parkrun UK wins Participation Event of the Year at Sport Industry Awards

parkrun UK has been awarded Participation Event of the Year at the 2016 BT Sport Industry Awards in London.

The award recognises the significant growth of parkrun across the country over the past year, which has seen a substantial increase in the number of both 5k and 2k events, overall female registration passing 50% and an increased focus on disadvantaged and deprived communities.

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Accepting the award, Chief Operating Officer Tom Williams said:

“Winning such a prestigious award, judged by the sport industry, is a remarkable achievement. As we rapidly approach our one millionth UK participant and 500th event location, this is a wonderful endorsement of the efforts of parkrun volunteers in making their communities healthier and happier.

“We were extremely proud to accept this award on behalf of the entire parkrun community, including our small and extremely dedicated team of staff, our fantastic sponsors and supporters and the runners, joggers, walkers and volunteers who make parkrun happen every weekend.”

 

weekly newsletter 28 April 2016

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter Fitbit reminds us to move, ARUK celebrates a record-breaking London Marathon, Intersport congratulates each of us, places in the Westminster Mile and tickets for the Athletics World Championships are available to parkrunners, you can vote for us, we are hiring, and Ron Hill MBE joins the 50 Club.

When I was in my first year of secondary school in the early 1950s, I would read a boy’s magazine called The Rover. There was a guy in it named Alf Tupper who was often pictured running in the rain on cobblestones. Alf came from a northern town, just like I did, and he was extremely poor. He lived under railway bridges or on disused barges, and he would hitchhike to London for races after working all night as a welder. He’d eat a bag of chips and then go out and win his race. Nobody was helping him and everybody was against him, but he was a champion in his own right. I wanted to be like Alf Tupper, so I joined the local running club.

I was the only boy at my school who looked forward to cross country – the other lads either cut corners or tried to hide to avoid it altogether! I would travel around to cross-country races, and in my first big race I finished 256th. I loved the races, I loved the competition, and when I moved away to university to study textile chemistry I started taking my running very seriously. I still wanted to be like Alf Tupper, running in the rain in just shorts and a vest. That was until I went for a 90-minute run one day and ended up suffering from exposure from running through a freezing stream. I still had a lot to learn!

Over the years I became the first British athlete to win the Boston Marathon, I won the marathon at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in a world record time, and I also won the European Championships Marathon in Athens. That day almost turned out differently though – as I was about to run into the stadium I narrowly avoided being run over by a jeep doing a u-turn. Thankfully I avoided disaster, and running into the stadium knowing my parents, my wife and my two children were there to see it was one of the highlights of my career.

I discovered parkrun in 2011 and was hooked immediately – I can’t put into words how fantastic I think it is. It’s wonderful that everybody can join in and nobody cares what position you finish in. I have always been an avid racer, but on weekends when I don’t have a race, parkrun provides me with an opportunity to get a good session in. I love the social side and I’m really looking forward to doing some parkruns abroad, because they’re a great way to explore unfamiliar places and an easy way to meet likeminded people.

At 77 years of age I am still competitive with myself, and having run at least one mile every day since December 1964 (that’s 18,753 days in case you were wondering) I am determined to keep my running streak going.

parkrun has certainly featured in my streak. On 20 December 2014 at Heaton parkrun I celebrated running every day for 50 years. And then last Saturday I was proud to run my 50th parkrun there. The reception from all the participants was fantastic, and it got me thinking about when I will join the 100 Club. It was a memorable moment and I was thrilled – and surprised – to finish in less than 30 minutes. I hadn’t run that fast for a long time and it was the icing on the cake.

I always run first thing in the morning because it sets me up for the day and I always feel better afterwards. Running is who I am. It’s me, and this is why I run.

Running is the most accessible exercise you can do because the kit is minimal – it’s a simple sport to start off with and all you’ve got to do is go out your front door and run, or build up to it by walking. Enjoying it is the key, and that’s what parkrunners do so well.

Ron Hill MBE
A129385

Photos courtesy of Paul Taylor and Graham Cameron

congratulations all runners!


As partners of parkrun we are great supporters of all sporting achievements, especially running. This week we’d like to say a big well done to Paul Sinton-Hewitt, founder of parkrun, for completing the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday, and for raising more than £20,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK in the process!

Congratulations of course to everyone else who ran the Virgin Money London Marathon or any other event at the weekend. Whether you ran 5k or 42k, every running achievement is something to be proud of. Across the country many people will have crossed the finish line at an event for the first time, enjoying a sport that is truly accessible and rewarding at every level.

As always, we’re here to help with kit and advice about all things running. Pop into your local store for a chat – we’d love to hear what you’re up to. Click here to find your nearest store.

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

See you at your next parkrun.

get going with Fitbit!


From getting the bus to sitting behind a desk, we spend a lot of our time with our bottoms on seats. Research shows spending all that time sitting down is bad for our health – it increases our risk of heart disease, even if we’re fairly active otherwise!

So even if you never miss a weekly parkrun, you should still find ways to keep active throughout the day, every day. The first step to moving more is understanding your current habits.

Our Fitbit scientists looked into anonymous user habits and found that on average peak sedentary times are between 2-3pm and 7.30-8.30pm. With this in mind, you can make small changes to keep moving – such as using a smaller water bottle that you have to get up to refill more often in the office, or walk on the spot when watching your favourite soaps!

Fitbit can help too. Reminders to Move means your tracker will remind you to walk 250 steps every hour – it sounds a lot but only takes 2-3 minutes.

Give it a try and get going with Fitbit. You can now get Blaze, our latest smart fitness watch, with a £10 discount exclusive to parkrunners – click here to shop

For more inspiration and tips, read our blog or reach out on Facebook and Twitter.

a record-breaking London Marathon


Alzheimer’s Research UK wants to say a massive CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who ran the Virgin Money London Marathon this year.

Though we are still counting the donations, we estimate that the charity’s 220 runners have raised more than £394,000 – a new record – which will make an enormous difference in the fight to defeat dementia.

A special shout-out goes to Paul Sinton-Hewitt, who finished in three hours and 32 minutes, raising more than £20,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK in the process. The sum mostly came from you, the incredible parkrun supporters who generously donated to the cause. Thank you.

Incredibly, Ehud Eliashar raised more than £60,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK, putting him in the top ten fundraisers in the whole of the London Marathon. Laura Allen finished in a speedy two hours and 52 minutes as our quickest runner, followed by Hipólito Fernández Indias, who came in at a personal best of two hours and 59 minutes.

There has been blood, sweat and tears to get to this point, but we hope everyone involved had a wonderful day, and it was worth the pain to see just how much you’ve all achieved.

We are already receiving applications for 2017’s London Marathon, and with the success of this year we can’t wait to see what next year will bring.

If the London Marathon wasn’t enough, or this year’s race has inspired you to get running, we have plenty of fundraising events you can get involved in on our website.

And remember – there’s still time to donate to Paul’s fundraising page, just go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/PaulSintonHewitt.

Westminster Mile


The Vitality Westminster Mile takes place on 29 May this year and once again we are invited to run in our very own wave. It’s a fantastic family day out and is open to people of all ages, abilities, shapes and sizes. Places in the parkrun wave are strictly limited to 450, so sign up now and join us on The Mall.

Here’s what one of our parkrunners, Ian Richards, had to say about it last year: “My partner was amazed at the applause she received when she crossed the finish line of the parkrun wave. She was nearer the back than the front, but felt like a champion. I told her that everyone is a champion at parkrun.”

priority ticket access for parkrunners


See the world’s greatest athletes compete in The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as the IAAF World Championships and World ParaAthletics Championships come to London next summer.

parkrunners and volunteers are being offered the chance to access a priority purchase window to get tickets on a first come, first served basis in June 2016. Tickets will be on sale to the general public, via ballot on 1 August.

Thousands of parkrunners have already taken up this opportunity, but if you haven’t already, simply register your details to get advance ticket access.

Child tickets to the IAAF World Championships are priced at just £9.58 – Usain Bolt’s 100-metre world record, and just £5 for the World ParaAthletics. With 1.5 million tickets available, and one million costing £35 or less, the Summer of World Athletics will be a fantastic event for the whole family.

Visit the website for information on ticket pricing and both championship timetables.

the Running Awards


On Friday 22 April we attended the 2016 Running Awards at the O2 in London. It was a superb evening, with the who’s who of running in attendance. The night got off to a fantastic start as we were asked to present the Innovation in Running award to Goodgym. It was an absolute honour to present Goodgym’s Ivo Gormley with the award in recognition of his truly innovative and inspirational organisation that blends physical activity with helping those more vulnerable in society.

We were delighted to pick up the gold award in the two categories parkrun was nominated in: Best Book (Debra Bourne’s parkrun much more than just a run the park) and Best Event Series.

The wonderful thing about these awards is that the nominations and winners are selected by public vote. Winning these awards is a terrific achievement for parkrun and whilst the awards were collected by Chief Operating Officer Tom Williams and Head of Marketing Russ Jefferys, they did so on behalf of the whole parkrun community.

It was great to see Bournemouth parkrunner Sam Mollaghan receive the ‘Inspiration in Running’ award. Sam is the face of Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign and, in a very moving acceptance speech, she spoke of her passion for parkrun.

Thanks to the Running Awards for a tremendous event – and to everyone that voted.

vote for us!


parkrun UK is a finalist in this year’s Women’s Sports Trust #BeAGameChanger Awards. The awards recognise individuals and organisations doing the most to progress women’s sport, and we have been nominated in the Inspiring National Initiative category. The winner will be decided by a public vote, so follow this link to have your say. Voting closes this Sunday so don’t miss out!

we are hiring


From quiet beginnings, parkrun has grown to be a major force in grassroots physical activity and community engagement. In order to support our growth, we are seeking to appoint a dazzling Marketing Executive to join the team in London. Are you a digital wizard, a creative copywriter and a sassy social media superstar? We want to hear from you!

The successful applicant will enjoy working in a fast-paced environment alongside a supportive and fun team, and will play a key role in helping parkrun create a healthier and happier planet. If you are interested in applying then please click here.

Please note: Applications will only be considered from experienced candidates who demonstrate they meet the requirements of the post. parkrun is an equal opportunities employer. Applications are welcomed from all sectors of society and all appointments are made on merit alone.

parkrun population


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

Number of parkrunners – 95,858
Number of volunteers – 8,599
Number of first timers – 8,404
Number of PBs – 22,068

random stat of the week


124,330 different people have volunteered at UK parkrun events. That's roughly the population of Colchester, which incidentally is home to 693 of those volunteers!

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 just want to say how proud I am of my son, Sam Wickham, who on Saturday completed his 100th parkrun at just 10 years old. My family and I run at Alice Holt parkrun every week and we love the fact we can run together as a family, and enjoy our beautiful local forest whilst catching up with friends. We also like to do our bit with volunteering and Alice Holt parkrun have made us unofficial 'Volunteer Marshals' and once a month we try to sign up new volunteers. Thank you parkrun for keeping us fit, getting us out as a family, letting us be part of a wonderful community and for giving us the opportunity to recognise and celebrate our achievements.
Carolyn Wickham


I have spent the past seven weeks in Salford Royal seriously ill, including being in an induced coma, put on a ventilator and given a tracheostomy. I've lost nearly five stone and the majority of my muscle mass in my legs and butt – devastating for a guy who cycles, parkruns, plays squash and badminton weekly, who was described as solid and chunky. It’s going to be a hard slog to reach my former self and I will start with my return to Worsley Woods parkrun and the encouragement from everyone there, especially Carol. After the above situation I will take it easy volunteering as tail runner or just seeing how far I can go.
Mark Karlisle


On 16 April in Southampton I ran my 100th parkrun. A friend, Eddie, got me to try parkrun, I went along every now and again for a few months but it wasn't until early 2014 that I got the bug. Since then I have hardly missed one, either running or volunteering. I have done quite a bit of tourism in that time too. So far I have the red and purple shirt, have now ordered my black shirt and I can't wait to get on and start running to get to the green shirt. parkrun has totally changed my Saturday mornings and my fitness in general. A big thank you to all of the volunteers that make it happen each week.
Baz Newman


I had a heart transplant five years ago. Since then, although I have been in good health, the weight had been slowly going on so something had to be done. I remembered that my sister-in-law had started to do parkruns and they had helped her to lose quite a lot of weight. So I thought, if she can do parkruns then so can I. I discovered it doesn't matter about your size or fitness level – all are welcome and all are given the same encouragement. I have now done four parkruns, each time improving my time and I look forward to each week to give it another go.
Tracy Gillett


On Saturday I completed my 50th parkrun and I wanted to thank all the amazing volunteers at Wakefield Thornes who have converted me from a non-runner. I am confident that I will never set a course record for parkrun and any week in which my age grading goes above 50% is a success. However I wonder if my daughter Harriet can lay a claim to being the youngest official parkrun volunteer as she got her first credit as a marshal at Wakefield Thornes parkrun on the day of her 4th birthday this January. She then ran her first official junior parkrun at the lovely Locke Park in Barnsley a month later. Her favourite role is as a signpost.
Richard Lee

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:  Shama Meghjee-Caine

Club:  None

Age:  47

Home parkrun:  Cassiobury

Occupation:  Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser

Number of runs:  30

Favourite volunteer role:  Marshal

What do you do at parkruns:  My parkrun starts on Friday evening when I message many of my friends and family encouraging them to attend parkrun the next morning. This motivates me to get out of my own warm bed every Saturday morning. The first thing I do on Saturday morning is update my Facebook status reminding everyone that it is ‘parkrunday’ formerly known as Saturday! I then meet up with all my friends and family who are running that day, take photos, update my Facebook status and do the same at the end. I discovered these fun-filled photos have encouraged many people to join in.

How has parkrun changed your running:  I have always enjoyed running but have never run consistently. parkrun has increased my love for running and I am much fitter than I was eight months ago when I started.

What do you like about parkrun:  I love the idea of getting fit in a fun and sociable way. It does not matter whether you are an elite runner, a jogger, a walker or a parent with a child in a buggy, everyone is welcome to join and all for free. The friendly team of volunteers, who cheer the runners on, give us so much energy that I find I am on a high the entire day. The run is not competitive at all and many faster runners are happy to share their ideas on how to improve your time.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  I have two memorable moments. The first one last Christmas day (yes a Friday ‘bonus’ run – in addition to the normal one on Saturday!) when many of us added Santa hats and decorations to our running gear – the atmosphere at parkrun was brilliant and to top it all, I got a PB! The second one was during Easter break in Barnsley (Locke Park); it was brilliant to be a ‘tourist runner’ from London. Although the course was tougher as it was very hilly, all the ‘Northerners’ cheering ‘GO LONDON, GO LONDON’ was magical! #loveparkrun

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 Best Event Series at 2016 Running Awards

On Friday 22 April we attended the 2016 Running Awards at the O2 in London. It was a superb evening, with the who’s who of running in attendance. The night got off to a fantastic start as we were asked to present the Innovation in Running award to Goodgym. It was an absolute honour to present Goodgym’s Ivo Gormley with the award in recognition of his truly innovative and inspirational organisation that blends physical activity with helping those more vulnerable in society.

We were delighted to pick up the gold award in the two categories parkrun was nominated in: Best Book (Debra Bourne’s Much More than Just a Run the Park) and Best Event Series.

The wonderful thing about these awards is that the nominations and winners are selected by public vote. Winning these awards is a terrific achievement for parkrun and whilst the awards were collected by Chief Operating Officer Tom Williams and Head of Marketing Russ Jefferys, they did so on behalf of the whole parkrun community.

The Running Awards 2016

It was great to see Bournemouth parkrunner Sam Mollaghan receive the ‘Inspiration in Running’ award. Sam is the face of Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign and, in a very moving acceptance speech, she spoke of her passion for parkrun.

Thanks to the Running Awards for a tremendous event – and to everyone that voted.

 

Archie’s article

Hi, I'm Archie. I'm a 16-year-old core volunteer at Norwich junior parkrun.

I first heard about parkrun when I went with my dad to Norwich (5k) parkrun after it was recommended by friends. I ran a few times, but didn't really go to many more parkruns for a couple of years until I started volunteering for my Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

My first-ever junior parkrun was when I volunteered at our practice event at Norwich juniors. The team were all really friendly, and I was taken aback at how many people turned up! I then helped out at the first proper run, which had even more attendees.

I continued volunteering every week for my DofE Award and I loved it from the start. I've been volunteering with Norwich juniors for more than a year now, and gradually get more and more involved – I enjoyed being Run Director for the first time recently.

Archie briefing

I've done most roles at junior parkrun, and I really enjoy them all, although one of my favourites is the results processing because I love data and technology. It also frequently involves a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea, which is a nice benefit!

I also enjoy doing things for parkrun behind the scenes. I recently designed and made a new finish token rack to help make that job a bit easier, since it's usually the point where most problems start!

Archie token stand credit Francis Vickers

I also made a birthday cake for our anniversary back in March, and designed a poster to encourage more people to volunteer, and our Emergency Action Cards. I'm currently working on an automated spreadsheet for managing our wristband awards, so that it requires less input from Run Directors. I'm looking forward to working on more ways to make events even easier to organise and set up in the future, and I'm hoping to come up with some cool ways to represent all the data that parkrun provides too.

Archie set up credit Francis Vickers

I love parkrun because from a volunteer’s point of view it's a great way to meet a whole new set of friends who I'd never have met before. Everyone has been very welcoming and encouraging, which is fantastic. It's also really rewarding to know that I've been a part of helping 1,400 people have fun and improve their fitness. parkrun has also got me into running, and I love it because it's a unique combination of a social and a sport event. There's nothing better than racing a friend (or parent) to help you get a new PB!

Archie funnel Francis Vickers

If anyone is thinking about volunteering, then they should just do it – everyone's super friendly and it's a great way to gain a real variety of skills. I've learned so much about what it takes to organise and coordinate a volunteer-led event for 120 people every week, as well as how to solve all the problems that come with 120 children! I'm sure I'll be able to use these skills in other areas when I leave school. I think I'd like to go into engineering, but I wouldn't turn down a job at parkrun if it came my way!

Archie finish credit Francis Vickers

Happy running,
Archie Roques

Photos courtesy of Francis Vickers

 

weekly newsletter 21 April 2016

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter Paul Sinton-Hewitt asks us to donate £1 to Alzheimer’s Research UK, Intersport stand with us, Fitbit get us in a good habit, entries open for the Vitality London 10k, we ask for your vote in the Women’s Sports Trust Awards, and we hear how parkrun was the catalyst for the Bailey Matthews story.

We have never heard our son complain about having cerebral palsy. He does complain about blisters and tiredness as we all do, but this absence of misery supports our belief that Bailey doesn’t see himself as disabled. He has limitations, like many of us do in one way or another, but he just gets on with things. We’ve never wrapped him in cotton wool, and when Bailey puts his mind to something there’s just no stopping him.

The online footage of Bailey crossing the finish line at the Castle Howard Triathlon last summer has had more than 80 million views. The global reaction took all of us by surprise though, largely because we had seen it all before – many times!

The significance that parkrun has had in Bailey’s development as a participant in sport, his character, and dare we say it, his status as a global ‘celebrity’ can’t be understated. parkrun gave him his first experience of organised and mainstream sport, and if he hadn’t been so warmly welcomed and embraced with such passion and enthusiasm, his character may never have evolved in the way that it has.

It is impossible to forget the first time that Bailey finished Clumber Park parkrun – that was, in many ways, a million times more emotional than the finish at the triathlon. He took more than an hour, and many of the regulars remained at the finish line along with all the volunteers. A funnel was formed, a Mexican wave went up along with roars of congratulation and cheering. Bailey’s face was, to use a cliché, ‘a picture’! He was taking it all in, looking around with the biggest smile across his face I have ever seen. We are convinced that it was this rapturous reception, and this realisation that he would ‘fit in’, that provided the impetus for everything that has followed.

Since then Bailey has received the Pride of Britain Award, the Helen Rollason Award at BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and been shortlisted for numerous triathlon awards. And just recently, a teenager who also uses a walking frame as a result of an injury caused by a brain haemorrhage has joined parkrun. This shows what a true inspiration Bailey has become, not just to people with disabilities but to everyone. He is truly an inspiration to all, which underpins the hashtag that was coined on Twitter after the triathlon video went viral – #BeMoreBailey.

Bailey has always been a confident character, but Lyndon Stocks and the core team at Clumber Park have played a huge part in developing Bailey’s character. Bailey is an ‘ideas’ person; he has big, bold ideas and Lyndon and the team don’t just listen to Bailey – they help him develop and realise those ideas. For example, at an anniversary event, Bailey decided he would like to do his tribute to the Foo Fighters (his favourite band) and asked if he could do an open-air concert. Lyndon didn’t just agree; he organised a gazebo and a stage!

On Saturday Bailey completed his 50th parkrun. He was his usual chirpy self at the briefing – heckling Lyndon is as much part of his parkrun as the parkrun itself(!) – and when he saw some puddles on the course he quipped he wished he had his wetsuit! All the family – aunties, uncles, grandparents and parkrun friends – turned out with cakes and sandwiches for everybody. Bailey then carried on to shout ‘CAKE!’ and ‘SANDWICHES!’ like he was an East End market trader. It would take more than terrible weather to put a dampener on Bailey and his beloved parkrun.

As a family we can’t thank the people at our local parkrun enough for everything they’ve done to make Bailey feel accepted and part of something. The parkrun community is a massive part of Bailey’s life and because of them he has the determination to keep going and keep improving.

Without parkrun, there wouldn’t be a Bailey Matthews story.

Jonathan and Julie

Paul’s London Marathon update


In just a few days time I will run the London Marathon. I’m running for the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) who as you all know is parkrun UK’s charity partner. So why is it that ARUK chose parkrun? By partnering with us, ARUK wants to create a movement of active people that understand how a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise can help reduce dementia risk and to pioneer that message in wider society.

Clearly this is a message we’ve long been championing as parkrunners – we lead by example! The charity also needs our help, however much we can offer, to support its amazing research into the condition. It’s a battle we have to win, because the statistics are sobering:

* Dementia affects over 850,000 people in the UK and numbers are increasing
* Around 38% of us know someone with dementia
* At £24 billion each year, dementia costs the UK economy more than cancer and heart disease combined

I want to challenge the parkrun community to see if we can get 100,000 people to donate £1 each between now and Sunday. Do you think it’s possible to get this many people to donate to a single cause? It would make me so proud to be responsible for generating this amount of money to fight dementia. Please help by clicking on the image above and then set your amount at £1. Please tell us your home parkrun too.

Every pound donated will help ARUK to find vital treatments and preventions with the hope of one day defeating dementia. I am not asking for you to dig deep. In fact, let’s just get 100,000 £1 donations in the next few days. Come on parkrunners, I know you can do it!

we are with you, parkrun!


As partners of parkrun we are extremely proud to be involved with the parkrun community and we just want to let you know that we are with you, every step at every parkrun at every location!

One of the reasons we are involved with parkrun is to keep parkrun free for everyone, and to contribute to making the world a healthier and happier place by breaking down barriers to exercise and physical activity.

parkrun is the country’s most successful provider of free physical activity, and we feel passionate about keeping the nation running and introducing new people of all ages and backgrounds to parkrun week after week.

Intersport is proud to stand with parkrun and we are looking forward to meeting more of you on our journey.

Feel free to pop in to your local store for a chat, just go to www.intersport.co.uk for further information about Intersport UK and to find your nearest local store.

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

See you at your next parkrun.

get in the habit with Fitbit


Whether you’re starting from scratch or trying something new, it can be tough to get into a new fitness routine. The key is getting into a habit so that you can’t not do it!

There are three things to do to set a new habit for yourself:

* Our thought processes are either ‘deliberate’ or ‘automatic’ – when the first changes to the second, a habit is formed. Make a deliberate decision, say to run every other day for three weeks. After that three weeks is up, your body and mind will be so used to the routine that it will become a habit, and you’ll feel odd not running every other day!

* Our brains release dopamine, a chemical that gives us the thrill of achievement, when we’re praised. So keep track of your progress and you’ll want to push yourself for a new Fitbit badge or a text from parkrun with your new personal best.

* We recommend a standard target of 10,000 steps a day, but that might not work for everyone. Manually lower your goal if you want to slowly build up, or increase it if you want to challenge yourself further. Taking control will give you a greater power over your new habit!

Read the full blog on forming new habits here, and check out our tips to use Fitbit and parkrun together to get the most out of both.

Don’t forget to share your progress with us on Twitter and Facebook, and take advantage of the exclusive parkrunner discount on certain Fitbit devices.

Vitality London 10k entries open


Feeling inspired by the Virgin Money London Marathon? Then why not enter the Vitality London 10,000? Taking place on Bank Holiday Monday 30 May, this race starts on The Mall, finishes outside Buckingham Palace and goes past some stunning London landmarks. Organised by our friends at London Marathon Events and sponsored by our partners Vitality, this is a great 10k whether you are looking for your first event or want to get a PB. Entries are open until 29 April at 5pm so don’t miss out!

vote for us!


We are delighted to announce that parkrun UK is a finalist in this year’s Women’s Sports Trust #BeAGameChanger Awards. The awards recognise individuals and organisations doing the most to progress women’s sport, and we have been nominated in the Inspiring National Initiative category. The winner will be decided by a public vote, so follow this link to have your say.

parkrun population


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

Number of parkrunners – 89,358
Number of volunteers – 8,902
Number of first timers – 7,898
Number of PBs – 15,321

random stat of the week


15,552 people registered with parkrun UK in the week ending Sunday 17 April. This is a 50% increase on the previous week! #lovelittlestoke

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


Over our four years at Tilgate parkrun we have built a great relationship with the park team and they often help us out deicing paths, clearing overhanging branches and repairing footpaths so that our event can proceed. They then went the extra mile helping us to obtain our own storage container which we are very proud of, and we received help from our parkrun community to transport, install and kit it out. To thank them for their ongoing support we organised two ‘volunteer in the park’ sessions to give something back to our wonderful parkrun hosts. parkrun achieves great things.
Alnur Hassam


Last week I did my first parkrun at Darley in Derby. After a serious illness last year, it's taken me weeks to find the nerve to have a go but I was overwhelmed by how supportive everyone was and so I wanted to say thank you. Thanks in particular to the lady who showed me where to go and how the barcodes worked. Thanks to the marshals for clapping and cheering us around that last lap – I wasn't sure if I'd even make it to the end but your unexpected encouragement helped me get there. Thanks to the two runners who spotted me looking a bit grey afterwards and came to check I was okay. I'll be back this week!
Hannah Latham


I wanted to let you know about our son, Rory, who completed his 50th run recently on his sixth birthday. He runs with either Dad or Mum, and sometimes even his big sister can be persuaded to join in! Rory might not be the youngest owner of a 50 milestone t-shirt but he's very proud of it, and we're incredibly grateful to all the Camperdown parkrun volunteers who cheer us on each week.
Ellie Hothersall


These are three of our twelve grandchildren. As you can see they helped me out at Wolverhampton parkrun. The twins have completed a parkrun and are now in the school cross-country team. Our grandson had come up from Brighton for a holiday with nanny and granddad and when we go down to visit him, we run the parkrun there – it is like 'home away from home'. parkrun does a fantastic job of building a community spirit, which reaches out to others like ripples in a pond. On top of that, it helps people get fitter and have more self-confidence. What more could you want?
Tina Smith


We recently had a family holiday in the United States. Whilst there we attended Fletcher’s Cove parkrun in Washington DC. My eight-year-old and I were timekeepers and my wife and oldest daughter ran. What I love about parkrun is that even though we were a few thousand miles away we were still part of the parkrun family. We were welcomed warmly and it was just like being at a home parkrun. Same kit, same principles, and same enthusiasm for this great activity. Thanks to Henry, Dee, Darrell, Andres and the team for making us feel so welcome. Hopefully parkrun continues to grow in the US and has the same impact as here in the UK.
Andy Sutton


On Saturday 16 April we were in Bournemouth on a hen weekend. The bride to be, Michelle Coombs, is a regular parkrunner with more than 100 completed. She confessed that she had looked up the local parkrun and when we realised it was only five minutes from our party house, we invited the other hens along to join us on the Saturday morning. Despite an excitable Friday night, five of us rolled out of bed to join the Bournemouth parkrun. Michelle was a great sport, running with a veil and a ‘sweating for the wedding’ t-shirt. Three of the girls with us were first-timers and it was great to show them the parkrun community spirit. Thanks Bournemouth parkrun and congratulations Michelle!
Anne-Marie Bullivant


parkrun isn't just about running, it is about friendships and support – and scones! I introduced a friend to parkrun, then my sister, and now there are nine in our little group who car-share (our nearest parkruns are both 19 miles away). Two of the group don't have a car so without the group they couldn't do parkrun. Two of the group have done Couch to 5k and are beginner runners, where some of us are pretty fast (or consistent) in my case. Sometimes I choose to run with my friends or tail run and support the event. We always remember that the slowest runners are lapping those who are still in bed at 9am on Saturdays. This is absolutely priceless! #loveparkrun
Helen Rutter


Bevan and I spent our fifth wedding anniversary marshalling at Mount Edgecombe parkrun this Saturday. Bevan usually runs but took this week out to marshal with me. I am a new volunteer and I’m also gearing up to participate in my first parkrun.
Andrea Johnson


So far this year I have run five different parkruns - Falkirk, Inverness, Durham, York and Livingston, and I have volunteered with my daughter twice at Falkirk, taken five minutes off my PB and lost two and a half stone. At every parkrun, whether running or volunteering, I have been made to feel welcome. Thank you! #loveparkrun
Lorna Simpson


An Easter trip to the Isle of Wight was an ideal opportunity to add another parkrun to the collection – my local parkrun leader said to check the venue as Marina parkrun sometimes changes location due to other events. We arrived and followed a small trIckle of obvious runners towards the start. We were a bit suspicious at the lack of the usual hi vis volunteers and parkrun flags. Yep – this was one of those change in venue days. We had no time to get to the new venue so about 30 of us decided to do it anyway – a volunteer non-runner timed us, we did the usual safety announcements and waited until exactly 9am to start. The best bit - everyone waited to cheer the last runner home #loveparkrun
Karen Hooper

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Martin Chaffrey

Club:  Yeovil Town RRC

Age:  41

Home parkrun:  Yeovil Montacute

Occupation:  Solicitor

Number of runs:  7

Favourite volunteer role:  Core team member and run report writer

What do you do at parkruns:  Take photos and shout encouragement - if I'm not volunteering, it's likely my wife is so the children and I will be warning runners to "mind the slippy bits" from the horse swings or marshalling by the fountain!

How has parkrun changed your running:  I don't run anything like as much as I used to but enjoy the company of a real running community here at Montacute - and my children are looking forward to joining in when they're a bit bigger; for the moment we'll stick to singing ‘Let it Go’ from Ice House as we watch the runners struggling up the hill!

What do you like about parkrun:  We are really lucky to have a beautiful venue at Montacute House and it's a privilege to be able to help run an event that brings so much enjoyment to all our local runners and to tell all the tourists about how my ‘Saturday office’ was in Wolf Hall - and is Tottington Hall in Wallace and Gromit's Curse of the Were Rabbit!

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  I like to have themes for my run reports and the runners join in - we've had French days, Clown days, and I had them all do an impromptu rendition of the Mitchell Johnson "he swings to the left" song which was good - but the ones that stick out were the Montacute Red Arrows tribute down the Avenue which was brilliant fun, and of course there was the visit of the King for the Elvis Report!

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


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