welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s newsletter Intersport meet the field, Fitbit help you reach your goals, and there’s an exciting update on milestone t-shirts.
We absolutely love to reward participation and dedication at parkrun. No matter how long it takes, everyone has the ability to join one of our milestone clubs. There is currently one member of the 500 Club, 550 members of the 250 Club, 14,717 members of the 100 Club, 38,894 members of the 50 Club and 38,117 members of the 10 Club (for juniors aged 17 and under participating in the 5k series) and more than 10,000 members of the Volunteer Club – which is a whole heap of t-shirts.
Over the past nine months the wonderful Tribesports have supplied us with 50,000 high-quality milestone t-shirts – for free – with a further 17,000 arriving later this month, so please take a moment to read the latest update Milestone t-shirts: the home straight and get ready to order yours if you qualify.
Behind every milestone tee is a parkrun story. We’ve got a fair few milestones t-shirts in the Hood household and are proud of every single one of them. We look forward to seeing you in yours.
P.S. Let’s not forget about our junior parkrun superstars either. They have their own incentives - 335 juniors aged 4 to 14 belong to the ultra marathon club, 2,466 belong to the marathon club and 5,598 belong to the half marathon club. You can view the junior parkrun club roll of honour here but be warned you need a strong scrolling arm!
Just like you, we like to run too – especially when it means we get to meet some of you along the way and hear what you think about parkrun. This month, I headed along to my local parkrun in Leamington Spa.
On my first run in several weeks, needless to say the legs weren’t what they had been before my running break. Just as I was starting to ‘feel the burn’, I was overtaken by Ed, a dad pushing a very smart three-wheeled pushchair and his five-year-old son Callum, who I discovered later was on his 43rd parkrun!
Ed did give me a nice cheer of encouragement as our paths crossed again (Ed was finishing – I wasn’t!), highlighting the parkrun community spirit that keeps so many runners, walkers and volunteers alike coming back. I then met Ed’s three-year-old daughter Tammy and wife Corinne at the end, who marked her 150th parkrun with the personal addition of a ‘1’ added to her 50 parkrun milestone t-shirt.
As we neared the clubhouse, Callum and Tammy were quick to desert us in favour of Mrs Doyle (aka Kate to the adults), a well-known Leamington parkrun volunteer and distributor of the post-run cakes!
So, thank you to everyone who came together to make Leamington parkrun a fantastic and truly enjoyable experience – I look forward to meeting more of you soon.
Michelle from Intersport HQ
reach your goals with Fitbit
Whatever your fitness goals, there’s a reason to step up with Fitbit.
For those not sure where to start, wear your Fitbit for a week to find out your baseline activity level. You can then build on that by setting a goal to push yourself a little further – the Mayo Clinic recommends adding 1,000 steps a week.
If your goal is to get in shape, use the Fitbit activity log to make you’re getting the minimum 30 minutes of walking needed every day to keep weight gain at bay.
Perhaps you’re content with your fitness regime, and just want to maintain a healthy level of activity. That’s where our 10,000 daily step target comes in – it makes sure you’re getting enough exercise to stay at your current level.
So no matter what you want to achieve, you can do it with Fitbit! If you haven’t got a Fitbit yet remember that parkrunners enjoy an exclusive £15 discount off selected devices – shop here.
For every goal – good luck!
Here are this week’s summary statistics for parkrun UK (including junior parkrun)
Number of parkrunners – 81,595
Number of volunteers – 8,388
Number of first timers – 6,663
Number of PBs – 14,386
random stat of the week
The majority of new parkrun participants in the UK so far in 2016 are female. 52% of people completing their first 5k parkrun with us this year have been a female runner, jogger or walker.
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
Three years ago I did my first parkrun. It took me 30 minutes. I’ve just ran my 100th in a sparkling PB of 22:45! Since my first parkrun, I have done three marathons and an ultra. I now use parkrun as my speed training and love running even more. parkrun has given me friends, confidence and ultimately improved my running. Every week I chat to people who say they are on my tail or look out for my characteristic jazzy leggings. I was surprised to hear my journey has inspired people. However every week I meet people who inspire me. parkrun has taught me to never put boundaries on what you can achieve and for that I am so grateful. So here is to another 100, 500 and 1000 parkruns!
I first attended Pontypridd parkrun three weeks ago. The support I've had from fellow runners, marshals and supporters has been fantastic! Everyone is so friendly and encouraging. Thank you. A new PB on Saturday spurs me on for the next time. Since being diagnosed with Beçhet's Disease a few years ago I'm now taking the regular exercise recommended by my consultant. My first goal is to run the whole 5k and I'm getting better. After that I'd like to take part in the Cardiff Half Marathon to raise money for The Macular Society. Wish me luck!
Back in December the chance to win a place to run the IAAF world championship half marathon in Cardiff caught my eye in the parkrun newsletter. I entered and to my great surprise won a place. After weeks of training the day came and last Saturday was absolutely amazing. First I met Lord Seb Coe and was given a shirt to run in for his charity. I also met some lovely parkrunners and got to run the race behind Mo Farah and the other elite athletes. I thoroughly enjoyed it despite the typical Welsh weather and completed it in 2:04:16 which was faster than I'd hoped. Thanks to parkrun for this once in a lifetime opportunity!
On 2 April 2015 at 9.30am I was in the middle of my second heart attack and waiting for an ambulance. Within two weeks I found I also had gallstones and kidney stones. Unlike after my first heart attack I packed up smoking and embraced cardiac rehabilitation. My GP (thanks Simon) told me about Glossop parkrun and we signed up. On 2 April 2016 at 9.30am I was lining up with my wife and others at the Greenock parkrun and set a new PB – what a difference a year makes. I'm so grateful for the work that others put into making parkrun happen; it has given me a new lease of life. I am 63 and hoping to get quicker!
I was diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatic (PMR) which is a debilitating condition with chronic pains, fatigue and massive weight loss. I was restricted to bed, advised I would not run again, spent several months in a wheelchair and placed on a two-year steroid programme. During this period I also had three right knee operations. parkrun became my focus and on Saturday 9 April (my 28th wedding anniversary) I will complete my 100th parkrun at Durham with a Scottish Tartan theme. Over the years I've raised £120k for charity and I'm running free with a smile again. Thank you to all my friends and parkrun.
At Peter Pan parkrun history was created. We had three generations of one family all completing their 50th run together. Many congratulations to Roisin, her mum Jo, and her grandmother Ann Butcher who made a special journey from Bentham in North Yorkshire. I wondered if all three ladies would be running together as a group, but it was a case of every lady for herself! Roisin took the family honours, just 25 seconds ahead of Mum, with Ann only a few minutes behind. Well done ladies. In true Peter Pan parkrun tradition, Jo kindly brought along chocolates for everyone to enjoy at the finish line.
Recently, I read in the parkrun newsletter that a few places were being offered for the World Half Marathon in Cardiff to motivate novice parkrunners. I idly entered, and was offered a place, having started running through parkrun only a couple of years ago, and previously being allergic to my own sweat. With the support of the charity's Facebook group and an intense training app, I ran on 26 March and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Despite the foul weather, the fantastic crowd spurred me on to a not-too-shabby 2:01:26. The training has made my running a 'habit'. Thank you to ABW and parkrun for this wonderful opportunity.
I did my first parkrun in September 2013 at Darlington South Park, since then I've made some fantastic friends, taken almost 10 minutes off my time and have started enjoying running. Saturday mornings are manic, with my kids having drama or dance classes to get to, but parkrun is my little haven of peace with great friends and my weekend isn't complete without a parkrun. As I approach my 100th run (I've done 90, 87 at Darlington South Park) I'd like to thank the core team who do a fantastic job.
parkrunner of the week
Name: Andy Bush
Club: Emersons Green Running Club
Home parkrun: Pomphrey Hill
Occupation: Prepress Manager
Number of runs: 21
Favourite volunteer role: Marshal
What do you do at parkruns: Run, chat, cheer and encourage other runners... with some cake and sweet eating on special occasions.
How has parkrun changed your running: parkrun pretty much started my running addiction. It’s given me a personal target to aim for and I now always make Saturday mornings free for parkrun with the odd exception. I’ve also met some amazing people through parkrun who have become a big part of my life. I can’t imagine life without parkrun!
What do you like about parkrun: I like the fact it’s a free timed event which opens it up to so many people who wouldn’t normally run in such an event or at all in some cases. It’s such a great event for runners of all abilities with such a great and supportive community. I also like the fact people contribute lots of their precious time behind the scenes for nothing to make it all happen, so thank you to them.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: I think the Pomphrey Hill second birthday bash was the most memorable as it just highlighted what parkrun is all about as there were runners of all abilities pulling together to create a great morning run with lots of amazing cakes and treats afterwards. I also got a PB which topped it off nicely!