready for 9am start. For most, it was just another ordinary Saturday at parkrun, some ready and raring for a PB, first-timers, and others just happy to have a gentle jog with friends.

But it was no ordinary day for me; in fact it was somewhat a special day, even if I had brought my bad luck with me in the form of rain! It was three years to the day that I was sat in the emergency assessment bay in the cancer centre at UHNM being told I had a rare form of blood cancer, Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia. I can’t say it has been an easy journey, and it still isn’t over, but I know from the bottom of my heart I would’ve never started running if it wasn’t for the diagnosis. I would never have one day, tired, sick, in pain and weak have decided to put my trainers on and run down the road. I would never have built it up to 1 mile, then 2, then a 5k, then Alsager 5, then joining Newcastle (Staffs) A.C, then a 10k, then 8 half marathons and now in the last few weeks of training for London Marathon (running for the Teenage Cancer Trust).

I would never have the friends I’ve made, the laughter, support, encouragement, inspiration and drive in life without running. I’d like to thank everyone that’s joined me from the start, along the way, and right up to Saturday on my 3 year cancerversary, where we ran, chatted and laughed our way around the 5k, followed by cake, hugs and smiles!