welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s newsletter adidas give you a Facebook status update for VMLM, we talk tokens, Mark Thompson hails the hidden heroes and I eagerly anticipate the London Marathon.
On Sunday I took part in the Greater Manchester Marathon but sitting here with somewhat sensitive legs the pain is more than compensated for by the warm glow of having engaged with a great challenge in the company of a whole load of great people. Before parkrun I ran fairly regularly, but as somewhat of a lone trainer I really didn’t know that many runners. Fast forward seven years and the social benefits of being a parkrunner are clear. Before, during and after the race I was moved by the number of parkrunners taking part as well as spectating and how as soon as that connection had been made it was like you were in the company of long lost friends or family. No matter what part of the parkrun world people were from the bond created by taking part in a free, weekly, timed 5k run became instantly apparent. I even saw an adidas/parkrun flag proudly displayed in someone’s garden along the route! Amazing.
I’m writing this whilst travelling to the expo for the Virgin Money London Marathon and can’t wait to see who’s around. For many years we’ve had a close relationship with the London Marathon and it’s partly thanks to their friendship that we’ve been able to support the development of our wonderful family. On Sunday local parkrun events will be providing hundreds of volunteers and no doubt there will be many thousands of parkrunners amongst both the runners and spectators.
When I first ran the London Marathon in 1999 I travelled down with my Mum and Stepdad and stayed with some of their friends nearby, but other than that didn’t really know anyone. I just kind of turned up, did it and went home. I’d like to think that if we’ve contributed anything to the British running community it’s that we’ve brought people together and broken down barriers to social engagement in what many see as an individual sport. Now all we need to do is strike up a conversation with the words “which parkrun do you do?” and worst case scenario if they aren’t parkrunners we can embrace an opportunity to invite someone into the family. If they are already then we have an instant friend.
If you’re running, volunteering or spectating on Sunday have a fantastic day. Look out for our founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt who’ll be accompanying Race Director Hugh Brasher for the morning and come and say hi if you see me cheering people on around mile 21.
Here’s to friends, old and new,
attention all Virgin Money London Marathon runners!
Keep your Facebook status updated whilst you go all in for 26.2 miles on the 13th of April. Let’s face it, running a marathon is challenging enough so adidas are helping you update your Facebook status during the race, keeping your fans up to date with when you start, get halfway and finish the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014.
All you need to do is register for free by 5pm on the 12th of April at adidasboost.london-marathon.co.uk.
Good luck to everyone running!
£10 off adidas
We’re giving parkrunners £10 off when you spend £50 or more between the 1st - 30th of April at www.adidas.co.uk/running and in adidas stores.
To redeem this offer online, simply enter ADIPARKRUN10 at the checkout to receive your £10 off. To redeem this offer at an adidas store, simply print this newsletter out and show the offer to staff in store to receive your £10 off.
* Minimum order value of £50 applies. Excludes Boost and sale items. adidas UK website only. adidas stores are located in London Oxford Street, London White City Westfield, London Stratford Westfield, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool One, Leeds, Newcastle and Bluewater (from the 10th of April). T&C’s apply. Offer available 01/04/2014 - 30/04/2014.
The adidas running team
property of parkrun
As each parkrunner crosses the finish line and moves through the funnel they are handed a finish position token to grasp firmly in their hand until they make their way over to the volunteer on barcode scanning duties who collects them back in ready for the next parkrunday. Or that's what should happen... but occasionally our tokens go AWOL.
If you take a token home by mistake please let your core volunteer team know and bring it back to join the rest of its family as soon as possible. There was one occasion where a token turned up at a parkrun 170 miles away from its rightful home which was returned safely by post! They are guaranteed for five years so let's make them last.
Please check your event's news pages for the most up to date information.
Cancellations this weekend:
- Bedfont Lakes parkrun is cancelled due to road closures in the area severely restricting access.
- Gateshead parkrun is cancelled due to another event taking place in the park.
- Rother Valley parkrun is cancelled due to another event taking place in the park.
- South Shields parkrun is cancelled 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
During my visit to Australia last month my time in Sydney included a Saturday staying with a friend who lives near St Peters Park so I was determined to be a parkrun tourist. St Peters parkrun starts at 8am where they head off through the park and over to the midway point they call 'Heartbreak Hill'. I'd always thought our hill at my home run of Mile End parkrun was challenging but this was far steeper. What a relief to turn at the top and run back down. They made me feel very welcome and it felt great to be part of the worldwide parkrun community.
Hi parkrun UK
On Sunday I completed my first half marathon in 1:59:20 and this is all thanks to parkrun. Until November I didn’t run at all and then having watched my son a couple of times at our local event of Forest of Dean parkrun I decided to have a go and my daughter joined in too. Now we are addicted and have joined the local running club for additional training and I have discovered at the age of 51 having been a school sports failure that I can run. I have another daughter at university in Manchester so she goes to South Manchester parkrun. It's nice to think we are all running at the same time. I just wish I had discovered parkrun earlier.
Hi parkrun UK
On Saturday I ran my 50th parkrun. I have ran them all at Scunthorpe parkrun and I was the first person to do all 50 at Scunthorpe. I really didn't think I would still be doing parkrun but I am and I have achieved several PBs. It's a great run and I have met some wonderful people. Here is a photo of me running with my 50 balloon which was presented to me. Many thanks to Mal Whitelam, Michelle Dawson and all involved.
Hi parkrun UK
I would just like to add my praise for the parkrun experience. My wife and I have been keen parkrunners since October of 2013. At 65 and 66 years of age we both find the friendship and encouragement from our fellow runners outstanding. Our home run is Peterborough parkrun but we have a holiday home in the New Forest and have run at Poole parkrun several times. We hope you find the attached picture as inspiring as we do. On Saturday at Poole parkrun my wife was joined by a young university student who ran across the line hand-in-hand finishing together. A truly lovely moment and a PB knocking 1 minute and 14 seconds off my wife’s best time.
Cliff & Glenys Waters
Hi parkrun UK
Saturday the 4th of April was a day of celebration at Eastleigh parkrun as two of the parkrun family, Louise Drayton and Oliver Bryan, were finally about to run their 50th parkrun.This has been a long time coming and helped along with some friendly competition between them. Louise also combined this with another milestone volunteering for the 100th time. We had party poppers and lots of obligatory post-parkrun cake. The feeling of the day summed up exactly why parkrun is special and is why there is no other place to be at 9am on a Saturday morning. Thanks to everyone at Eastleigh parkrun, our "park-ie" reflects the feeling of the day.
Hi parkrun UK
My friend Maya Goodwin and I regularly attend Valentines parkrun. Maya hadn’t run for a couple of weeks due to a chest infection but returned this weekend and at around the two mile mark she really struggled and nearly quit. Ajit Rehal was running near her and saw her struggling. He started encouraging her and helped her to finish. He happened to mention in that time that he is running the VMLM on Sunday for charity but he didn't know many people so only had one sponsor. Maya looked up his fundraising page and posted on her social media pages to her group of friends about what Ajit did. The friends of Maya have since sponsored him en masse, raising over £700 from originally £20. Behold the power of parkrun!
Hi parkrun UK
We had a lovely tourist trip to Peterborough parkrun on Saturday where I was befriended by a young boy who was delighted to find a fellow asthmatic doing parkrun. I think my wheezing might have given it away. He decided he would keep me company, talking all the way. As we passed a runner he was very chuffed to tell them that "we are both asthmatics, but supporting each other on the way round". That sums up parkrun in general to me!
Hi parkrun UK
I've now completed 93 parkruns having been hooked from day one. I alternate between Cannon Hill parkrun and Arrow Valley parkrun. Like many, I strive to go as quickly as possible to get a good time and push myself through some discomfort in the struggle for that elusive PB. I normally reach the finish line totally whacked, so satisfaction comes only after the finish. Last week I decided to go at a slower pace and actually enjoyed how different it felt. So for those who always do parkrun ‘flat out’ I'd recommend trying a gentler pace occasionally. You might enjoy that too.
parkrunner of the week
Name: Ronnie Mutch
Home parkrun: Aberdeen
Occupation: IT Infrastructure Engineer
Number of runs: 39
Favourite volunteer role: Run Director
What do you do at parkruns: When not running I have tried out a range of volunteering options. My favourite so far has been Run Director, which I have done twice. The second time was a lot less terrifying when I realised how supportive all runners and fellow volunteers were. I look forward to getting more comfortable with the role after a few more attempts.
How has parkrun changed your running: When running by myself, I can go out and have a great run. However, at parkrun while running for a time, with other runners around me I can push myself much harder and really work for improvement.
What do you like about parkrun: I love the inclusiveness of parkrun. It's great to see children running with (and often finishing ahead of) adults, people striving for PBs or taking it a little easier to support other runners and groups of friends being formed.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: Tempted to say the first time I ran into a lampost and watched my friends run off into the distance without me. That would probably be their funniest parkrun moment though and not actually mine. I just had some catching up to do.