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by Michelle Carnegie
05 August 2017

The joy of sharing your love of running with a sibling, spouse, parent or your little one is happiness beyond measure. And it seems parkrunning is where this all starts.
For as long as I can remember my Dad and I have been running. It’s always been ‘our thing’ and the rest of the family would often sigh and roll their eyes when, over long family lunches, we would for hours on end discuss every detail of the race we’ve run that morning.
But it seems those days are over Dad!
Since parkrunning has taken the world by storm, ‘our thing’ has now become a ‘family thing’, it seems. Because not only has my sister (who swore she would NEVER run) taken to parkrunning, but so has my cyclist brother-in-law and niece. My Dad’s proudest moment came at a recent parkrun when both of his daughters ran alongside him, with his granddaughter following shortly on our heels, and his son-in-law done and dusted and waiting at the finish line. Indeed a family affair! My sister even remarked that my Dad probably thought this day would never come.
But indeed it did Dad!
A running bond
I’ve always loved the special bond running has brought to my relationship with my Dad. Every time I see him run I celebrate the fact that at the age of 78 he is alive and healthy and able to run.
That special bond has now transcended to rest of the family. There are no more eye rolling and sighs at family lunches, in fact, the rest of the family are now chatting more about their future running endeavours than my Dad and I. (And sometimes it is the two of us who are rolling our eyes.) My brother-in-law has even decided to run the 2018 London Marathon with my Dad, and my sister and niece have entered several 10km races.

Passing the love down
For the first time in years of running I truly understand the absolute pride my Dad has always had in my running, because I felt that exact same pride recently when my 5-year-old little girl Roxy made her debut at the parkrun, setting off hand-in-hand with her best friend and class mate Finley Miller. Running alongside her was more special than any Comrades medal I’ve ever received.
Her flushed cheeks, sparkly eyes and high-fifing Finley at the finish are imprinted in my mind forever. I can’t lie and say I don’t feel immense pride and happiness when Roxy asks when she can go and run the ‘Comrades’ again, as she refers to the parkrun.
Now I just have to convince my 4-year-old son Zack that running is better than cycling. Because in his world right now a blue bike without training wheels is far superior to any pair of running shoes.
Then maybe one day I will be as blessed as my Dad when Roxy and Zack run alongside me. And I will know that it all started at our local parkun.

Article Keywordsparkrun family affair

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