Jessica Hay is showing everyone why it's okay to come in last.

By Faith Brar
June 06, 2017

Starting at 435 pounds, Jessica Hay knew that getting back into shape would be no easy feat. But at the beginning of the year, she really wanted to make a change, which is why, without telling anyone, she signed up for her first Parkrun-a weekly 5K, free for anyone to join.

"On my first attempt at Parkrun, I cried in the second lap (3 lap course)...shattered that people were lapping me and gutted to be so far back from the pack," Jessica recently wrote on Instagram.

Today, Jessica has 15 Parkruns under her belt, and a lot has changed since her first try. "On my 15th attempt I don't cry," she says. "Now when I start to hear the 'lapping' cavalry breathing down my neck, I take note of where I am. Every week I'm just a tiny bit further along when they start passing me." (Related: Why Running Isn't Always About Speed)

The mom-of-two continues by sharing what it's really like for her to run the 5K from start to finish. She notes that people start to pass her while she's still on her first lap. By the time she's finishing the second, nearly everyone is ahead of her. "It's like I'm a snail on a Grand Prix race track," she jokes, "vroom, vroom, vroom and then silence"

While entering her third lap, Jessica admits to being so far behind that she feels like the "only person out there."

"I've become so comfortable with this alone time on my third lap," she says. "This is when I have a little chat to myself, "yes, it's hurting, but it will get easier, you will crack that sub 1 hour one day (every runner's dream right? Hahaha) and you're still breathing."

At this point, she can see the finish line and people who've waited for her, start clapping and cheering. "For now I'm last," she says, concluding her post. "One day I'll be sub 1 hour. One day I'll catch up to the pack. One day I might even lap somebody. One day is always going to be gained as long as I don't give up."

Keep on going, Jessica! We're all rooting for you.