welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s newsletter adidas boost your distance, we explain our donations procedure, Elaine Omand goes longer and I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date...
As much as writing the weekly parkrun UK newsletter is a real honour it's also quite a challenge to try and write something every single week that will (hopefully) appeal to several hundred thousand readers. I should also hold my hand up and say that this week, for the first time ever, I completely forgot! A quick text message prompt from Danny Norman, along the lines of “erm... newsletter?” and here I am typing away frantically as the deadline approaches.
Completely lost for words I thought I'd revisit Paul Sinton-Hewitt's equivalent newsletter from the same time three years ago... I call it looking for inspiration... others might call it plagiarism. Anyway, please consider any similarities hereby referenced to (Sinton-Hewitt, 2011).
So, what did I learn?
Well, Paul was announcing the launch of Huddersfield, Poole and Main Beach (Australia) parkruns. Amazingly, those events have now seen a total 108,000 5k performances. I was at the first Huddersfield event that weekend and it remains one of my most memorable parkrun experiences. In the buildup we worked with the local Sikh community and combined the inaugural Huddersfield parkrun with a pre-planned fun run. Of the 118 finishers many had never run at all and even more had never taken part in a parkrun before. To describe it as organised chaos would probably be fair. If ever there was an example of parkrun being a run rather than a race then that was it, despite the first finisher that day being the super speedy Matthew Pierson, who holds a 2:22 marathon PB, and who still takes part and currently holds the course record with 15:05. Following the run we were all invited back to the local Sikh community centre and worked together to publish the results and enjoy the most flavoursome post-parkrun food I've ever had. Who needs cake and coffee!
Paul also welcomed Princes parkrun and Newport parkrun to the family, both of whom had started the week before and celebrated them taking us over 8,500 runners for the first time. We no longer publicly announce upcoming events in the newsletter as the potential for disaster, where huge numbers of runners swamp a new team (and course) on their first day, is too great. I am pleased to welcome Fountains Abbey, Great Cornard and Pomphrey Hill parkruns to the UK family though, who all enjoyed wonderful inaugural events this past Saturday and can no doubt look forward to seeing 100,000 finishers over the next three years!
Whereas three years ago this newsletter had a more global flavour we are now focused more on the UK itself. Having said that I am excited to let you know that the first Russian parkrun events also started on Saturday with two inaugural events in Moscow - Kolomenskoe parkrun and Severnoe Tushino parkrun (please blame Google Translate for any spelling errors).
Finally, there was also a paragraph three years ago entitled 'Peeing in your park'... I think we'll leave that one where it is.
Thanks as always for your amazing parkrun passion and welcome to the two events due to start this week. Neither of which may or may not be in the UK.
Boost your 5k to 10k in March!
We are giving parkrunners the chance to win an exclusive running package for you and a friend… two places in the London 10,000 plus a brand new pair of adidas Energy Boost trainers each to make you have that edge in the race!
To be in with a chance of winning this brilliant prize simply take part in at least two parkruns either by running or volunteering, between and including the 8th of March to the 29th of March, and you will automatically be entered into the draw.
For race T&C’s, please visit: www.london10000.co.uk/terms-use
Two winners will be drawn at random, so good luck!
The adidas running team
donating to parkrun UK
parkrun will always be free to our runners but we have found that some people want to show their appreciation with a monetary contribution and as we ask that events do not accept cash the most appropriate way to do this is to donate online. You can find a link to donate on your local parkrun results page or via the about us tab of the parkrun UK website.
Donations made through the results page of your local event website will result in 85% of your donation being allocated to your parkrun for the benefit of your event, and 15% will be allocated to the new event fund. Any donations made via the parkrun UK website will automatically be placed in the new event fund unless you tell us otherwise.
In both instances as you proceed through the donation process the option exists to provide special instructions as to how you would like your donation to be spent. For example if you gave the instruction “Please put my donation towards a future Junior parkrun event” we would make sure that we did just that!
You can read more about donations here as well as see what donations have been made around the country and who they were made by.
Please check your event's news pages for the most up to date information.
Cancellations this weekend:
- Swindon parkrun is cancelled due to another event taking place in the park.
- Yeovil Montacute parkrun is cancelled due to a waterlogged course.
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 started running at Guildford parkrun just before Christmas, although I have to confess that the muddy conditions and festive excesses had seen me make excuse after excuse about returning. I finally went again on the 22nd of February, in glorious sunshine, and had a thoroughly lovely time. On walking back to the car I overheard a group of girls who had also done the run, one of them was saying "after every parkrun I'm happy" following it up with "except when its freezing!" I actually wrote her words down so I didn't forget them and will make sure to read them every time I don't quite feel putting on those trainers.
Hi parkrun UK
Huge thanks to all the volunteer team at Savill Garden Juniors parkrun for a fabulous day last Sunday. My five year old girls have been asking to run for a while and last weekend did their first Junior parkrun. They ran the full 2k and absolutely loved it! Not only has this hopefully started a love of running in two very excited little girls, but it has also given a well-timed and much needed self-esteem boost to one of them, and launched a fun and healthy activity to do together as a family. The memory of them bursting with pride as they crossed the finish and getting handed their position tokens is one of those fabulous family memories that I will treasure forever. Thank you!
Hi parkrun UK
I wanted to say how much I enjoyed my parkrun tourism at Leamington parkrun this morning. As usual I was made to feel very welcome and even managed to be the ‘visiting parkrunner from furthest away’ as my home run is Durham. I also got to meet Paralympian Richard Whitehead, who was handing out the position tokens, and to run in the presence of parkrun legend Danny Norman! The run was great, however I'm confused at how I ran uphill for a mile and never seemed to run down! I was visiting my parents who live in the middle of nowhere (i.e. 40 minutes from the nearest parkrun) and had to choose between Leamington and Cheltenham. Sorry Cheltenham, I'll visit you next time!
Hi parkrun UK
This is Andy Bell, a fellow Valley Strider, pictured with his children at Roundhay parkrun. Those that have run at Roundhay will be aware of ‘that’ hill and appreciate his efforts! parkrun really is for the whole family. I also got to experience some ultimate parkrun joy making my way up the hill when I could see another Valley Strider stood with his children on the sideline and I was aware that their mum, Pascale Fotherby, was only a short distance behind me. Whilst passing them, I heard an almighty “Go on Mummy!” followed by lots of tiny hand claps as they excitedly cheered their mum past!
Hi parkrun UK
I started walking, then running, three years ago to lose weight and to manage my glucose levels after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I had always run alone except for doing a fun run in Freemantle, Australia with my daughter. I then started doing parkrun last October. It's so different running alongside other people and each week trying to improve my PB. We are hoping to emigrate to Australia later this year and I have already checked out parkrun locations I can attend in the area that we plan to move to. I have already encouraged a friend to join me at parkrun and would recommend any others who need to exercise to sign up and run, even if it means walking initially.
Hi parkrun UK
I would just like to highlight what a credit to parkrun UK all the volunteers at Tilgate parkrun are. Over the past few months there has been extensive flooding in Tilgate Park resulting in the normal route being inaccessible. The organisers came up with an alternative route to avoid the various flooded areas and the effort put in has been absolutely fantastic. On behalf of all the Tilgate parkrunners I would like to publicly say a big thank you.
Hi parkrun UK
This Saturday, the 8th of March, sisters Jackie Dunkley and Jane Lott will run their 100th parkrun at Bushy Park, which is Jackie's home course. Neither took up running until after their 50th birthday and both have made considerable progress after inauspicious first outings! Both have PB's under 30 minutes now, take part in longer events and will be hoping to run well on Saturday. Jane is based at Killerton in Devon but is making the trip to London to share their achievement. Unfortunately for myself I will be restricted to cheering them on as injury curtailed my parkrun career after a modest 72 runs.
Hi parkrun UK
Just a short note to say hello to everyone and to thanks to all the volunteers who make it possible for all of us to enjoy parkrunning. I am now on my 10th parkrun and at 51 years of age I am no longer looking for PBs. Going to parkrun has totally changed my outlook on running as I have helped runners who are there for the first time. My aim is to enjoy my running now and I tell all my family, friends and work colleagues about parkrun. I encourage absolutely everyone I meet to join in. Thank you to all of you for helping out and organising, especially my local event in Barking. I’m looking forward to the warmer weather soon too.
Hi parkrun UK
I run at Victoria parkrun in Glasgow. I just want everyone to know I’m presently first in the Female Points Table there and I'm 50 years old! I'm really proud of myself. So don't give up all you whippersnappers. Life begins at 50!
parkrunner of the week
Name: Madison Jump
Home parkrun: Oldham
Occupation: School pupil
Number of runs: 53
Favourite volunteer role: Marshal
What do you do at parkruns: I generally try my best to get a PB and I love to pass fellow runners as it makes me feel like I am trying really hard.
How has parkrun changed your running: I wouldn't say I am a fast runner but going to parkruns with my Mum and Dad gives me the confidence to improve! Saturday is now our family morning run and we love it.
What do you like about parkrun: I love to sprint to the finish line as I feel this is when I am at my best. I also love it when it’s a birthday or Christmas because lots of treats get handed out! I have also made lots of new friends at parkrun.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: It’s got to be the Christmas parkruns where everyone dresses up in Christmas outfits. It’s just so funny watching all the Santa hats bob up and down, it makes me laugh!