weekly newsletter 26 May 2016

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter Fitbit are looking forward to the weekend, Alzheimer’s Research UK say thank you, Intersport are making the most of longer days, there’s an invitation to Go Tri something new and Louise Osbourne feels terrific.

When I discovered that Carmarthen junior parkrun became both the 100th junior parkrun and the 500th parkrun to launch in the UK over the weekend, I felt compelled to share my family’s story about how both 2k and 5k parkrun has transformed our lives.

In late 2014 I was trying to find an inclusive running event for my daughter Edith, who was jealous that her big brother Dylan was running primary school cross-country. They both enjoyed running, but the opportunities seemed limited. Luckily, I found Rushcliffe junior parkrun.

Remembering that first event is painful. Not because we weren’t wholeheartedly welcomed or because the kids didn’t have a superb time. We couldn’t believe this free run was there every week. The different ages, shapes and speeds of the runners and walkers, all expertly supported by volunteers, was just fantastic.

The problem was, although I thought I could manage 2k at the pace of a five-year-old, I had been deluding myself at how unfit I was. I failed to keep up with Edith and an hour later I could still feel the burning tightness in my chest from my unsuccessful attempt to get around the course. I shouldn’t really have been surprised. I hadn’t done any exercise since school more than 20 years ago. Society seems to focus more on weight than fitness, and I was naturally slim, so I never bothered.

Once home, the kids excitedly scanned the results online and were clearly hooked. Luckily for me, I spotted a young man that had his running club listed as NHS C25K. Later that week, I started the NHS Couch to 5k programme and my love of running was born. I would use junior parkrun to do one of my weekly programme runs, with the volunteers giving me as much encouragement as the kids. A quick look around would reveal I wasn’t the only one attempting to run with my child in an attempt to get fit.

Seeing the impact it was having on me, my husband Oz also started to run. A few weeks later, Dylan and Oz ran the 5k event at Rushcliffe. Edith and I went along to watch. We all loved it. Within months, I started running the 5k and Edith started begging to run it too. I had tears in my eyes the first time she crossed the finishing line with everyone clapping and cheering her on.

Our next step was volunteering at the junior event. Starting your Sunday morning by high-five’ing little runners and seeing them so chuffed with themselves is really enjoyable. Edith also likes to tail run and this has given her extra confidence and taught her about taking responsibility.

Fast-forward a year and I can’t believe the difference in us as a family. The children both have their ultra wristbands and it is rare they miss a junior parkrun. They really look forward to seeing their parkrun friends every week. We all run the 5k once a month as a minimum and it is great to see friends there – old and new. Oz has joined a running club and recently travelled to Scotland to run an endurance event. I run three times a week, averaging 25 to 30k, and the impact on my wellbeing has been enormous. I sleep better, I eat better and I feel a much stronger person, both physically and mentally. I completed an obstacle race in April and have my sights on a half marathon in the not too distant future. I have even rectified a pre-running knee problem caused by gardening – who said running was bad for your knees?

Having a hobby that we can all share as a family really unites us. Most importantly, I know that as the children grow older we will still be united by our love of parkrun and continue to spend time together. We often tell our children how proud we are of them, but hearing them say they are proud of us when we get a PB or take part in running events is brilliant. I can never thank parkrun and the Rushcliffe parkrun family enough for the difference it has made to our lives.

Looking back, I knew I wasn’t fit but I thought I was ‘fine’. Ultimately, I was fooling myself. Most importantly, why settle for ‘fine’ when you could feel terrific and be part of something awesome!

Happy running,

Louise Osbourne
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longer weekend, lots more steps!


Weekends are great, aren’t they? You can catch up with friends and family, get outside and join in your local parkrun to get in your weekly Saturday 5k run.

So what could make a weekend even better? An extra day, that’s what.

This weekend we’ll enjoy a three day weekend thanks to the bank holiday on Monday. For those of us lucky enough to get the day off, that means we have 36 hours to play with. In that time you could:

* Fly to New York and back almost five times
* Climb up and down Ben Nevis six times
* Walk across London 10 times

Whatever you do, make the most of your free Monday and find your fit.

What will you do with your extra long weekend? Snap a Fitbit selfie and share with us on Twitter @FitbitUK - there are instructions how to take and share selfies using the Fitbit app on our blog here.

Have fun, and enjoy!

thank you parkrunners


We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has signed up to Running Down Dementia so far.

After less than two weeks, over 440 people have signed up from 190 parkruns across the country. You’ve run over 3,500k and raised nearly £8,000. What an incredible result!

There’s still a long way to go though. When there are 850,000 people living with dementia and over 1 million parkrunners in the UK, you really can make a huge difference.

Running Down Dementia challenges people to run 100k over the summer and raise £100. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do it now by heading to www.runningdowndementia.org.

Special thanks must go to our current top three fundraisers. At number three is five-year-old parkrunner India Mackie, who has already smashed the £100 target and has raised a brilliant £243. What an amazing achievement! She said:

“I've just started running. Sometimes I find it easy to run the 2k with my dad at Sunday parkrun and sometimes I don't. But I always feel good at the end (especially with an ice cream!).

“If I run 100k over summer, we will be raising money for research to help people remember the names of people they love, and also if they like peanut butter on their toast!”

Second spot goes to Tanya McKenzie-Gordon who’s reached an incredible £264. And our current leader is Nigel Saxon from Poole parkrun, who lost his mum to dementia six years ago. He’s raised an impressive £336 – and all in less than two weeks! Congratulations to all three.

You can find out more in this video and remember to keep us updated using the hashtag #RunningDownDementia.

Thank you parkrunners – together we can defeat dementia.

all kitted out for the longer days!


What’s not to love about the days getting longer? Everyone is happier, there is more time to do the things we love…and more opportunity to get outside and run!

As a proud partner of parkrun, we’re loving seeing so many people out and about keeping fit. Running is such a great sport as you can squeeze in a run before work or get some precious down-time in the evening with a run at sunset. Whenever you choose to run, the longer days make it so much easier.
If you’re pounding your local roads or enjoying the trails through your park a little more than usual, make sure you have the right kit. Pop into your local Intersport store (find your nearest store at www.intersport.co.uk, and we’ll check your gear and help you pick any new bits and pieces you may need for your summer running.

As always, we love hearing what you’re up to and we’ve got plenty of advice for all levels of runner. With another bank holiday weekend upon us, there’s no time like the present!

Remember to keep the pictures coming on Twitter @Intersport_UK#loveparkrun and make sure you like us on Facebook to keep up with what’s going on.

See you at your next parkrun.

Tri something new at Go Tri


Tri something new at GO TRI, coming to the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds on Saturday 11 June.

Swim, cycle and run yourself proud in a fun and relaxed environment at our beginner friendly GO TRI event in Roundhay Park. Costing just £10, anyone can take part and to make the event even more relaxed, you can sign up to one of our special start waves, so you can take part with like-minded people:

Platinum 50+: Because age doesn’t matter in GO TRI, this wave is for those that would like to take part with fellow evergreen participants.
Made in Leeds: Aimed at Leeds residents; those that are born and bred in the city and want to take part with other Leeds locals.
This Girl Can: Year on year female participation in triathlon is increasing and we’re proud to offer a women’s only wave at the event.
Relay: Don’t fancy taking on all three elements? Team up with one or two friends or family members and take on the course together.
Splash and Dash: Not got a bicycle? Fear not, you can still take part on the same course in our swim-run event.
Pedal and Plod: Swimming not your thing? Our pedal and plod wave is the perfect way to take part, whilst sticking to dry land.

Don’t fancy toeing the start line? We urge sports fans from across the country to come along and cheer on Britain’s leading triathletes in their last race on home soil ahead of Rio.

Following in the footsteps of the unforgettable 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ in Leeds and Yorkshire, the event will see home heroes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee battle it out, as well as local lasses Non Stanford and Vicky Holland.

Contested over the Olympic distance with a technical, city centre-based bike course, the race is guaranteed to deliver a thrilling showcase of endurance and strategy in front of thousands of Leeds’ sports-loving residents, creating a unique Yorkshire atmosphere lining the course.

Find out more and enter the GO TRI event now at leeds.triathlon.org.

parkrun population


Here are this week’s summary statistics for parkrun UK (including junior parkrun)

Number of parkrunners – 96,947
Number of volunteers – 9,095
Number of first timers – 8,336
Number of PBs – 18,526

random stat of the week


An incredible 89% of people who buy a parkrun performance t-shirt are customising them. Which event would you put on yours... James went for Winchester!

Picture Credit: Ulen Neale - Abingdon parkrun

feedback from the field


Let us know if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners


I was baptised into the parkrun world back in 2010 in the dreamy meadows of Norman Park, Bromley, and since then my parents, four brothers and I have completed 768 runs between us. Last weekend I was proud to be the first Brit ever to make the voyage to parkrun Chelyabinsk, so far the only parkrun in Siberia, Russia. The pilgrimage from where I am currently studying in Novosibirsk was a round trip of almost 3,000k, including two 22hr overnight trains, taking me through Kazakhstan and across the vast Steppe to the Urals. Good thing I didn't forget my barcode!
James Perry


I registered for parkrun many months ago but could not find the courage to go believing I would be last. Finally I went along to York parkrun and met a very friendly bunch of people. It did not matter if I was slow or had to stop occasionally. Having started running at 62 I enjoyed a good number of years running then got injured and thought that at my age – I’ll be 80 next week – I could not start again! Although I have only run in two of them to date parkrun has given me the confidence to go out and run during the week. I am now running nearly four miles without stopping and I hope to be there every week from now on.
Jeannie Snelling


I just wanted to make you aware of an example of ‘parkrun dedication’. Susan Munro – A2113546 and a member of the Walney Wind Cheetahs running group – runs at Barrow parkrun. On Saturday 21 May she turned up with her partner, Martin Clarkson, who paced her to a new PB of 30:38. This was Susan's eighth PB from 13 outings. Nothing too unusual in that except they then dashed off to get married. They had kept the wedding a secret from all but close family so it was a pleasant surprise to all their fellow runners who I am sure would like to wish Susan and Martin a long and happy marriage with lots more PBs in the future.
Ian Jones


My 14-year-old son is currently progressing through his first stage Duke of Edinburgh assessment, and for one of his tasks he has been volunteering at Fulham Palace parkrun. I would only have expected a positive experience, but I have been so struck by the inclusion and friendly encouragement that Fergus has received from the regular Run Directors and all the other volunteers. Without exception, everyone has been so friendly and marvellously encouraging, giving Fergus the experience of nearly every role and affording him the opportunity to engage and encourage many runners. He's coming to the end of his 'official' period of volunteering now, but I am certain that he will continue to volunteer from time to time going forward. Thank you parkrun!
Alistair Henderson


An unbelievably positive first parkrun for our family - originally planned as dad and daughter time, we also managed to get my son up and ready as well. Adam has Down’s syndrome, and as a part of that very low muscle tone which means that at nine he's still unable to walk. We brought his walking frame along and to our amazement he smashed out the whole 2k. I'm always proud of all my children, but even more so today. Massive thanks to all at Weston-super-Mare junior parkrun who encouraged us all the whole way round, and made it so wonderful for him especially (and I’m sure all the other children too).
Derek Almond


This is Andy and Helen Lane. Although now they prefer to be parkrun tourists, the Lanes are parkrun royalty at Brueton Park and their 'Squirrel Army' are always in full attendance when they visit. They have supported me and others during times of injury and when we lack motivation. They are two of the most positive people I know and their enthusiasm is infectious.
Sadia Butt


At Medina, IOW parkrun last Saturday our dedicated Run Director, Ray, announced that we had ‘pacers’ and that if we hoped to attain a particular time we should run closely behind them. This was a new experience for me. I'd a very tiring week and felt I had no hope of running well but set off behind ‘31’ and thought I'd stay with him until I tired. I did not expect the encouragement and kindness the pacer showed me all the way through to the finish in 30:51. I realised that in the true spirit of parkrun, all the runners who acted as pacers were faster runners who had given their time that day to help the slower runners try to improve. Thank you, Dave, and all the other pacers and a big thank you for providing a superb weekly event to the volunteer organisers of Medina parkrun, and all who volunteer to help.
Jenny Mitchell


Seven years ago life was difficult – my mum and brother had just died, my dad was dying and I had just had a mastectomy. I decided that I needed to get my head sorted and so took up running and discovered parkrun. The sense of community and support is tangible every Saturday at Arrow Valley parkrun in Redditch and I love it. I now have a 50 shirt and three weeks ago in Rome, with enormous pride, I ran along the river and up to St Peter's wearing that shirt. I went into the Basilica thinking what a long way I have come in those seven years, and a lot of that progress was made because of parkrun – so thank you Arrow Valley parkrun.
Clare Carmen


Following on from last week’s Fitbit column in the newsletter about staying active in pregnancy, I thought this photo was quite appropriate (if a little blurry). Six parkrunners (work it out!) running together at Yeovil Montacute last week. Must be something in the Somerset air!
Matthew Warr

Picture Credit: Mark Pollard

It was great reading Ron Hill's article in the newsletter recently. parkrunners will be interested to know that back in 1982 and 1983 Ron ran the Bahrain Marathon - coming second in 1982 and winning in 1983 in an all-comers record of 2 hours 25 minutes 25 seconds . That record was only broken in February this year when the winner Abdulaziz Alhsine, a Moroccan based in Bahrain, ran 2 hours 21 minutes and 3 seconds. I lived and ran in Bahrain for 20 years and on returning to UK started my parkrunning at Cheltenham last year. There are still plenty of runners in Bahrain who remember Ron running in Bahrain.
Rob Grey

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Jason Watson-Usher

Club:  Valley Striders AC

Age:  41

Home parkrun:  Roundhay

Occupation:  Service Management Practitioner

Number of runs:  13

Favourite volunteer role:  Run Director

What do you do at parkruns:  I've been the Volunteer Coordinator at Roundhay parkrun for a year now. Each week, I send an appeal email, correspond with volunteers and prepare for the event. At 8:30 on Saturdays my wife, daughter and I arrive at the park where I meet the volunteers to help get everyone ready. I try to get involved with ‘behind the scenes’ aspects too by being an active member of the committee, where I'm fortunate enough to be part of an amazing team of people who work extremely hard to make our parkrun the best it can be every single week.

How has parkrun changed your running:  Running was not something that had ever interested me, so I started late in life – on my 37th birthday in May 2012. However, the moment I completed that first run of 200 metres, I was hooked! It wasn't until January 2013 whilst training for the Paris Marathon that I was introduced to parkrun and the joy that it provides to so many wonderful people. A back operation in July of 2013 sadly meant that I've not been able to run since, so I've devoted my time to volunteering. I have an ambition to run Roundhay parkrun again.

What do you like about parkrun:  What is there not to like? I love absolutely everything about parkrun! The happiness it brings to us in enhancing our mental well-being, this life-changing and potentially lifesaving event with a positive impact on our health. It enables people from every walk of life to get actively moving together and helping people recognise a fitter lifestyle. I love that it helps make friendships and I love that it's inclusive and accessible to everyone. parkrun has changed my family's life and I can't wait for my little girl to print off her first barcode in 2019.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  When you get a group of remarkable people together, which is what parkrun has enabled, there are so many memorable and funny moments. For me the most memorable and personal moment was watching a sea of both male and female parkrunners with cushions for 'bumps' parkrunning in support of my wife who completed Roundhay parkrun on her due date – only to go into labour the following day. As for funny? The time that Dave Weight popped the birthday balloons without realising they hadn't been given to the lady whose birthday it was yet!

reminders

the parkrun store

barcode reminder

barcode

Printed barcodes are used at all parkrun events to record your result. No barcode, no time, no exception. To retrieve and print your barcode, click here. To order a barcode wristband, which can also include your name, emergency contact details, and any medical conditions, please follow this link.
Don't forget your barcode #dfyb

children at parkrun

We welcome children at parkrun. Please note that those under the age of 11 must be within arm's reach of a parent, guardian or designated adult of the parents' choice whilst attending 5k parkrun events. Children aged 4 to 14 can run unaccompanied at our junior parkrun events.

You can read the latest junior parkrun newsletter here.

volunteering at parkrun

Every event relies on volunteers and in 2015 alone more than 68,000 of you came forward to support the parkrun community. Volunteering is a wonderful way to make friends, feel great and have fun. If that sounds like it's for you please contact your local event team and get involved.

cancellations

For cancellations please check your event’s news page for the most up to date information.

all questions answered

Do you have a question about parkrun? How do I collect my club t-shirt? How do I get my barcode? All your questions are answered on our brand new support site.

official charity partner

Alzheimer's Research UK

our sponsors

Vitality investing in parkrun
Changing health and life insurance for good.

Vitality is insurance that rewards you for being healthy. It's there to protect you when things go wrong unexpectedly but it's also there to help you lead a healthier life - meaning you don't have to claim to be able to benefit. If you keep well, then you're less likely to claim. That means it costs us less to look after you. We think that if we're saving money, you should benefit from that. So as you get healthier, we offer you discounts to encourage you to be healthy, rewards to keep you motivated and to help you rest and relax, and cashback so you've got more money to spend on doing things you love. Find out more about Vitality

Intersport. Sport to the people
Sport to the people

parkrun has been a key player in promoting running as an accessible participation sport to the expanding community of runners. The parkrun model of local volunteers delivering weekly runs to people of all ages and abilities in their local community fits perfectly with the Intersport philosophy of bringing sport to the people. Together we look forward to encouraging more people to get their running shoes on. Find out more about Intersport

Fitbit Blaze

our supporters

London Marathon supporting parkrun
Inspiring runners of all levels

For information on all events organised by the London Marathon, please visit london-marathon.co.uk


aql supporting parkrun
Delivering your results earlier

For information on the company powering the mobile messaging, please visit aql.com


3 supporting parkrun
Connecting parkrunners everywhere

For information on the mobile communications company, please visit three.co.uk


Duke of Edinburgh's Award supporting parkrun
The world’s leading achievement award for young people

For more information on The Duke of Edinburgh's Award please visit dofe.org


 

500 and counting

It was a bit of a surprise when I recently got a phone call saying that Carmarthen juniors, due to launch on the 22nd May, would be the 500th parkrun event in the UK and also the 100th junior event - no pressure for my first activation then!

In keeping with the ethos of parkrun this milestone event was fairly low key.  The local council issued a press release a few days before we started which generated a late surge of registrations and gave us a total of 59 juniors registered with Carmarthen junior parkrun as their home event before Sunday - but aside from that word of mouth once again proved to be the best form of publicity. It meant that we could focus on the most important thing - ensuring the children who turned up to run were given a fantastic inaugural event.

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Carmarthen is a town in West Wales - and as everyone knows the sun always shines in West Wales! It wasn't looking positive up to 30 mins before the start when the rain was still bouncing off the pavement but the weather man was smiling down on us and the sun came out just before we started. An enthusiastic warm up ensued and then they were off.

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65 children in total (and a few parents) superbly marshalled round the two lap course by 20 eager volunteers. There were high fives on the newly named ‘high five hill’, splashes through puddles and lots and lots of smiles.  Frank Morgan was the first person over the line at Carmarthen juniors to be greeted at the finish line by his Dad Jake handing out the finish tokens. That's one of the things that makes parkrun so special, it's a family affair.

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An inaugural wouldn't be an inaugural without a minor panic. A scanner issue (always scan the athlete barcode first!) took a few minutes to resolve and we somehow had more times than finishers - but a coffee and a breakfast in the park café soon helped calm any nerves! And then we were done - Carmarthen junior parkrun's first event complete.

And the 500th UK parkrun was successfully launched!

A huge thank you to the new Event Director, Andrea Brabrook, her two fellow Run Directors, Dafydd Bowen and Lisa Forrest, and the rest of the team of marshals who have worked so hard to get the event live. They would love your support as a volunteer whenever you can manage it.

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Also thanks to Sport Wales for their ongoing funding and to Carmarthenshire council sport and leisure for their support.

'Til next time

Andy Sutton

parkrun Ambassador

andy sutton

 

weekly newsletter 19 May 2016

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter Intersport make flapjacks, Fitbit take baby steps, Alzheimer’s Research UK challenge us, parkrun UK is recognised at the Women’s Sport Trust Awards, we pass the magic million, and Mel Handford from the National Trust celebrates some amazing volunteers.

The National Trust has been hosting a parkrun at Fell Foot in the Lake District since October 2014. It’s one of 25 5k parkruns and two junior parkruns that currently take place on National Trust properties across the UK.

Fell Foot parkrun is a popular event on the beautiful shoreline of lower Lake Windermere, with an average weekly attendance of 130 runners and walkers. Since the beginning we’ve been very fortunate to have a great team of volunteers helping to coordinate the event, including Ron Eadington who took the helm as event director early on.

Ron and his family (already National Trust members) live only 15 minutes from Fell Foot. “It’s a great place to relax and the views are fabulous. You can watch your family swim and play in a safe environment. It also has the required playground as well! Even now that the family is grown up, it is a great spot for a stroll around the meadow and park with superb views and then a lovely cup of coffee.

Since retiring in 2010, Ron began running more regularly and joined Barrow parkrun, reaching the 50 Club in 2014. “As we live in South Cumbria, the views of the fells and Morecambe Bay make running such a pleasure and relaxing. Whilst I enjoy running on my own it is always good to have the ‘buzz’ of fellow parkrunners.

Having already volunteered with the National Trust since 2010, we quickly spotted Ron’s enthusiasm for running and involved him at an early stage in setting up Fell Foot parkrun. He then went on to become the event director by the end of 2014. In December 2015, disaster struck when Fell Foot was badly flooded and the event had to be cancelled for nine weeks. Ron played a key part in the clear-up operation by supporting the property staff, which included clearing debris and mending washed-out footpaths so that parkrun could continue. He is now a regular outdoor volunteer there and clearly enjoys his role too!

It’s great being able to work alongside other volunteers and the rangers. It brings friendship and we share the same aim, which is to help maintain and improve the park for others whilst enjoying ourselves. At the end of the day we are satisfied with a job well done. The camaraderie which is within the volunteer group is similar to that which parkrun generates. It is a community of very diverse people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, who also volunteer and can get more out of it than they put in.

We are hugely grateful to all of our parkrun volunteers, runners and walkers, who have been supporting us since the first parkrun on a National Trust property was launched at Killerton in Devon, way back in April 2011. All the volunteering hours and cakes consumed in our cafés help us to carry out vital conservation work, keeping our paths and outdoor spaces maintained for everyone to enjoy.

Mel Handford
National Trust Sports Partnership Manager

If you are interested in volunteering for the National Trust, take a look at their website for more information.

Photos courtesy of Steve Barber

flapjacks for parkrunners in Bath


You probably know that Intersport has got more than 200 associated retailers all over the UK, all sharing the same purpose – to bring Sport to the People.

Sometimes they bring more than Sport to the People, like Intersport John Moore Sports in Bath did at their recent parkrun! It seems like the team at John Moore Sports are not just experts when it comes to advising which running shoes are best for your style, but they are also pretty good at baking! They showed their support for their local parkrun by turning up at Bath Skyline parkrun with plenty of home-made flapjacks and energy balls, impressing parkrunners and volunteers.

‘Seriously yummy’ and ‘utterly delicious’ were just some of the appreciative words heard from parkrunners as they were enjoying a treat after the run.

We can’t promise flapjacks in our stores, but if you need any help with kit or general advice about all things running you know where to come. Find your nearest store at www.intersport.co.uk.

Remember to keep the pictures coming on Twitter @Intersport_UK#loveparkrun and make sure you like us on Facebook to keep up with what’s going on.

See you at your next parkrun.

taking baby steps with Fitbit


You’re expecting – congratulations!

Although pregnancy is a time to take it easy, it doesn’t mean you should give up getting active altogether. In fact, mums-to-be that move are less likely to experience problems later in pregnancy and during labour.

So what are the rules to staying fit for two? The main thing to remember is not to overdo it – try starting with no more than 15 minutes of continuous exercise three times a week, which you can gradually increase to 30 minutes.

If you don’t fancy a full workout try a daily walk or a swim – the water will support your extra weight. What’s most important is that you’re comfortable.

There are some activities you should avoid to keep you and your baby safe, such as contact sports, exercises where you lay flat on your back or working out over 2,500m above sea level. Read our blog in full for more dos and donts of working out with a bump.

Keep track of your efforts with Fitbit – its sleep tracking feature will also make sure you’re getting the rest you need as a mum-to-be. Click here to shop with an exclusive parkrun discount.

running down dementia


We hope all of you have heard the news of Alzheimer’s Research UK’s exciting new initiative, Running Down Dementia.

More than 200 of you have already signed up, which is a fantastic result after just a few days.

To help us beat dementia sooner, we’re asking all of the one million parkrunners across the country if they’ll join us in this latest running challenge to help the 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK.

All you have to do is pledge to raise £100 for Alzheimer’s Research UK, connect your tracking app and clock up 100km by the end of September.

In less than a week our leaderboard already shows the parkrun HQ staff have stormed ahead with more than 134k already completed. What an unbelievable result!

The challenge has just started, so there’s no better time to come together with the rest of your local parkrunners and battle for the top spot.

Jo Thirkill, from Killerton parkrun in Exeter, is in the lead as the most successful fundraiser so far. She’s already smashed her £100 target by raising an amazing £127.14.

Get started now by signing up at www.runningdowndementia.org. And keep us updated on all of your runs using #RunningDownDementia.

Women’s Sport Trust Award


We are thrilled to announce that parkrun UK has been voted the winner of the ‘National Inspiring Initiative’ category at the 2016 Women’s Sport Trust Awards. The award, decided by a public vote, recognises a high profile national initiative that is having a significant impact on progressing sport for women and girls across the country and increasing its appeal.

Thank you to everyone who voted for us! You can read more about the award here.

#1MillionStories


Last week we passed another major milestone – more than one million people have now crossed the finish line at a parkrun in the UK. Thank you to everyone who shared their parkrun photos and experiences with us on social media using the #1MillionStories hashtag – please keep them coming!

In case you missed it, the announcement was featured on the BBC News.

parkrun population


Here are this week’s summary statistics for parkrun UK (including junior parkrun)

Number of parkrunners – 103,093
Number of volunteers – 9,142
Number of first-timers – 8,758
Number of PBs – 25,629

random stat of the week


The tail runner volunteer position has been filled exactly 50,000 times, with 19,999 people taking on the role. Thanks to them all for their support and encouragement!

feedback from the field


Let us know if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners


parkrun in Cuerden Valley means a lot of things to a lot of people. This week our ‪#‎1MillionStories‬ is about never giving up! Karl Michael Hodgson, our usual first finisher, was tail running with Damian Thomas who returned to the valley after some time away. parkrun is about never giving up for these two – we had an amazing event showcasing true determination, camaraderie and sportsmanship.
Pita Nadine


All the regulars know David, one of the most 'senior' runners at Old Deer Park. He's attended almost every week, even if he only runs one or two laps of the three. It was great that so many people came back and ran the last lap with him to celebrate his 100th (three lap) parkrun – it really typifies the parkrun ethos. I was really lucky that I could do my 100 at the same time and share the occasion. He is such a great inspiration to us all. As for me, I can calculate the total kilometres I've run in my whole life – 100 x 5km parkruns, one 5km Race for Life and two 10km events. A total of 525km, with 95% being at parkrun!
Sue Childs


parkrun has helped me come from a dark, horrible place in my life. I came back from being technically dead from an overdose just over a year ago, and now I smile and see a future. parkrun has been one massive life-saver, not just in my health and mental state but also creating lots of friends and being able to be open. I owe more than a million thank yous to parkrun.
Rashid Webb-Tunnacliffe


I was first introduced to parkrun two years ago by my partner. The kids and I would go along to cheer on daddy and a few friends and eventually we decided to give it a go ourselves. Neither me nor the children had done much running before but we were soon hooked. My youngest started off in the buggy, but would get out farther and farther from the finish each time and run to the end. Now he is four years old and has just completed his 30th parkrun under his own steam! Through parkrun we have made so many friends and given my children so much confidence. I love how it gives us a place for quality family time with a lot of laughter and support. There is nowhere else I'd rather be on a Saturday morning, no matter what the weather!
Emma Scrace


Here's a photo of what parkrun means to me… family. It started out with just my sister, but not long after, I joined her. We got to around 50 parkruns before we could tempt anyone else in the family to join us and over the past two years we have grown to this (and there are still a few of the family missing!)
Sarah Hardy

parkrunner of the week


If you feel somebody at a parkrun should feature as our parkrunner of the week, please get them to fill out this handy online form - you can even apply yourself!

Name:  Lynne Sibbald

Club:  None

Age:  46

Home parkrun:  Burnley

Occupation:  Book keeper

Number of runs:  49

Favourite volunteer role:  Marshal

What do you do at parkruns:  Try my very best!

How has parkrun changed your running:  I never used to run, and can't actually run far. My friend asked me to join her back in February 2014 and I agreed to come along to encourage her. I can only run with the encouragement of all the marshals and volunteers. I haven't had a PB since November 2014 and in March of last year I broke my foot, so was four months without running. I seem to now be getting slower each week, but will keep trying until I get another PB!

What do you like about parkrun:  The biggest thing has got to be the encouragement from everyone. I wouldn't be able to 'run' the distance without it. I always try to keep a little something for the finish, but sometimes it's in my head and not in my legs!

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Our 100th parkrun dressed in camouflage outfit, tutu and hat, which came in handy as it was pouring with rain. We did the course backwards which I also enjoyed.

reminders

the parkrun store

barcode reminder

barcode

Printed barcodes are used at all parkrun events to record your result. No barcode, no time, no exception. To retrieve and print your barcode, click here. To order a barcode wristband, which can also include your name, emergency contact details, and any medical conditions, please follow this link.
Don't forget your barcode #dfyb

children at parkrun

We welcome children at parkrun. Please note that those under the age of 11 must be within arm's reach of a parent, guardian or designated adult of the parents' choice whilst attending 5k parkrun events. Children aged 4 to 14 can run unaccompanied at our junior parkrun events.

You can read the latest junior parkrun newsletter here.

volunteering at parkrun

Every event relies on volunteers and in 2015 alone more than 68,000 of you came forward to support the parkrun community. Volunteering is a wonderful way to make friends, feel great and have fun. If that sounds like it's for you please contact your local event team and get involved.

cancellations

For cancellations please check your event’s news page for the most up to date information.

all questions answered

Do you have a question about parkrun? How do I collect my club t-shirt? How do I get my barcode? All your questions are answered on our brand new support site.

official charity partner

Alzheimer's Research UK

our sponsors

Vitality investing in parkrun
Changing health and life insurance for good.

Vitality is insurance that rewards you for being healthy. It's there to protect you when things go wrong unexpectedly but it's also there to help you lead a healthier life - meaning you don't have to claim to be able to benefit. If you keep well, then you're less likely to claim. That means it costs us less to look after you. We think that if we're saving money, you should benefit from that. So as you get healthier, we offer you discounts to encourage you to be healthy, rewards to keep you motivated and to help you rest and relax, and cashback so you've got more money to spend on doing things you love. Find out more about Vitality

Intersport. Sport to the people
Sport to the people

parkrun has been a key player in promoting running as an accessible participation sport to the expanding community of runners. The parkrun model of local volunteers delivering weekly runs to people of all ages and abilities in their local community fits perfectly with the Intersport philosophy of bringing sport to the people. Together we look forward to encouraging more people to get their running shoes on. Find out more about Intersport

Fitbit Blaze

our supporters

London Marathon supporting parkrun
Inspiring runners of all levels

For information on all events organised by the London Marathon, please visit london-marathon.co.uk


aql supporting parkrun
Delivering your results earlier

For information on the company powering the mobile messaging, please visit aql.com


3 supporting parkrun
Connecting parkrunners everywhere

For information on the mobile communications company, please visit three.co.uk


Duke of Edinburgh's Award supporting parkrun
The world’s leading achievement award for young people

For more information on The Duke of Edinburgh's Award please visit dofe.org


 

parkrun voted ‘National Inspiring Initiative’ at Women’s Sport Awards

We are thrilled to announce that parkrun UK has been voted the winner of the ‘National Inspiring Initiative’ category at the 2016 Women’s Sport Trust Awards.

The award, decided by a public vote, recognises a high profile national initiative that is having a significant impact on progressing sport for women and girls across the country and increasing its appeal.

credit_Georgia_Kees

In accepting the #BeAGameChanger Award, Head of Event Delivery for parkrun UK Helen Hood said:

"parkrun is going from strength to strength in breaking down the barriers to regular exercise. More than 50% of people completing their first parkrun so far this year have been female, and there are now more women than men registered with us in the UK.

“The non-competitive nature and friendly atmosphere of our events, which welcome runners and walkers of all ages and abilities, creates an ideal starting point for women and girls who are looking for a way to embrace a healthier and happier lifestyle. You only need to register once online, and then your barcode becomes your passport to parkrun at a free community event whenever you feel like taking part.

“There is a strong social aspect because parkruns are coordinated entirely by local volunteers, and everyone is encouraged to meet for tea or coffee after each event. As a result, parkrun has been particularly successful in building communities and friendships that extend well beyond a Saturday morning.”

The awards are organised by The Women’s Sport Trust, a charity that raises the visibility and increases the impact of women’s sport through the promotion of role models, increasing media coverage and improving funding.

 

girls, girls, girls

Last Thursday I was honoured to attend the Women’s Sport Trust #BeAGameChanger Awards 2016 in London, and I was absolutely delighted - and a little nervous - to be invited onto the stage to collect the award for ‘National Inspiring Initiative’ on behalf of parkrun UK.

#loveparkrundress

I’m so glad I wore my #loveparkrun dress!

The award was voted for by the general public – thanks to everyone who voted for us - and was defined as ‘a high profile national initiative that has a significant impact on progressing women’s sport in the UK. This major project imaginatively showed how to realise and increase the appeal of women’s sport’.

From the outset, parkrun has been thoroughly inclusive and that remains one of our principle aims. There are now more women registered for parkrun than men in the UK, and more than 50% of parkrunners completing their first 5k this year were female. So how do the stats stand up at junior parkrun?

Gedders girls
At our 5k parkruns 41% of performances have been by females, which is on a long-term upward trend, and at junior parkrun girls have an even higher share, with 46% of all 2k parkrun performances so far being by girls aged 4 to 14.

girls running
And it’s not just about the run, jog, walk either… 46% of all UK volunteers are female at our 5k events, and they make up a pretty impressive 54% of the volunteers on ‘parkrundaysunday’.

RD/ED
More than half of the Event Directors of our junior parkrun events around the UK are women too – providing brilliant role models for our girls… and our boys!

RD/ED
Today we’ve contacted just over 193,000 women in the UK who have registered with us and not yet taken part, to share the great news about this prestigious award and to encourage them to join us at a parkrun sometime soon.

Let’s hope they do just that and bring their entire family along too – parkrun is for everyone #loveparkrun

Helen

Thanks to Bruce Li and Olivia Deacon for a couple of the photographs.

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