If anybody is going to convince us to get out there and run, it’s Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes.
Finding the energy and commitment to get up for a run on a weekend morning can prove challenging for many of us. We know how good it will feel afterwards, but staying in bed with a cup of tea and Netflix or a good book is just so much more appealing.
Perhaps if we had an Olympian cheering us on things would be a little easier, right? Well this is exactly what happened to runners on Saturday (15 June). Dame Kelly Holmes, who recently presented the Sports Star of the Year award to Katarina Johnson-Thompson at the Stylist Remarkable Women Awards, joined runners at her local Parkrun. She shared a video on Twitter which showed her running back through the crowd of runners, cheering them on and encouraging people with high-fives.
“This is what happens after a lot of my Parkruns. I run backwards and cheer everyone on,” she wrote. “I enjoy running because it makes me feel good and if I can inspire others to keep going as well it’s a win win.”
The video has since received over 18, 000 likes, with many women thanking Holmes for the inspiration to take part in their local Parkruns.
“I love this! Love that Parkrun is a run, not a race. Inclusive of all abilities, children and dogs and that no one comes last! Plus it often ends with coffee and cake,” said one runner.
“Ah I hope this inspires more speedy people to do this! I’ve often wished they would as they walk back the other way quietly and the rest of us are still hanging on!” added another.
“I’ve just done my first couple of Parkruns and I can tell you that the atmosphere and this kind of support from experienced runners (even those that aren’t Olympic medal winners!) is what makes it so special,” wrote a third.
“What a great idea. Everyone requires encouragement at some point. That gesture could be the difference between someone giving up, or making the decision to keep going. You’ve been my heroine for years, and you still inspire me,” tweeted a fourth.
Feeling inspired? Parkrun organises free weekly 5km runs around the UK. They are open to anyone who fancies joining, so you just need to register and get a barcode so that they can monitor attendance and track your times. Runners of all levels are welcome, and you can slow things down to a walking pace if that suits you better.
Find out everything you need to know about Parkrun here.