weekly newsletter 21st May 2015

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter Ira Rainey shares a wonderful story with us which demonstrates the power of parkrun.

When I first heard about parkrun I thought it was a great idea - a local, free and inclusive run. As a runner that sounded fantastic, but I never stopped to think about the true power of parkrun, about how it much more than just a run in the park.

This is Roy Hale. Roy is 77 years young and a lovely bloke. His dog is called Cooper and a lovely dog.

Roy is one of the regular marshals at Pomphrey Hill parkrun where I am a run director. He turns up almost every week regardless and gives out encouragement to everyone running past him, doing the diligent job a marshal should. He never asks for anything in return nor has a negative word to say.

After first coming along to watch his grandchildren run, Roy found out his neighbours were keen parkrunners and asked them to register him so he could keep coming back and helping out. As much as anything it gave him something to do on a Saturday morning.

Roy is one of the many people I see and talk to most weekends at parkrun. I always thank him for volunteering, I talk to him about the weather; about parkrun; about Cooper, and I thank him every time I run past him, but until recently I didn’t really knew much about him.

I knew he was friendlier with some of our regulars than others, but didn’t know why, and generally being busy directing or running I never found out why.

But a couple weeks ago something happened. After twenty-one weeks volunteering, Roy decided to run - all three laps of Pomphrey Hill. He ran the whole thing from “it’s a run not a race”, right up to “well done, here’s your finish token.” It took me by surprise as Roy didn’t strike me as a runner, but who does?

That is part of the power of parkrun – that people who aren’t regular runners and don’t care about splits or GPS watches can turn up on a Saturday at their local parkrun and be a part of it. Whatever their age, fitness, or ability they are welcomed with open arms and supported from start to finish.

But that isn’t even its true power. The real power comes from the meeting of people. The sheer genius of one simple statement – “parkrun is a run not a race”, makes it welcoming and inviting to everybody. At its heart parkrun is about community.

For whatever reason, Roy Hale decided he was going to run 5k at Pomphrey Hill. Why? Well, only Roy can answer that. But as I watched him finish his first ever parkrun it reminded me why I love it so much.

He smiled the whole way around and was still grinning when I caught up with him later. People supported him; cheered him on; and spoke to him about it after. For a recent widower like Roy that is the power of parkrun.

Happy running,

Ira Rainey
Run Director at Pomphrey Hill parkrun

in the pink


Our friends at ERS, the only official supplier of personalised parkrun barcodes, have extended their range of wristbands to include a new extra small size. All four sizes are now also available in pink.

They can be ordered here with the option to include medical and ICE details along with the all-important barcode... your passport to parkrun.

parkrun population


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

Number of runners - 72,830
Number of volunteers - 6,001
Number of first timers - 10,870
Number of PBs - 16,055

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 got a text from an old friend today. I haven’t had one in a while. Over the past few years, they helped me to get started with running, encouraged my progress and introduced me to so many new friends and experiences. There to help celebrate the good times, and there to support me when times were bad. Always pleased to see me, never complaining when I can’t make it, regardless of reason. They introduced me to sense of community, and the ability to help them too. Sometimes I join them even if I’m not running. Above all, they’ve always been there for me. The text begun with “Nigel, your time in position…”. Thank you, parkrun.
Nigel Foulkes-Nock


I work for a not for profit social enterprise which provides community health and adult social services, as the Clinical Lead in a team called the Active Ageing Service. We are Health Visitors, Specialist Public Health Nurses and Support Workers. Our role is to support older people in their homes where we hope to keep them safe, well and enjoying life. When the team was first formed, we attended a lecture at the University of the West of England where we were told about the benefits of exercise. I was so excited to read in this newsletter that parkrun also recognised the link and had created a partnership with Alzheimer's Research UK. I asked if we could join Little Stoke and Bath Skyline parkrun to share information about our service and Alzheimer's Research UK, and to offer the runners fruit, cake and a drink. We were delighted that the answer was yes. Thank you so much for allowing us to celebrate our first birthday in Bath and North East Somerset and launch the service in South Gloucestershire - we had a wonderful time.
Viv Hollis


Last Saturday saw my nine year old Finn run his 50th parkrun. From week one Saturday mornings fast became the highlight of our week and have continued to be so - Finn’s enjoyment of running and his dedication has made me so proud. Thank you to everyone at Pontefract parkrun who have been so friendly and supportive, especially the lovely Ian Hill for his encouragement and for running with Finn on his milestone run as he is too fast for his old mum these days, they are all wonderful.
Gaynor Brennan


For the past six weeks as part of Saltwell Harriers Spring Series, up to 45 members of our club have ventured to six different parkruns throughout the North East - Gateshead, Newcastle, South Shields, Riverside, Blackhill and finally Sunderland. Each week we have been welcomed by the volunteers and had great chats with regular runners. The weather has been glorious to foggy at a soggy Blackhill but the atmosphere at each event has made it all worth it whether a PB was achieved or not! Thanks parkrun - we are going to miss our Saturday adventures!
Ria Chaston


My 15 year old daughter Sophie loves parkrun, she quite literally drags me there on a Saturday and it's now firmly embedded as part of her week. She was Sweatshop Monthly Prizewinner at Barrow parkrun and now has a super pair of new trainers. The parkrun community is a huge part of not only my family's life but many in the town. Once the run is over it's time for cake and there’s always great selection on offer. So to whoever first thought of parkrun, a sincere ‘thank you’ from a mother of a teenage girl who instead of lying in bed on a Saturday morning is up and ready for 'parkrun'!
Emma Broadbent


Nestled in north Birmingham, in the shadow of the famous Alexander Stadium is Perry Hall parkrun. the event only started last November and usually attracts around 60 runners each week. This week was extra special as not only was the highly popular nearby Cannon Hill parkrun was cancelled but founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt came to visit! It was a big day for Perry Hall and I would like to thank all the volunteers for all their hard work. A big thank you to the event director, Adam Wilkins, who has also recently managed to secure a defibrillator through the British Heart Foundation's scheme. 213 runners turned up and we hope that some of those tourists will be back!
Rachel Telfer


I was introduced to parkrun by my 50 club member wife, Frankie and have now completed seven in my home city of Armagh. We were lucky enough recently to holiday in Perth, Western Australia, where my son James, his wife Annie and my new grandson Nico live. It was easy to go to the Lake Joondalup parkrun in Yellagonga Park with our barcodes to be welcomed and applauded as international visitors. We also set PB's as it was nice and warm and flat. James and Annie joined us with James pushing the pram. My picture shows three generations of Knipe's at the finish line. You are never far from a parkrun!
Trevor Knipe


I completed my second parkrun (well, due to MS, a walk in my case) at Fountains Abbey parkrun. A huge thank you to the tail runner volunteer as her support saw me through the last 3/4 mile which is where fatigue kicks in for me!
Kay Wright


On Saturday the 13th June, myself and five other mums from Great Cornard parkrun will sadly be missing from our local event. This won't be because we are all going for a coffee but because we will be getting down and dirty at the Ipswich Pretty Muddy Race for Life. As some of us took part in the event last year we decided to create a team from friends made at the parkrun and it didn't take too much time to form our group of 'Merry Mums'. Thanks to parkrun for bringing us together and good luck to any other parkrunners doing similar events this year.
Karen Austin


I started last Saturday's Basingstoke parkrun as usual, but soon realised that this run wouldn't be a quick one as I felt a bit of a dull pain from my right foot. I'd run in a club handicap two days prior so I thought it was just down to that. After about 4k it all went a bit wrong as I had a stabbing pain from my right foot but still laboured to the finish in pain. A trip to A&E 36 hours later confirmed I'd fractured my third metatarsal! Listen to your body and get it checked out, don't dismiss it as I initially did.
Ian Thompson


We recently visited Orlando and not only did the whole family complete Clermont Waterfront parkrun where everybody was just wonderful and welcoming but also advertised parkrun all around Epcot.
Pete Smith

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Colin Plews

Club:  None

Age:  46

Home parkrun:  South Shields

Occupation:  Chef

Number of runs:  8

Favourite volunteer role:  Tail Runner

What do you do at parkruns:  When I’m tail running I try to give people encouragement and the confidence to do their best.

How has parkrun changed your running:  I used to be shy about running in public but the help and encouragement of the parkrun volunteers and runners have enabled me to love running. I’ve made so many new friends and improved my time from over 40 minutes to about 26 minutes.

What do you like about parkrun:  parkrun is without doubt the best way to build your self confidence as no one is judged on their performance and everyone is made to feel welcome. It is a great way for all runners even complete novices to learn from experienced runners.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  I’m known as ‘Big Pink Dress’ as it’s what I wear for my fundraising. As I’m six feet six inches tall and 19 stone I am quite a sight in a costume weighing three stone. I ran my full fancy dress marathon training run at South Shields parkrun and coping with 40mph winds dressed as Hairy Poppings wasn’t easy but the marshalls were brilliant.

reminders

the parkrun store

barcode reminder

barcode

Barcodes are used at all our events to record your result. Please collect and print your barcode here. No barcode, no result!

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 parkrun event relies on volunteers and in 2014 alone over 50,000 of you came forward and supported your local event. Volunteering is a wonderful way to make friends, feel great and have fun. If that sounds like it's for you then please contact your local event team for more details.

cancellations

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

upcoming anniversaries

May

Bognor Regis parkrun 23rd

Brockenhurst parkrun 23rd

Cleethorpes parkrun 23rd

Falls parkrun 23rd

Marple parkrun 23rd

Albert parkrun 30th

Comber parkrun 30th

Crystal Palace parkrun 30th

Hackney Marshes parkrun 30th

June

Beckton parkrun 6th

Burnley parkrun 6th

Humber Bridge parkrun 6th

Newark parkrun 6th

Watergrove parkrun 6th

Bedford parkrun 13th

CranePark parkrun 13th

Tilgate parkrun 13th

Wormwood Scrubs parkrun 13th

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

Sweatshop investing in parkrun
Helping people be the best they can be

For 40 years, Sweatshop the award winning running store, has been helping runners find the perfect products for their individual needs. Find your closest store at sweatshop.co.uk


Vitality investing in parkrun
Health insurance that rewards you for living well.

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

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


 

parkrun UK welcomes Christine Gibbons and Jeremy Townsend as Non-Executive Directors

parkrun UK is delighted to announce the appointment of Christine Gibbons and Jeremy Townsend to its board as non-executive directors.

Christine Gibbons has worked in the NHS for 35 years, initially as a pharmacist and then as a board executive. She also has 11 years experience as a trustee/non-executive in various charities including sport and health.

Jeremy Townsend is the Chief Financial Officer at Rentokil Initial plc and was previously Finance Director of Mitchells & Butlers plc and Group Financial Controller at Sainsbury's.

The non-executive directors are responsible for ensuring that parkrun UK continues to develop successfully, whilst adhering to the core principles of breaking down barriers to participation in regular exercise by providing free, weekly, timed runs to every community that wants one.

Managing Director of parkrun UK Tom Williams said: "With 366 parkrun finishes between them, across more than 50 events, I am delighted to welcome Christine and Jeremy onto the parkrun UK board of directors. With more than one thousand people registering with parkrun UK every day – and around one hundred new events launched in the past year – it became critical to supplement our small management team with experienced and well-connected volunteers.

"Throughout the recruitment process both Christine and Jeremy demonstrated extremely high levels of professional competency alongside a wonderful passion for parkrun. They will provide valuable insight regarding the challenges and opportunities we are likely to face in the future, and their vast skills and experience complement each other brilliantly."

Christine Gibbons said: "I feel excited and privileged to be asked to play my part in the future direction of parkrun UK. Since 2009 parkrun has been a significant part of my life and I have never ceased to be amazed by the dedication of our many wonderful volunteers and participants. I am really looking forward to visiting more of our beautiful parks and meeting with as many people in the parkrun community as possible."

Jeremy Townsend said: "I'm really pleased to be joining the parkrun board at this exciting time. The first ten years has been an incredible story and I'm looking forward to helping to shape the future of parkrun in its next phase of development."

 

parkrun partnership with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

 

At parkrun quite a few event teams actively welcome The Duke of Edinburgh's (DofE) Award participants at their events. We don’t put any pressure on them to do so but many have taken the initiative, realising the huge benefits that having DofErs brings to them and our events.

For those that don’t know, the DofE Award is a leading UK youth charity that gives young people aged 14-24 the chance to develop skills, fulfil their potential and have a brighter future. It sounds a lot like parkrun! The Award has four sections: Volunteering, Physical, Skills and an Expedition, and three Award levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold.

An exciting new development is that parkrunUK recently became an Approved Activity Provider (AAP) for the DofE Award. But what does this mean?! AAPs are organisations whose Expedition, Residential or Volunteering section opportunities have been approved by the DofE and can count towards the achievement of a DofE Award. parkrun is now officially an AAP for Volunteering. (Young people can also use parkrun as part of the Physical section of the DofE Award – with a warm up, a run/jog/walk, cool down and the journey to and from the event it will take the hour per week that the DofEr must complete).

I know the Duke of Edinburgh Award is not necessarily a junior parkrun specific issue – but it is something that does involve young people and so the Newsletter is a good a place as any to talk about it!

We are really excited about this development as parkrun has the opportunity to recruit more volunteers and, especially, get more young people involved in our events. We know that many 14-25yr olds stop doing sport, and so if they can be encouraged to take part – either running or volunteering as part of the DofE Award – this is a win/win for the young person and for us!

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If anyone reading this is a DofEr and wants to take part in parkrun it couldn’t be simpler. Just register with parkrun before taking part (you can even become a member of the parkrun ‘DofE club’) and then head down to your local event and introduce yourself to the volunteer team - they are the ones wearing the high-vis vests! As long as the event team gives you the nod you can start to accrue your volunteering hours with us and record them in your personal DofE log-book, which we will then sign to confirm you have completed your required activity. The tasks can range from easier roles, such as equipment set-up and token collection and sorting, through to more complex activities such as timing, scanning, delivering the run briefing, tail running, uploading results, writing the run report or even being the Run Director. This progression will hopefully enable you to learn and develop a variety of skills during your amazing parkrun volunteering experience!

One example of a DofEr using parkrun as their volunteering activity is Alex. Alex, aged 16, has been a regular participant at Woodley parkrun since 2013 and has now done over 60 runs and has volunteered more than 20 times. For his Bronze DofE Award, Alex undertook all 15 parkrun volunteering roles, culminating in being the Run Director for the final two weeks.

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Talking about why he chose to volunteer with parkrun, Alex said: “I’d already been a regular participant in Woodley parkrun and experienced for myself the benefits and enjoyment that you get out of taking part; therefore, I wanted to give something back so that others could also experience this.”
Speaking about the positive impact his Bronze DofE and the volunteering section has had on him, Alex said: “The DofE is a fun programme that helps teach you the right mind-set and skills for your future, whether that is in education or future jobs. For me, DofE helped to develop my team working and leadership skills, as well as learning how to work with people I’d never met before.”

IMG_5921-2

Alex was the youngest Run Director Woodley parkrun had ever had and he received lots of positive feedback on how well he performed in the role and how confident he looked when delivering his briefing to the 300 participants. Alex loved his time as Run Director and said "Although I was a bit nervous beforehand, I got a real buzz from standing up in front of all those people and ensuring that they were adequately briefed ahead of their Saturday morning run round the park. It was a great being able to give something back to my local community, after all the times I had previously run myself."

When we hear stories like these we realise again what value juniors and young people bring to parkrun, and we think that becoming an Approved Activity Provider for the DofE will mean that we can spread that positive impact even further!

If you want to read more about the DofE Award and how to take part please see their website, and if you are a DofEr (or a DofE local leader) and want to explore the opportunity to get involved with parkrun please get in touch with parkrun HQ.

Happy volunteering, and running!

Smiles

Chrissie

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weekly newsletter 14th May 2015

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter Alzheimer’s Research UK take their ‘hats off to research’, Vitality congratulate their Face, Chris Davies praises diversity, and we present our wallpaper gallery.

As Tom mentioned last week, we’re spreading our wings in the parkrun UK newsletter. This week, we’re bringing you the first in a series of interviews asking names from the running world to tell us ‘Why I Run’. As we’re passionate about the 5k distance and volunteering, who better to kick us off than former 5,000 metres world record holder and Director for Sport at Join In, Dave Moorcroft.

On a spring morning in 1985 I did what around 300 people now do every Saturday. I wandered from my home in Coventry to the Memorial Park, and I went for a run.

It was a far cry from three years earlier in a packed Bislett Stadium in Oslo when I had one of those moments that runners occasionally have. I felt like I was flying, like running was just so easy. On that day I broke the 5,000m world record in a time of 13:00.41.

But in Memorial Park I was alone. I'd been injured, had an operation in Germany, and hadn't run for months. I was about to take my first steps on the long road back to fitness.

I only ran for 100 yards, but it was one of the most enjoyable 100 yards I have ever run. In that solitary moment I learned to love running again.

That run was my first since the Los Angeles Olympics the previous year, which was one of the low points of my athletics career. I had gone into the 5,000m final with a groin injury and was relying on cortisone injections to manage the pain.

Despite my best efforts, I finished last - by a long, long way!

As I crossed the finish line I was using words like 'disaster' and 'tragedy' in my mind. I knew these words were totally inappropriate - we all know what disasters and tragedies are and losing a race isn't one of them - but that's how I felt. I was devastated. I didn't want to run, and I couldn't run because of the injury.

But even though it was one of my worst experiences as an athlete, it was one of my most powerful as a person.

That final act at the Olympics rekindled why I run and why I love it so much. I needed that awful experience of coming last in an Olympic final and then being unable to run for a long time because of injury to remind myself of why I loved running - which is purely because I can.

I have been running since I was 11 and it underpins who I am as a person. For a period of my life trying to win became almost an obsession, but the more balanced me now knows that the running, not winning, was my primary motivation. Running gave me confidence and helped me recognise my weaknesses. It's certainly a great leveller.

Our sport is unique in that anyone can toe the same start line as greats such as Paula Radcliffe in a mass participation event, and having top-level athletes getting involved in a grassroots movement like parkrun is really special. All different people at all different levels can share the same experiences at the same time at the same venue.

For all of us, no matter what pace we run, it often takes a long-term injury or illness to make us realise how lucky we are to do this thing we call running. It's the most natural of human movements, it's what we are born to do, and we should never take it for granted.

David Moorcroft

Tom

celebrity hat auction


Some of the world’s biggest stars have donated their favourite headwear for an auction to boost funds for parkrun’s official charity partner, Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Helena Bonham Carter, Simon Pegg, Seth Rogen, Boy George and Sharon Osbourne are just some of the big-name celebrities who have backed our Hats Off To Research fundraising campaign.

From now until 8pm on Saturday the 23rd of May, you can bid on a range of celebrity hats - many of them signed and pictured with their famous donor - by visiting www.hatsofftoresearch.org. All proceeds from the auction will go towards funding pioneering dementia research, giving hope to the 850,000 people across the UK living with dementia today.

Stand-out lots include a signed helmet from skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, a Philip Treacy-designed hat donated by pop icon Boy George and a signed cocktail hat from singing sensation Paloma Faith.

Other celebrities who have donated hats to the auction include comedian John Bishop, dance troupe Diversity, racing driver Mark Webber, boyband Union J, singer Jahmene Douglas, Olympian Goldie Sayers, celeb blogger Perez Hilton, actor John Challis and milliner-to-the-stars Philip Treacy.

The response from celebrities to our first ever Hats Off To Research auction has been fantastic. From wizard hats and Panamas to helmets and beanies, there’s a great mix of headwear going under the digital hammer.

Dementia is one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the future yet funding for research still lags far behind other serious diseases. By supporting our auction, you’ll be helping Alzheimer’s Research UK take the fight to dementia. You could even get sponsored to wear your hat to your next parkrun, if you win the bid!

Our work just wouldn’t be possible without our supporters, including those parkrunners who have joined the #TeamARUKparkrun movement. Each one of you is helping to power world-class studies that give us the best chance of beating dementia sooner.

To bid on a celebrity hat, visit www.hatsofftoresearch.org or email hatsoff@alzheimersresearchuk.org for more information.

Good luck!

Hilary Evans
Director
Alzheimer’s Research UK

face of Vitality Run Hackney


Huge congratulations to everyone who completed the Vitality Run Hackney Half Marathon on Sunday! With the sun shining and over 10,000 runners taking the course, the event was one to remember!

Our Face of Vitality Run Hackney Danielle couldn’t recommend Vitality Run Hackney more for first timers looking to step up to a running challenge. Check out her final blog entry here.

Want to achieve a Half Marathon challenge?

Be part of the Vitality Run Series - a series featuring eight of the UK's most exciting running events, brought to you by Vitality. Get active and take on a new challenge - run one, run two or run the whole Series.

A Vitality Run Series event may provide the motivation you need to become a fitter and healthier you.

Find out more here.

Great British Tennis Weekend 2015


Dust off your racket and join the weekend fun!

Get outdoors and try tennis for free this summer at the Great British Tennis Weekends on the 16th and 17th of May, the 13th and 14th of June and the 1st and 2nd of August. Thousands of free events will be taking place across the country at parks and clubs that will offer fun activities and games for the whole family.

Rackets and balls will be provided and absolutely anyone can get involved. Whether you’ve never picked up a racket before or are a seasoned regular – there is no excuse not to come down. All ability levels are welcome so book your session today at www.lta.org.uk/gbtw.

parkrun decor


Fancy a groovy parkrun wallpaper on your smartphone?

Visit our new parkrun wallpaper gallery to browse the 15 designs available and for instructions on how to download them to your mobile phone.

parkrun population


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

Number of runners - 67,321
Number of volunteers - 5,967
Number of first timers - 9,679
Number of PBs - 13,129

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


Birmingham’s Cannon Hill parkrun last Saturday was dedicated to John Enright, a committed parkrunner, who collapsed at work exactly one year ago and died shortly afterwards. John was only 43 years old, and a loving husband to Rachel and their two young daughters, Lily and Poppy. His sudden death shocked us all so when fellow parkrunner and Harrier, Suz West realised that she would be running her own 100th parkrun at the first anniversary of John’s passing the whole local parkrun and running club communities came together, baking cakes for the big day and preparing for a friendly run-off between the two clubs. By 9am the bandstand was alive with trestle tables, bunting, club flags and, above all, cakes, cakes and more cakes. John’s wife and daughters, other relatives and former workmates, all came to share in this very special parkrun and were touched that so many people had played a part in remembering him in this way.
Steve Doswell


On an overcast morning at Fellfoot parkrun 100 keen runners turned out to test their strengths against the clock. Three of them were three generations of the Burton family - Ethan aged 11, Tim aged 54 and David aged 80. It was a great day for all the family and we would all like to say a massive thanks to the parkrun event and especially the volunteers who make these events happen.
Tim Burton


Help please, I can't find my PB! The last time that I saw it was back in September last year. Every week I turn up at Watergrove parkrun in Rochdale and try and find it but so far I haven't had any luck. A couple of times I've seen it ahead of me in the distance and I've tried to reach it, but each time it just seems to get further away. One day soon I hope to see it again. If you think you can help then please join us next Saturday and we'll look for it together. Thanks parkrunners.
Ian Wroe


Big thank you to parkrun for all the good things you have brought us. This spring was good. My dad was the Sweatshop Monthly Prize Winner and I got it the following month. I completed my 50th run on my eighth birthday. Thanks to Sweatshop for their generosity, it is much appreciated. Our family has completed over 500 parkruns at Ecos since the event started just over three years ago. Special mention to Susanna, Matthew and Julian for all the good work they do each and every week to make the event possible. I am looking forward to many more parkruns.
Kate Hasson


At Pegwell Bay parkrun we have just celebrated our second anniversary. We have a regular runner by the name of John Hill-Turner who arrived at our anniversary run with the most fabulous cake. John's partner Caroline Vine made the cake especially for our anniversary. The cake represented the actual route that we run every Saturday and Caroline had even made icing leaves matching the official parkrun ones and had created the parkrun logo onto the cake too. We would like to thank Caroline for her hard work and effort that she put into the cake for us to enjoy which was appreciated by everyone. Thank You!
Natalie Garcia


I just wanted to pay tribute to the role parkrun played at the London Marathon recently. Those Saturday morning runs mostly at Richmond Park parkrun and Northampton parkrun certainly helped my wife and father respectively with the base fitness needed to structure a training programme and give them much needed confidence they could run 26.2 miles. Whilst over two hours apart they both ran excellent races and as a husband/son, together with our kids, I couldn't have been any prouder. Now for them to break the 22:30 and 27 minute barriers respectively at a parkrun!
Mark Klein


I have ran 102 runs, mostly at Edinburgh parkrun. My son Rory Greig is about to run his 100 parkrun just one week before his 15th birthday and my father Melvyn Greig has just completed his 50th parkrun as an over 70. Rory has been particularly dedicated to reaching his hundred before his birthday. It’s involved getting up and running on some rainy mornings, and even running four parkruns in Australia!
David Greig


I discovered parkrun late in 2014 and began regularly running again in 2015. After having my daughter three years previously the time was right to get fitter and healthier and Telford parkrun provided such a friendly and informal way to do this I was soon hooked. Since January 2015 I am now seven minutes faster, have joined Telford Harriers, am planning on entering several 10km races over the summer and I am entered in the Cardiff Half Marathon in October! I am also over a stone lighter and feeling great. Running is in back in my life and here to stay. It wouldn't be there without parkrun. Thank you parkrun!
Hannah Bandy


I just wanted to share how proud I am of my mum, Carol Hatch. If completing her 250th parkrun wasn't enough of an achievement, she also got a PB on the same day! I'm sure her friends at Bramhall parkrun will agree that it's well deserved. Here's to the next 250!
Jennifer Hatch


I would like to thank everyone at Riverside parkrun, Chester-le-Street for their support. On the 9th of November 2011 my husband, Steve, had a heart attack but thanks to the great medical care and support he received he is fitter than at any other time in his life. Riverside and the people there have played a huge part in this, he has gone from not being able to run 1/4 mile to running 50 parkruns, six half marathons and on the 31st of May he will run his first marathon in Edinburgh - two years ago he hated running, now there is no stopping him and that's down to parkrun. Thank you.
Glynis Turner


I just wanted say a big thanks to parkrun. I started in January with the hope of getting fit and getting my running passion back. Four months later, 14 parkruns and counting, I love St Albans parkrun. The volunteers are amazing and it’s so wonderful to run with a bunch of friendly people. On that note, I have just completed the Hackney Half marathon which feels amazing.
Dave Oh


I am not the fastest or slimmest parkrunner in the world, but I had a lovely moment last parkrun. I was following a family, very gradually catching them up. There was a little girl, being helped along by Mum, and her younger brother was in a buggy being pushed by Dad. As I finally caught them up the young chap excitedly shouted, “Daddy, Choo Choo Train?” I immediately replied, “No – sorry – it’s me – panting!” I then added “Ivor the Engine, Toot Toot”.
James Cain

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Mel Carrington

Club:  None

Age:  33

Home parkrun:  Maldon Prom

Occupation:  Trade Union Official

Number of runs:  22

Favourite volunteer role:  Tailrunner

What do you do at parkruns:  After driving to the park as it's a few towns away, we mostly run and sometimes volunteer. My husband is a lot quicker than me, so I wave at him as we pass each other on the course and he cheers me on once he's crossed the finish line. After the run we either go for a cuppa and some breakfast at the local café, or if the weather has turned we head home for a hot cup of tea and a bacon sandwich.

How has parkrun changed your running:  Firstly, I actually enjoy running now, rather than feeling it is a chore. I run with my husband, we began with the Couch to 5k programme a few years ago, initially to train for a six mile charity run and then progressed to parkrun. We go whenever the weather is not too grim and we are not busy. We have now joined a new local running group which includes things like interval running so we are challenging ourselves and always trying to improve.

What do you like about parkrun:  Everything! I love parkrun - the atmosphere, the people, my competitiveness against myself and the satisfaction of knowing you have earned yourself some weekend treats. I'm always talking about parkrun to anyone and everyone who will listen, as it's great to have a free event, attended and organised by like-minded people. We love pushing ourselves to get new PBs and of course we are working towards joining the 50 Club.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Just after arriving at parkrun one day, a man approached us to ask who the Run Director was, I pointed him in the right direction and continued to my volunteering role that day as timekeeper. It was only about 10 minutes later that I realised it was Paul Sinton-Hewitt, possibly the most famous name in parkrun world! But what was really great was watching a very young parkrunner sprint past him across the finish line with a big smile on his face and seeing Paul (and his dog) congratulate him and commend his running, a great parkrun memory.

parkrun corner

Chris Davies

We make much of the Welsh scenery and our beautiful green open spaces, but this has a downside. We are limited in the number of traditional parks to host parkruns near to the population centres. Therefore we are having to get more creative to utilise our open spaces to roll out parkrun in Wales. Earlier this year, Event Director Rob Armstrong devised a scenic route in Conwy to showcase the castle. This is more of a ‘shorerun’. At the start of this month, Barry Island parkrun launched its ‘promenaderun’ similar in design to neighbouring Porthcawl parkrun. On the same weekend the junior parkrun started in Aberystwyth using the same location as the 5k event. This is more of an ‘avenuerun’. There will be more creativity in the future to bring parkrun closer to everyone in the principality and to create some stunning new events. So where you see the one word, all lower case on the Welsh part of the map always expect the unexpected!

Chris Davies
Newport parkrun and Newport junior parkrun Event Director and parkrun UK Ambassador

reminders

the parkrun store

barcode reminder

barcode

Barcodes are used at all our events to record your result. Please collect and print your barcode here. No barcode, no result!

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.

volunteering at parkrun

Every parkrun event relies on volunteers and in 2014 alone over 50,000 of you came forward and supported your local event. Volunteering is a wonderful way to make friends, feel great and have fun. If that sounds like it's for you then please contact your local event team for more details.

cancellations

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

upcoming anniversaries

May

Buckingham parkrun 16th

Camperdown parkrun 16th

Greenock parkrun 16th

MUSA Cookstown parkrun 16th

Queen Elizabeth parkrun 16th

Wanstead Flats parkrun 16th

Brockwell junior parkrun 17th

Huddersfield junior parkrun 17th

Mile End junior parkrun 17th

Bognor Regis parkrun 23rd

Brockenhurst parkrun 23rd

Cleethorpes parkrun 23rd

Falls parkrun 23rd

Marple parkrun 23rd

Albert parkrun 30th

Comber parkrun 30th

Crystal Palace parkrun 30th

Hackney Marshes parkrun 30th

June

Beckton parkrun 6th

Burnley parkrun 6th

Humber Bridge parkrun 6th

Newark parkrun 6th

Watergrove parkrun 6th

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

Sweatshop investing in parkrun
Helping people be the best they can be

For 40 years, Sweatshop the award winning running store, has been helping runners find the perfect products for their individual needs. Find your closest store at sweatshop.co.uk


Vitality investing in parkrun
Health insurance that rewards you for living well.

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

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


 

Passport to parkrun

If you were going to watch Jo Pavey or Mo Farah in the Olympic stadium would you leave your ticket at home?

If you were running the London Marathon for the first time after five attempts at the ballot would you forget to attach your race number to your lucky shirt?

If you’d been invited to Windsor Castle to receive a CBE from Prince William (it happens from time to time…) would you leave your invitation on the kitchen table?

The answer must be no to all of these questions.

When you come along to one of our fabulous free timed parkruns with your juniors please bring their personal barcodes if you want them to receive a time.

Your barcode really is your passport to parkrun everywhere in the world we have an event. The UK is currently the one country to have any junior events but surely it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world catch on!

Passport

Paper barcodes can be printed off six at a time - one for now and five to keep as spares - by visiting your parkrun profile, which can be easily accessed via a result email or the email version of the national weekly newsletter. My husband laminated his first ever paper barcode in June 2011 and although it’s been through the wash at least three times and been rained on numerous times more it still works just fine.

Barcodes

Alternatively you might like to invest in an even more robust version for either yourself, your family and/or your friends. Barcode tags, cards and wristbands are available from our authorized barcode supplier and can be personalised to include medical and ‘in case of emergency’ (ICE) details. They make nice healthy presents for juniors and offer much more promise than many material gifts ever could.

Lots of juniors pin their barcodes to their tops with a safety pin, some attach their tags to their trainer laces, some wear them round their necks and some leave them with in the safe hands of mum and dad until after they have crossed the finish line.

Evie - tag

Please don’t ask our volunteers to bend the rules for you. Please don’t ask our volunteers to accept barcodes presented on mobile phones. Please don’t get cross with our volunteers when they say no barcode, no time, no exception. Even for juniors. It’s a nationwide policy and we are asking all our events to adhere to this simple rule.

Think of your barcode is an invitation to an absolutely brilliant party that just happens to take place every Sunday - view our junior events - sometime between 9am and 11am, and every Saturday at 9am or 9.30am in Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland – view our 5k series events.

Join us this weekend for some more junior parkrun magic and as we say in parkrun world – “Don’t forget your barcode” #DFYB

DFYB flag

Happy parkrunning, volunteering and cheering

Helen

 

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