weekly newsletter 15th May 2014

welcome to the newsletter

[Apologies, we made a slight mistake on the email copy of the newsletter - Tom's sign off should have read 'Wherever you parkrun next, smile like Arthur.']

In this week’s newsletter adidas are after parkrun personal bests, Sweatshop invite you to run with Robin Hood, we synchronise our results, Mark Thompson talks parkrun degrees of separation and I smile like Arthur.

On Sunday I was fortunate enough to be at Bradford parkrun to celebrate the life of Arthur James, a magnificently passionate parkrunner who sadly passed away two years ago having been awarded his 100 Club t-shirt earlier that day. Arthur was in his mid-seventies and a shining example to all of us that if you’re going to do something you might as well have a jolly good time while you’re there.

Now, by the time you read this there will be someone out there with the barcode A1000000, that’s right… our first seven digit barcode (not including the A), parkrunner number one million! That does of course mean that there will be many magnificently passionate parkrunners all over the World, as equally excited as Arthur was, running round an open space with their friends. But, there are times when we can all take life, and dare I say it running, a little too seriously. We might get fixated on achieving a certain time, running a certain number of events or even going head-to-head with our arch rival, but if we’re lucky enough one day to be looking back on our threescore years and ten, those aren’t the moments we’ll cherish. The stuff that will make us smile will be the stuff that made us smile.

As I stood there spectating, that’s right, I didn’t run or volunteer I just hung around with Helen (my wife) and Rosie (my daughter) and took it all in in Bradford’s beautiful Lister Park. What I saw was a great reminder to me, as someone whose parkrun journey has been known to end up on the less smiley side of things, that the reason why we all get together each Saturday morning is primarily to do something positive together. And have a jolly good time while we’re there.

Two years ago I ended this article with “run like Arthur”, I think this year I’ll end it with this...

Wherever you parkrun next, smile like Arthur.


P.S. Here’s the fourth weekly junior parkrun newsletter.

get your hands on the brand new adizero adios boost

We are dedicating May to breaking parkrun personal bests in order to celebrate the launch of the new adizero adios boost. adios boost is the current marathon world record shoe. It’s fast, responsive and gives more energy return than any other racing flat on the market. To believe it, you have to feel it. That’s exactly what you could be doing at your parkrun in May.

We will be bringing adios boost to several parkruns for you to test out. Look out for the adidas technical team who could be arriving at your parkrun on the 24th of May.

Next week keep an eye on your parkrun newsletter and social media channels to hear about the next part of the story. We’ll be giving your local parkrun the chance to have the ultimate PB weekend.

Discover more about adios boost at adidas.co.uk/adizero-running-boost.
It’s time to #boost your parkrun PB.

The adidas running team.

run with Robin Hood

Organised by Sweatshop, the Robin Hood Marathon and Half Marathon in Nottingham on the 28th of September is the perfect challenge for the Autumn. Notoriously fast and flat, the courses offer an opportunity to get a PB for the season. Plus, race finishers get a unique Robin Hood medal and goody bag.

On race day you can also enjoy family fun, a race village experience and refuel with some fantastic food. Join Robin Hood and his Merry Men looking for Maid Marian, you can even run as a Robin Hood in one of our costumes!

Entries are filling fast and you can enter or find out more here.

in perfect synchronicity

People often ask us how the results work and in an ideal world it’s really very simple!

As each parkrunner crosses the finish line a volunteer records their time by a press of the button on a stopwatch and another volunteer hands them a finish token. The runner who records the first time receives position token one, the runner recording the second time receives position token two and so on. This should happen over and over again until the whole field are accounted for in perfect synchronicity and this is why it’s really important that you always take a token as you finish, and why you shouldn’t cross the finish line twice.

The volunteer on scanning duties then scan each parkrunners’ personal barcode followed by their position number which ties the runners details via their unique barcode to a finish position.

Then it’s off to the post-run meeting place to process the results. The timer and scanner files are uploaded to the parkrun results processing website and with the power of ‘parkrun IT magic’ the time details, the position details and barcode details are tallied together to produce your event results page. Bingo!

event news

Please check your event's news pages for the most up to date information.

Cancellations this weekend:

- Chipping Sodbury parkrun is cancelled due to another event in the park.

- Darley parkrun is cancelled due to another event in the park.

- Great Cornard parkrun is cancelled due to planned construction works.

- Heaton parkrun is cancelled due to another event in the park.

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
Very sadly my father passed away at 5:30am a few Saturdays ago. Although I hadn't slept for two days I decided to turn up at my local Mile End parkrun and just have a gentle run, thinking about how wonderful he had been throughout his life. I wasn't my usual chatty self, I turned up, ran and quietly went off home. It was the day before the London Marathon so there were a lot more runners than usual. In the afternoon my daughters made the observation that their grandad had died when he was 92, his mother had died when she was 92 and his house number was 92. About an hour later I looked up my parkrun result. I had finished in 92nd position.
Jeff Martin

Hi parkrun UK
Saturday the 10th of May was a double celebration at Preston parkrun. Not only was it our 100th run but also our 2nd anniversary. As always the atmosphere was amazing and we had a record attendance of 244 runners many of whom had come in fancy dress especially for the occasion. We dressed up as Wally from 'Where's Wally' and there was an abundance of cakes for everyone to enjoy post-run. Our fantastic Run Director Lynn was presented with gifts to say thank you for all her efforts making Preston parkrun so brilliant. She really is fantastic alongside everyone else at Preston parkrun! We love our Saturday morning parkruns!
Michelle & Lucy Tickle

Hi parkrun UK
I ventured out to my first ‘away’ parkrun at Killerton while staying in Exeter last weekend and enjoyed a very scenic run in beautiful National Trust parkland. On the way to the start, up a long hill, I mentioned to the young lady behind me that my local run is flat as a pancake, the only hill being a humped-back bridge! "Where do you run?" she said. "Eastbourne" I replied. "What, Shinewater? My mum lives in Eastbourne, and if I visit her I do parkrun there!" she said. What chances that the one person I spoke to out of 334 runners on the way to the start knew my local run?
Nick Cant

Hi parkrun UK
I am fairly new to parkrun and am hooked on it. I am about to have a fortnight's holiday and will be volunteering on my return, but I will really miss my Saturday morning run. During my short involvement I haven't seen anybody praise the fantastic results and text service, so well done to everyone involved. Also, I wish to add my thanks to the volunteers at Worsley Woods parkrun, some of whom do not run but choose to be there every week, they deserve special praise.
Colin Bickerdike

Hi parkrun UK
My wife Davina and I have been running since 2000 and very rarely ran on a Saturday but after a visit to Sweatshop in Castleford recently the idea was planted. We now run at Roundhay Park in Leeds every two weeks as I work alternate weekends and the weekends I can't make it Davina volunteers. After my first parkrun in March I decided I would use the event as speed work for the Leeds Half Marathon this past Sunday, the 11th of May. I had a great run and finished in 1:39:40 which was a PB, knocking a whopping nine minutes off my previous best time. Thank you parkrun.
Jeff Harwood

Hi parkrun UK
I am a relative 'newbie' to parkrun and indeed to running, having only started again in January after an 18 year hiatus. I regularly volunteer at Carrickfergus parkrun in Northern Ireland but will be visiting family in Croydon in June and thought why not have a go at Lloyd parkrun? Trouble is, I am registered blind with very little 'useful' vision, so I need a guide runner. An email to Debra Bourne, Event Director at Lloyd parkrun, on Friday evening resulted in a very fast reply and a willing volunteer by the next day! Cannot do better than that! Looking forward to a new run in a new venue so see you soon Lloyd parkrun and thank you!
Tony Barclay

Hi parkrun UK
A work colleague told me how much he enjoys parkrun so I thought I would give it a try. I've now finished six parkruns at York and in that time I've managed four PBs. Attending parkrun has improved my running. I've also started to make new friends and I really enjoy going. The volunteers do a brilliant job every week. Thank you for making my parkrun experience so enjoyable.
Rachel McMahon

Hi parkrun UK
I have recently found out about parkrun and now love to attend. I like the company and friendships I have made. I tend to finish near the back of the pack and appreciate the runners who stay behind to cheer me when I push for the finishing line. Thanks to all my friends at Colchester Castle parkrun.
Malkiat Singh

Hi parkrun UK
I just wanted to say a very big thank you to everyone at Coventry parkrun who congratulated me and made my 200th run so memorable. Just one more year to go to get the coveted 250 Club t-shirt. Let's hope I make it!
Theresa Mason

parkrunner of the week

Name:  Grant Griffin

Club:  Unattached

Age:  42

Home parkrun:  Bexley

Occupation:  Weights and Fitness Assistant Manager

Number of runs:  0

Favourite volunteer role:  Timekeeper

What do you do at parkruns:  I volunteer as timekeeper or barcode scanner. Sometimes I just help to cheer people on and encourage them to run. I also help put out signage on course and at the start and finish points and generally help set up.

How has parkrun changed your running:  It’s not had the opportunity to change my running just yet because of an injury I presently have, but I hope in time it will be nice to run with many different types of runners, from total beginners to established athletes.

What do you like about parkrun:  The way it helps encourage people who are just starting out to run plus I like cheering people on. I like seeing lots of different people of all ages and abilities at parkrun and being able to help bring them together. Seeing dogs with their owners and parents with prams is also enjoyable.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  The children wearing elf hats at the Christmas parkruns.

parkrun corner

Mark Thompson

Talking to friends, work colleagues and watching the lives of others on social media, I was surprised by how many people had discovered parkrun. As I thought about it a bit more I came to the conclusion that it wasn't actually surprising at all, but really just a representative indicator of life.

Every Saturday circa 50000 people in the UK are involved with parkrun, that’s about one in every 1250 people. Consider that some people are currently unable to take part because of location or other life commitments for example, and the chances are that the figure is well below one in every 1000 people.

So the reason that we come across so many people is as much to do with law of averages as surprise. parkrun is now as much a part of Saturday life in the UK as football… and parkrun is largely cheaper.

The continued growth of parkrun means it is becoming more and more a part of everyday life for many. It won't be long where instead of using "what football team do you support?" as an icebreaker, you ask "what is your home parkrun?"

Mark Thompson, Braunstone parkrun Run Director and parkrun UK Ambassador


barcode reminder


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.

upcoming anniversaries


Camperdown parkrun 17th

MUSA Cookstown parkrun 17th

Queen Elizabeth parkrun 17th

Wanstead Flats parkrun 17th

Falls parkrun 24th

Marple parkrun 24th

Albert parkrun 31st

Brockenhurst parkrun 31st

Crystal Palace parkrun 31st

Hackney Marshes parkrun 31st


Beckton parkrun 7th

Burnley parkrun 7th

Morden Hall parkrun 7th

Newark parkrun 7th

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

VitalityHealth 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