Friday, 16 June 2017

Do You Parkrun Yet?

Parkrun is something that we mention, a lot, and if you follow our Instagram you’ll see pictures captured by the photographers at our local park run - a lot. It’s fair to say it’s our favourite running event to take part and we wanted to make sure all of you out there can get involved and enjoy it as much as we do!

Do you park run yet?

So what is it?
Parkrun is a weekly 5km run, hosted by volunteers, where you just turn up and join in and most of them, as you’ve probably guessed, are held in local parks. Parkrun originated in the UK back in 2004 with a single weekly event held in Teddington and now, in 2017, Parkrun takes place in 14 countries around the world including USA, Australia, South Africa and Russia (to name just a few…) with millions of runners already signed up and taking part!

runner on bridge

How does it work? 
Each event is organised by volunteer groups each week who mark out the course, explain the ropes to any newbies, marshal the course, hand out position barcodes at the finish and will scan you in to make sure your participation was registered.

female runner in pink top

How do I join in? 
It’s simple! Have a search on the Parkrun website to find your nearest events, simply turn up and join in! If you want to keep a track of your results then sign up online and print off you individual barcode, when you finish your race and collect your position marker take that along with your own barcode to be scanned and you’ll be sent a text an email with your result later on that day as well as the full results being posted online.

parkrun runner black top

I’m not sure about Parkrun for my ability
Not to worry! This event is for anyone of any level! You’ll always find those eager runners at the front battling it out to finish first but it’s all about your own goals and your own level. There are plenty of people who will come and jog or walk the course, it doesn’t matter what time you finish what’s important is you came and did it!

park run around lake

What about the kids? 
Parkrun is happy to acomadate children on the course and even have a few 2km junior courses (check with you local event organisers). Children over the age of 4 are welcome to take part and can even register for their own barcode provided they are capable of finishing the course, under 11’s must also be accompanied round the course (within arm’s reach) of their parent or designated guardian.

parkrun runner on bridge

I’m not a runner but I like the idea of helping
Parkrun is a volunteer lead event so is always looking for people who want to take part and help organise and marshal the course. Got any photography skills? From our experience runners really appreciate it when photographers are there to capture the event!

Our Experiences

runner struggling around course

Rachel - My first Parkrun experience was really miserable, it was mid-November and course was like a mud bath! I struggled with even being able to jog 5km so to get around the trail in 31:08 felt pretty good. From a mixture of bad terrain, bad weather and general life getting in the way I didn’t return until the end of March! Since then I’ve been pretty consistent at attending and pretty consistent at improving my pace, last week I managed a new PB of 25:10! I love that there’s a timed organised run just a mile and a half down the road where I can turn up and feel like part of a wider running community! I love being able to run in such a beautiful setting and for me the best thing is the feeling that I got my weekend off to a good, healthy start.

parkrun runner purple top

James - I first discovered Parkrun about two years ago and have been going on and off ever since! My first run (at the same park we still go to now) was a bit of a struggle to get too - I wasn't accustomed to early mornings the same way I am now, I even went back to bed after! I was found it pretty tough and was amazed to see how many people has turned up to take part. Now I have someone to go with (rather than head there alone) it's made it a fun part of my weekend routine. I like to push myself so always try to aim in the top 10 finishers - my best result so far is fifth and I'm getting pretty close to my 50th run

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