Banbury parkrun profile: Sam Young

Hello #parkrunfamily

Along with missing our 9:00am fix on a Saturday, we at Banbury parkrun HQ are missing your fantastic run reports, so, your Core Team thought it might be nice for us all to get to know some of our parkrunners a little better at this time.

To get things underway, here is our 1st parkrun profile, from someone you will recognise and know well: Sam Young.

If you fancy being one of our profiled parkrunners then send us an email to and we will be in touch!

Stay safe everyone! We miss you all!




Sam Young

Number of parkruns:
161 (129 at Banbury parkrun)

Favourite parkrun (other than Banbury, obviously!) and why:
I really like Daventry parkrun – it’s pretty and flat! Although I also very much enjoyed Haga parkrun near Stockholm in Sweden!

Why did you start parkrunning:
I heard about parkrun from a friend and decided to give it a go when I lived in Birmingham back in 2013.

Number of volunteers:
44 separate occasions (covering 52 roles – I even completed 5 roles on one day – Run report writer, setup, marshal, photographer and pack up).

Favourite volunteering role, and why:
I love to combine my hobbies of running and photography, so it has to be the photographer role.

Favourite/funniest parkrun memory:
This is a hard one as I have so many wonderful memories from parkrun. But I think running my 100th parkrun has to come top as my Wife and Son (Helen & Theo) came to support me with a banner and balloons – they must have done a good job as I achieved my all time pb of 20:47!!

What does Banbury parkrun mean to you:
I started running at Banbury as I liked the atmosphere of parkrun and it kept me fit, but it has become so much more for me now. Firstly, my son has joined me most weeks since he was about 9 months old and it give me a wonderful opportunity to spend time with him during parkrun and then after at the café. But then also parkrun, is now less about the running and more about all the friendships I have made. I love meeting everyone on Saturday morning before the start, catching a quick hello as I run or having a bit more of a gossip after in the café when the results are being processed.

What do you miss about parkrun:
Everything – the friendship, the community, the routine, the course – even the mud!!

What running are you doing now:
I feel so very lucky to live in the countryside and be able to run from my front door straight into the countryside, so it is easy to keep to social distancing advice. The “lock-down” has, however, re-invigorated my running mojo, as I have forced myself to get out and enjoy the once per day exercise opportunity. I have been mainly running longer distances, but aim to complete my now annual challenge I set myself in May (#5KMay), where I plan to run at least 5 km everyday of May. This year I hope to run every one under 25 minutes – why don’t you join me and post your updates on twitter with the hashtag #5KMay? (time limit is optional.)

What is the best bit of running advice you have been given:
Smile – even if you are completely out of breath and everything is hurting, if you smile it fools your body into thinking you can push on!

What is your favourite run other than parkrun:
I am a creature of habit – I have a 5km out and back road route that I have completed over 150 times!

What run would you most like to do in the future, and why:
My Dad lives in America and is a Event Director at Roosevelt Island parkrun – I was supposed to be visiting him over Easter but everything has of course been cancelled. I’d love to run his parkrun with him at some point!

What is your most essential/favourite piece of running kit, and why:
Until recently, it was Theo’s running buggy, but a flat tire and a friend from school has forced him to become more of a run/walker now, and in turn my parkrunning experience has changed to be a lot slower, I have no doubt that in just a few years this will change drastically again and I shall be chasing Theo rather than the other way around!

What is your Favourite/funniest running memory:
Last year, I was lucky enough to be asked to attend the Cider Frolic – A relay event where (in our case) teams of 3 or 4 run laps of a Dorset farm – as many as possible (or you want) in 12 hours. We went with a whole bunch of Banbury parkrunners and Hook Norton Harriers and had so much fun in the glorious sunshine.