welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s newsletter we talk tees, Elaine Omand does a spot of parkrun tourism and I have a Half Cowell.
On Saturday I was fortunate enough to find myself on the start line of Burgess parkrun, just a two mile jog from Tower Bridge, where we were staying with our friends from adidas in advance of the London Marathon. Many years ago when I first met our founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt his vision was that wherever you were on a Saturday morning there would be a parkrun close enough for you to easily get to and from. It was great then to look at the parkrun UK events map and see several options within jogging range for Helen, my five month pregnant wife, and Rosie my two year old daughter with a short attention span. I should point out to less regular readers of this email that Rosie was kicking back in our running buggy, not doing a two mile out and back with a 5k threshold run in the middle.
Anyway, as we’d been to Mile End parkrun before and are due to visit Southwark parkrun in May, Burgess parkrun was this year’s pre-London Marathon event of choice. Jogging down to the start with our mate James Foster we met the parkrun show presenter and parkrun UK Communications Manager Danny Norman in the early morning London sun and introduced ourselves to the local team. As always with our smaller events I was reminded of our roots and the beauty of keeping things simple, small and friendly. After a quick run brief we were off and thanks to some wonderfully enthusiastic volunteers completed two laps of the lake before heading back along the start straight to complete five rather invigorating kilometres. Thank you Burgess parkrun for a wonderful morning.
Looking at the global most events table I see that I had recently made ‘Half Cowell’ status, which is fifty percent of the way to completing 100 different parkrun events and membership of an exclusive club named after parkrun über-tourist Chris Cowell. Not that it will still be exclusive by the time I get there. My visit to Burgess parkrun took me to 51 different events and looking through our events list I can count 105 different parkrun courses that I’ve either volunteered, run or spectated at on a Saturday morning or visited during the week, and I’m yet to find myself somewhere that didn’t bring something unique to the parkrun family.
Here’s to many more locations and many more wonderful Saturday mornings,
We like to reward the dedication and commitment of our most regular runners and the 10, 50, 100 and 250 Clubs are our way of doing that.
When you join one of our ‘clubs’ an icon appears by your name on the results page to signify your achievement and you will also receive a free technical parkrun/adidas t-shirt for your efforts. In order to obtain your t-shirt we will send you an email which congratulates you on your achievement and invites you to visit your profile page to order the appropriate size and confirm the home run to which your t-shirt should be sent.
As we now send out in the region of 1200 t-shirts a month (it’s come a long way since Paul Sinton-Hewitt brought Darren Wood a Bushy Park Time Trial fleece out of his own pocket) it’s very important that you order the right size as exchanges are not possible. Parcels are sent out by our very own ‘Kit Pixies’ (Ray and Ann Coward) once a month to be distributed by the local event team. Please always refer any queries about club t-shirts to your local event team in the first instance.
We hope you receive yours to rapturous applause!
You can find answers to Club FAQs under Results, Competitions and Rewards.
Please check your event's news pages for the most up to date information.
Cancellations this weekend:
- Bedfont Lakes parkrun is cancelled due to road closures in the area severely restricting access.
feedback from the field
Let us know if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners
Hi parkrun UK
parkrun really has changed my life. My nephew encouraged me to go to Southwick parkrun and I laughed at first as at 48 years old I had never done much exercise, but I decided to give it a go having recently lost three stone. I was feeling determined and my first parkrun took me over 38 minutes. The first time I was able to run the whole 5k felt amazing. My PB is now 28:37 and I have made new friends and I'm fitter than I've ever been. Receiving the Sweatshop Monthly Prize was such a special moment for me. I will be running my first 10k soon but my goal is the Bath Half Marathon next March, just a few days before I hit the big 5-0. A huge thanks to parkrun and Sweatshop.
Hi parkrun UK
I retired in July and in December took part in my first parkrun in Eastbourne. I had never run in my life and had no idea if I would be able to run 5k. I was welcomed with such friendliness and received such encouraging words as I ran that I just kept going. I felt tremendous at the end. Since then I have run almost every Saturday either at Burgess or Eastbourne parkrun. I even found myself running on Friday evening when I was volunteering on the Saturday! I would never have believed I would like it so much. I feel much fitter and this has enabled me to enjoy my retirement by taking up snowshoeing, playing tennis and thoroughly enjoying myself. Thank you to parkrun!
Hi parkrun UK
I would like to say a big thank you to my Camperdown parkrun family for all their encouragement and support. I took up running in July of 2012 and did my first parkrun that September. I was very quickly addicted to running and found a whole new group of friends. With their encouragement I completed my first half marathon in April of 2013 and then my first marathon this April. I really look forward to my Saturday mornings attending parkrun and my husband is now a permanent fixture on the volunteer roster. The coffee afterwards is also a must! Thanks also to all at Camperdown parkrun for giving me the Sweatshop Monthly Prize, new trainers for my next marathon!
Hi parkrun UK
Just over two years ago I couldn't run 400 metres. Fast forward two and a bit years and I have just completed my 100th parkrun. I can’t get over the fact that I actually ran over 310 miles around parks in England and Wales. I have loved every minute of my journey. I would like to thank Ali Lenaghan and Brian Holden and all the volunteers for putting on Frimley Lodge parkrun each week. Your hard work never goes unnoticed. Also thank you to my brother Duncan Ball who introduced me to parkrun. Duncan you inspire me to be the best runner I can be. I love all the amazing friends I have made along the way. 250 Club I'm coming for you!
Hi parkrun UK
On the 5th of April I completed my 100th parkrun, well it was more of a fast walk to be honest, with an injured foot but I had to do it. So why, you may ask? I had my 80th birthday in January. I have had so much support from everyone at Brueton parkrun, including a party on my birthday. It was the encouragement by my son Peter who runs at Bushy parkrun that helped. If I was going down to visit him, he would say “bring your kit mother” and I was sold on it all. It makes me feel really good. So I would just like to say thanks to all parkrunners, keep up the good work, and get your mums and dads to join us!
Hi parkrun UK
Having just competed in my first marathon at Manchester, I was amazed at how many times during the race I heard parkrun mentioned. This was by both runners and people watching the race, who recognised runners from their local parkrun and cheered them on. This just goes to show what a wonderful community parkrun is and how I am sure it has encouraged so many of us to take on a challenge which a few years ago we would not have even considered possible.
Hi parkrun UK
Having registered recently, and so far managed three parkruns at my local Woodley parkrun, I've missed the last few due to training for the Brighton Marathon. This was my first marathon, which I'm glad to say I completed, though with legs feeling now like they're someone else’s! Just recently my wife has also got the running bug and she and my son have now also registered! So when my son Matt isn't playing footie and I'm not training for something specific on a Sunday we can all now parkrun!
Hi parkrun UK
Last weekend I went to stay with my daughter in Sheffield. We are both keen parkrunners originally from Coventry. However since starting university last September she has not been close enough to a parkrun to go regularly. Last week we made the 4km walk to do Sheffield Hallam parkrun which we thoroughly enjoyed, especially the downhill parts! After finishing, I thought time for the 4km walk home... but no, we weren’t going straight home, we had to divert to see the house she is renting next year! Luckily it was quite close to the park, meaning far more parkruns next year, and in her words “a real bonus”. This got me thinking, is proximity to a parkrun now a selling point used by estate agents?
parkrunner of the week
Name: Anya Smith
Home parkrun: York
Occupation: School pupil
Number of runs: 14
Favourite volunteer role: Barcode scanning
What do you do at parkruns: A bit of running, skipping, jumping and volunteering. I like volunteering because I like to cheer people on when they come past.
How has parkrun changed your running: I run faster now which makes me more tired out.
What do you like about parkrun: I like spending time with mummy and her friend Kathryn and I like it when everyone cheers as I get to the finish. The best bit is the hot chocolate with marshmallows I get at the end and the days when people bring cakes. I have cousins who run Newcastle parkrun and I really like that I am the youngest of my cousins who runs but was first to get a 10 Club t-shirt.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: My favourite parkrun was on Christmas Day when I did my 10th parkrun. I fell over on my way round and a man dressed as Santa Claus helped me up. I finished ahead of him because he was tired after having been up all night delivering presents!