weekly newsletter 16th October 2014

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter PruHealth with Vitality congratulate their Faces, Chris Davies sees a shoe swap, we invite you to run a mile, you can be parkrun proud, we announce our partnership with the IAAF and I shed a tear or two.

I don’t really know why I didn’t write this week’s newsletter last week, anyway… Saturday the 4th of October, our tenth anniversary, was one of the most moving days of my life. Arriving at Bushy Park around 8:30am in the morning I became instantly aware of a special atmosphere in the air as parkrunners from all around the World mingled with the South West London locals in advance of Bushy parkrun number 538. My personal parkrun 'birthday’ (the date of my first ever parkrun) is the 4th of August, a day that back in 2007 marked a turning point in my life that would send me on a journey I never dreamed possible. Fast forward to the Saturday before last and there we were at the birthplace of parkrun itself in the company of the 18 parkrun pioneers (13 runners and five volunteers) who’d taken those first magical steps.

One by one they were introduced to the crowd and up to that point I don’t think any of us had anticipated quite what that moment would feel like and just two days previously Paul Sinton-Hewitt had received his CBE from The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William. Having such a clear demonstration of where we started back in 2004, contrasted against 1,700 runners, alongside Paul who stood there with his CBE, painted the most amazing picture. I’m not ashamed to say I was moved to tears. Who knows where we’ll be in another ten years time but I have a feeling that we’ll never again have a moment quite like that.

The parkrun pioneers together on a parkrun start line for the first time since October the 2nd in 2004.

As we look to the future perhaps the greatest challenge we face is balancing financial survival with our not-for-profit ethos, something that demands we minimise commercial impact on our community. In the weeks, months and years to come there will be changes to the way we generate income for parkrun as we look to place greater control of that in the hands of the parkrunner. Recently, as part of that, we took the decision to move into retail clothing. Having spent many years deliberating the pros and cons it had become clear that many parkrunners wanted to wear something that advertised their membership of the parkrun movement and also to contribute to parkrun in some way. We’re really excited about the anniversary t-shirts (modelled above by the pioneers) and hope that they tick both those boxes. There are a limited number and once they’re gone they’re gone so if you’d like to own a little bit of parkrun history and at the same time contribute towards the future of our wonderfully free weekly timed runs then why not check out our online store.

Thanks as always for your wonderful parkrun passion,

Tom

P.S. You can read this week’s junior parkrun newsletter here.

Vitality Oxford Half Marathon


Congratulations to all parkrunners who completed the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon on Sunday! We are really proud to have sponsored such a great event and we want to say thank you to those who took part.

PruHealth with Vitality would like to make a special mention to our Vitality Faces of the run - Simon and Frances. Over the past seven weeks we have followed them on their journey to completing the 21k and what a ride it has been! Simon and Frances have now completed the run and walk away with everlasting memories and a great sense of achievement:

“Two out of three ain’t bad, sang Meatloaf. Well my three aims were 1) to beat last year’s time 2) to get a new PB 3) to try and get below 1:50 finish time. I managed the first two, and achieved a respectable and realistic time of 1:52:49. That’s a fair reflection of my training effort and I’m happy with that. Until the next half marathon.” - Simon

“I am so happy today, feeling an immense sense of well being and achievement. Everything about the last few weeks, from the phone call to tell me I’d won the competition to crossing the finishing line, has been incredible. Doing sub-2 hours 20 minutes (2:15:10 to be precise) and the ‘well done’ hug from Simon at the finish, were the icing on the cake.” - Frances

Simon and Frances’ dedication, determination and effort has been a true inspiration and PruHealth with Vitality is proud to have them as Vitality Run Series Champions.

Congratulations and thank you Simon and Frances!

Check out their full Vitality Oxford Half Marathon journey here.

Do you want to achieve a half marathon goal?

The Vitality Oxford Half Marathon is part of the Vitality Run Series - a new running series featuring eight of the UK’s most exciting running events, brought to you by PruHealth with Vitality. Get active and take on a new challenge - run one, run two or run all five remaining races in the Series. Find out more at vitality.co.uk.

date for your diary


The Westminster Mile takes place on Sunday the 24th of May 2015 and once again we have our very own parkrun wave.

You can enter here using the unique parkrun wave link. Join us on The Mall!

parkrun proud


A limited edition commemorative souvenir parkrun t-shirt is now available via our online store to celebrate our 10th Anniversary.

Available in both adult and junior sizes, all profits will be ploughed back into parkrun to support our growth. Wear one and be parkrun proud.

parkrun and the IAAF


parkrun would like to announce that it has joined forces with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to become a Partner of Athletics for a Better World.

You can read more about this programme here.

Each week parkrun introduces more venues across the globe where people can take part in a free, fun filled, 5k run. In doing so we are delivering social change in all the countries that we operate in. As an example, last week we witnessed nearly 80,000 people enjoying a walk, jog or run at one of our friendly events, which is only made possible because of the commitment and generosity of 90,000 volunteers since parkrun began. This weekend’s events were brought to you by nearly 6,300 of our wonderful volunteers.

With over 1.2 million people registered and growing by over 14,000 new members each week, parkrun’s welcoming attitude and community focus makes it an ideal place for social change to take place. Each week we celebrate everyone’s achievements at each of our 500+ locations.

By introducing this partnership, the IAAF and parkrun accept that we have a global responsibility to use the power and reach of athletics to make a positive difference in peoples lives.

By Paul Sinton-Hewitt, parkrun founder

parkrun population


Here are this week’s summary statistics for parkrun UK:

Number of runners - 51,430
Number of volunteers - 4,823
Number of first timers - 7,372
Number of PBs - 10,814

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
I just wanted to say a big thank you to all the parkrunners and volunteers. I completed the NHS Couch to 5k in February this year with the ambition to be able to tackle a parkrun without causing embarrassment or injury to myself! I needn't have worried as the reception I have received from everybody at my local Mulbarton and Norwich parkruns have inspired me to achieve more. In October I ran the Great North Run and have lost nearly two stone along the way. I always look forward to Saturday mornings, absorbing all the running advice on offer but also offering encouragement to fellow parkrunners. I've even roped my nine-year-old niece into coming along too! Thank you parkrun.
Regards,
Ian Condron


Hi parkrun UK
In Peterborough on Sunday I completed my first half marathon in less than two hours and 54 minutes. I have been running for 10 years but until I found parkrun I had only ever run by myself. Every week I make new friends and now I have friends to run with. My husband has signed up to parkrun too. I have seen so many people come along and enjoy the friendly atmosphere at Catton parkrun in Norwich (which just celebrated its first anniversary) and consequently improve their health and confidence. When I am not running I love to take part by volunteering and cheering the runners on. With the encouragement I received I found the motivation to extend my running to try the half marathon distance. Thank you parkrun for changing my life.
Regards,
June Millwood


Hi parkrun UK
A huge thanks to all the volunteers and parkrunners at Fulham Palace parkrun who cheerfully tolerated the first part of my hen celebrations last week (we were the 11 stragglers dressed as Pac-Man and the Pac-Man ghosts). My brilliant bridesmaids who organised the weekend knew it wouldn't have been complete without a 5k run on Saturday morning. It was my first time at Fulham Palace parkrun, a really excellent event in a stunning setting, which was also my 50th parkrun overall and that made it extra special. A few of our party who were new to parkrun have been converted and are looking forward to completing many more. Thanks in particular to the kind lady who took our photo and for making us all giggle!
Regards,
Liz Baker


Hi parkrun UK
I've just finished volunteering for the first time, at Mile End parkrun. It was brilliant to be supporting the runners and get first-hand experience of the organisation that goes into the weekly 5ks. I really enjoyed it and I'll certainly be doing more volunteering, especially if I've got a night out planned for the Friday! I'd like to thank everyone who has volunteered and made it possible for the runners to turn up week after week and have such a stress free experience as you do an amazing job!
Regards,
David Jeffery


Hi parkrun UK
Spot the Difference! The first photo of us proudly wearing our 50 Club t-shirts was included in your newsletter in April 2013. The second photo shows us now, in our 100 Club t-shirts! Between us all we have completed 460 parkruns. The majority have been run at our home event of Swindon parkrun. We have done a little tourism including one parkrun at Durham, North Carolina in the United States where we were given a warm welcome. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers at Swindon parkrun for their hard work every week. It is really appreciated as parkrun has become such a part of our life now. We would be lost without you on a Saturday morning.
Regards,
Rachel, Alan, Jacob and Isaac McAdam


Hi parkrun UK
Being a regular parkrunner at Bognor Regis it made a nice change to be able run at another event. While in Newquay, Cornwall I found the local parkrun at Lanhydrock House, Bodmin. However I noticed it was a little way from Newquay and no trains would arrive for the 9am start. I promptly sent out an SOS on the Lanhydrock parkrun Facebook page and within a couple of days I had a lift sorted with a chap named John. There was a great, warm welcome and it is a fantastic run where the views are worth the trip alone. I’m looking forward to doing this parkrun again. Thanks to everyone involved.
Regards,
Marcus White


Hi parkrun UK
On Saturday I ran my 54th parkrun and my fifth at Cambridge, having recently moved back to my home city after six years in Newcastle. I also volunteered for the first time on ‘Post-Event Closedown’. Slightly kicking myself, having only recently realised you can volunteer and run the same week, I'm now volunteering at least once a month from now on to feel redeemed! I'd like to thank my friend Caroline who first dragged me along to parkrun as well as everyone at Newcastle parkrun whom I got to know so well, I'll be up for a reunion run before too long! Also thanks to all the Cambridge parkrun volunteers for their encouragement and making me feel so welcome since I've been back. Keep it going everyone!
Regards,
Jack Ord


Hi parkrun UK
I was so delighted to receive the email from parkrun recently to say my 50 Club t-shirt had arrived. Unfortunately I wasn't going to be at parkrun that weekend to collect it. However, my friends Alison and Nigel Swan could collect the shirt on my behalf. They texted me to say they had the t-shirt in their possession. I told them to look after it until Monday and not to let it out of their sight. They took me at my word because all weekend they uploaded photos onto Facebook with them and the t-shirt, which included a trip to buy a hot tub, a car boot sale, a visit to a furniture store and it even found it’s way into a vending machine. Thanks for the t-shirt parkrun!
Regards,
Mark Bonner


Hi parkrun UK
You might be interested to know some news of a parkrunner (albeit infrequent) who introduced me to parkrun. She is my daughter, Cat Simpson, and she has just completed the Atacama Crossing in Chile. It is a seven day, self-supported 155 mile run across the highest, driest desert in the world. It was Cat's first run of this kind, although she has run a number of ultra marathons over the past 12 months, but nothing this extreme. In a field of runners, many of whom were very experienced in this kind of race (and a double Olympian who won overall) Cat came 13th overall (out of 126 finishers and 32 DNF) and 2nd lady, an amazing achievement.
Regards,
Keith Simpson

parkrunner of the week


Name:  The Johnstone Family (Pete 48, Vicki 43, Dan 16, Lucas 14, Billy 11 and Marcus 6)

Club:  Dan is a member of Valley Striders AC. The rest of us are just parkrunners.

Age:  138

Home parkrun:  Roundhay and Roundhay juniors

Occupation:  Vicki is a Physiotherapist. Pete's an NHS Manager. The kids are all at school.

Number of runs:  352 x 5k parkruns and 98 x 2k junior parkruns.

Favourite volunteer role:  Vicki and Lucas like timekeeping, Dan and Pete like pacing, Billy likes barcode scanning and Marcus is a top marshal and photographer.

What do you do at parkruns:  parkrun and junior parkrun is just what we do on weekend mornings. We enjoy a big extended family mixture of running, volunteering and messing about with friends, relatives and the whole Roundhay and Roundhay juniors family.

How has parkrun changed your running:  parkrun didn't change our running, it was the start of all our running! Dan did his first run with his laces undone and his hands in his pockets like a grumpy teenager. He now runs sub-20 minutes. It helped Pete to lose over three stone and move from couch potato to doing triathlons.

What do you like about parkrun:  What don't we like about parkrun? Nothing... Starting our weekend mornings with a run or two, or volunteering, or both and the feeling of achievement is great. The friendly, inclusive atmosphere, the sense of real community plus the strong links between our 5k and junior events. The fact that all of us can do it together or separately, supporting each other to improve our times or to just get round some weeks. We can't describe how much it has changed our lives for the better.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  So many! Lucas completing his 50th run in a skin tight red morph suit, Pete and Billy running Billy's first event together in matching skeleton suits on Halloween, Dan finally going sub-20, three generations of our family all running together, conquering the Roundhay hills in six inches of snow...

parkrun corner

Chris Davies

There’s nothing more disappointing for a parkrun tourist than arriving at a new event and realising your running shoes are at home. It’s even worse when the parkrun is in such a beautiful location as the National Trust property of Colby Gardens in Pembrokeshire on a warm, late summer morning.

But this is what happened to a distraught lady runner at Colby parkrun as she looked down at her feet and realised that she still had her walking shoes on. She was still considering an army-like 5k yomp in her shoes when I noticed that my wife, on crutches at the time, was wearing her running shoes but was in no condition to use them.

To cut a long story short, this is the first time that my wife’s running shoes have achieved such a high age graded result. In fact they were still warm when she put them back on again in exchange for the lady’s shoes she had been wearing.

So we now have a variation on ‘no barcode, no result’. It’s ‘no shoes, no problem’.

Chris Davies
Newport parkrun and Newport junior parkrun Event Director and parkrun UK Ambassador

reminders

barcode reminder

barcode

Barcodes are used at all our events to record your result. Please collect and print your barcode here. No barcode, no result!

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

volunteering at parkrun

Every parkrun event relies on volunteers and in 2013 alone over 33,000 of you came forwards 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.

cancellations

For cancellations please check your event’s news page for the most up to date information.

upcoming anniversaries

October

Edinburgh parkrun 18th

Fulham Palace parkrun 18th

Richmond Park parkrun 18th

Ashford parkrun 25th

Finsbury Park parkrun 25th

Gunnersbury parkrun 25th

Gunpowder parkrun 25th

Lloyd parkrun 25th

November

Aylesbury parkrun 1st

Brighton & Hove parkrun 1st

Little Stoke parkrun 1st

Oxford parkrun 1st

Sewerby parkrun 1st

Sheringham parkrun 1st

Waterworks parkrun 1st

Whitstable parkrun 1st

Blickling parkrun 8th

Highbury Fields parkrun 8th

Larne parkrun 8th

South Manchester parkrun 8th

Tonbridge parkrun 8th

children at parkrun

Children under the age of eleven must be accompanied at all times by a parent, guardian or appropriate adult of the parent's choice. It must also be ensured that children place themselves appropriately at the start so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken. This is to ensure the safety of your child.

the parkrun show

The parkrun show

You can download your copy of the parkrun show here. (iTunes)

The parkrun show is the audible roundup of the "goings on" of everything that caught the teams eye from the weekend in parkrunworld.

Brought to you by Marathon Talk.

our sponsors

adidas investing in parkrun
all out performance

adidas has been focused on athlete's performance since the first running spikes were made in the 1920s earning the first Olympic gold medal in adidas shoes. Today, adidas is proud to be supporting parkrunners everywhere. Explore adidas running adidas.com


Sweatshop investing in parkrun
Helping people be the best they can be

For 40 years, Sweatshop the award winning running store, has been helping runners find the perfect products for their individual needs. Find your closest store at sweatshop.co.uk


PruHealth investing in parkrun
Health insurance that rewards you for living well.

We want you to live life well. Our health insurance makes it cheaper and easier for you to get healthy with discounts on things like gym memberships, sports shoes and bikes - and motivates you with rewards like free cinema tickets to savings on holidays. And importantly, if you do get ill - we'll always ensure you have access to the best possible medical care. Discover Vitality wellness

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


 

Barcode Birthdays.

This week I had the pleasure of spending my Sunday morning at a birthday celebration. There was cake, there were children but there was also lots of running!

I returned to Pitshanger junior parkrun  which was holding its second event. I had been to the park many months ago to meet the prospective Event Director, Kelvin Walker. He wanted to give something back to his community, as so many of our wonderful volunteers do, and decided that junior parkrun was just the thing. He had a wonderful park nearby with lots of great facilities: a playground, tennis courts, football pitches and a cafe. Lots for the family to do before and after running.

Identifying the course was the first step.  There is a simple route around one part of the park where the children can easily be seen and to make it even better, it is also really pretty. Course selection – done!

I then handed over to parkrun Ambassador, Carol Moran, who helped the team bring the event to fruition. Hey presto! Many pairs of little legs and a few really long ones later, it was like magic.

Being there for the second event was special. It was a lovely morning - not foggy as most of the country seemed to be  - and I was outdoors, spending time with like-minded people. Perfect.

It all started, as always, with the junior parkrun warm up. I love the star jumps!

IMG_2894
Then the all-important pre run briefing. Look at all those quiet children.
IMG_2903

Then … ready steady go!
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I realised there were cakes being laid out (and so did my dog Dotty!)
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It was only after one little set of legs was being encouraged to the finish by the rest of his family that I realised the cakes had a special purpose.

One little fella had been watching his parents and his older brothers running and had never been able to join in as he was too young. His oldest brother even has a 10 t-shirt from the 5k parkrun series.

Anyway, today was his fourth birthday and the first present he opened that morning was his parkrun barcode! And as we all know, what better way is there to start a celebration?

This story brought home to me how important parkrun and junior parkrun has become to thousands of families; especially when I saw his brothers running back after they had finished to accompany the birthday boy down the finish straight to his first finish line, and a big piece of birthday cake.
IMG_2961IMG_2963

Seeing the look of determination, and then finish-line happiness, on that little face I know for sure that he’ll be back again - and I hope all the other families I saw running together will be too. The parents as well as the juniors had beaming smiles, until their 4 year old children beat them in a finish line sprint!:)

Happy running!

Jo

 

weekly newsletter 9th October 2014

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter PruHealth with Vitality wish everyone the best of luck, we give you more and I share my thoughts on our most significant achievement.

Last week I was interviewed by Athletics Weekly for an article they were writing about our 10th Anniversary celebrations, you can read it here. We talked about lots of interesting stuff with a particular focus on how in the future we plan to collaborate more closely with the Home Nations’ governing bodies to increase participation in other areas of running, from grassroots to elite performance. Anyway, during that interview I was asked what I thought was our most significant moment or achievement of the last ten years. A bit like selecting Sports Personality of the Year there’s no single answer that everyone would agree on but for me it’s our success in overturning traditional beliefs that children shouldn't be running 5k and as of this morning we (parkrun UK) have 89,292 registered parkrunners aged 4 to 14, representing 10.2% of our total database. This also doesn’t include those who are now older but at some point in the last ten years have been parkrunners inside that age bracket. We consult closely with specialists in children’s health and it’s clear to me that the mindset that thinks children shouldn’t be doing parkrun is the same one that thought, not that long ago, that women shouldn’t be running marathons.

I’d been searching for the words to capture what children’s participation in parkrun is all about when all the way from the parkrun Australia newsletter came this wonderful article from Joey Coniglione (age 9)…

"When my sisters decided to give Saturday netball a break, it was the best thing that happened to me because I was able to do Berwick Springs parkrun. I do parkrun because I feel good after I finish and you can't win or lose. If you’re not doing your best time you are still lapping everyone on the couch.

My favourite thing about parkrun is the people who encourage me to do my best. I really struggled in my first weeks at parkrun but I made a great friend called Chris (you’re the best Chris!), and he ran beside me and helped me with my breathing and pacing myself so I could run the whole 5k. Since I met Chris he has lost heaps of weight and is very healthy now and his wife has had a parkrun baby.

My second favourite thing about parkrun is that I can do it with all my family, my mum, my sisters (who don't miss netball) and my neighbours.

I like it when I see a lot of people doing parkrun. All that matters in parkrun is that you turn up and do your best. I have just completed my 37th parkrun at Berwick Springs which will be celebrating its 1st anniversary on the 11th of October. I would like to thank all the volunteers who help run this event. I look forward to seeing you at parkrun every week.”

I wonder if ten years ago the parkrun pioneers thought they would be changing the lives of Australians who hadn’t even been born yet!

Well done Joey and thanks to Athletics Weekly for taking the time to listen to our story. You can read more from them about parkrun in this week’s magazine.

See you next week,

Tom

P.S. You can read this week’s junior parkrun newsletter here.

one week to go


The countdown is nearly over for our two Faces of the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon. All their hard training will pay off this Sunday as they cross the finish line.

Over the past seven weeks we have followed Simon and Frances on their training journey to complete the 21 kilometres which is now only a few days away. They both set their ambitions high and are very much on their way to reaching an extraordinary achievement.

“On Sunday I ran a five mile road race (Tapering? Oops). It was on a flat and fast route and I gained a new five mile PB. The half marathon training is paying off.” - Simon

“This time next week it will be all over and I will be the proud owner of a PB for my very first half marathon” - Frances

Sir Roger Bannister will officially start the race this weekend, 60 years after becoming the first ever person to run a mile in less than four minutes at Oxford University’s Iffley Road Track.

PruHealth with Vitality wishes Simon, Frances and all the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon parkrunners the best of luck for this Sunday’s run. We will be there on the sideline cheering you all on and look forward to what is set to be a great day!

Read how Simon and France’s have found their final training week on their blog here.

Do you want to achieve a half marathon goal?

There are still five remaining races in the Vitality Run Series. Find out more at vitality.co.uk.

more...


Check out the ‘more...’ tab on your local event’s website for local running related links and to visit our parkrun support pages, parkrun UK and parkrun group sites.

On the ‘about us’ tab you’ll find an invitation to the post-parkrun coffee venue, an opportunity to donate to parkrun and a detailed breakdown of donations and withdrawals at your local event plus lots of encouraging words about why everyone should join us on parkrunday!

parkrun population


Here are this week’s summary statistics for parkrun UK:

Number of runners - 49,922
Number of volunteers - 4,756
Number of first timers - 7,009
Number of PBs - 9,363

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
I just want to say a huge thank you to the volunteers at Worcester parkrun. They are brilliant every week, but particularly today in the pouring rain with my five-year-old on a mission to do two laps. He has hemiplegia, which is a form of cerebral palsy, and this was the 5th time he's done parkrun, but only the second time he's managed to finish. It meant so much to him, and to me, that the volunteers were still there cheering him round that second lap, despite us being six minutes behind the person in front of us and the fact they were cold and wet. You are all amazing.
Regards,
Emily Seyler


Hi parkrun UK
Charlotte was ‘parkrunner of the week’ a few weeks ago and she wanted you all to know that she volunteered and loved it! In fact we both enjoyed it. Charlotte was in charge of the finish position tokens and I was the ‘token feeder’. We have made a pact to volunteer every few weeks. May I just say that the volunteers at Burnley parkrun are great fun!
Regards,
Joy Corrigan


Hi parkrun UK
October the 2nd was my 25th birthday and I think it's pretty cool that I share a birthday with parkrun. I’m now in a new age group and maybe, just maybe, this will improve my results. Almost every Saturday morning I head to Black Park parkrun with four or five friends to run. I feel parkrun is great for fitting a run into my triathlon training schedule every week and the atmosphere is great. I love pushing for a PB and watching everyone else no matter their ability push for a PB as well. That's what I love about parkrun. Happy Birthday!
Regards,
Abby Norman


Hi parkrun UK
My home parkrun is Hull but I recently found myself working in Newcastle (New South Wales, Australia) and much to my delight found Newy parkrun only a half hour walk away. I just wanted to thank everyone at Newy for being so welcoming on my first run outside of the UK. What a great set of people. Be assured the parkrun spirit is here too in abundance with everyone congratulating each other on completing the course. Keep it going guys.
Regards,
David Russell


Hi parkrun UK
I am so proud of my brother John Liddle. In August of 2013 and on a family holiday, my husband and I (regulars at Bromley) introduced him to parkrun at Bryn Bach. He hadn’t done any serious exercise for years, so we jogged at the back together. With 100 metres to go, sibling rivalry kicked in as he suddenly ran away from me to the finish! Back home he found his local parkrun at Hillsborough and soon became a regular, improving from over 34 minutes to around 27 minutes. He’s been awarded the Sweatshop Monthly Prize and in the last few weeks has trained as a Run Director. This week will be his 50th parkrun. I can't be with him to celebrate but will be with him in parkrun spirit!
Regards,
Janet Simms


Hi parkrun UK
Just like to say a big thank you and keep up the good work! Last month I was voted Pontefract parkrun’s Sweatshop Monthly Prize winner for breaking my two-year-old PB and in doing so you awarded me a free pair of trainers that I will be proudly wearing this weekend. Having completed 83 runs I'm now on my way to the big one hundred so these will give me a great boost.
Regards,
Steven Bail


Hi parkrun UK
On Saturday I completed my 50th parkrun and was delighted to achieve a PB six and a half minutes quicker than my first. Just like thousands of inspiring people before me, parkrun has led me to achieve many things which I did not think I would ever do including completing 10ks, being part of a 24-hour relay team at the adidas Thunder Run and being 'one in a million' at the Great North Run in Newcastle last month. In August I was awarded the accolade of being the 20,000th runner to cross the line at Pennington Flash parkrun, where I have completed 48 of my 50 runs. I would like to pass my gratitude onto all the volunteers and fellow runners for making this fabulous event happen.
Regards,
Nicola Young


Hi parkrun UK
As well as celebrating parkruns birthday on Saturday I completed my 50th parkrun. Nothing special in that until I look back three years where I weighed 24 stone and could barely walk, let alone run. I lost some weight, joined a ‘Couch to 5k’ programme and haven’t looked back. I first went to Alice Holt parkrun in March 2013. I didn’t like the hills but was persuaded back. I’m now addicted to it. I’ve done two marathons and two halfs this year but I’m more proud of my 50 parkruns. It’s all down to the friendly people at Alice Holt parkrun, especially the core volunteer team of Paula Patterson, Geoff Brown and Louise Davies, so a big thanks to them. Here’s to the next 10 years and my next 50.
Regards,
Tony Egan


Hi parkrun UK
I wanted to say “Penblwydd Hapus” to the wonderful people at Pontypridd parkrun as they celebrate their first birthday. I’ve attended 42 parkruns in Pontypridd and aged 49 have become addicted to running many races this year, counting four half marathons including last Sunday's Cardiff Half. It’s the whole experience of the running community that matters to me. In 2011 I became quite ill and underwent a number of operations that affected my life. To get back to full health I have used running as a form of recovery. So thank you to everyone at Pontypridd parkrun. I will unfortunately miss the day as I’ll be in Oxford running the half there, so save me some cake.
Regards,
Darren Warner


Hi parkrun UK
On Saturday I completed my 100th parkrun at Heaton Park, the same day that my youngest lad turned 11. As a family we have 313 parkruns between us. So, why do I keep turning up? Firstly, the people - the volunteers, runners and spectators are all remarkably cheerful and encouraging. Secondly, the courses. I have been to Victorian parks, river banks, disused railway lines, sports grounds, a Tudor Manor House, a deer park and conquered Angina Hill, the Pinnacle of Pain and Duck Poo Corner! However, my real ‘what am I doing here’ run came on New Years Day 2014 when we ran along the shores of the Indian Ocean at Rockingham parkrun in Western Australia. So let’s see where the next 100 take me?
Regards,
Richard Duddell


Hi parkrun UK
I only started running of any sort in January and I did my first parkrun (aged 64) at Ipswich in May. My daughter lives in New Zealand and we started running at about the same time. Several months ago we agreed that when she came to visit we would go for a run together. Well, she has been and on Saturday we did the new Kesgrave parkrun together (my sixth parkrun). She is now back on her way to New Zealand and is going to take part in a parkrun in Auckland in the very near future.
Regards,
Trevor Mason


Hi parkrun UK
I went along to Pontypool parkrun to give my daughter some moral support today for the first time and completed my first parkrun. I didn't realise what a fantastic community parkrun has. Needless to say I've got the bug and will certainly be attending the next one. Nice to see all the support from the volunteers around the course. Well done parkrun.
Regards,
Mike Lyons

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Jackie Cunningham

Club:  Unattached

Age:  47

Home parkrun:  Portrush

Occupation:  IT Manager

Number of runs:  50

Favourite volunteer role:  Timekeeper

What do you do at parkruns:  Portrush parkrun is one of only a few select parkruns in the World which take in a beach as part of its course. I like to get off to a good start as we have a little stretch of promenade before the beach. I find the third quarter of the run the hardest but know when I come round the corner that I am on the home straight and the end is in sight. The final toughie, Heartbreak Hill, is where we have to run up the soft sand back onto the promenade. I would never have started parkrun was it not for my friend Sharon who has been my running buddy from the start.

How has parkrun changed your running:  It is more a case of how has parkrun changed my life. I started to run with Sharon when my mum was very ill and she sadly passed away a couple of weeks later. Running really helped me through a very difficult time and parkrun became a weekly focus for me. I never thought I would call myself a runner but I am now running most days and recently entered my first competitive 5k race crossing the line in 24:35! Until you try it you don't realise what you are missing!

What do you like about parkrun:  The friends I have made, cheering each other on, competing with the course and at the same time encouraging each other along. I love the way you can come home afterwards thinking on our Event Director Andy's words "You've done 5k when there are others still in their beds". Andy Deal and Mervyn Thompson do an amazing job week in week out, thanks guys!

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  We have not only the weather to contend with but also the tides. My most memorable run was when the tide was very high but we still had some sand to run on until we got to a hundred metres before the turn when the beach disappeared.

reminders

barcode reminder

barcode

Barcodes are used at all our events to record your result. Please collect and print your barcode here. No barcode, no result!

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

volunteering at parkrun

Every parkrun event relies on volunteers and in 2013 alone over 33,000 of you came forwards 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.

cancellations

For cancellations please check your event’s news page for the most up to date information.

upcoming anniversaries

October

Aberdeen parkrun 11th

Armagh parkrun 11th

Pontypridd parkrun 11th

Southend parkrun 11th

Sunderland parkrun 11th

Victoria parkrun 11th

Woodley parkrun 11th

Edinburgh parkrun 18th

Fulham Palace parkrun 18th

Richmond Park parkrun 18th

Ashford parkrun 25th

Finsbury Park parkrun 25th

Gunnersbury parkrun 25th

Gunpowder parkrun 25th

Lloyd parkrun 25th

November

Aylesbury parkrun 1st

Brighton & Hove parkrun 1st

Little Stoke parkrun 1st

Oxford parkrun 1st

Sewerby parkrun 1st

Sheringham parkrun 1st

Waterworks parkrun 1st

Whitstable parkrun 1st

children at parkrun

Children under the age of eleven must be accompanied at all times by a parent, guardian or appropriate adult of the parent's choice. It must also be ensured that children place themselves appropriately at the start so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken. This is to ensure the safety of your child.

the parkrun show

The parkrun show

You can download your copy of the parkrun show here. (iTunes)

The parkrun show is the audible roundup of the "goings on" of everything that caught the teams eye from the weekend in parkrunworld.

Brought to you by Marathon Talk.

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adidas investing in parkrun
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adidas has been focused on athlete's performance since the first running spikes were made in the 1920s earning the first Olympic gold medal in adidas shoes. Today, adidas is proud to be supporting parkrunners everywhere. Explore adidas running adidas.com


Sweatshop investing in parkrun
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For 40 years, Sweatshop the award winning running store, has been helping runners find the perfect products for their individual needs. Find your closest store at sweatshop.co.uk


PruHealth investing in parkrun
Health insurance that rewards you for living well.

We want you to live life well. Our health insurance makes it cheaper and easier for you to get healthy with discounts on things like gym memberships, sports shoes and bikes - and motivates you with rewards like free cinema tickets to savings on holidays. And importantly, if you do get ill - we'll always ensure you have access to the best possible medical care. Discover Vitality wellness

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For information on all events organised by the London Marathon, please visit london-marathon.co.uk


aql supporting parkrun
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Connecting parkrunners everywhere

For information on the mobile communications company, please visit three.co.uk


 

From small acorns…

In October 2004 13 people lined up in Bushy Park for a 5k run… and last weekend 77,685 runners joined us across the world to celebrate an incredible 10 years of parkrun.

I wonder what the junior series will look like after ten years?

From small acorns...

The junior parkrun story started on the 1st of April 2010 when Paul Graham set nine mini-parkrunners off on a Sunday morning in the same park for a monthly, free, timed 2k run and produced the first ever junior results page.

From small acorns...

After Bushy juniors, along came three more monthly events: Forest of Dean juniors in January 2011 (the only junior event on a Saturday) followed by Savill Garden in October 2012 and then Woodley (now a weekly event) in April 2013.

When Chrissie Wellington joined us in 2013 she was insistent that all new junior events should be weekly, in order to promote regular and habitual exercise and to help consolidate the growth of a community of participants and volunteers. Since then the series has taken off like wildfire!

From small acorns...

The first weekly events started in November 2013 in Southampton and Roundhay. These were then followed by Wimbledon Park, Rushcliffe, Newport, Harrow Lodge, Barking and Dagenham, Helix (our first junior event in Scotland), Chelmsford, Marple, Brockwell, Huddersfield, Mile End, Stirling, Little Stoke, Cambridge, Bromsgrove, Whitley Bay, Swadlincote, South Manchester, Torridge, Ipswich, and Temple Newsam.

image

So, here we are, four and half years later recording 2,475 junior parkrunners across the UK and welcoming Pitshanger (our 28th junior event) to the family on the weekend of our 10th Anniversary.

From small acorns...

We receive a couple of enquiries a week from people looking to start their own events and looking at the diary we have five more junior events with imminent start dates which will take us to 33 live events by mid-November.

The growth of the junior series has already been quite incredible; our historical chart shows that it took five and a half years to get up to 33 live events in the 5k series.

From small acorns...

Congratulations to the passionate core teams who have worked so hard to bring these fantastic events to fruition and many thanks to the wonderful volunteers who don a hi-vis jacket so that we can make the parkrun magic happen for the little people every week.

From small acorns...

Happy birthday parkrun, and here’s to the next 10 years of 5k and 2k success!

Flicking through an article about the phenomena of parkrun in last week’s Athletics Weekly I spotted an interesting quote from Geoff Wightman, the Managing Director of runbritain - “The area of parkrun that excites me the most for the future is the development of junior parkrun and what it might achieve for basic fitness and enthusiasm for running at a key age group. Nobody has really cracked that one this century.”

Watch this space… Happy running and volunteering.

Helen

 

 

 

 

parkrun regrets to announce the death of parkrunner Darren Ablewhite

With great sadness we have to pass on the news from this past Saturday at Princes parkrun. Our thoughts go out to Darren's family and friends at this time.

"It is with great sadness that we report that a fellow parkrunner, Darren Ablewhite collapsed and died after his parkrun today.

He was immediately attended to by parkrunners at the scene and received the best possible care from medically qualified parkrunners, and by the ambulance service. Sadly, he never recovered consciousness and passed away on arrival at hospital.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very difficult time.

His partner, Julie would like to thank everyone who helped, especially the doctors."

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