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Blog parkrun poem

I’ve written a new interactive family show based on my experience of being Great North Run poet in Residence last year. I went along to the parkrun in Newcastle recently to chat to family runners about running and writing. 

This poem is compiled from words of participants on Saturday August 10 2012.

The parkrun Family

Dads and daughters,

Mums and sons,

cousins, dogs, uncles,

the DNA of family runs.

Pain on the dirt track.

I can hear my brother’s breathing,

the drone of cars on the road,

but you turn the corner,

it goes quiet,

there’s just


Then-a cow’s moo,

the pong at Gate Two,

bad thoughts go round in your head,

I might wee, I might poo,

I might just


Thoughts spiral like genes.

Pushing a pram,

axels rattling on pebbles,

tunnel vision,

time slips in the gravel,

you claw it back

in the tarmac.

Baby squealing at the start,

wanting to go faster.

Knees crack,

hip burning as hot as the sun is,

look back at the line of runners

all along Grandstand Road.

Poo that smells like grass

in the heat,

avoid it on the track,

do a shimmy with your feet,

dog pulls you back.

The feeling of running past people,

the feeling of being overtaken.

One week the cows stampeded.

Every limb aching.

Today, I didn’t hear the skylarks.

Cheering, endorphins, cooling down, elated,

for these five k, we’re all related

The Starting Line will be performed at Newcastle’s Live Theatre in the lead up to this year’s Great North Run on 14 and 15 September.


Kate Fox is a poet, writer and broadcaster. She was Poet in Residence for the Great North Run in 2011, and is working on a new show for families for the 2012 Great North Run Culture programme called The Starting Line.
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