Photo from Ipswich parkrun on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/Ipswichparkrun

Waking up early on Saturday morning I decided that rather than opt for the 8am training session in Christchurch Park, I would give myself an extra hour and go and try the new-ish Ipswich Parkrun at Chantry Park.

This was to be the 9th Ipswich Parkrun after it was established in early September. Parkrun, a non-profit organisation, originated in 2004 as a free running event, giving runners the opportunity to compete against themselves rather than others over the 5Km distance. The idea being that you turn up, run 5Km, are given an official time for your run and then you try to better that time each week.

I was unsure how many people would also turn out for the Ipswich Parkrun on a cold, damp November Saturday morning and was surprised at home many were there, especially the number of first-timers. In total there were 88 of us running around the two-lap multi-terrain Chantry Park course and it was a great atmosphere. The atmosphere extended to the cricket pavilion where everyone met up after the run for tea, coffee and cakes.

I managed to get slightly muddy course in a time of 21:01 and will definitely be back in the coming weeks to try and improve on that time.

Parkrun is a national event – look up your closest Parkrun on http://www.parkrun.org.uk and join in the running fun.