Time flies!


I can’t believe it’s been two years since we activated the junior parkrun series. Of course four splendid monthly events preceded this, and who paved the way, but November 2013 marked the date when the new weekly junior parkrun series started with a vengeance.

The first events were Southampton and Roundhay juniors and Wimbledon Park, Rushcliffe, Harrow Lodge, Newport, Barking & Dagenham and the inaugural event north of the border in Helix, Falkirk, quickly followed these. Time really does fly, and we now have a grand total of 76 junior parkruns across the UK, with many many more in the pipeline. I don’t think it will be too long before we reach 100!

As I said in the inaugural junior newsletter, the dream is to provide an opportunity for children across the UK to participate in free physical activity, on a regular basis. We want to give them the chance to experience open space, to enjoy the natural environment, to be with their friends and make new ones, to challenge themselves, to keep fit, to laugh, to smile and to have fun. Not only that, we want to encourage entire families to get involved, whether by running/walking/jogging with their children, or as parkrun volunteers or simply as spectators and supporters.




We are achieving our goals. Every week between 4,500-6,000 children take part. We have had our first junior to complete 100 2k events – that’s 200k of running! We have welcomed hundreds to the three junior parkrun clubs, included giving out the much-coveted, orange ‘Ultra’ wristbands, which the children wear with pride.


We are sent heart-warming photos and hear stories about how junior parkrun has changed people’s lives – from Ella Bloxsidge who has Retts, the parkrunning Sinclair family and little Red Fox. We have had successful junior takeovers of entire events, such as the one in Newport, and have seen hundreds of other children donning the high-vis and volunteering each week.




As my husband Tom and I await the imminent arrival of our little junior parkrunner, and I head off on a years maternity leave, I am excited and frustrated in equal measure. Excited because this marks the start of a new adventure for us as a family; one that will surpass any endurance challenge we have encountered thus far! But I also admit to being a little frustrated in that I will be spending a whole year away from the coal-face of the parkrun world. Working for parkrun HQ is an absolute privilege and one that I am grateful for each and every day. To see the junior series grow and evolve, to see the smiles on the faces of the kids, to hear the feedback from the field and to have the opportunity to also work on developing strategies to get others involved in parkrun is an honour. Of course, I will be heading down to parkrun to walk/run and volunteer but I also love working behind the HQ scenes to drive this change and I will miss it dearly while I am busy changing nappies and coping with sleepless nights!

My sincerest thanks goes out to everyone who has helped on the first stage of this wonderful journey. There are too many to name, but you know who you are and we really couldn’t have done it without you.

Here’s to the next year, and more, of junior parkrun success!






volunteer awards and nominations: Essex parkrun events

Congratulations to all parkrun events in Essex, which were recently nominated and shortlisted in the Active Essex Sports Awards.

The award is for 'An individual, team, club, group or organisation who has successfully delivered a physical activity project in Greater Essex which has made a significant contribution to increasing participation in Physical Activity in the community and has had a significant health and wellbeing impact on hard to reach groups.'



We look forward to hearing all about the awards ceremony in December!
Do you know of an individual or volunteer team who have been nominated for an award as a result of parkrun? Please fill out this online form and your story could be posted here!


volunteer awards and nominations: Matthew Plumpton

A huge well done to Matthew Plumpton who was chosen as Young Volunteer of the Year 2015 at the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sports Awards.

Matthew and his family are regulars at Worcester parkrun. Matthew, who sometimes also runs, is a keen volunteer. This week he was recognised at the County Sports Awards for his hard work, winning the Young Volunteer of the Year 2015. Event Director Richard Ralphs said, "Every week he brings his enthusiasm, jokes, and ideas to add to the Worcester parkrun vibe. He initially marshalled and made such an impression we named part of the course after him 'Plumpton Bridge' where he encourages us all on, many by name. He's developed into volunteer co-ordinator welcoming our 50+ volunteers each week and arranging what, and where they should go. He has also Run Directed giving the run brief to over 500 runners. Matthew is what Worcester parkrun is all about!"



Well done, Matthew, on this incredible achievement and thank you for your continued support of parkrun.
Do you know of an individual or volunteer team who have been nominated for an award as a result of parkrun? Please fill out this online form and your story could be posted here!


weekly newsletter 19th November 2015

welcome to the newsletter

In this week’s newsletter Dione runs for love and Alzheimer’s Research UK, Fitbit highlight their sleep track function, Debra Bourne’s parkrun book gets nominated for an award and Pherenice shares her story.

To say that running and parkrun have transformed my life is an understatement. Two years ago, my husband Mark died suddenly of cancer. It was a massive shock and for months I survived on autopilot, supporting my two children, then aged seven and two. The grief was overwhelming. At the age of 39, the life I had taken for granted was torn apart and replaced with fear and anxiety.

One day my oldest son Tyler announced that I needed to ‘get fit’ and that I should start running. I had never run before, but I could see how important it was to him to have a healthy mum. So I joined a gym, got a personal trainer and slowly built up my fitness. My first attempts at running on a treadmill lasted for 30 seconds but gradually I increased my time to 20 minutes. I started to notice that running was the perfect outlet for my grief.

I registered for Bromley parkrun on the first anniversary of Mark’s death. Supported by a good friend, I crossed the line in 29 minutes. It felt wonderful and gave me a strong sense of purpose. Since then I have run 45 parkruns and got even faster.

I joined my local running club, Petts Wood Runners, which has groups for all abilities. Encouraged by supportive and friendly members, I was soon running several times a week. Then I decided to take on a new challenge – running 43 races in memory of Mark to celebrate each year that he was alive and to raise money for an amazing peer-to-peer support network that has helped my boys and I through some of our darkest days.

During the summer I was thrilled to be chosen as one of Paula Radcliffe’s Great Runners for the Great Newham London Run. As well as giving me running tips and advice, she also ran 2.5k through the Olympic Stadium alongside my son Tyler. Now he’s an aspiring runner too and takes part in the Bromley junior parkrun.

Through parkrun I also met my new partner, David Allison, who is a run director at Bromley parkrun. David is supporting me through my 43-race challenge and helped me to complete my first half marathon at the Great North Run in September.

I will always grieve the loss of Mark and the future we planned together. But his illness opened my eyes to how precious and short life is. You can either exist or start living – and I chose the latter.

Pherenice Worsey-Buck

love on the run

My wonderful husband Mark was only 36 when he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Mark loved running and that’s how we met. He had a great sense of humour and after a whirlwind romance we got married within a year and went on to have two beautiful children.

Our girls were seven and nine when the diagnosis came. We were devastated but it explained why Mark had struggled so much with his job and become forgetful and confused. He couldn’t work anymore and had to give up driving – life would never be the same.

We decided to make the most of our time together while we could. We renewed our wedding vows and our daughters were thrilled to be bridesmaids. We went on holiday, cycled, did as much as possible as a family, and continued running together until he couldn’t coordinate his movements any more.

Mark stayed at home to look after our girls at first but when he got lost on his way to collect them from school it was obvious he couldn’t cope. His condition deteriorated rapidly and I had to help him with everything, washing, shaving, getting dressed - he lost all his independence. Within a short space of time he became a danger to himself and our daughters.

It broke my heart when I realised he needed 24-hour care in a nursing home. I’ll never forget the day I left him there. We visited him all the time but the girls found it very hard. It wasn’t long before he lost the ability to walk and talk.

Mark died in 2010 aged 41. It was just two weeks before I was due to run the London Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK. I decided to keep my promise to him and run to boost funds for the charity’s vital research to find new treatments.

It’s heartening to know that parkrun has teamed up with this amazing charity, getting involved in fundraising activities and spreading the word about the need for research. It’s great to see more and more people becoming part of the #TeamARUKparkrun fold – together we’re taking a step closer to a world free from dementia.

Thank you,

P.S. To find out more about parkrun’s partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/parkrun – and if you’d like to share your reasons for joining #TeamARUKparkrun we’d love to hear your story.

sleep like a baby - with Fitbit

It can sometimes be tough to fit exercise into your everyday routine, especially when work and your social life get in the way. It gets even harder when you’re a parent as juggling lunchboxes with lunges can feel impossible!

That’s what Fitbit Charge user and Brighton-based mum Sarah Roberts found, especially when her new baby son couldn’t stick to a bedtime routine.

“I was originally excited about using my Fitbit Charge to help motivate me to lose weight after having a baby, but in reality I found that keeping fit throughout my pregnancy coupled with sheer exhaustion after having my son Gillespie meant that I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight in a matter of a few weeks.”

Any new parent will surely be able to sympathise – exhaustion certainly doesn’t go well with exercise! Sarah realised that her baby’s poor rest pattern was stopping her from getting active, so she used the sleep tracking function of her Fitbit to understand what was happening and is now starting to build a healthier pattern with the help of a consultant. Read more here.

Rest is just as important as exercise, as it allows your body time to repair itself. So as Sarah’s sleep improves, she could soon be strolling around her local parkrun with her children.

If you also find your kids leave you too worn out to work out, try the sleep track function for yourself. For guidance on how to do it, take a look at our sleep tracking FAQs. Once you’ve got the lie-in licked, let us know how you get on via Facebook or Twitter – we love to hear your success stories!

If you haven’t got a Fitbit yet, remember that parkrunners benefit from an exclusive £15 discount off any device, plus a special offer for the Charge at just £74.99.

2016 Running Awards

We received the wonderful news this week that Debra Bourne’s book: parkrun: Much More Than Just a Run in the Park has been nominated for ‘Best Book’ in the 2016 Running Awards. Voting in this category and many others is now open with a shortlist for each category due to be announced after voting closes on the 4th of December.

parkrun population

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

Number of participants - 66,536
Number of volunteers - 7,531
Number of first timers - 8,636
Number of PBs - 11,119

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

Last week my mum ran her first parkrun at the age of 72. Having never run before, she started the Couch to 5k programme three months ago with the single aim of taking part in a parkrun. With me, my brother and my 20-month-old daughter in a running buggy – all parkrun regulars – running Maldon Prom alongside her, three generations of our family are now part of the parkrun family. We're all so proud of her!
Michelle Pauli

This time last year my friend and fellow 'larger lady' complained of tingling in her foot. To cut a long story short she was diagnosed with diabetes and told she needed to have her foot amputated. In January this year she had the operation, two days later a blood clot lodged on her lung and she died. She was 37 – it was a real wake-up call. I made major changes to my lifestyle immediately, undertaking the NHS couch to 5k. Completing a parkrun seemed a distant dream, but I can now run under 40 minutes on my home (very hilly) course and, encouraged by fellow runners, I have entered a 10k next year. It is not an exaggeration to say thank you parkrun for saving my life.
Sarah Senior

A very inspiring runner joined the 100 club last Saturday. Helenjane James, who’s eighty, has taken part in numerous marathons and triathlons. She’s been a regular at Bromley parkrun since the event began in 2009, despite breaking her hip a few years ago. As, smiling as ever, Helen was about to finish her 5k, fellow members of Bromley Veterans AC (a club Helen helped found) formed a guard of honour to welcome her. It was a grey, wet morning and Helen amazed us by then cycling home. Her energy and enthusiasm are a wonder but she let me in on a secret regarding making it all look easy. “It’s acting” she joked. “I’m a good actress!”
Marijana Urbany

I have completed 15 parkruns at Greenwich parkrun over the past year. I cannot express how much the other runners keep my spirits up as I sometimes struggle to complete the course. "You can do it" and "Keep going" they say as they run past. I call it my parkwalk as I don't run it yet but one day I will. I have had ME for 13 years, and at my worst I couldn't walk for more than a few yards and have used a wheelchair in the past. I hope that one day my daughter, who has the same condition, will run with me too. Every time I cross the finish line I’m so happy.
Cathy Hannon

A remarkable achievement by habitual advocate and parkrun devotee, Alexandra Watson-Usher who with her husband J (a parkrun volunteer extraordinaire) have recently taken delivery of a beautiful daughter, Nolita Belle, without much disruption to their Saturday morning routine. Admittedly, Alex's times gradually increased throughout her pregnancy but it is amazing that she got round the course here in Roundhay on her actual due date in a creditable 34 minutes and gave birth only days later! She's since been back volunteering. The sight of ‘bumps on the run’ has become familiar I know but I wonder if this achievement is a world-first or if there are other members of the unofficial WVP - Women Very Pregnant - category who have similar stories to tell.
Brian Tyrrellmeh

It might be lashing rain, cold and dreary, but it's always a good day to be a parkrunner.
Teresa McCarthy

parkrunner of the week

Name:  George Dawson

Club:  Bushfield Joggers

Age:  83

Home parkrun:  Peterborough

Occupation:  Retired

Number of runs:  49

Favourite volunteer role:  Marshal

What do you do at parkruns:  My ‘George 80+ Please Pass’ lettering on the back of my running shirt gets me loads of greetings and encouragement during the run. I have a reputation for running in minimal running gear even in the coldest of weathers.

How has parkrun changed your running:  I started running when I was in my 50s and I have completed 100 marathons. However I reached that time where I didn't want the competitiveness of races and some of the enjoyment had gone. When parkrun started at Peterborough I resisted joining in because I wasn’t sure I’d fit in. I was eventually persuaded to give it a try and this coming week will be my 50th run.

What do you like about parkrun:  I look forward to Saturday mornings, and joining friends for a pre-run chat. I run at the pace I am comfortable with in the company of other runners of all ages and abilities. I wish I'd started coming to parkrun sooner.


the parkrun store

Barcode reminder


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 your 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 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.


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

Fitbit UK

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

Change 4 Life supporting parkrun
Eat well, move more, live longer

For more information on Change4Life please visit nhs.uk/change4life

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


Nine magic points

In junior parkrun world, we decided that it might be easier for everyone, new or experienced, if we had a Code of Conduct that we all easily understood. Every week I get a lot of questions about what you can and cannot do at junior parkrun and we hope that those questions are answered here for both children and adults.

junior parkrun code with flags low res 170815

We pride ourselves at parkrun that the experience you had 11 years ago when parkrun started is more or less the same as the experience you have now when you turn up on a Saturday or a Sunday morning. junior parkrun started five years ago and was also guided by the principals of parkrun except in those days it was a monthly event.Now we get to have it every week!

The way we keep it the same or very similar is by everyone spreading the word and being clear and proud of what we are and what we stand for.

Each of our nine magic points are essential for the safety, respect and passion to be there for the next generations of parkrunners.

A little girl called Grace, who is nine years old wrote us a poem this week which I think captures the simplicity of parkrun and junior parkrun:


So, next time you are talking to your friends about junior parkrun, please share our nine magic points with them.

Maybe get them to decide what number 10 might be?

I know what mine is... Keep it simple and stretch!


Happy running


⇐ Newer Posts