On 27th May 2017, I stood at the start line of Dulwich Parkrun for the first time. Nervous, and apprehensive. Anxious that I had forgotten my barcode.
Little did I know it would be the kindle that lit my fire and started me on a journey to rediscover my love of running.
Running has developed into a key part of my life over the past four years. In particular I would like to thank the amazing volunteers and runners of Parkrun and my neighbour, Jeremy, who encouraged me to give it a go (and gave me a lift) back on that late spring morning.
Inspired by this, my second book, The Cheetah Cub Running Club: The Great Fox Chase, starts in my favourite park (Dulwich) where Rory is participating in the weekly Parkrun.
Parkrun is such a great community initiative, if it is available in your country I would strongly encourage children and parents to take part on an upcoming Saturday morning. It is very welcoming, free of charge, and many people walk, jog or run the course.
There is no pressure on time, it is more about enjoying being active, building confidence and starting your weekend off positively, whether you run or volunteer.
Find out more at parkrun.org.uk
In The Great Fox Chase Rory, with the help of his friend, Stella, and the Cheetah Cub Running Club, travel to Oxford and on to Japan in search of a lost poodle called Snuggles.
We start to learn more about the origins of the Running Club and the many animals they have helped around the world. All of your favourite characters return in this fast paced race across the world.
Finally, having been inspired by the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer, seeing so many athletes push themselves to their limit and show their capabilities from the immense amount of training, commitment and determination it felt appropriate for Japan to be the setting for the second half of the book and the National Stadium for the finale.
Olympians represent many of the Cheetah Cub core values which are: Courage, Helpfulness, Exercise, Environment, Teamwork, Attitude, Health, Creativity, Unity and Belief.
I hope you and your children enjoy it. Please let me know what you think.
Cheers Phil 🙂