About parkrun UK

Anita Afonso -­ Event Activation Manager - parkrunner A27006

Anita was introduced to parkrun by her then colleague, now other half in February 2009, when she ran on a muddy Wimbledon Common. Read the full story here. Anita joined parkrun UK on the 1st of April 2009 and is responsible for all matters related to the activation of new parkrun events in both the 5K and junior parkrun series.

Favourite volunteering role
Run Director, especially doing the pre­run briefing. She believes it is always an enjoyable way to make all parkrunners feel welcome, and to share all sorts of news related to an event. Anita never forgets to mention the post­run café location.

 

Chris Jones ­- Head of Finance & Fundraising - parkrunner A19147

Chris first heard about parkrun from a friend who ran Leeds ‘Hyde Park Time Trial’ as it was called back then, although he didn’t actually check it out until August 2008! Chris joined the parkrun UK team in January 2014 and is responsible for financial matters for parkrun UK.

Favourite volunteering role
Standing on a windswept corner shouting a mixture of encouragement, style comments, running tips etc.

Personal goal
Chris has become an avid parkrun tourist and is keeping an eye on clubmates Nicola Forwood and Andrew Nicholls in the race (or is that run?) for 100 different events.

 

Chrissie Wellington ­- Head of Junior Participation - parkrunner A406323

Having retired from professional sport, Chrissie came back to live in UK in 2012. At that time she was a parkrun ignoramus. She first encountered parkrun when she came across 300 people lining up in Richmond Park on a Saturday morning. She naughtily gatecrashed that event, but her first official finish was at Richmond Park soon after.

She first started working for parkrun in February 2013 and is responsible for banging the drum for participation within parkrun, and also working with other organisations to promote healthy lifestyles and participation in physical activity.

Favourite volunteering role
Cheerleading, very loudly!

Words of wisdom
“If you run 5k very fast it hurts a lot more than doing an ironman, but you get less blisters and chaffing.”

 

Danny Norman ­- Social Media Manager - parkrunner A482

Danny’s first experience was just him and 46 others doing a lap of ‘Bushy Park Time Trial’ in August 2005. He instantly fell in love with the simple concept. He heard about it through his running club at the time via word of mouth. He first started working for parkrun UK in June 2012 and is responsible for overseeing all Social Media channels for parkrun UK, including all events’ own accounts. He also writes, publishes and presents the official weekly podcast ‘the parkrun show’.

Favourite volunteering role
Barcode scanner. He loves to chat to many people by name which makes them feel welcomed and it’s is the ideal place to do so.

He also enjoys the ‘Funnel Ogre’ role at junior parkrun. Adults shall not pass! ... Over the finish line that is.

Anything else to know?
Danny loves all animals but especially cats. He doesn’t like post­run cake or fancy dress.

 

Helen Hood -­ Head of Operations - parkrunner A165246

Helen first heard parkrun mentioned on the Marathon Talk podcast. She went along to the third Colwick parkrun with her family for the first time in July 2011 and never left! She joined the parkrun UK team in January 2014 and is responsible for the operational activities of parkrun UK events including policies, procedures and communications.

Favourite volunteering role
Happy to do anything in the hi­-vis but rather partial to the Run Director role and leading the warm up at any junior parkrun event that will let her!

Why does she love parkrun?
She loves the fact that we are building ‘communities’ that extend beyond a Saturday morning.

 

Jaz Bangerh -­ Head of HR & Volunteer Management - parkrunner A7786

Jaz was encouraged by Tom Williams go to a pilot 5k time trial in Leeds and then further coerced to be on the start line of the inaugural a week later. To be truthful she hated running in those early years and had all the grace of a baby elephant in a stampede. It took her about 18 months to run the entire course without stopping and years later she went on to run the London marathon. On the 10th Anniversary of parkrun, Jaz celebrated by becoming the first woman of Indian heritage to achieve 250 parkruns.

Jaz joined the parkrun UK team in March 2014 and is responsible for all matters related to the management, development and welfare of staff and Ambassadors.

Favourite volunteering role
She loves being Funnel Manager and describes it as ‘a bit like being the traffic controller in an airport!’.

What does she loves about parkrun?
Jaz loves the courage and persistence of people whether it’s to just get to the start line; to finish the course; or to simply put one foot in front of the other. She says it really is a beautiful, heart­-warming, soul­-lifting experience.

 

Jo Sinton-­Hewitt ­- Event Support Manager - parkrunner A987

Joanne is the wife of the founder of parkrun so has lived with it from its birth! She mainly volunteered in the early days at Bushy and was on the very first volunteer team. Jo supports existing events in the UK including risk assessment updates and recording incidents.

Favourite volunteering role
Her favourite volunteering role is timer ­ she likes shouting encouragement to people as they near the finish line.

What does she love about parkrun?
She loves running with her dog, meeting new teams and visiting new courses.

 

Tom Williams ­- Managing Director - parkrunner A6013

In early 2007 Tom saw parkrun feature in a Runner’s World magazine and decided, along with a whole load of great people from the University of Leeds, that he’d like to bring it to Leeds. On August the 4th that year he took part in Bushy parkrun (or Bushy Park Time Trial as it was then) and two months later Leeds parkrun (or Hyde Park Time Trial) was born. The rest, as they say, is history.

Tom has been a volunteer since 2007 and a member of staff since 2011 and is responsible for guiding the overall strategy for parkrun UK whilst developing relationships with commercial partners and key stakeholders.

Favourite volunteering role
Timing... because he loves the thrill of the finish line! Every single emotion captured across one final glorious metre.

Fun fact
Tom hated running at school and didn’t take part in any form of timed run until he was 25!

 

Will Prentis -­ Special Projects Officer - parkrunner A228836

Will has been a frequent volunteer and parkrunner since January 2012. He has volunteered in a host of roles, including Run Directing at both Harrogate and Fountains Abbey parkrun. He joined the parkrun UK team in March 2014 and is responsible for internal information management, archiving stories and case studies, and undertakes special projects or specific tasks as they arise. He is currently a student at the University of Nottingham.

Favourite volunteering role
Barcode Scanning ­- it’s a fantastic opportunity to put a name to a face and have a chat with all finishers after they cross the line.

Donate

Building and maintaining the parkrun family of events costs money. Our goal is to ensure that every event we create is able to live forever. In order to ensure this, we set aside all the sponsorship income for this purpose. Sponsor income props up the organisation, ensures the technology is current and operational, provides for the few employees and offers some of the fantastic freebies that we have come to love, like the club tees and the Sweatshop monthly prizes etc.

To grow the parkrun family, we need additional income. We call this the NEW EVENT fund. Sometimes we are able to get councils to contribute to this fund however, there are still many events that cant afford the start up costs. We do not want to turn any new event away and this is why this fund has been created.

All donations to parkrun made here are deposited in the NEW EVENT fund.

To view the donations, please visit the donations page

Sign Up

Start running this weekend!

All parkruns are free but you must register in advance. Once registered with parkrun, you can participate in any of our events at any time without letting us know that you are coming. If you want to be a parkrunner, you will need to register once only. Help us to help you. All our events are free and organised by volunteers.

sign up for parkrun

Looking for your barcode?

If you have already registered, and are looking for your barcode, we can send you a link to your barcode by email.

Supporting clubs

Clubs are very welcome to use parkruns to recruit new members - more than half of parkrunners are unattached.

parkrun encourages and publicises local clubs at parkrun events through links on the parkrun event website and other ways. Our experience, with many examples, is that a local parkrun generates increased club members.

Contact the local parkrun event.

Supporting local races

Race organisers are very welcome to use parkruns to publicise their events, through links on parkrun websites and through publicity at events (with the advance permission of the parkrun event director, in case of local park bye-laws etc). Experience shows that events longer than 5k attract more runners if publicised at local parkruns. Contact the local parkrun event.

Our organisation

parkrun UK is a not-for-profit organisation, but has an interesting history as the parkrun idea grew from it's beginning's in London's Bushy park. We've put together an overview page which summarises our history, and the current organisation and Members' Board, which oversees the not-for-profit. parkrun.org.uk/aboutus/organisation