Live Better

People of parkrun: David

David was obese and out of confidence, but turned his life around after attending a Parkrun.

Name: David Noonan

Local parkrun: Ellenbrook, WA

Attending since: October 2014

In August 2014, David moved home to Perth, overweight and struggling to stay motivated to exercise.

“I started off at 144 kilograms,” says David. “It was hard to push myself towards longer or more frequent physical activity.”

It wasn’t until David’s sister suggested joining the Averley parkrun, which she attended with her children, that things started to change for him.

David started with many of the typical first-time parkrun concerns. “I was worried about being required to run, let alone whether I’d even be fast enough,” he admits.

But those concerns disappeared almost immediately, as the parkrun community welcomed him with open arms, excited to have another first-timer in their midst. “People welcomed me to the event, asked where I was from, and just generally gave me a lot of encouragement.”

It got even better once he was out on the course. High fives aplenty were exchanged, shouts of encouragement followed him along the track, and he was even cheered over the finish line.

“My wife thinks I’m crazy because I run too much. I’ve turned into a bit of a parkrun pusher.”

“It was that atmosphere and the encouragement of my family that got me back next week, and the week after that,” David says. “Then they warned me that I’d start to get addicted once I could run the whole five kilometres. I was running about three at that stage, and they were talking about 10 kilometres, and half marathons, and full marathons.” He laughs, “I thought they were crazy.”

He couldn’t have been more wrong. David attended his first parkrun in October 2014, and in 2015, he ran four half marathons and a full marathon, as well turning up to parkrun every week.

“So far this year I’ve done three half marathons, a full marathon, 50 km races on road and trail, and a multitude of smaller events,” he says. “At the end of August I’m running the Perth City to Surf marathon. If you told me I was going to be doing this two years ago I would have laughed.”

David now sits at a comfortable 85kg, feels great, and rarely misses his Saturday morning ritual of coffee, parkrun, then time with the family. “My wife thinks I’m crazy because I run too much,” he jokes, “and I’ve turned into a bit of a parkrun pusher.”

David now volunteers on the event team at Averley parkrun, and is constantly encouraging his friends and work colleagues to come down and give it a go. “I’d like to give something back, in the same way that I received,” he says. “Seeing the regulars at parkrun is great. Seeing new people come and have a go – and then seeing them next week – is even better.”

Start your own parkrun story this September with Personal Better Day

Medibank is proud to partner with parkrun all around Australia. On 3 September 2016, head on down to your local parkrun for Personal Better Day, set yourself a challenge and experience for yourself how good it feels. It’s not about performance – it’s about fun and celebrating everyone crossing the finish line.

Take the first step and find out more about Personal Better Day.

Recommended Reading

My daily rituals: Sally Fitzgibbons

Pro surfer Sally Fitzgibbons shares some healthy tips.

Read more

How to fall in love with fitness

Break out of a mindset that makes you dread working out.

Read more

How to start exercising as a new mum

Gentle movement and small steps can get you feeling strong.

Read more

Surfing, fluro and ‘saltwater therapy’

How surf community OneWave is tackling mental health.

Read more

4 things a physio can help with

Discover the secret abilities of your physio

Read more

Move to feel good: Michelle Bridges’ top exercise tips

Superstar trainer Michelle Bridges shares a few top tips.

Read more

What’s the deal with pre-workouts?

Do pre-workout supplements do everything they claim?

Read more

How can exercise help manage chronic illness?

How exercise can help manage diabetes and more.

Read more