We first came across Shanon (more commonly known within the running community and on Insta as the 'Plus Size parkrunner') last year when she reached out to us prior to participating in a run for the Commonwealth Games. Shanon had heard about VIVRA through a mutual friend of ours and of course any friends of our friends are friends of ours so we sent Shanon a VIVRA to try for herself.
At this point we hadn't done much research into Shanon or her Insta account (@theplussizeparkrunner) but we must say that once we started looking we couldn't stop. Her real, raw and quirky sense of humour had us hooked! If you haven't already checked out her Insta, then you must – it's entertainment plus!
Shortly after sending off the VIVRAs we received a message from her saying that she'd received them and that she was going to do a review. We weren't sure at this point if the review was going to be positive or negative - we could only hope that she loved her VIVRA as much as all our customers do! So when we finally read the review let's just say that we couldn't have been happier with the glowing feedback, followed by the influx of love from new customers wanting a VIVRA of their own.
Throughout the last year we have watched and been humoured by Shanon's weekly parkrun posts so we thought it was finally time we put our feet to the pavement and joined her on a parkrun. Parkrun is not something that Emily had ever done before, only ever enjoying a run by herself (where she can stop at any point)... and Sarah had only really been once (and failed to finish the race as she got distracted by the dog park on the way to the finish line) so to say we were nervous was an understatement. However, VIVRA as a brand is about its community and what better way to get amongst it then to experience it with the Queen of parkrun herself - 'The Plus Size Park Runner'.
To set the scene, Saturday the 31st of August rolled around, it's 5:15am, chilly AF and we're both strategically working out our plan of attack with keeping up with Shanon or rather, not even trying to keep up with her. From a distance we saw her waiting with her little man, all geared up with her VIVRA and VIVRA cap. She talks us through the general 'parkrun etiquette' - basically stay out of everyone's way and to the left to avoid annoying other runners. We nod to each other in agreeance that that's where we'll be.
We proceed to the meeting area where everyone gathered to clap on in first time park runners and acknowledge the achievements of park runners who have run their 200th park run - wowza! After the initial gathering everyone gathered at the start line and we proceeded to the back so as to not get in anybody's way. By this point we're starting to have second thoughts about our initial enthusiasm about how cool it would be to do a run with 'The Plus Size parkrunner' lol. Not letting our worries get the better of us we began the run and meanwhile Shanon smoothes into her groove and finds her pace and spot like a pro. We follow behind her, keeping her pace.
Cut to the finish line and it turns out that we can actually run 5kms without stopping! It was a great start to the day and gave us the chance to connect with one of our favourite VIVRA customers and we can assure you that Shanon is just as funny and real in real life as she is on her social media platforms.
Over breakfast we enjoyed getting to know her and her family, how she came to be known as 'The Plus Size parkrunner', which really started with her just wanting to reach out to other runners as she didn't have a running buddy. It allowed her to share her feelings, emotions, physical complaints and challenges and it was from there her following grew. Shanon takes 'being relatable' to her audience to a new level. In our eyes she is the Celeste Barber of the running community and who doesn't love Celeste Barber?!
To shop Shanon's favourite style, the 'VIVRA Lite PB' click the link below.