15 years of parkrun

As parkrun celebrates turning 15 at the start of October we ask what does parkrun mean to you.


Karen and her husband Darren have been with Burnley parkrun since its humble beginnings, she reflects on what it means to them

So what does it mean to us?

As many of you know when Marion Wilkinson asks you to do something there are not many people who will say no. So when Marion asked us to help out every now and again on a Saturday morning to help get new people running in Burnley we both agreed. Who knew where that simple request would lead to?

We had both been at the start of the SOS running group which was and still is a running group which is formed of runners of various abilities that run socially together and is formed of various club and none club runners so we were both very comfortable with the concept of various abilities running together. We had however never heard of parkrun so had no idea what we were letting ourselves in for.

From thinking we would be making ourselves available every now and again parkrun had an immediate unexpected effect on both our lives, we were suddenly in charge of a free weekly event that was happening every Saturday at 9am. The laptop was given to us and we had a core team to make it work, Marion, Gary, and Paul as well as ourselves. Basically get on with it, you will be fine and surprisingly we were and Burnley is now a hugely successful event for the size of the town. Since then every town around us has set up an event after runner attending Burnley parkrun.

Suddenly organising volunteer rosters, checking the route, processing results, answering emails and then dealing with the social media aspects became part of our daily lives not just an hour or so now and again on a Saturday morning which is what we were expecting but looking back we would not change this, it has been an amazing journey to be part of.

It has been a fabulous experience for both of us, the start of parkrun happened around the same time that our son was leaving home to go to university so we had more time on our hands than we had previously and it gave us the opportunity to meet some wonderful people. People that have since become friends and we have seen that happen amongst many, many of our parkrun family.
Since we started the very first event on the second of June 2012 over ten thousand different people have joined us to run around the beautiful Towneley park and gardens with many of them returning time and time again covering in total 470,950km and achieving over eighteen thousand PB’S.

So many of our runners started unable to run 5k but have since completed every distance imaginable from 10k right through to Marathon’s and beyond. They have joined clubs and raced all over the country, some prefer the social side and just run for fun and personal achievements but everyone is welcome at parkrun.

We both genuinely love being part of the Burnley parkrun family but it is hard at times, there is at least one time every winter when we wonder why we do this. The core parkrun volunteer team genuinely believe that Towneley is the coldest place on earth in winter. When it is sub-zero with the wind chill factor freezing you to the core those two hours setting up the course and then cheering the runners/walkers on and then trying to be just as enthusiastic at 10am when the last runner comes through it is really tough. The next time you sit in your car until ten to nine and then dash to the start then finish and go for your coffee or back to your warm car spare a moment’s thought for the marshalls still out on the course.

Of course we do love it and it is so much fun to be part of, we have had so many memorable days at Towneley, lots of silly fancy dress, one of our favourites was our 118th run when we dressed lots of people up as 118 guys. We celebrate our runners every year on our anniversary but as parkrun turns fifteen we reflect what parkrun means to us and ask you to share what parkrun means to you?

So what does parkrun mean to you? why not tell us your story? We really want to hear it.

You can contact the Burnley parkrun team by sending an email to burnley@parkrun.com

Facebook Page

Burnley parkrun has an offical Facebook page why not take a look at https://www.facebook.com/burnleyparkrun

Keep up to date with all the latest news and photos with our new Facebook page


Latest photos

We now have photos on our official Facebook page as well as our Flickr album please see below for links to these pages

Facebook Photo Album(Here)

Flickr Photo Album (Here).

Many thanks to those of you who contribute, please keep doing it as it really helps us keep the website going.

Keep up to date

Don't forget - as well as the website www.parkrun.org.uk/burnley you can keep up to date with the latest information about Burnley parkrun by following us on Twitter @Burnleyparkrun or visit our Facebook Page



Unfortunately due to a pesky chap called Guy Fawkes this Saturday's run has had to be cancelled. As most of you know this is always an absolute last resort with our last cancellation being the Boxing Day floods almost two years ago.

We have been informed that the council and the fair people will need to access the site from 8:30am and this means that the path from the gate at the side of the park right through to the football fields will have tragic and heavy plant machinery using it between 9 and 10. The safety of all our runners and volunteers is of paramount importance which is why we have taken the decision to cancel. We have been assured that next year the bonfire will take place on Monday 5th November so we will not be affected again

Thank you to everyone for your understanding and if anyone does decide to go for a run in Towneley on Saturday please could you apologise to anyone that is not aware of the cancellation and e plain the reason why we could not officially go ahead



Request for help

The registered charity Cancer Assessment Rapid Early Support (CARES) has contacted our Run Director Karen asking if any of our marshals (or runners) would be will to help them provide marshals for the Burnley 10K on the 4th of June.

Please see below the message together with contact details should you wish to offer your help.

We are one of the partner charities for the Burnley 10K. As part of our contract we've been asked to supply a small number of marshals to help marshal the run the Burnly 10K on Sunday 4th June.

We are a very small local charity and need all the support we can gather! I just wondered whether you would be kind enough to allow us to ask if any of the Towneley Park run marshals but be interested in helping us on a one off basis for the Burnley 10K?

Kind regards,


Natalie Bohane
01282 914014


Christmas Party

Burnley parkrun 2016 Christmas Do

Burnley parkrun will be having a Christmas Do this year at Nino's in Cliviger. It will be a three course meal (price £23.50 per head) on Wednesday 28th December at 18:30.

We are really grateful to Elaine Holdsworth for organising this event which promises to be a cracking evening.

If you would like to come along please let get in touch. Elaine will be collecting deposits in a couple of weeks.


Happy New Year

Happy New Year from Burnley parkrun

Well another parkrun year comes to an end, and what a year it's been, despite other local parkruns at Pendle and Blackburn our numbers have continued to grow. We saw over 12000 runs in 2015 and that's a weekly average of 235! Our 2014 attendance record was broken 14 times and our new record stands at 328 runners. Our runners smashed through the 100,000 and 150,000 kilometers of running with over 30,000 individual runs now completed since the start. The Burnley parkrun 100 club is growing rapidly, it seems like every week we are announcing another runner clocking up their 100th run. The Burnley parkrun family just gets bigger and bigger.

As well as looking back at a successful year we should also give a thought to the parkrun volunteers who are there week in, week out, giving up their time so we can run. At this time of year when the weather is often cold and miserable, it's a big ask! However, our volunteers never let us down. On behalf of all of us that run Burnley parkrun I would like to say thank you to all the volunteers for your efforts throughout the year. Without you there would be no parkrun. A special mention should be made of the fantastic work done by local photographer David Belshaw. His wonderful photos capture the essence of parkrun and I know he spends many hours preparing and uploading them for us. Thank you David we really appreciate what you do and hope you continue the good work in 2016.

So that's 2015 in a nutshell, but what about 2016? what are your parkrun goals for the coming year? Both the men's and ladies course records have remained intact throughout the year, so if you are one of the faster runners perhaps 2016 is your year to grab a record. For us mortals maybe it's just to bag a PB or to reach a milestone or even a reason to get out of bed early on a Saturday. Perhaps you haven't started running yet and want to give it a try or used to run and want to make a comeback. Whatever your reasons or ambitions, whatever your ability and whatever the weather you will find a warm welcome and loads of encouragement at Burnley parkrun. So come on everyone! it all starts again on Saturday 2nd January we hope to see you there.


Happy Christmas

Merry Christmas from Burnley parkrun


Burnley parkrun wishes all parkrunners and volunteers a wonderful Christmas.

Thank you for being part of another successful year, we hope to see you at the Boxing day run on Saturday 26th of December to round off 2015 in style! What a great way to clear the head and run off those mince pies.

Time also to start thinking about those New Year's resolutions, will they start on our first run of 2016 (Saturday 2nd January)?


New course for Burnley parkrun


Route change from 4th July

From Saturday 4th of July we will be new using a new course for our parkrun. We believe that the changes, which have been made for health and safety reasons will also make for faster times. So if you want to bag yourself a new PB get down to Burnley parkrun on Saturday.

The new course starts at the top of The Avenue and heads straight downhill, this will ensure a speedy start to your run. There is further good news in that there are now only 2 climbs up the avenue as the course finishes at the bottom of the park.

Full route description

We are waiting for parkrun Head Office to update the course information on the website, but here are the details.

The course starts at the top of The Avenue with the iconic Towneley Hall in the background. A fast start is assured as you head down to the bottom of The Avenue (Yellow line on map). At this point the course turns right for the first of two identical laps (Red line on map). After a short distance you turn left to pick up the path that hugs the playing fields. Follow this all the way round three sides of the park until you reach the bridge at the top of the park. Here you leave the path, turning right and heading down the grass towards the changing rooms. From the changing rooms it’s on to The Avenue then head on up towards the hall. Just before the gate at the top The Avenue the course bears right to pick up path that returns you downhill to the bandstand. From here it’s a right turn and head towards the bottom of The Avenue where you start the second lap. The second lap is slightly shorter as you cross the finish line a couple of hundred meters before reaching the bottom of The Avenue.


Pacers as usual

As this is the first run of the month our trusty pacers will be there as usual. It's a new course for them too so please don't get annoyed is the pacing isn't as accurate as normal.


Stables cafe to open at 9 am on Parkrun days

From Saturday the 11th April the Stables café will be open from 9am for parkrunners and volunteers. Please join us for a brew and a chat when you finish your run. They will open for a month initially to see if we are using it so please come and meet with your fellow runners
See you all next Saturday


Happy New Year

Happy New Year from Burnley parkrun

As 2014 comes to a close it would seem a good time to reflect on a fantastic year for Burnley parkrun. Our average turnout in 2014 was 175, this is up from 136 in 2013 and we are fast approaching 100,000 kilometers of the Towneley Park course covered by our runners. There were many special moments throughout the year: our 100th event, when guest of honour and running legend Ron Hill took part; our 2nd Birthday run when we ran the course in reverse; the 118 118 fancy dress theme for our 118th run. What was your most memorable run?

As well as looking back at a successful year we should also give a thought to the parkrun volunteers who are there week in, week out, giving up their time so we can run. At this time of year when the weather is often cold and miserable, it's a big ask! However, our volunteers never let us down. On behalf of all of us that run Burnley parkrun I would like to say a heart felt thank you to all the volunteers for your efforts throughout the year. Without you there would be no parkrun.

So it's goodbye 2014, but what about 2015? What are your goals? Perhaps it's time to smash your personal best time? Or to reach a milestone 10, 50, 100 or event 250 runs? Maybe 2015 is the year you give parkrun a try for the 1st time? What ever your goals, the parkrun team will be there to cheer you on. So why not start the year as you mean to go on and join us on Saturday for the first run of 2015!


Burnley parkrun pacers


The first parkrun of every month will feature pacers. Running with a pacemaker is a great way to improve your times so why not give it a go.


Questions and Answers

What is a Pacer?
A pacer is an experienced runner that will complete the course within a stated time. For example, the "28 pacer" will aim to cross the line very close to 28 minutes (hopefully just under). In addition, the pacer will run the course at an even pace, therefore helping to prevent the age old problem of setting off too fast. Running at an even and sustainable pace is the key to improving but it is surprising how many experienced runners get carried away at the start of a run.

Do I have to follow a pacer?
No, whilst some runners find following a pacer useful, it's not compulsory so please feel free to do your own thing if your prefer.

What times will be paced?
Depending on availability will have pacers for 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 minutes.

What do I need to do on the day?
The pacers will be wearing bibs marked with the target time. At the start, stand with your chosen pacer and set off with them.
If you are a regular parkrunner, use a recent time to gauge what pacer to follow. It is unlikely that you will be able to improve by more than a minute; so be realistic!

What if I can't keep up with the pacer?
Don't worry! Just keep going at a pace you feel comfortable with and finish as normal.

What if I want to go faster?
That's fine as well. If you feel you want to go faster, just speed up. You don't have to follow the pacer for the whole run, although it might advisable to wait until the latter part of the run before increasing your effort.

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