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I just felt like running - Forest Gump' 1994

'I just felt like running' - Forest Gump, 1994

I am runner. I've always been a runner and up until the last few weeks when I picked an injury, I ran several times a week. I've completed countless half marathons, full marathons and ultra marathons. I've clocked up nearly 2000km this year alone. Running is what I do when I feel I need to clear my head. Recently, I've been injured so I've not been able to run and this enforced break has really made reflect on the benefits of regular exercise to physical health but, more importantly I've come to realise, mental health too.

Running makes me feel better, my thoughts are clearer, life doesn't seem so hectic after I've been running, I can 'see the wood for the trees'. My own mental health is better when I run regularly.

I am a regular attendee at Bicester Parkrun, a weekly, free, timed 5km run (or walk) around Langford Village in Bicester. It is no exaggeration to say that on the back of the pandemic, Parkrun helped me get through some very difficult days indeed. You can find out more about Parkrun here

The best thing about Parkrun is the organisers also host Junior Parkrun - a free, timed 2km run for children; open to all children aged 4-14. There is one in Bicester for juniors - my 5 year old daughter and I sometimes pop along. More details about it are here. It would be great to see some of the Graven Hill children at Whitelands each Sunday morning.

I can not stress enough the benefits of regular exercise both for parents and for children; even if that regular exercise is just once a week at Parkrun - trust me, once you've started, it will become a fixture of your week. I've now completed over 100 Parkruns in the last two years! Maybe, I'll see you there one day.