I moved to Stoke on Trent in 2009 (I married a local) and found that life in my new home was enjoyable but not really conducive to my health and wellbeing. I was much more sedentary than I'd been whilst living in London, doing very little exercise and gaining weight. I couldn't even run for a bus and the 10 minute walk from my house to the shops became an ever growing challenge. By November 2010 I knew it was time for a change... Working on the mantra of eat less, exercise more, I changed my diet, switched to a smaller dinner plate and started using the exercise bike that had been gathering dust in my garage.
The third Saturday in January saw me do my very first parkrun. parkrun (no capitalisation apparently) is a brilliant concept: simple, inclusive and global in its reach. Its simplicity is its great strength – you register online on the parkrun site to get a unique barcode, turn up at 9.00 am on a Saturday at a location which has a parkrun (nearly 800 worldwide – Hanley is currently the only one in Stoke-on-Trent) and run a timed 5k.