Having consumed more than my fair share of Friday night beers, it is fair to say the looming prospect of doing a 5km run the next day did not fill me with glee. To make matters worse – it was raining. I forced myself out of bed and after a quick shower jumped in the car. Some 20 minutes later I was walking down the Obolon promenade thinking, “Maybe this article could wait until next month’s issue of What’s On…” Not a moment later I locked eyes on a sizeable gathering of smiling, happy faces, all clad in sportswear. “Who else could it be,” I thought, “but Runday!?”
British expat and Runday founder, Ian Bearder, waved me over – despite the weather, and time of the day, the atmosphere was overwhelmingly positive. After exchanging a few quick pleasantries with other runners we began our warm-up. I couldn’t help but smile at the back-and-forth banter between everyone, which stepped up a notch with every passerby –one even stopped and joined in! Then, after a few quick words of welcome from Bearder, a whistle was blown and we were off!
Jogging along at a conformable pace, a quick glance behind allowed for a sigh of relief – “Excellent, I am not last!” I thought. I would be lying however if I said what came next was easy – yesterday’s beer was catching up quick. Despite this, and the low-hanging clouds, I pushed on and enjoyed the picturesque surroundings of the riverbank. The approaching finish line was a site just as enjoyable, even more beautiful as I crossed over.
Run complete, Bearder talked more about the Runday concept during our cool down, saying it was inspired by the British movement called Parkrun. With only a few months since inception in Ukraine, already the group has seven active communities across five cities, including Kyiv, Lviv, Odessa, Ivana Frankivsk, and Ternopil. Registration is easy and anyone can take part – even those who might have had one too many the night before. In fact, cool down over, I couldn’t have felt better and pretty sure I’ll be running with the Runday crew again soon. Join me?
What you do
- Register for a free Runner ID on the site
- Print your ID and bring it with you
- Turn up and run!
All races are timed so you can check your progress week on week. The average 5km time is 25 minutes 34 seconds. For more info, check out the website www.runday.org