Monthly Archives: August 2015

Lullingstone Park Runner of the Month July 2015

This morning I woke up to a very nice e-mail from Parkrun, informing me that I had been chosen for Lullingstone Parkrun’s monthly award.

Congratulations Ben SOWDEN
You have been selected as the winner of this month’s Sweatshop Prize at Lullingstone parkrun.
Please print the attached certificate and present it to the manager of your nearest Sweatshop branch to claim your prize.

I am so pleased that I had been selected, especially as Lullingstone holds a special place in my heart.

Our son Rory was sadly born asleep on Saturday 30th May 2015.  The weekend before our tragic event, I remember that he was moving loads inside Mummy’s tummy and I had felt him kick on many occassions.

On the Bank Holiday Monday 25th May 2015 we finished off putting up the Winnie the Pooh Wall stickers in the Nursery.  Then In the afteroon Me, my Wife and Baby Bump  (I say Baby Bump, because at the time we did not know what sex our baby was) visited Lullingstone Country Park and had a nice walk along the river Darent.

After losing our Son I stopped going running for a while and the first run I ever did was on Saturday 20th June at Lullingstone Parkrun.  I found myself being drawn to there and before the event I went and sat on the same very bench us three had sat on almost 4 weeks before.  I was thinking back to when we last sat there ‘everything was perfect’ we had just finished the nursery and we were so happy and so excited about becoming parents.

View from 'Rory's' Bench

View from ‘Rory’s’ Bench

I had always really liked Lullingstone Parkrun, even though the course is tough, I really like ‘off road’ runs and views at the top are stunning.  I used to alternate between Lullingstone Parkrun and my home parkrun Shorne Woods.  I have purchased a parking permit which can be used for both Country Parks.

So, on the 27th June 2015 I went to Shorne Woods to see some familiar faces and then 4th August 2015 I was drawn back to Lullingstone.  I have ran there every week since and since returning I have tried to improve on my times every week. My PB is currently 30:37 and the closest I’ve got was 30:50 on Saturday 1st August.  My aim now is to improve on my PB and get a sub 30 mins.

Attempting to sprint at the finish.

Attempting to sprint at the finish.

When I run now, I always wear my Sports Band with a special message from our Angel Rory, I always think of him when I’m running and try to do my best to make him proud.

Running in Rory's memory.

Running in Rory’s memory.

It feels amazing to be rewarded for doing something that I really enjoy doing and that helps me feels closer to my Son.  Thank you Lullingstone Parkrun and thank you Sweatshop.