welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s newsletter PruHealth with Vitality reveal their faces, Sweatshop open up, Join In kick off, Leeds Met Uni study your apps, Alister welcomes England’s most northern parkrun and I have a special message to share with you.
I’d like to say thank you for all the amazing messages of support following last week’s note about the Club t-shirts. It took me four years to get to my 50 Club t-shirt and receiving it was one of my proudest moments, so I truly understand how disappointing these delays are for many of you. The positive response was overwhelming both in terms of offers of help and simple messages of support. Thank you.
Moving on, you’ll see from their article below that once again we are working with Join In to promote volunteering at parkrun, specifically around bringing a ‘plus one’. We believe that joining your parkrun volunteer team is as life changing (if not more) than running at parkrun. That’s certainly the case for me, so we’re keen to encourage as many parkrunners as possible to get involved. At the moment around 11% of parkrunners volunteer during the year so if you’re one of those 89% yet to give it a go perhaps Eddie Izzard’s special message might be the motivation you need. Having said that, many of you might prefer his alternative offer.
As always we understand there are many reasons why people choose to run and/or volunteer, and we will always respect those, but if Eddie’s inspired you to give it a go then please visit parkrun.org.uk/howtovolunteer and sign up.
Thanks for your parkrun passion,
P.S. You can read this week’s junior parkrun newsletter here.
Faces of Vitality Oxford Half Marathon
A big congratulations to our two chosen Faces of Vitality Oxford Half Marathon:
- Frances Alcock (A209275) - looking to triumph another life challenge with a half marathon
- Simon Hodkin (A157157) - a long term running advocate looking to concentrating his efforts on the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon
We would like to say a huge thank you to all those parkrunners who entered to become the Face of Vitality Oxford Half Marathon. It was great to see so many parkrunners eager to step up to this challenge! Although we could only choose two winners, PruHealth with Vitality would love to see you all reach your own personal goals, so we will be offering all competition entrants a free entry into the run! We will be in touch shortly with further information.
We will be following both Frances and Simon on their journey to completing the 21.1k run through weekly blogs and video/photography updates. PruHealth with Vitality will share their stories to inspire you to step up to future half marathon challenges.
Stayed tuned for next week’s newsletter, featuring our first update from our Faces of Vitality Oxford Half Marathon, Frances and Simon!
The Vitality Oxford Half Marathon is part of the Vitality Run Series, a new running series featuring eight of the UK’s most exciting running events, brought to you by PruHealth with Vitality. Get active and take on a new challenge - run one, run two or run all six remaining races in the Series. Find out more at vitality.co.uk.
Sweatshop opens in Bournemouth this weekend
Sweatshop, the nation’s favourite running retailer, opens in Bournemouth on Friday the 15th of August. We’re delighted to be opening in Bournemouth and will also open early September in Peterborough and there are more new stores planned for the autumn. So watch this space!
Come run with us across the country as well as in Bournemouth, you can see the Sweatshop Running Community pounding the streets as part of our free weekly running groups. These runs operate across all of our stores during the week so they’re a great way to get another 5k run in between parkruns.
Free of charge and with rewards for running, we cater for all abilities with groups led by qualified Run England run leaders and after five runs you’ll get a free technical running t-shirt too. Members also benefit from special training events, talks and product previews. Join us here.
Join In kick off ‘parkrun plus one’
The Join In Summer Relay - a nationwide push to put more volunteers into community sport with ITV - kicked off in style at Glasgow’s Tollcross parkrun.
The event was the first in a nationwide grassroots sport tour from Glasgow to London, organised by London 2012 legacy charity Join In to get 100,000 new volunteers taking part in community sport.
It also marked the start of our ‘plus one’ series - an initiative designed to encourage runners and volunteers to bring a friend to help out at their local parkrun. Join In Director of Sport and former 5k World Record holder David Moorcroft took up the challenge, bringing Scottish middle distance legend Liz McColgan to the Tollcross event as his ‘plus one’.
Liz was clearly impressed by the event, saying “It’s great to be part of the first leg of the Join In Summer Relay in Glasgow, right after the Commonwealth Games. Every successful sports person has volunteers who help them. It was certainly the case with me, so it’s great to give something back and there’s no better place to do that than at a parkrun.”
Watch out for news of more parkrun events in the Join In Summer Relay. Meanwhile if you’d like to help a sports club near you simply log onto www.joininuk.org and click ‘I want to help’.
do Couch to 5k running apps work?
Researchers at Leeds Metropolitan University are looking into the effectiveness of the Couch to 5k running apps. They would like to offer parkrun participants the opportunity to complete a short online survey if they have:
- in the past used a Couch to 5k app
- are currently using a Couch to 5k app
- downloaded but not yet started using a Couch to 5k app
The survey will ask you about your experiences of using the app, the reasons why you chose to use an app as a running guide and some questions about any changes you may have made to your lifestyle since downloading the app.
Why are they doing this research?
Over recent years there has been a rise of mobile phone apps to track, motivate and guide users through physical activity. There is currently very little evidence exploring how well these apps actually work in helping users increase their fitness and activity levels. Study participants would therefore be part of the first study of its kind exploring the effectiveness of one of the most popular apps on the market.
It is anticipated that results from this study can help inform public health strategies for cost effective ways to encourage mass participation in physical activity. Gaining insight into what users think to the app and why they use it is crucial information for this to happen. The online survey takes around five minutes to complete and guides you through each stage.
If you would like to take part in this survey please follow this link. You can also follow the research team on Facebook and Twitter.
Here are this week’s summary statistics for parkrun UK:
Number of runners - 48,212
Number of volunteers - 4,058
Number of first timers - 8,055
Number of PBs - 9,143
Please check your event's news pages for the most up to date information.
Cancellations this weekend:
- Burgess parkrun due to another event taking place in the park.
- Cannon Hill parkrun due to Eid celebrations in the park.
- Clumber Park parkrun due to another event taking place in the park.
- Forest Rec parkrun due to the Nottingham Carnival using the park.
- Huntingdon parkrun due to another event taking place in the park.
- Old Deer Park parkrun due to another event taking place in the park.
- Ormeau parkrun due to a music event being held in the park.
- Preston parkrun due to the vintage car fair.
- Redcar parkrun due to another event taking place in the park.
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
Hi parkrun UK
I would like to tell you about my best friend who is an absolute star! Lynne Durman was born after difficulties resulting in a weak side to her body. That however has never stopped her in life. We were a mean defensive duo on the hockey pitch and she has also learnt to ride after watching myself and her beautiful daughter Sophie for years from the sidelines. Unfortunately with the mobility issues that Lynne experiences means her gait is not one conclusive to a smooth running style and causes mountains of blisters and injuries. However after completing her first parkrun at Longrun Meadow in Taunton last week I would like to tell the world how very proud I am of her and happy birthday for last week Lynne!
Hi parkrun UK
Just thought I would give a bit of feedback about one of Burgess parkrun's regular volunteers, Lloyd Clater. Lloyd had volunteered as usual at Burgess parkrun the other week and when he was on the way back through the park came across a black plastic bag that appeared to be meowing! On further investigation it turned out to contain a little black kitten, which was clearly scared and very hungry. Wondering what to do he visited one of his friends nearby who kindly offered to look after it. It has now been checked out by the vet and is settling well into its new home. Which just goes to show what a lovely, resourceful bunch parkrun volunteers are.
Hi parkrun UK
I started running at Preston parkrun and was surprised to see so many people taking part. I had heard that there was also a parkrun at Cuerden Valley, however its reputation of undulations and being referred to locally as ‘Lancashire tough’ had initially put me off. However, I decided to brave the Valley's undulations and now have 28 parkruns in total to my name, setting 17 PB's along the way. At the forthcoming Cuerden Valley parkrun I hope to be running with three generations of my family for the first time. Special thanks to all the volunteers without whom my Saturday mornings wouldn't be the same.
Hi parkrun UK
Ever since I started parkrun in September I have been raving to everyone about it, the wonderful people I have met and how my life has been transformed in so many ways. Imagine my surprise last week when I found out I had been awarded the Sweatshop Monthly Prize for July at Shrewsbury parkrun. I love running at and volunteering at parkrun and I still can't get over the fact that I am being given a free pair of running shoes for doing something I love. parkrun has given me so much and I am immensely grateful.
Hi parkrun UK
This past Saturday I turned 11 years old and to celebrate this I ran at my home event of Hackworth parkrun and managed to run a course record for the JW11-14 category. It became my 11th parkrun junior record on my 11th Birthday. I found the toughest parkrun to be Gibside and my fastest parkrun was at Newcastle with 21:13. I love running and I love parkrun.
parkrunner of the week
Name: Louise Dale-Hughes
Club: Smiley Paces
Home parkrun: Sheffield Hallam
Occupation: Civil Servant
Number of runs: 109
Favourite volunteer role: First Timers brief
What do you do at parkruns: When I am not running I try to volunteer each week. Position tokens is one of my usual positions and providing the 'First Timers brief' is where I introduce myself as "The Loud One”. I also became a Run Director this year with our regular timer Derek Simpson.
How has parkrun changed your running: It hasn't so much as changed my running but more mine and my hubby Alan's life. The people at Sheffield Hallam parkrun are an amazing, friendly bunch. The number of friends I have made over the last four years has been amazing. Saturday mornings are not the same if I can't get my 9am fix.
What do you like about parkrun: I like that parkrun is for anyone regardless of age, size, gender, ability, with prams or without, with dogs or without (on a lead of course). I enjoy cheering on the runners, shouting their names and encouraging everyone. I probably annoy some runners but I can't help myself. It's great when someone shouts "thank you" as they run past or take the time to come and say it personally at the end. Also the support everyone gives to each other, often finishing and then going back on route to run and help someone finish.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: Too many to mention... Each time one of the regulars reach a milestone whether it is 10, 50 or 100. There's usually handmade cards to sign, balloons, sashes and cakes. I was very touched last August by the generosity of the Sheffield Hallam parkrunners who donated £100 online to parkrun on my 100th run.