weekly newsletter 30 June 2016

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter Intersport offers a parkrunner discount, Fitbit has 5 steps to 5k, we meet an outstanding Alzheimer’s Research UK fundraiser, you can volunteer for the London 2017 World Athletics Championships, our founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt writes about the joy of running, and Cath Shellswell invites us to be part of National Meadows Day this Saturday.

I started running, like most people, because I wanted to get fitter (and need to be in shape for work) and love being outside. My job involves surveying grassland and farms during the summer. However, lunchtime runs were a little dull until I discovered a parkrun starting down the road at Longrun Meadow in Somerset.

I joined the community of more than 200 runners and walkers, and with a relatively flat course it left lots of time to look around and enjoy the landscape. The park is well used by lots of people; dog-walkers, children playing games, and the river is often used by kayakers. Longrun is a wildlife haven in the centre of the town, and I was amazed at the number of different bird songs that I could hear. I have even spotted water voles and otters. Through my involvement with parkrun, the local community group found out that I work with wildflowers and asked me to help create a wildflower meadow. Last year we sowed yellow rattle, a plant that parastises grasses, with the hope to sow more wildflowers in a few years time to increase the pollen and nectar for bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects.

Many parkruns take place through meadows. Lullingstone parkrun in Kent passes through spectacular wildflower meadows where training courses take place as part of the national Save our Magnificent Meadows project. Penrhyn parkrun near Bangor in Wales has had donor seed taken from a Coronation Meadow and spread near the castle in the middle of the running course. Coastal strips and road verges are also places where wildflowers will thrive.

Save Our Magnificent Meadows is the UK’s largest partnership project, transforming the fortunes of vanishing wildflower meadows, grasslands and wildlife. Led by Plantlife, the partnership is made up of 11 organisations and is primarily funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The aim of the partnership is to give people all over the UK the chance to visit, enjoy and learn about our wildflower meadows and grasslands, to raise awareness of their desperate plight and to equip communities with the knowledge and skills to reverse their decline.

National Meadows Day is this Saturday, 2 July, and more than 60 events are taking place across the UK. It is all about celebrating our meadow wildlife, so if you still have some breath left after your parkrun, check out the events in your local area.

Cath Shellswell
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enjoy 10% off at Intersport


What a month June has been! It was fantastic to see so many parkrunners at our Intersport stores across the country, making the most of your 20% parkrun offer and chatting to us about your running goals and achievements. We hope that you are enjoying your new pieces of kit at your weekly parkruns.

As we head into July we are delighted to confirm that parkrunners can continue to claim 10% off as an ongoing community offer #PPP (parkrun partnership price*). Simply show your parkrun barcode in store any time you need some new running gear.

You’re allowed to take a few hours off to watch Wimbledon, of course – and be smug that the likes of Andy Murray have got where they are thanks to plenty of running and fitness training. Something as runners we’ve known all along, of course!

As always, we are here to help with kit and advice about all things running. Pop into your local store for a chat (click here to find your nearest store) – and don’t forget your barcode #DFYB.

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

See you at your next parkrun!

*PPP valid at all participating Intersport stores; see our website for details.
** Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion.

Fitbit’s 5 steps to 5K


We know that working out is good for us, but maybe not where to start or what we should be doing. Running is a great way to exercise as almost anyone can do it almost anywhere!

5k is a great first target to work towards. That’s why we work with parkrun as they build a running community to spread the word. Here are five things to expect along the way:

* Running will help to build your stamina.
* The ‘wall’ is real. Both veteran and new runners have moments where they think they can’t go on, so you may too. But as long as you’re not hurting yourself very often, all you’ll need is an encouraging word with yourself to push through it.
* Take the good with the bad. One day you could run for hours, the next you struggle with a stitch by the 2k mark. Don’t stress out – it happens to all of us, and you’re still lapping everyone sitting on the sofa.
* Don’t worry what others think. Some people don’t run because they worry what they look like. Trust us – no-one notices!
* You CAN do it. No matter what you think, you can run 5k. parkrun is open to all ages and abilities so no matter if you walk, jog or sprint – you can complete the course your way.

Don’t forget to reach at least 10,000 steps a day for the Fitbit and parkrun challenge for a chance to win a Fitbit Blaze! If you haven’t joined in yet it’s not too late – click here for more information and to sign up.

100km in 10 days


Matthew Deller has completed Running Down Dementia’s 100k in just 10 days. The runner, who is local to Sittingbourne parkrun in Kent, made it his mission to run 10k every day for 10 days as a personal challenge while completing Running Down Dementia.

While juggling being a father-of-two, his marketing job in London, and supporting his father in looking after his mother, who has Alzheimer’s, Matthew has completed 100k by running on his lunch breaks and tagging 5k onto the end of his parkrun each week.

Matthew said: “I do go running quite a bit and take part in parkrun most weeks, so I thought, why not challenge myself by doing more? In I went with both feet, literally. It was a spur of the moment decision but I’m so glad I did it. Other people got behind me, and in all 10 days I only did one run by myself. The hard bit was having little recovery time, but that’s what I love about Running Down Dementia, that it’s asking people to push themselves.

“My mum was diagnosed two-and-a-half years ago, but she had Alzheimer’s for a while before that. It’s been a massive change in lifestyle for my mum, and it’s had a huge impact on my father who is her primary carer.

“I think more research needs to be done to fight dementia, and that’s why I signed up to the challenge. I’ve already seen so many people get involved with it, it’s wonderful. I’d urge anyone else considering it to sign up.”

There’s still plenty of time to get involved with Running Down Dementia. You can sign up online, and if you’re already taking part, why not get your friends and family involved? It’s always more fun in groups, and you can start a team of your own.

Don’t forget to keep on updating us with pictures of your runs using the hashtag #RunningDownDementia.

London 2017 ‘runners’ wanted


This week, organisers of the London 2017 World Athletics Championships announced details of their volunteer programme. They are looking for 4,000 volunteers – to be known as ‘Runners’ – to be at the heart of the Championships.

Thousands of volunteers make parkrun and junior parkrun happen up and down the UK each week and whether you’ve volunteered or not before at a major event, anyone can be a London 2017 ‘Runner’.

Dina Asher-Smith volunteered at the London 2012 Olympic Games and was a ‘kit carrier’ in The Stadium for a number of top athletes. She said: “I volunteered at the London Olympic Games and it was an amazing experience. It was magical to be part of the whole occasion. I would say to everyone that they should get involved in London 2017 because it will be one of the most amazing experiences of your life.”

You can register your interest now to be part of this once in a lifetime experience.

The IAAF World Championships and World ParaAthletics Championships take place next summer at The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Further details can be found here.

like the wind magazine


parkrun Founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt provides a fascinating insight into what he refers to as ‘the joy of running’ in the latest edition of Like The Wind magazine. Paul’s journey takes us from his time in boarding school in South Africa to his discovery of running, and with it the beginning of life-long friendships.

Paul’s article is available to read online, and parkrunners who wish to purchase the full magazine receive an exclusive £2 discount on single copies (including this copy and all back issues). The discount is available using the code ‘parkrun’ in the cart at checkout.

parkrun population


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

87,178 parkrunners
8,926 volunteers
6,301 first-timers
16,259 PBs

random stat of the week


Amongst the 87,178 people voting with their feet for parkrun last weekend, were 1,540 Davids, 745 Michaels, 284 Georges, 189 Nigels, 95 Jeremys and three named Boris!

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 would like to say a massive thank you to Bolton parkrun and to everyone who turned up to celebrate my 50th parkrun. I had a great day and I hope everyone enjoyed themselves and enjoyed the cakes after the run, which were provided by some amazing people. I didn't just celebrate my 50th parkrun, I also got to meet fellow brain injury survivors, which without parkrun I would never have met (they are with me in the photo). I would also like to say a massive thanks to everyone who came and volunteered, and those who volunteer each week at Bolton parkrun, because without you parkrun wouldn't be able to take place.
Siobhan Pimlott


I had a double knee replacement in December 2003 aged 54, following years of overactivity and too many operations, which left me unable to run – but I still manage to cycle and ski. As a former PE teacher, I've always loved the idea of collective sports events and was immediately attracted to parkrun. I have been volunteering at my local parkrun in Ashford, Kent since last year as timekeeper. Earlier this year my wife and I visited New Zealand and I contacted the parkrun team in Christchurch, and the day before we came home I did some timekeeping in Hagley Park. Great experience, wonderful team and friendly participants as always. Can't wait to volunteer at other away days in the future.
Pete Rowley


On a beautiful sunny morning Wycombe District Council Chairman, Mahboob Hussain, congratulated Wycombe Rye parkrun on reaching our 200th run. He praised parkrun for all that it is doing to encourage people into health and fitness and hoped that one day rather than 400 people running around the Rye there would be 1,000. He was particularly impressed by the twenty volunteers each week who gave their Saturday mornings to allow other people to run. Five run directors – Alistair France, Norman Lockhart, Phil Burridge, Nick Sendall and Lyndsay Markham – presented Counsellor Hussain with a certificate celebrating his role as our honorary starter for our 200th run.
Alistair France


I would like to tell you of my parkrun challenge that I have set myself. Starting last Saturday at Dulwich, I will run all the events in Greater London. I will be writing a blog about my experiences, and I am really looking forward to running new events and in the process making friends along the way.
Mark Layzell


When the floods hit Cumbria late last year, Fell Foot parkrun (held on the banks of Lake Windermere) had to temporarily shut down for a few weeks. This meant we weren't able to provide our runners with a Christmas parkrun in 2015. Undeterred, we decided to delay the festivities – by six months precisely! So on Saturday 25 June we held our very own 'Christmas and a Half' parkrun and encouraged Fell Footers to turn up dressed in Christmas outfits with a summery twist. Among others we had Santa in a Hawaiian shirt, Rudolf in Bermuda shorts and a penguin in sunglasses. It was a great example of our parkrunners getting into the spirit of the day. We loved it!
David McGuigan

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Heather Harper

Club:  Enniskillen Running Club

Age:  58

Home parkrun:  Enniskillen

Occupation:  6th Form Study Supervisor

Number of runs:  6

Favourite volunteer role:  Marshal

What do you do at parkruns:  My heart is in volunteering. My husband and I try to arrive early, giving us time to chat with other runners and volunteers before parkrun gets under way. I have volunteered as timekeeper, giving out finish tokens, tail runner and marshal. As a marshal, it's great to see everyone who is running that day, and to give them ALL encouragement. We have some fast guys, some slower runners/walkers and a lot in between – everyone deserves encouragement. They have all made the effort to be there. We recently purchased some cowbells and I enjoy ringing them as encouragement!

How has parkrun changed your running:  parkrun inspired me to begin running. I first came into the parkrun family as a volunteer. My husband began running just over two years ago, and he then discovered that we had a local parkrun, Enniskillen, and began to run it every Saturday. Last autumn I came on board as a volunteer, and loved it. As time went on I began to look at the runners and thought maybe I could do this. So, I signed up for a C25K, and in March I RAN in my first parkrun!

What do you like about parkrun:  parkrun is a family – one I never ever thought I would join! But everyone has been so welcoming and encouraging and it is wonderful to be able to return those sentiments to visitors and other runners every week. I have met so many new people who I would never have come across before I started running. parkrun inspired me to do C25K, and that in turn inspired me to be part of a relay team entered in the 2016 Belfast City Marathon. parkrun has a lot to answer for, and gives us all a common topic for conversation. Thank you!

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Two things come to mind – on 2 April this year I ran at Portrush parkrun with my husband and two sons – a lovely parkrun along the beach and back. Then on 21 May our daughter registered with parkrun, and I was able to run at Enniskillen with her. It’s wonderful to now have all of our family as parkrunners! The next big challenge is to have us all together at the same parkrun as our daughter lives in Liverpool, one son lives in Southampton and runs there, and our eldest son lives in Belfast.

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


 

Viva la volunteer!

Last month, I volunteered as a ‘Funnel Manager’ at Highbury Fields junior parkrun. This was my first time volunteering at a junior parkrun and I LOVED IT! It genuinely was so much fun, and really easy. I usually arrive at parkrun four minutes before the start, but because I was volunteering, I was there nice and early so I got a really good briefing from the Run Director and could ask lots of questions so I knew exactly what to do! I also got to chat to loads of young runners, and their parents/ big sisters/ uncles/ grandmas as they arrived.

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Joining in the warm up made me laugh loads, and before I knew it they were off! After about 100 high-fives, I got in position, ready to help keep everyone in order as they passed through the finish funnel. I’ve done this on a Saturday, and believe me, the kids are way better behaved than the grown ups!

16-06-12_25479_PisthangerJunior

Afterwards, it was a quick pack away before we were off to a local café for a well-deserved hot chocolate and croissant… and I was still home before 11.

There are so many roles you can take on at a junior parkrun, from a nice, sedentary timekeeper to a more active tail runner. And heaps of roles that you can do as a family – there is nothing my two-year-old likes more than helping me with the ‘beepy scranning’ (barcode scanning!!).

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When I went to Highbury Fields, we had just over 100 young runners, and 12 volunteers. And all of them played a vital role. It’s very simple; without volunteers, parkrun and junior parkrun couldn’t exist. My challenge to all of you is to volunteer in a new role before the end of the summer (or convince mum/ dad/ granny/ uncle to do it!). It’s super easy and will make you feel good all day. To sign up, either click on ‘future roster’ on your junior parkrun homepage (here’s the Highbury Fields one, yours will look very similar!) or chat to the run director.

What are you waiting for?!

#loveparkrun

Clare Fowler

Safeguarding Lead at parkrun UK

(thanks to Bruce Li for the brilliant photos)

 

weekly newsletter 23 June 2016

welcome to the newsletter


 

When I was 14 years old I had two dreams – to join the Army, and to be the 1500 metre Olympic champion.

I started running in secondary school and was really lucky to have a PE teacher who believed in me and encouraged me to concentrate on the one talent I had – running. I believe it only takes one person to tell you that you can be good at something, to give you a purpose and the confidence to strive for your dreams.

I was easily distracted in the classroom because I wanted to be outside. When I was running I felt free, competitive, and motivated to succeed. Sebastian Coe was my hero, and watching him win a gold medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics gave me goosebumps.

As a junior athlete I represented Great Britain, and for some of that time I worked behind the till in a local sweet shop where I’d done a paper round from when I was younger. I was also a nursing assistant for people with various disabilities and mental health issues, which was one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever had.

Two years after leaving school, when I was 18, I joined the Army in the hope of becoming a physical training instructor. Having watched a video at school a few years earlier, I knew that was the career for me. I was attracted to the independence, the chance to develop life experience, and the opportunity to meet other people. Things didn’t turn out quite the way I planned though, and I spent my first three years in the Army as a HGV driver before later becoming a physical training instructor.

I started running for the Army and in 1993 I joined Middlesex Ladies Athletics Club (now Ealing, Southall and Middlesex AC), going onto become National Champion and being selected to run for Great Britain. Learning to balance my career and sport was a wonderful lesson in time management. Life is all about juggling balls – some drop, but mostly it’s important to realise how much we can actually achieve if we put our minds to something. The Army taught me that discipline and respecting yourself and other people is the key to moving through life in a positive way. I learned that hard work and self-drive are very important to success.

1994 was my big breakthrough year. In one Army race I took nine seconds off my 1500m PB, catapulting me into the world athletics scene. I went on to win gold at the Commonwealth Games, which allowed me to focus my attention on striving for the Olympics. It certainly wasn’t an easy road, and it took many years of hard work, setbacks and frustration, but winning double Olympic gold in Athens was quite literally a dream come true.

I first heard about parkrun earlier this year on social media when I was training to run the London Marathon. As a retired middle distance athlete I was finding the long distance training hard to get used to, and some of my training runs were a bit boring to be perfectly honest!

Discovering parkun was a revelation, and it’s no exaggeration to say that parkrun is the reason that I got through my marathon training. Visiting new places, meeting new people, and exchanging banter on social media was exactly what I needed. I love how it brings so many people together from the local community, regardless of age or ability.

With the marathon now over, I still intend to run at parkun whenever I have the chance. A concept that brings people together without any barriers and is welcoming and happy is a magical thing, and I feel privileged to be part of it.

Happy running,

Dame Kelly Holmes
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Dame Kelly was interviewed about parkrun as part of the BBC coverage of our one millionth UK participant in May.

our grand runner


This week we’d like to introduce you to Nuala Smyth who has just become the first person to raise more than £1,000 through Running Down Dementia.

Nuala, who has currently raised £1,048.96, is taking part in memory of her dad Hugh McNally, who passed away at the age of 81 with dementia on 6 August 2015. Nuala aimed to raise £810, £10 for every year of her father’s life, but has already smashed the target, and run 75 kilometres.

Nuala said: “I'm aiming to complete my challenge by 6 August. No pressure! In May I agreed to run a 10K with my friend. I hadn’t been running in a couple of years and don’t consider myself that good but practice makes perfect. I joined Stormont parkrun and from there I’ve been gradually improving.

"One morning while reading through the parkrun newsletter I came across the Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Running Down Dementia campaign. As this was so close to my heart I just immediately made a mental note of it and signed up the morning registrations opened.

“I’m shocked to be top of the leaderboard, but others are certainly giving me a run for my money so I’ll have to keep it up!”

If you’d like to follow in Nuala’s footsteps but haven’t signed up yet then you can do so here.

By next week, we predict there’ll be 2,500 of you taking on the challenge – and our aim is to get to 5,000.

If each of our participants can ask just one friend or relative who is not already signed up to get involved, then Running Down Dementia will raise a whopping £500,000, which will go to our scientists’ pioneering research to find preventions for dementia.

All you have to do is send them the link and get them to sign up and make the pledge – it’s as simple as that.

And remember to tell us all about the friend who’ll be joining you on social media using the hashtag #RunningDownDementia.

last chance – 20% off at Intersport!


We’re not quite sure where the month has gone, but there is only one week left to receive your exclusive 20% parkrun offer at Intersport.

Having just celebrated the longest day, we’re loving being able to get out and run first thing in the morning or late into the evening. It’s a fantastic time of year to be a runner and we’re so pleased to have seen so many parkrunners making the most of it. Many of you have popped into our stores these past few weeks to pick out new pieces of kit for your weekly parkruns and weekday training. You deserve it!

Don’t miss your chance – you have until 30 June to claim your parkrun partnership price (PPP)* at Intersport, simply by showing your parkrun barcode.

We’re happy to confirm that after June, parkrunners can continue to claim 10% off their running gear as an ongoing community offer #PPP.

As always we are here to help with kit and advice about all things running. Pop into your local store for a chat (find your nearest store here – and don’t forget your barcode! #DFYB

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

See you at your next parkrun!

*PPP valid at all participating Intersport stores; see our website for details.
** Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion.

win prizes with your steps


Get ready, set, STEP! Our parkrun and Fitbit challenge starts this Saturday – do you have what it takes?

Take on parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt and see who tallies up more steps on average – Paul or the parkrun community. By taking part you’ll be helping to raise £5,000 to fund new parkrun events, and you can win a Fitbit for you and a friend too!

It’s easy to join in. All you have to do is click here to register your device and aim to take at least 10,000 steps a day over the course of the eight day challenge.

No Fitbit? No problem. You can use your smartphone to track your steps for free with our Fitbit app. Or you can take advantage of our exclusive parkrun discount and order a Fitbit device here.

Good luck – get stepping!

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 passionate about parkrun? Fanatical about finding solutions? Made to manage multiple projects at once? 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, please visit our website.

parkrun population


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

90,909 parkrunners
9,107 volunteers
6,803 first-timers
19,479 PBs

random stat of the week


944 new volunteers helped deliver UK events last weekend. That's around two people at each parkrun event finding out how simple, fun and rewarding volunteering can be.

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


Having been overweight and unfit all my life, I competed the couch-to-5k programme and then started parkrun two years ago in order to help lose the final stone of a six stone total loss. It had the desired effect, but what surprised me most was the amazing effect it has had on my little girls. They are all desperate to be a 'runner' like Mummy. So it was with huge pride that my eldest, aged just four, completed her first parkrun this week at my home parkrun, Frimley Lodge. She had a great time and beamed with the joy of being a parkrunner all day. Thank you parkrun for not only helping me get fit, but also be a better role model to my girls.
Ruth Batchelar


My nine-year-old son Alex quickly established himself as much faster than me at 5k, which left me searching for willing adults to accompany him at Guildford parkrun. I needn't have worried, as our parkrun friends have willingly obliged as his times have improved. Very many thanks to Jane, Patrick, David, Keith and Susanna who have encouraged him and offered some top tips on pacing and form and enabled him to knock minutes at a time off his PB. His confidence in his running and himself continues to build and he has his parkrun friends to thank for that. I hope he returns the favour and is pacer for the adults when he is 11+!
Jen Duke


I just wanted to say a big thank you to all the parkrun venues I've visited with my six-year-old son, James, and especially our home event Colwick parkrun for making him so welcome over the past few years. Here is a picture of him on the day he reached the magical milestone of 100 parkruns, and to add to the special occasion there was cake and a new PB.
Iain Hickman


Saturday 18 June was my 40th birthday. What better way to celebrate than running to and round all five parkruns in Sheffield? We met at 4am at Hallam and off we went. After completing that we headed to Hillsborough, up to Concord, across to Castle then up to Graves, getting there in time for the briefing. In total it was just over 32 miles, and I couldn't have done it without Ben Heller, Martyn Goldsack, Alastair Lawson and Keith Jackson. We were joined at the beginning by John Rawlinson and the final 12 miles Ollie Hart and Jason Brannan who pushed us to the end. Another way parkrun can bring people together and help others achieve. Here’s my daughter Heather and I finishing it off at Graves parkrun.
Matt Rimmer


Last weekend my daughter Eden completed her first parkrun with me at the Bath Skyline parkrun. At only four years old, she ran hand in hand with me and managed it in 40 minutes. I asked her what she wanted to do to celebrate. Her response? "I really want some jelly beans, Daddy!"
David Richardson

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Lawrence Cummings

Club:  None

Age:  75

Home parkrun:  Sedgefield

Occupation:  Retired – I run almost every day

Number of runs:  58

Favourite volunteer role:  Marshal

What do you do at parkruns:  I like to run and encourage other people, and I also marshal the odd run.

How has parkrun changed your running:  Since starting parkrun, I decided that I would try to break my age category records (70-74 and 75-79) at venues around the country, and since Christmas Day 2015 I have broken 11 parkrun age category records.

What do you like about parkrun:  The friendship shown at each venue, no matter where you are from.

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


 

Getting the party started

Last week something rather exciting happened in junior parkrun world - a new volunteer role appeared on our system.

Warm Up Leader

It’s been a long time coming and people seem genuinely thrilled by this simple enhancement which now enables us to identify the person who gets the party started on junior parkrunday. Like this magnificent chap at Norwich juniors...

Party started

These are just a few of the reactions from some of the junior parkrun organisers when I posted the good news last week: Woohoo… Excellent… Fantastic… Brilliant… Hurrah… Yippee… Super!

I finished the post with… “It’s made my day” to which Emma Poole of Moormead juniors replied “Mine too” with pictorial evidence of her delight!

Party started

I absolutely love going along to our junior parkrun events and I’m always prepared to step up and lead the warm up at any junior parkrun event that will let me but it’s not always like that for everyone. However...

“After over a year of actively refusing to do the warm-up, somewhat amusingly I was the first volunteer at Hilly Fields to get an official credit on the roster for the warm up this morning. We were short of volunteers so it was time to push myself out of my comfort zone. You were right, it is fun!” said Lisa Power earlier this week.

Party started

It’s also brilliant news for those plucky juniors who step up to lead the warm up routine. They can now have a volunteer credit and be thanked publicly on the website for their efforts. After all, it is something to be very proud of!

Here’s some of the Whaley Bridge juniors getting the troops warmed up… and as Amy Tremain of Eltham juniors said: “Excellent! My son will be delighted! All our RDs rope him into doing it every week.”

Party started

We strongly encourage junior parkrun event teams to include a warm up as it all adds to the experience, and we really love it when adults join in too. The simple routine helps to focus the mind and prepare the body for what’s to come, and for some of our less enthusiastic participants a fun warm up may well be the hook that encourages them to get stuck in at all.

Here’s the junior parkrun pre-run warm up routine with a few tips thrown in. Practice at home and join in next week.

pre-run warm up routine
#loveparkrun
Helen
@parkrunhelen

 

weekly newsletter 16 June 2016

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter Fitbit and Intersport have exclusive offers for parkrunners, Alzheimer’s Research UK are all about team spirit, we are hiring, and Charles Hampden-Smith explains how parkrun propelled a small group of friends to the World Duathlon Championships.

Last week we saw a tweet showing some Wimbledon Common parkrunners representing Great Britain at the World Duathlon Championships in Spain. We asked Charles Hampden-Smith to tell us all about it…

The journey to becoming a GB MAMIL (middle aged man in lycra) started in early 2008. A friend had heard about Wimbledon Common parkrun and after looking at the website, I decided to give it a go. I was 46 at the time, hadn’t run since school, and felt I needed to build up to running 5k in the local park before plucking up the courage to go to my first parkrun on 8 March 2008. I was nervous that I’d not be good enough but needn’t have been – I was welcomed and soon back for another go.

Initially parkrun was about trying to gain a little fitness. My waist had been expanding and my young daughters started laughing at my ‘pregnant tummy’. I suspected that parkrun would be like joining the local gym for me – a passing fad. However, as the weeks passed and I started running PBs, the motivation slowly changed to improving my times and becoming more competitive. This led to friendships, joining a running club and taking part in races.

At the beginning of this year, a few of us at Wimbledon Common parkrun decided to try a duathlon (running and cycling). Richard Evans, who has cycled around the world, talked about trying to qualify for the age grade World Championships. Simon and John had some experience, however Gina Galbraith and I were not regular bike riders. Indeed, Gina couldn’t ride a road bike without regularly falling off at the beginning of the year! But whatever our shortcomings, as a group we spurred each other on and I started to believe I might have an outside chance of qualifying. The thought of wearing a GB vest meant my priorities started to change.

There was a choice of distance for the World Championships: Sprint – a 5k run, 20k bike ride and 2.5k run; or Standard – a 10k run, 40k bike and 5k run. There were three qualification events in the UK and the quickest athletes were selected from these races for each age group. At the end of the qualification process I was first reserve for the 55-59 age Standard team, and after a couple of people had dropped out I received a call-up in late April. Fantastic! Most importantly, four of my Wimbledon Common parkrun friends, with more than 1000 parkruns between us, had also managed to qualify and we’d be going as a group.

The World Championships were held earlier this month in Aviles, northern Spain, and were attended by more than 1,400 athletes from around the world. This turned out to be like a mini-Olympics: with an opening ceremony including a street parade and cheering crowds, everyone wearing national team colours, and a closing ceremony with fireworks.

After buying a time trial bike and pointy aero helmet and watching YouTube videos on how to do the transitions, I shocked myself by finishing as fourth Brit out of 19 in my age group. That must have been down to the newly shaved aero legs!

It was a brilliant weekend and the Wimbledon Common parkrun contingent of the GB team all did well, albeit without winning any medals. Perhaps, with a bit more training, we’ll make the podium in Canada next year. The main target however will be to take part and have fun. Hopefully we’ll have an even larger contingent from Wimbledon Common parkrun next year, and perhaps some more parkrunners from the rest of the UK/world as well. If anyone is interested, keep an eye on the British Triathlon website to find out about next year’s qualification process and events.

None of this would have happened for me if it hadn’t been for Paul Sinton-Hewitt and the people who established Wimbledon Common parkrun. Thanks all!

Charles Hampden-Smith
A12039

an exclusive offer


Fitbit and parkrun want to inspire everyone to get active, on parkrundays and every other day! So together we are launching something exciting very soon.

But sssh – it’s still a secret! All we can say so far is that you’ll need a Fitbit account.

Don’t have a device yet? We’ve got you covered. Until 30 June, we’re offering a one-time exclusive only for parkrunners – Fitbit Charge HR for just £94.99. That’s £25 off the RRP, and £15 less than the already discounted parkrunner price!

Click here to shop, and keep your eyes peeled for further announcements.

*Offer is available to registered parkrunners only from 16 – 30 June 2016. Discount based on Charge HR RRP £119.99

team spirit


As Head of Community and Sporting Events for Alzheimer’s Research UK I was excited about Running Down Dementia as I knew it would change lives. I just didn’t know one of those people would be me.

Four weeks after signing up I’ve clocked up 100k, set PBs, lost 5lbs and feel amazing. Plus I’ve been bitten by the running bug!

On 10 May I undertook my first 5k and it took me 41 minutes. My best time was at Wimpole parkrun where I took my time down to 32 minutes.

As a busy working mum I had to fit my training around my work and my kids. This involved evening runs once the kids were in bed, weekend parkruns and a colour run. I took my trainers to Center Parcs and even did a run whilst we were camping one weekend.

I couldn’t have done this without the support of my running partner, fellow parkrunners and the Running Down Dementia Facebook group. Their amazing stories were inspirational and spurred me on to complete my challenge and beat my own target of five weeks.

Running showed me the real meaning of team spirit, which parkrun has freely given to us all. Why not use that team spirit and sign up to Running Down Dementia to see how far it could take you?

Lucy Squance

don’t forget – 20% off at Intersport


We’re halfway through June and our exclusive parkrun offer is being enjoyed up and down the country. It’s great to be able to offer something special to parkrunners to celebrate our partnership, especially when it helps you kit yourselves out for less!

All you need to do to claim your parkrun partnership price (PPP)* at Intersport is show your parkrun barcode. You will receive 20% off any of our fantastic running gear – and who doesn’t feel inspired with new kit?

As keen runners ourselves, we’re always excited to try out new running shoes or clothing. If it feels good, it will enhance your performance and make your running even more enjoyable! So come and see what we have in store and treat yourself to something at a great price.

Don’t forget that after June, parkrunners can continue to claim 10% off their running gear as an ongoing community offer #PPP.

As always, we are here to help with kit and advice about all things running. Pop into your local store for a chat, and don’t forget your barcode!

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.

*PPP valid at all participating Intersport stores; see our website for details.
** Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion.

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 passionate about parkrun? Fanatical about finding solutions? Made to manage multiple projects at once? 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, please visit our website.

parkrun population


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

93,699 parkrunners
8,851 volunteers
7,509 first-timers
17,369 PBs

random stat of the week


It was great to see that 76% of UK parkrunners who took part last weekend had completed their emergency contact details on their parkrun profile. The easiest way to add or update your details is by using the ‘manage your profile’ button in your result/thanks for volunteering emails, or the email version of this newsletter.

The durable tags and wristbands available from our authorised parkrun UK barcode supplier can also be personalised to include emergency contact details and any specific medical information.

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


There really is only one story from Saturday’s Hove Promenade parkrun, and that is the amazing John Henry Ramsden's 250th parkrun. We were thrilled to welcome John for his 250th parkrun and it was a pleasure to cheer him home. Alongside stalwart tail runner Robbie Whishaw and beagle Frank, John crossed the finish line to rapturous applause from the Hove Prom crowd, wife Maureen and daughter Tonya. John runs in the 80-85 age category and is an inspiration to us all. Thank you John for always running with a smile on your face, and thanks to our fabulous volunteer photographer Nigel for capturing this special occasion so perfectly
Helen Block


I would like to recount something I witnessed at Cannon Hill parkrun that really warmed my heart. I saw a runner ahead of me who was hurt; he was sitting at the side of the course while a marshal tended to him. There was a lady standing nearby, who I now know is the lovely Stacey Marston. She grabbed the marshal's hi-vis and slipped it on as she stepped up to the course and, without missing a beat, held out her arms to indicate the course at the same time as supporting and motivating the runners with words of encouragement. She really embodies the community spirit of parkrun.
Gemma Masson


St Albans parkrun first took place four and a half years ago. Peter Bailey was one of the first participants and now, aged 72, he has completed his 100th parkrun. Whilst that is an achievement in itself, Peter's story is an inspiring one. Just before Peter's 50th parkrun he suffered a heart attack and had a triple heart bypass. Peter watched parkrun during his recovery and after a year started running again. On Saturday 4 June, Peter reached his 100 milestone in 33 minutes and 32 seconds, a little outside his personal best of 27 minutes and one second.
Maria Bailey


I am a regular Sunderland parkrunner, into the twenties in terms of runs. I am currently in Melbourne, Australia and last Saturday I did the Albert Park parkrun. It was a bit wet and splodgy but that didn't deter a good number of runners. This was a very friendly and enjoyable experience with our Antipodean friends down under. The route is around the lake in Albert Park, and they walk you to the start from a collection point. Well done to all the volunteers!
Brian Johnston


Who would have thought that just over four years ago (weighing in at a shade under 15 stone and looking like a bag of spuds) that I would have qualified as a member of the Great Britain team heading out to Spain to compete in the World Championships in Sprint Duathlon? Not me, that is for certain! To keep the story short I've just returned from Spain and I firmly believe that if it hadn’t been for parkrun’s weekly free event, and the commitment of its regular volunteers who make the event happen, I would never have had the opportunity to step onto the world stage. Thanks to everyone who makes these events happen for people like me, you're all amazing.
Gary Smith


A photo which encapsulates the spirit of parkrun – they'd run hard for 5k but in the finish sprint one runner simply applauds as the faster man sprints for the line – and it ended with a nice handshake before the post-run coffee!
Martin Chaffey

parkrunner of the week


Name:  The Deacon family – Olivia, Peter, Evie, Orla, Fleur, Theo and Alberto

Age:  134

Home parkrun:  Gedling

Occupation:  Being very busy!

Number of runs:  45 and 18 junior parkruns between us

Favourite volunteer role:  Tail running

What do you do at parkruns:  All seven of us have been involved in running, with us all facing the hills of Gedling parkrun (Alberto enjoying the scenery being pushed around on three wheels) and Orla, Fleur and Theo also enjoying Gedling junior parkrun. We have also got stuck into the delights of volunteering: as marshals, timekeepers, barcode scanners, tail runners and more recently run directing for the juniors which ends up being a family outing! There isn't much we haven't had a go at, but are keen to try everything out!

How has parkrun changed your running:  Since starting parkrun around August 2015, we have all gradually become more involved. We have all been challenged by the hills of Gedling parkrun and Orla, Fleur and Theo now embrace Sunday morning as junior parkrun time! Evie and Orla now ask to come running more during the week and see running as a real and personal achievement. We are all becoming running converts and view it as a big part of our lives. The hills of Gedling are embraced rather than feared, and running is a great addition to our weekend.

What do you like about parkrun:  As a family, we really notice the support and welcoming environment of everyone involved. We have made friends, met lovely people and enjoy seeing familiar faces who cheer us on and encourage us in whatever role we happen to be doing. It's great to feel good about introducing something to Evie, Orla, Fleur, Theo and Alberto that they can be part of as children varying in age from two to 16, and that they can get so much out of too.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Our most memorable moment is the first time we were all involved in junior parkrun. I put on the run directing shoes, Peter (and Alberto) and Evie helped marshal, and Orla, Fleur and Theo ran the course. I was incredibly nervous and the family were so encouraging and supportive, helping everything to go smoothly… and it did!

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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