Enochlophobia, Agoraphobia and 5k PB’s !

“an irrational fear of large crowds and gatherings of people” 
or 
“the fear of and desire to avoid situations wherein one believes may be subjected to humiliation”
What on earth am I talking about ? Well . . . Don’t worry, it’s not an admission that I have either of these phobias although sometime I wonder. I have been cycling for years and never done a sportive, I recently started running but have never done a Parkrun and in the past if the pool is too busy ill simply walk in . . .  and walk out. Strange huh ! 
They say sometimes the best way to conquer a fear is head on, id say entering a triathlon and becoming and ambassador for Norfolks only Triathlon superstore is about as head on as it gets. 
No sooner had I announced I had got the role of Tri-harder ambassador my good friend told me we needed to do a Parkrun, he knew I didn't like those sort of environments but explained that compared to the start of an open water swim park run would seem like a breeze. It really was a family effort to get me there, his wife printed and laminated my barcode card and his daughter even came along to run with us. 
Ill spare you all the details but the run begins with me positioning us about as far back as we could get, behind a sea of buggys and dog walkers and 290 other people, my heart rate was racing on the start line id seen it  slowly rise from 95bpm to 135bpm in the seconds waiting for the start bell, I really was uncomfortable ! ‘Were moving, why are we moving’ - ‘thats it mate, were off’ he shouted as he lead us into the crowds. I can honestly say I don't think a 5km run has ever gone so fast. The thing that had once put me off entering these events was now driving me on, I had a chat with some dude who told me about his new shoes and shouted encouragement at random people I didn't even know.
I came onto the final straight not knowing what time I ran, not really caring either. The challenge for the day was to get there and run and id achieved that but, what do you know a new 5km PB by over 1 minute ! (22.42) 45th place out of 290 runners. I could not believe it, I felt such a sense of achievement, not about the PB but the fact id managed to take part and had a great time in the process. 
Thanks to the Riches clan for all their hard work helping me face my fears :-)