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Kirsty Van Rensburg: My Running Story

At the start of 2017 I was a 40 something mother of 3 who fell into that percentage of the population that did little to no exercise and was a little overweight. We have a caravan in Wales and I found myself struggling and lagging behind the family when walking the hills along the coast. I remember seeing a tv news article where a wheelchair user made it to the top of Mount Snowdon. I thought if he could do it then there was no good reason that an average able-bodied person like me couldn’t do it too. I invested in a FitBit and we started walking briskly most evenings around Parkhall to increase fitness. In August we climbed Snowdon as a family. It was hard work but felt like a great achievement for me

I then started to think about what I could do next. I was aware of the Walsall

Parkrun so decided to try running. I downloaded the “Couch to 5K” app to my

phone and started to follow the program. After the first few weeks Mike

decided to join me and we kept each other going. In December 2017 we did our 1st Parkrun.

That was the target achieved but in January a work colleague suggested a work fundraiser where we would run 5K. I thought I can do that but the 5k turned out to be the Birmingham 10k in May! So we had to keep running Parkrun to prepare for that. I was so proud of myself when we completed the 10K. Mike had been a runner in his younger years but I had never ran before. By then I was actually enjoying the running especially the Parkrun. We continued running Parkrun on Saturdays and alone on Sundays with Jamie now joining us on Parkruns. In May 2019 we again did the Birmingham 10k with Jamie and Mike’s sister from South Africa.

This is when I decided that I wanted to be running more than just at the weekends and was looking for a running club for extra runs with people who shared the enjoyment of running. I spotted an “Arboretum Runners” T-shirt at the Parkrun and that was that. Mike and I have gone onto complete 2 half marathons and are still enjoying running (between the occasional injuries). Running has made me physically fitter than I have ever been and helps keep my stress levels down. Not being a very socially active person, I particularly benefit from feeling part of the Arboretum Running club. I also enjoy watching my progress on Parkrun, Strava and the Garmin app and watching the progress of others. So finally, I would like to say a big thank you to Lynne, all of the comity members and the run leaders who I think are excellent. I look forward to when we can all meet up again.

Keep Safe & Keep Running

Kirsty Van Rensburg

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