weekly newsletter 28 July 2016

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter the Fitbit Fifty challenge gets underway, Alzheimer’s Research UK introduce the Sweaty Selfie competition, Intersport want to see our bibs, Vitality ask for our #EverydayAthlete nominations, you can have your say on the future of the UK’s beautiful parks, and I explain how our new Apricot shirts are securing the future of parkrun.

The first time I saw a parkrun 100 Club shirt I was at Bushy parkrun (then called the Bushy Park Time Trial) in the summer of 2007, and a number of the runners had these black t-shirts with a big number 100 on the back. At the time, to me at least, the concept of completing 100 parkruns seemed like something only a handful of people would ever be likely to reach.

A little over a year later I was presenting my first 50 shirt to a Woodhouse Moor parkrunner, as gradually it dawned on me that this was something anyone could achieve. What was also clear was that it took dedication and commitment, and that engaging in the process would result in the recipient gaining friendships, experiencing many highs, perhaps a few lows, and most importantly, it would give them a great sense of personal achievement. It also, rather wonderfully, resulted in a whole heap of feel-good-factor for that event’s volunteers… almost like each milestone reached is a milestone for the volunteer team as much as it’s a milestone for the individual.

Over the following years parkrun events around the world handed out 10 shirts to juniors and 50s, 100s and 250s to people of all ages. One of the world’s most meaningful forms of running recognition was born and over time it became the norm for previous non-runners to strive for their 50-shirt or elite runners to prize their parkrun club membership as highly as their ridiculously fast PBs. Most importantly, despite the massive increase in membership numbers, the achievement of reaching a parkrun milestone has never diminished.

Unfortunately, sometime around late 2014 we found ourselves in the position that the demand for these shirts was outstripping our capability to supply them, and their future looked seriously at risk. Paul Sinton-Hewitt (PSH, the Founder of parkrun) and I spent endless hours, contacting endless people, and attending endless meetings, all in an attempt to secure the future of these wonderful shirts. All to no avail.

Then, at the point when PSH and I had just about given up and were on the verge of writing to every single parkrunner with the sad news the t-shirts were no more, we met Steve Reid, the CEO and Founder of a small British clothing brand called Tribesports. As a parkrunner himself he’d become aware that we might be experiencing difficulties and had written to us to offer assistance. We agreed to meet up, and over a coffee in a London cafe we shook hands on a rather simple deal that would, in theory at least, allow us to keep the milestones alive:

Steve - It looks like you’re having problems with the milestone shirts, can we help in any way?

Me - Possibly, we need 400,000 high-quality parkrun-branded technical t-shirts, over the next five years, for free.

Steve - I think we can do that.

Me - What do you want in return?

Steve - Nothing, it’s a great thing to do.

Me - Awesome. Thanks. Another coffee?

And that was that. The wheels of industry began to turn, and within the year the first Tribesports parkrun milestone t-shirts were alive and kicking. If only everything in life was that simple.

If only it was that simple.

Those of you out there with an eye for finances and an understanding of retail will be all too aware of the challenge that Steve and I had committed to in the name of doing good things. They only had a staff of four and we were doubling in size every year; we clearly needed to do more in order to achieve something resembling a sustainable model.

So, for a whole host of reasons we decided to launch the Tribesports parkrun Apricot range of technical clothing. Partly we were responding to a long-standing demand from the parkrun community for stuff they could run in, partly we wanted to support the milestone shirts, partly we wanted to support Tribesports, and partly we wanted to support the ever-increasing running costs of delivering an ever-increasing number of free, weekly, timed parkruns.

To date, parkrun volunteers have delivered a phenomenal 17 million parkrun performances and in the next twelve months alone we’re predicting another 7.5 million. Someone joins the parkrun family every 30 seconds. One of the most frequent questions we get asked is “how can I support parkrun?”, and right now a great way to do that is to purchase some Apricot of your own. By doing so you’re helping to secure the future of the milestone t-shirts, our wonderful friends at Tribesports, and parkrun itself.

Thanks as always for your amazing parkrun passion.

Tom Williams
Chief Operating Officer

join the Fitbit Fifty challenge!


Do you want to put all that parkrun practice to use and push yourself further than before? We’ve got just the thing.

Fitbit have partnered with fitness magazine Coach to create the Fitbit Fifty; a challenge that sees two groups of six cycle and run from Buckingham Palace to Edinburgh Castle and back again within 50 hours.

This feat is the first of its kind, and you could join the team to be a part of something amazing that’s never been attempted before.

Successful entrants will also get swag worth £2,200, including a Fitbit Surge, branded running gear and training plans from Olympian Greg Whyte.

With 50k of running and 16 hours of cycling per person, this is no small task. Think you’re up to it?

Enter on the Coach website here. There are 12 places available, and entries close on Monday 1 August.

Have you entered, or are you working on your own personal challenge? Get in touch and let us know on Twitter and Facebook. If the Fitbit Fifty isn’t quite for you but you still want other tips to reach your own fitness goals, check out our blog.

sweaty selfie competition


Summer is officially here and we want to celebrate with a competition! We know how hard you’ve been training in the hot weather and we’ve loved seeing your mid and post-run selfies coming through, so we’ve decided to reward three lucky Running Down Dementia runners for their efforts with the chance to win some fantastic prizes.

All you have to do is submit your favourite sweaty selfie to us. So the next time you’re out clocking up those all-important Running Down Dementia miles, grab your phone and capture the moment. The aim is not to look good – in fact, the sweatier the better! The selfies will be judged on creativity, inspiration and fun, so perhaps you’ve stumbled across a picturesque location on your run or maybe even bumped into someone famous!

We want to show everyone how much effort our 3,000 Running Down Dementia runners are putting in just to fundraise for us, and what better way than a snapshot mid-run?

If you’re signed up to Running Down Dementia and want to get involved in our Sweaty Selfie competition, all you have to do is post a sweaty selfie to social media (Instagram, Twitter, or the RDD Facebook group). You must include the hashtag #RDDsweatyselfie.

And most importantly, here’s a list of our winners’ tremendous prizes donated by parkrun UK’s generous partners:
1st place: Fitbit Blaze
2nd place: £75 Tribesports voucher
3rd place: £25 Tribesport voucher

The Alzheimer’s Research UK team will pick the winners, who will be contacted by email or through social media. For inspiration, here’s a picture of our Campaign Project Manager Michelle, who is rocking the sweaty look.

The competition is open from Friday 29 July and will close on Saturday 13 August, so you’ll have a chance to capture that sweaty selfie at three parkruns! We can’t wait to see your photos.

Don’t forget to read the terms and conditions before submitting your pictures.

#showusyourbibs!


Earlier this year Intersport supplied new high vis bibs to parkrun volunteers across the country, and it’s great to see how useful they have been in making volunteers recognisable and safe.

A few months on, it’s time to #showusyourbibs! You have all looked great in your bibs and we’d love you to share your favourite images from your local parkrun.

It is after all thanks to the volunteers and run directors that parkrun is such a success each week. From marshalling and timing to results processing, their role is vital in making parkrun happen.

Upload your pictures to Twitter @Intersport_UK #loveparkrun like @jo_manley from Wimbledon parkrun, and like us on Facebook to keep up with what’s going on and maybe you could make the newsletter next week.

Remember that you can claim 10% off all purchases at Intersport with your parkrun barcode, as an ongoing parkrun partnership price #PPP* Find your nearest store and pop in to chat to us and try on some new gear.

See you at your next parkrun!

*PPP valid at all participating Intersport stores. See our website for details.
** Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion.

#EverydayAthlete


Just over 12 months ago, Jane Platts was overweight, grieving and hardly able to walk. After her 60th birthday, she decided to turn things around...

"It was so hard trying to get my life back on track – I wasn’t sleeping, I was depressed and I had problems with both of my Achilles tendons. I was also morbidly obese. As I approached 60, I knew that if I didn’t take control I’d head into a downward spiral, running the risk of some really serious health problems."

Find out how Jane's local parkrun, and Vitality, helped her to transform her health. Read the full story here.

Are you a Vitality member like Jane and has parkrun helped you transform your health? If so we would love to hear from you.

Are you inspired by Jane’s story to get active? Follow what Vitality are doing with their #EverydayAthlete campaign, and why not nominate a parkrun #EverydayAthlete who deserves a pat on the back and you could win some great prizes!

Click through to Vitality's Facebook page or Twitter page to enter.
Competition closes Monday 1 August at midday. Terms and Conditions apply.

parks inquiry – have your say


The Communities and Local Government Committee has launched an inquiry into public parks, to examine the impact of reduced local authority budgets on these open spaces and consider concerns that their existence is under threat.

The Committee wants to encourage as many people as possible to contribute to the inquiry, via a short online survey or on Twitter explaing why you value your local parks and using the hashtag #myparkmatters. parkrun UK will also be submitting a comprehensive written response.

parkrun population


Here are this week’s summary statistics for parkrun UK (including junior parkrun)

89,613 parkrunners
9,090 volunteers
6,513 first-timers
13,472 PBs

random stat of the week


There were 853 volunteer tourists at UK 5ks last weekend. That’s 12% of all volunteers who were helping to make the parkrun magic happen at an event that is not their home run.

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


Saturday 16 July was a special parkrun for me, as I became the first person to complete 50 parkruns at Market Harborough parkrun. I thought I might get a little mention at the start, but I got more than I bargained for! I was adorned with a 50 sash and balloon to wear all the way around and had so many fellow runners congratulating me out on the course. The day was extra special to me as my parents came to watch and were on the finish line to see me complete run number 50. Thank you to the parkrun team at Market Harborough for making my 50th run a truly memorable occasion and one that I will treasure for a very long time!
Louise Dicicco


Did my first ever parkrun on Saturday. Had a lovely tail runner as I was the last. It was hard work in the heat but I blooming did it. I had a bit of a cry at the end, not out of sadness but pride that I managed it. Thanks all.
Dawn Nisbet


I’ve thoroughly enjoyed volunteering recently at Glossop parkrun. Saturday was a beautiful and sunny day for tail-running and I ended up running with Eric Gebbett. Whilst running the classic three-and-a-bit lap course, we were greeted with a stream of support “well done, Eric”… “keep going, Eric”… it seemed that everybody knew Eric’s name – what a guy! I just hope that when I reach the 80-84 age bracket I have half the enthusiasm and drive that Eric does – an inspiration to runners of all ages and abilities. I fully recommend volunteering at parkrun to everyone who enjoys participating in the event – you meet and see an amazing bunch of people, and you get to help and support a plethora of different runners with different abilities.
Sam Ainscough

parkrunner of the week


If you feel somebody at a parkrun should feature as our parkrunner of the week, please get them to fill out this handy online form - you can even apply yourself!

Name:  Jim Price

Age:  44

Home parkrun:  Basildon

Occupation:  Disaster Recovery Manager

Number of runs:  29

What do you do at parkruns:  I am currently running in combats and carrying a 30lb bergen, so at the moment I am going through the pain barrier every week at parkrun!

How has parkrun changed your running:  I hadn’t run since being injured in the army 20 years ago and decided that I need to get fit again. I started the parkrun as it is local and the online information is really helpful keeping track of your improvement. The support you get is so helpful and everybody is friendly so I decided to go back time and time again. At first I couldn’t get round the first lap without stopping but now I have completed a half marathon and the Hadleigh Tough 10.

What do you like about parkrun:  I love how friendly everybody is and how everybody, whether they are running or volunteering, encourage you to go faster. My health has improved so much since starting and parkrun has helped me advance to longer distances. Without the parkrun I wouldn't have been fit enough to raise money for ABF soldiers charity and the support I have had from organisers and runners is incredible.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Completing the 5k for the first time without stopping was a great feeling. I have recently beaten my target of 24 minutes and now I have got a target of getting in the top 500 of all time. Hopefully running in boots and carrying weight will help me go faster once I revert back to trainers.

reminders

the parkrun store

barcode reminder

barcode

Printed barcodes are used at all parkrun events to record your result. No barcode, no time, no exception. To retrieve and print your barcode, click here. To order a barcode wristband, which can also include your name, emergency contact details, and any medical conditions, please follow this link.

Don't forget your barcode #dfyb

children at parkrun

We welcome children at parkrun. Please note that those under the age of 11 must be within arm's reach of a parent, guardian or designated adult of the parents' choice whilst attending 5k parkrun events. Children aged 4 to 14 can run unaccompanied at our junior parkrun events.

You can read the latest junior parkrun newsletter here.

volunteering at parkrun

Every event relies on volunteers and in 2015 alone more than 68,000 of you came forward to support the parkrun community. Volunteering is a wonderful way to make friends, feel great and have fun. If that sounds like it's for you please contact your local event team and get involved.

cancellations

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

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.

official charity partner

Alzheimer's Research UK

our sponsors

Vitality investing in parkrun
Changing health and life insurance for good.

Vitality is insurance that rewards you for being healthy. It's there to protect you when things go wrong unexpectedly but it's also there to help you lead a healthier life - meaning you don't have to claim to be able to benefit. If you keep well, then you're less likely to claim. That means it costs us less to look after you. We think that if we're saving money, you should benefit from that. So as you get healthier, we offer you discounts to encourage you to be healthy, rewards to keep you motivated and to help you rest and relax, and cashback so you've got more money to spend on doing things you love. Find out more about Vitality

Intersport. Sport to the people
Sport to the people

parkrun has been a key player in promoting running as an accessible participation sport to the expanding community of runners. The parkrun model of local volunteers delivering weekly runs to people of all ages and abilities in their local community fits perfectly with the Intersport philosophy of bringing sport to the people. Together we look forward to encouraging more people to get their running shoes on. Find out more about Intersport

Fitbit Blaze

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


Duke of Edinburgh's Award supporting parkrun
The world’s leading achievement award for young people

For more information on The Duke of Edinburgh's Award please visit dofe.org


 

weekly newsletter 21 July 2016

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter Intersport say thank you to parkrunners, our steps get social with Fitbit and Strava, Alzheimer’s Research UK introduce us to a super fundraiser, we launch the parkrun youth panel, exercising women are invited to take part in new research, and Gillian Craig from Larne parkrun tells us about a life-changing moment.

I was born as a twin, and at an early age was diagnosed with a condition called Cerebral Palsy. I had many challenges ahead of me, including crawling, balancing, and learning to walk. But with the support of my family, I eventually took my first steps in a local park at the age of two and a half.

I spent most of my early and teenage years being a spectator, looking on at my friends playing sport. I always wanted to take part but I knew that I would never get picked to be in the teams as I would be too slow. Deep down, my only wish was to be on the team.

Then in August 2015, one very exciting and life changing thing happened.

My brother and his wife are into running marathons and half marathons, and when my niece and nephew visit from Scotland they always want to do our local parkrun in Larne, Northern Ireland. One Saturday morning they all went down to take part, and I went along to watch because I didn’t think I could do it. While standing there, I asked myself ‘Why am I watching this?’ I wanted to give it a go!

So I signed up, printed my barcode, and with great support from everyone on the course I completed my first parkrun soon after. When I reached the finish funnel everyone was standing and cheering me in – I felt like the Queen! I was so happy that I had found a sport that I enjoy and could take part in. Now all my family do parkrun every Saturday morning, and it’s great that we can enjoy it together.

parkrun has given me a whole new outlook on life. It has given me inspiration and enthusiasm, power and determination to succeed, and most of all it has given me respect. At parkrun I am treated as an equal and as part of the community, regardless of my ability. This isn’t always the case in the outside world. Through parkrun I have made many friends and look forward to every Saturday morning.

Because of parkrun, and in particular the volunteers at Larne parkrun, I don’t just watch sport from the sidelines anymore. I take part. And I don’t just cheer. I get cheered on. From my family and from the bottom of my heart, I can’t thank the parkrun community enough for your support and encouragement.

Happy running,

Gillian Craig
A1856492

thank you parkrunners!


As proud partners of parkrun, we were delighted to see so many of you at our Manchester running event in association with Nike last week. With parkrunners counting for more than half of the group, it was a fantastic evening where you could try out the brand new Nike Lunarglide 8 shoe on a 5k run from the Intersport DW Sports store in Market Street.

The Lunarglide is a sleek looking shoe in great colours for men and women with many fantastic features that help you notch up the miles effortlessly – as many of you found out at the run. Many thanks to everyone who attended and don't forget you can claim 10% off at Intersport with your parkrun barcode as an ongoing parkrun partnership price #PPP.* Time to treat yourself to the Lunarglide 8 or any other new running gear!

Find your nearest store and we'll be on hand with plenty of tips and advice about running.

Keep the pictures coming on Twitter @Intersport_UK #loveparkrun and make sure you like us on Facebook to keep up with what's going on.

See you at your next parkrun!

*PPP valid at all participating Intersport stores; see our website for details.
** Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion.

steps get social with Strava


Social networking now uses your feet instead of your scrolling finger, thanks to Strava and Fitbit.

You can now enjoy the best of both apps together and enjoy the social aspect of comparing your workouts with others on Strava and also still track your everyday activity with Fitbit.

The apps are now fully integrated, allowing Fitbit users to monitor their steps and sleep at all times and share their more intense activity with the Strava community. So that means you’ve got a support network ready and waiting every Saturday morning after your parkrun.

Don’t have a Strava account yet? Give it a try! Using the two together is simple – you just need to sign up for a Strava account and integrate it with your Fitbit profile. Follow our step-by-step guide here.

For more inspiration and Fitbit information, check out our blog. Or why not browse our online store? parkrunners enjoy an exclusive discount on selected devices – take a look here.

Get in touch and let us know how using Strava and Fitbit together helps your workouts – we love hearing from you. Find us on Twitter or Facebook.

running down dementia


This week we’d like to introduce you to Andy Morris, who is steaming ahead at number one on the Running Down Dementia leaderboard. He’s already raised £2,390 in the five weeks since signing up to the challenge – the first and only person to raise more than £2,000 so far.

Andy, who is a Run Director at Poolsbrook parkrun, and was previously part of Graves parkrun, took up the challenge in honour of his mum Peggy Morris and stepfather-in-law Tony Shanley, who both have dementia, and in memory of his auntie Joan Morris.

Peggy was diagnosed with vascular dementia three years ago and Tony was diagnosed with mixed dementia – Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia – around the same time.

Andy has already clocked up a whopping 250 kilometres during the challenge.

He said: “I enjoy running and do a lot of it, so I wanted to make the Running Down Dementia challenge harder for myself. I aimed to run 250k and raise £2,000. I tried to make the runs difficult – some were long, some were hilly and some were very muddy.

“I’ve been a big Birmingham City fan my whole life so, to make my final run particularly hard, I was challenged to run it in an Aston Villa shirt. That was the most challenging of my runs!

“My stepfather-in-law and my mum both have dementia but they’re very different. Tony sits and watches television a lot. My mum on the other hand is very restless. She can’t sit still and often asks if she can go home when she’s already there. We can see rapid changes in her.

“Research is the most important thing. It may be too late for Mum and Tony but it’s about helping people in the future.”

You can donate to Andy’s run or read his updates here.

Alzheimer’s Research UK can now reveal that the closing date for the Running Down Dementia campaign is Monday 31 October.

There’s no better time to get involved if you haven’t already, just go to our website to sign up and connect your tracking app to get started.

If you are signed up to Running Down Dementia, why not join our dedicated Facebook page for inspirational stories and support from fellow runners.

parkrun youth panel


A parkrun youth panel is being created to give young people the opportunity to help us shape the future of parkrun, particularly on matters which impact on juniors. We are inviting young people aged 4 to 17 to be part of the panel – anyone between these ages is welcome to join, and to choose how much or how little they wish to be involved.

Further information about the youth panel and how to get involved is available here.

iron deficiency in exercising females


Recent research suggests that just under half of exercising females may have a compromised iron status. The impact of iron deficiency and the criteria used to define it are ambiguous, therefore our research group, which is a collaboration between UCL and St Mary’s University and supported by Orreco are aiming to shed more light in this area.

Many women cite that their menstrual cycle impacts upon their training and performance, yet the reasons for this are not clear. One possible reason could be due to an unknown iron deficiency.

In order to begin investigating the effects of the menstrual cycle on performance, we have launched the IRONWOMAN trial, where we are looking specifically at the impact of low iron levels on exercise capacity, quality of life and mood. We are currently seeking exercising females, aged 18 years or over, who think they may be low in iron to participate in this trial. Testing is taking place at St Mary’s University in Twickenham and through this, participants will receive information about their current physiological fitness. Participants will receive an iron injection, with pre and post physiological tests. If you are interested and would like to know more please get in touch.

Georgie Bruinvels
UCL Division of Surgery & Interventional Science

parkrun population


Here are this week’s summary statistics for parkrun UK (including junior parkrun)

87,625 parkrunners
8,932 volunteers
6,546 first-timers
14,682 PBs

random stat of the week


The ages of both male and female first finishers at UK 5k parkrun events ranged from 9 to 66 last weekend. Two junior parkruns saw a six-year-old cross the line first!

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


It was lovely to be part of Eid celebrations recently at Cassiobury parkrun. Some of Cassiobury's regulars had been fasting during the month of Ramadan, so helped out by volunteering and we celebrated Eid together last week. We indulged in a delicious variety of foods – Indian mithais like halwa and pehras, doughnuts, and there's got to be cake at every Cassiobury parkrun celebration! The environment was lively, everyone enjoyed it and took part in the festivities. A big thank you to Cassiobury parkrun for organising such a fun run!
Nishaat Bhimani


My local parkrun is Rother Valley in Sheffield and my first parkrun was on my 31st birthday. I had never run before with so many people around me. Everyone was so welcoming and really encouraged me on the way around. I did my second parkrun two weeks later and am doing my third soon. I never would have dreamed of doing a 5k, but I enjoyed it so much that I got my mother-in-law involved too. In November 2015 I weighed 16½ stone; I've just hit 14 stone this month and I never felt as though anyone was judging my size. Thank you parkrun for showing real community spirit.
Rachel Barber


One of the great things about our parkrun, apart from finishing, is looking at the photos afterwards. It's great to scroll through and see many of your friends in various poses. I was always disappointed that I always looked like I was walking, often with both feet on the ground, whereas everyone else looked like they were running with at least one foot off the floor. But a few weeks ago I spotted that the volunteer photographer was one of our club members, Andrew King, and I managed to achieve the elusive ‘off the ground’ shot (perhaps a bit too much). I also ran a PB so it may well have helped!
John O’Keeffe


After more than 130 parkruns, 50 of these at Blickling in Norfolk, I noticed that the same people were there each week as run director. That means they cannot run most weeks. Then a few other volunteers started to help, so I made inquiries and found I would be welcome to volunteer as a run director myself. After covering all the volunteering roles, I was able to be run director last weekend for the first time. It's quite a simple role so anyone can do it. Like all parkruns, if no-one volunteers there will be no event. So why not give it a go… you have nothing to lose.
Paul Corder


As kids get older – especially boys turning into young men – it is not cool to do things with your mum, especially if she is nearly 60 and runs in public! But after a bit of arm twisting and favours owed, my 23-year-old comes to Aberdeen parkrun when he is home from university in Edinburgh or has a break from training with Scotland’s Men's Senior Squash Team. Saturday morning was so lovely and it made my morning by doing something together, bonding and being active! He also met people he knew there, chatted away and came for post-run coffee. What more could I want? Thank you Chris and parkrun.
Rosey Leiper


My grandson Felix Hawker, aged nine, recently took part in his 100th parkrun; quite an achievement. His little brother Barnaby age four completed his 10th. A sporting family to be proud of!
Sally Yaxley


On 9 July our running club, Headington RoadRunners, took part in a volunteer takeover at Oxford parkrun. Having put the word out to members a couple of weeks before, we were delighted to have an unbelievable response in order to provide volunteers for all roles, including a pacemaking army and enough bakers to supply all with cake! We thought that we would offer to cover the event in order to give something back to our community, as well as promote parkrun to our members. The day saw more than 260 runners take part, with many achieving PBs, and first-timers learning why parkrun is so fantastic. Our club motto is 'Running Together', an ethos shared within the parkrun community. Will we do it again? Definitely!
Andrew Smith


On 9 July I became the proudest dad as my 10-year-old daughter Evie ran her 100th parkrun at our home course at Colwick Park in Nottingham, despite the worst weather I have ever known there! Colwick is famous for its puddles so we just ran through every single one and she loved it (okay so did I). parkrun is so good for developing kids’ confidence and in a couple of week’s time Evie's next challenge is guiding our visually impaired friend Terry.
Graeme Scandrett-Smith


An amusing stat – I finished Havant Parkrun in 22:22 and I was in 22nd place and was the 22nd male out of a field of 222 parkrunners. Would love to have seen the odds for that!
David lown


Nearly 200 parkrunning pirates descended on Hastings Pier on Saturday morning. Courtesy of the Hastings Pier Charity, the runners enjoyed the novelty of running the full length of the pier (more than 500m) as part of their normal seafront course. There were some superb costumes on view, tourists from all over the South East and the runners also donated almost £75 to the pier charity. Captain Jack Madden proved to be the fastest seadog in town, finishing 40 seconds clear of his fellow landlubbers!
Nicholas Brown


Special mention from Yeovil Montacute parkrun goes to Ben Sowden who, with his wife Jo, is on a tour of the country’s parkruns in memory of his son Rory – you may have read his story in a recent parkrun newsletter, where he was deciding whether to aim for York or Yeovil Montacute for the ‘Y’ in Rory’s name. Ben, we’re glad you chose us and hope you enjoyed your trip!
Martin Chaffey

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Harry Park

Age:  4

Home parkrun:  Redcar

Occupation:  Nursery pupil

Number of runs:  11

Favourite volunteer role:  Marshal

What do you do at parkruns:  I have volunteered as a marshal with my dad and sister and I've also followed my dad around the course doing the ‘parkrun poop scoop’ before the runners start! My mum and dad are helping to set up a junior parkrun in Redcar and I'm looking forward to that starting.

How has parkrun changed your running:  I was desperate to start parkrunning because my Mum, Dad and big sister all did it. As soon as I turned four I registered for a barcode and couldn't wait to join in. I completed my 10th parkrun aged four years, three months 12 days. I love it. I'm first out of bed every Saturday morning and don't let my family sleep in on parkrunday. I've even convinced my teenage brother to run with me every week, so now the whole family run every Saturday.

What do you like about parkrun:  I love how everyone is cheered on whether they take 16 or 56 minutes to complete the course. Lots of people at Redcar wait at the end and cheer me on down the finish straight. I also love that my whole family do parkrun together. Even our dog Alfie runs with us. I also love orange juice and biscuits in the clubhouse afterwards!

reminders

the parkrun store

barcode reminder

barcode

Printed barcodes are used at all parkrun events to record your result. No barcode, no time, no exception. To retrieve and print your barcode, click here. To order a barcode wristband, which can also include your name, emergency contact details, and any medical conditions, please follow this link.

Don't forget your barcode #dfyb

children at parkrun

We welcome children at parkrun. Please note that those under the age of 11 must be within arm's reach of a parent, guardian or designated adult of the parents' choice whilst attending 5k parkrun events. Children aged 4 to 14 can run unaccompanied at our junior parkrun events.

You can read the latest junior parkrun newsletter here.

volunteering at parkrun

Every event relies on volunteers and in 2015 alone more than 68,000 of you came forward to support the parkrun community. Volunteering is a wonderful way to make friends, feel great and have fun. If that sounds like it's for you please contact your local event team and get involved.

cancellations

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

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.

official charity partner

Alzheimer's Research UK

our sponsors

Vitality investing in parkrun
Changing health and life insurance for good.

Vitality is insurance that rewards you for being healthy. It's there to protect you when things go wrong unexpectedly but it's also there to help you lead a healthier life - meaning you don't have to claim to be able to benefit. If you keep well, then you're less likely to claim. That means it costs us less to look after you. We think that if we're saving money, you should benefit from that. So as you get healthier, we offer you discounts to encourage you to be healthy, rewards to keep you motivated and to help you rest and relax, and cashback so you've got more money to spend on doing things you love. Find out more about Vitality

Intersport. Sport to the people
Sport to the people

parkrun has been a key player in promoting running as an accessible participation sport to the expanding community of runners. The parkrun model of local volunteers delivering weekly runs to people of all ages and abilities in their local community fits perfectly with the Intersport philosophy of bringing sport to the people. Together we look forward to encouraging more people to get their running shoes on. Find out more about Intersport

Fitbit Blaze

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


Duke of Edinburgh's Award supporting parkrun
The world’s leading achievement award for young people

For more information on The Duke of Edinburgh's Award please visit dofe.org


 

weekly newsletter 7 July 2016

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s newsletter Fitbit announce the winners of the parkrun Challenge, Alzheimer's Research UK update us on Running Down Dementia, Intersport show us a parkrun video, the London School of Economics invite parkrunners to take part in some new research, and Helen has a few different hats on.

I didn’t sleep well last night because I was so excited about writing this leader column! I want to talk about a subject close to my heart, firstly with my ‘Event Director of a parkrun’ hat on.

Visually impaired (VI) parkrunners have been the norm at my home event of Colwick in Nottingham since 2012 when Iris, and then Terry, rocked up to join in the parkrun fun. As a mum of a teenager I’m also incredibly grateful that they are both there too, because I want my son to grow up being able to interact with people from all different walks of life. Another one of the many absolutely fabulous things about parkrun.

Both Terry and Iris are regular attendees; Iris is a 50 Clubber, and Terry is a 100 Clubber, and they have both also volunteered, undertaken a spot of parkrun tourism, joined us at social events, and become much loved and valued members of our community along the way.

While Iris tends to run with fairly regular partners, Terry has managed to accumulate quite a pool of guide runners over the years. At last count more than 30 different people had guided him around his 122 parkruns to date. In the past we’d credited the awesome people helping them both to negotiate the course as ‘pacers’, but I am absolutely delighted that with the introduction of the new volunteer role – VI Guide – we can start to demonstrate much more clearly just how inclusive parkrun is and publicly acknowledge the great service that our guides provide too. Abigail and Terry certainly seem pretty pleased about it!

With my ‘Head Office’ hat on we’ve just started to produce a weekly report which tells us how many ‘VI Guides’ were recorded on our volunteer system, and I was absolutely over the moon on Monday to note that 33 guides had been out and about at the weekend across the UK including some at junior parkrun. You can read more about the junior parkrun experience here. This year we have been taking the first tentative steps in actively promoting parkrun participation within the VI community, an initiative that I honestly believe will transform the lives of so many people – both visually impaired and sighted. In fact, speaking from experience I already know that it has.

In other news, we have a spring in our step at Head Office this week after an uplifting weekend in Leeds with our parkrun ‘ambassadors’ – some of our most dedicated and engaged volunteers – who are as intent as we are in helping to make the world a healthier and happier place.

We spent the weekend celebrating where we are now and planning for the future – let’s turn the world apricot! #loveparkrun

Helen Hood
A165246
Head of Event Delivery
@parkrunhelen

congratulations parkrunners!


You have completed the first Fitbit parkrun Challenge, with a whopping 708,979,528 steps taken by Team parkrun over eight days. 65% of you completed 80,000 steps over the course of the challenge, and an amazing 20% of you hit more than 10,000 every day.

Despite your best efforts, parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt out-stepped Team parkrun in this challenge with his 133,740 steps. But as it’s all in the name of fun and fitness, everyone who participated deserves credit.

Here are some interesting statistics from the Challenge:

* 9,758 parkrunners registered
* Team parkrun averaged 92,612 steps for the week vs Paul's 133,740 steps
* 13,100 was the highest average daily step count

Check out the blog post for more stats and our photo gallery.

The total steps of five super-stepping parkrunners who have won two Fitbit Blazes each are:

Sonia Stokes, 149,567
Lynette Wightman, 153,037
Edward Taylor, 118,216
Sarah Bixby, 135,079
Jane Smith, 129,080

Fitbit is so proud of your efforts that we’ll be contributing £5,000 towards funding new parkrun events. Keep your eyes peeled for the next Fitbit parkrun Challenge, with more Fitbit prizes up for grabs!

Don’t have a Fitbit yet? Join in the fun and take advantage of the exclusive parkrun discounts.

top of the leaderboard


Determined parkrunner Nigel Saxon has raised a fantastic £1,344 for Alzheimer’s Research UK so far while taking part in Running Down Dementia. Now sitting in the top three of the Running Down Dementia leaderboard, Nigel took up the 100km challenge in honour of his mum Virginia, who passed away with dementia at the age of 76.

Nigel has now nearly tripled his fundraising target of £500, and has pushed his local parkrun, Poole, into first place on the Running Down Dementia leaderboard with £1,549.71 raised.

He said: “The whole campaign resonated so well with me. I love parkrun and take part every week so it was a winner in that sense. I am also passionate about dementia research because I have seen how dementia affected my mum.

“Alzheimer’s Research UK is a charity that needs funding in order to identify treatments and preventions and I am delighted with the amount that I have raised thanks to the support people have shown me. It spurred me on to go out and run.”

Nigel clocked up the miles each week at his local parkrun, coupled with training runs and his first 10k race – the Poole Festival of Running 10k.

If you’ve been inspired by Nigel’s story you can join him in the Running Down Dementia challenge. Sign up to your local parkrun’s Running Down Dementia team and help do your bit to get your group to the top of the leaderboard.

We’re also encouraging all our participants to use the hashtag #RunningDownDementia so you can keep us updated about all of your runs.

why we #loveparkrun


This week Intersport is proud to launch the second in a series of videos to celebrate our partnership with parkrun. The video sees staff from Intersport retailers across the country trying out running shoes and giving a big thumbs up to parkrun!

From Cambridge to Armagh and Norwich to Harrogate, it’s clear that we #loveparkrun.

Tom Foley, Head of Intersport UK, explains how Intersport and parkrun are two brands sharing a very strong community feel and a very strong community ethos, making our partnership a perfect match. We are proud to work together to make a difference to communities in every corner of the UK and Ireland, and we are delighted to support parkrun in what you do so well, every week.

When you’re not running your 5k we love meeting so many parkrunners in person and helping you with kit and advice about all things running.

Pop into your local store for a chat (find your nearest store here) – and don’t forget that you can claim 10% off at Intersport with your parkrun barcode as an ongoing parkrun partnership price #PPP.*

Remember to keep the pictures coming on Twitter @Intersport_UK #loveparkrun and make sure you like us on Facebook to keep up with what’s going on.

See you at your next parkrun!

*PPP valid at all participating Intersport stores; see our website for details.
** Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion.

LSE research


Earn a £5 Amazon gift certificate for completing a five-minute survey on your phone or computer on the morning of your parkrun. Researchers at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) are doing research on motivation and performance, and are looking for 300 parkrunners to participate. If you are interested, read more or sign up here.

parkrun population


Here are this week’s summary statistics for parkrun UK (including junior parkrun)

89,860 parkrunners
9,405 volunteers
6,648 first-timers
16,381 PBs

random stat of the week


So far in 2016, parkrun has welcomed 12,537 new participants who were active less than once a week before taking part in their first parkrun event. We welcome everyone to come along and walk, jog, run and volunteer!

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


Huntingdon parkrun #167 was like no other. Just over 24 hours before, we heard of the sad death of Rebecca ‘Bex’ Griffiths, the founder and inspiration behind ‘Team Bex’, a 500-strong community running and fundraising group that to date has raised over £51,000 for a local cancer charity. After a rousing minute’s applause the pink tide left the start line – a record turnout of 565 runners, walkers and joggers. Despite the increased numbers we still saw 61 PBs. Bex’s husband, Jon, and their two young sons also completed the run, which added to both the emotion and celebration of a unique event. After the event Jon contacted us to say: ‘Bex loved parkrun as it stands for the same beliefs as she had... fitness, challenging yourself and above all else selfless support for others!’
Alison Ainsworth


I have decided to complete a parkrun touring challenge, visiting venues where the first letter of each event spells the name of our son, Rory Sowden, who was born sleeping at 36 weeks on 30 May 2015. Whilst planning the different venues to visit I found that there are only two venues in the UK starting with the letter Y, being York or Yeovil Montacute. On Saturday 25 June 2016 I had a lovely welcome at Old Deer Park and now I'm halfway through the challenge.
Ben Sowden


Having retired last year from my role as one of the run directors at Tring parkrun to manage the demands of life with a small baby(!), it was very special to return on Saturday for Jonah's first buggy parkrun at nine months old with daddy Toby, and to receive such a warm welcome from everyone there. Thank you to Ken and Moira Douglas for this brilliant hi-vis baby volunteer jacket – here's hoping Jonah also gets the running and volunteering bug!
Jenni Gribbin


Three years ago, a friend introduced me to parkrun. I instantly signed up and printed my barcode, ready and eager for the following Saturday. Three years later, I still hadn't been. Each week I'd read the parkrun newsletter, and each week I'd keep thinking, "I'll go this Saturday". The usual excuse would be the pub or club on Friday, leading to the standard sore head and lack of movement on the Saturday morning. 1 July called for a change – I went along to my local parkrun and found myself asking why it had taken me this long to go. The runners and volunteers at Worsley Woods were absolutely brilliant. Bring on the next one!
Andrew Cass


We started Gunpowder parkun on 17 October 2012 with just 30 people, and on Saturday 18 June 2016 Derek Weedon completed his 200th run. This in itself is a massive achievement, however Derek has completed them all at Gunpowder parkrun and he is our first home runner to do so. Derek started off running and has always helped out as a volunteer, but over the past couple of years he has become one of our regular run directors – which I am very grateful for as it means I get to run! Derek said “I just want to say thanks for the wonderful surprise today. I was certainly not expecting that! Loads of people who passed me on the second lap congratulated me, and having cake and coffee afterwards was a lovely touch.”
Jane Appleton


12 members of a local running club (Farnham Runners) are running a fundraising relay, which they've called a ‘Frogle’, from John O'Groats to Land’s End starting on 8 July. Just about all of them are regulars at Alice Holt parkrun so it's no surprise that they've factored parkrun into their plans. The schedule sees them run at Inverness on 9 July and, if it all goes well, at Lanhydrock on 16 July, so if you see them there or on the road between then please give them a wave!
Paula Patterson


This is a photo of me (on the left) with Ulla Sergejeff at Llyn Llech Owain parkrun. Ulla came over from Finland for a visit and ran her first ever parkrun. Ulla will be taking her experience back home with her. Future parkrun in Finland?!
Michelle Rivett


With Airday at the local Royal Navy Air Station, there was a welcome return to Yeovil Montacute of the ‘Montacute Red Arrows’ for their 2016 Display – down the Avenue, wings showing and a champagne split at the end; there was an added high-speed crossover this year!
Martin Chaffey

parkrunner of the week


Name:  Sara Omer

Club:  None

Home parkrun:  Basildon

Occupation:  Lettings Negotiator

Number of runs:  16

What do you do at parkruns:  parkrun has allowed me to convert from walking to running. Whilst my pace was slow to start with, 16 parkruns on and I have steadily improved. My goal is just being able to finish the course without stopping or having to walk! If I get a new PB then it’s even better. Progress is slow, but I am finding that I can now keep a regular pace and my breathing has become more controlled. Not every parkrun is easy so I still have a way to go.

How has parkrun changed your running:  Starting with a lack of confidence, my first parkrun was very daunting. However, with the support of Tracy the event director I did it. Now 16 runs on I haven't looked back. I've also done a couple of 3k events outside of parkrun, which shows how much my confidence and determination has grown. parkrun has also become a family event with my husband, two children and both my parents taking part.

What do you like about parkrun:  Whilst my first parkrun was daunting I needn't have worried. People were very friendly and welcoming. The event is very well run and well marshalled with everyone giving encouragement and support, even the runners who are lapping you. As someone who is very self-conscious, nobody cares what you look like and everyone does come in all shapes and sizes. You’re not judged if you are the final finisher and the support continues to the end. My focus has gone from being self-conscious to focusing on running, finishing, and beating my PB.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  It has to be my first parkrun. I was so scared turning up on that first Saturday, especially as a non-runner. But with Tracy's encouragement and kind words I gave it a go. As a first-timer it’s difficult to describe that moment when you cross the finish line for the very first time; whilst exhausted, it’s such a fulfilling moment. I had done it, I had completed my first 5k. I was/am so proud of myself and since then I haven't looked back.

reminders

the parkrun store

barcode reminder

barcode

Printed barcodes are used at all parkrun events to record your result. No barcode, no time, no exception. To retrieve and print your barcode, click here. To order a barcode wristband, which can also include your name, emergency contact details, and any medical conditions, please follow this link.

Don't forget your barcode #dfyb

children at parkrun

We welcome children at parkrun. Please note that those under the age of 11 must be within arm's reach of a parent, guardian or designated adult of the parents' choice whilst attending 5k parkrun events. Children aged 4 to 14 can run unaccompanied at our junior parkrun events.

You can read the latest junior parkrun newsletter here.

volunteering at parkrun

Every event relies on volunteers and in 2015 alone more than 68,000 of you came forward to support the parkrun community. Volunteering is a wonderful way to make friends, feel great and have fun. If that sounds like it's for you please contact your local event team and get involved.

cancellations

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

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.

official charity partner

Alzheimer's Research UK

our sponsors

Vitality investing in parkrun
Changing health and life insurance for good.

Vitality is insurance that rewards you for being healthy. It's there to protect you when things go wrong unexpectedly but it's also there to help you lead a healthier life - meaning you don't have to claim to be able to benefit. If you keep well, then you're less likely to claim. That means it costs us less to look after you. We think that if we're saving money, you should benefit from that. So as you get healthier, we offer you discounts to encourage you to be healthy, rewards to keep you motivated and to help you rest and relax, and cashback so you've got more money to spend on doing things you love. Find out more about Vitality

Intersport. Sport to the people
Sport to the people

parkrun has been a key player in promoting running as an accessible participation sport to the expanding community of runners. The parkrun model of local volunteers delivering weekly runs to people of all ages and abilities in their local community fits perfectly with the Intersport philosophy of bringing sport to the people. Together we look forward to encouraging more people to get their running shoes on. Find out more about Intersport

Fitbit Blaze

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


Duke of Edinburgh's Award supporting parkrun
The world’s leading achievement award for young people

For more information on The Duke of Edinburgh's Award please visit dofe.org


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