Rosie Park was the 2023 Somerset Series runner-up and talks about what it is like to race locally. 


Rosie Park


Interview - December 2023

When did you start running?

I always enjoyed athletics and sport when I was younger but I didn’t do it competitively past the age of 12. I started running again after university as a way to keep fit but did it very casually until I joined the harriers in 2016. I’ve really enjoyed being part of a community of runners, it’s very supportive and you are inspired by everyone around you to try your best and keep pushing your limits. The weekly training sessions and group runs means I don’t need to worry about motivating myself - all I need to do is turn up and the rest takes care of itself!


Do you have a running 'hero' or someone that inspired you to run?

This is very cheesy but I’m inspired by my fellow harriers and local running community - nothing makes me want to go for a run more when I see what people have been doing on Strava. It’s great to see people achieving their personal goals and it’s a pleasure to run with so many talented and hard working athletes of all ages.


What runs do you enjoy the best?

PB runs are always the best and they feel effortless.


Where is the best place you have run?

Lake Annecy has a tarmac cycle path that goes all the way round the lake and it’s full of runners and cyclists all day every day. The water is crystal clear and the views are fantastic. I’ve also run around Yas Marina F1 circuit in Abu Dhabi - it’s open one evening a week for runners and cyclists.


Rosie running beside Lake Annecy, 2023


Do you/did you participate in any other sports?

I love sport and would like to do more - my bike doesn’t get out enough at the moment!


You had success in the 2023 Somerset Series. How did it feel claiming 2nd in Somerset?

I was proud of just being organised enough to get myself to eight races and complete it! It made a difference to my fitness last year as it helped me stay fit and sharp almost every month of the year. I’ll definitely try and complete it again this year.


At the top of Brent Knoll, 2023


What do you enjoy about racing locally?

It’s a great way to see your local area. The trail races in the Somerset Series are in some beautiful spots. They’re very friendly and inclusive events and usually raise money for local schools, communities or clubs.


Burnham-on-Sea Half, 2023


What is your greatest running achievement?

I’m proud of all of my PBs and topping the Shepton Mallet Parkrun first finishers table but I’m optimistic that my greatest achievements are still ahead of me!


You are a keen ParkRunner. What do you enjoy about ParkRun? 

It’s the best way to start the weekend! You’re guaranteed to feel smug and wholesome after ticking off a 5k by 9.30 on a Saturday. Also it’s a great excuse to have two breakfasts on Saturdays.


What are your future plans with your running?

As I’m quite a latecomer to running I’m pretty confident that PBs in all distances are still ahead of me and not behind me.


Running was previously a male dominated sport. Do you feel it is now more inclusive for women? What have your experiences been like?

I’d love more women to be involved in all sports - it’s great for mental and physical health, connecting with others and body confidence. Thankfully opportunities for women in sport are improving all the time but there’s still always more men at races and Parkruns. Running is a great sport for women because everyone is extremely supportive - I notice I tend to get more cheers from the crowd than the men running next to me (!). Running is also a very cheap hobby and you can do it pretty much anywhere - is there a more accessible sport?!


Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, 2016


To view Rosie's performances, visit her 'Power of 10' and 'Run Britain' profiles, by clicking on the images below.



Missed an interview? Click on the links below to Meet another Harrier.


Sophie Nicholls - December 2023


Henry Sage - November 2023


Jon James - November 2023