parkrun update 16th June

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update: 16 June


When, in March this year, we closed all our events, the symbolism of that impacted everyone in one way or another. Whilst we knew it was coming, that first Saturday without a single parkrun event anywhere in the world was a moment that most of us could never have imagined would ever happen.

Within just a few weeks, of course, many of us went from thinking parkrun will always be there, every week, for everyone, to thinking it would never come back, ever. So, as much as closing our events was a huge wake-up call that we aren’t invincible, the reopening of parkrun New Zealand is proof that we can all get through this challenge.

We’re pleased to confirm therefore, that following on from last week’s update, parkrun New Zealand will be reopening on Saturday 4 July, representing a fantastic step toward the full return of parkrun events around the world. I know it will also lift the spirits of parkrunners everywhere.

It’s important to remember though that we still have 21 parkrun countries patiently waiting for their own circumstances to improve such that their events can return. We continue to monitor the global situation, are considering our position in every single country, and will update you all every Tuesday as things move forward.

Thank you for being so patient and understanding, and, most of all, for believing in the parkrun family.

We are getting through this, together.

Tom Williams Chief Operating Officer parkrun Global



All parkrun events in the United Kingdom have been suspended with immediate effect due to the ongoing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation. At this stage we have cancelled events up to the end of March. Please follow our communications channels for ongoing updates. parkrun’s global position is published and will be updated here.



"All parkrun events in Ireland have been suspended with immediate effect due to the ongoing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation. At this stage we have cancelled events up to the end of March. Please follow our communications channels for ongoing updates".

Matt Shields, Country Manager


How does parkrun actually work?

How does parkrun actually work?


You’ve heard of parkrun and are thinking of coming along, but you’re not quite sure how it works…

We’ve put together this handy guide taking you through parkrun step-by-step!

1. Signing up

It’s completely free to register and you only need to sign-up once. Simply complete this form and then either print your barcode, or you can purchase a key tag or wristband. Your barcode is valid at every parkrun in the world.

If you have already registered in the past, but you’ve lost or forgotten your login details, please don’t re-register – you can retrieve your login details here.

Find your nearest event by searching our map. You can enter your postcode, name of town or name of event.

Each event website details important information, such as where the event takes place and the location of the start. You can also find out what the course is like.



2. On the day

You’ve signed up, got your barcode and have picked your parkrun of choice. Good work!

There is no mandatory dress code at parkrun, you can wear whatever you feel most comfortable in – that could be comfy pair of jogging bottoms, or lycra, or a pair of chinos. Anything that you feel comfortable walking, jogging or running 5k in.

On the day, aim to arrive 15-20 minutes before the start. parkruns start at 9:00am in England & Wales, and at 9:30am in Scotland & Northern Ireland.

Most parkruns have somewhere you can leave your belongings, but it’s always best to just bring the essentials and check with your local event if you have any specific questions.

You don’t have to sign-in or register on the day and you won’t need to do anything with your barcode until you’ve finished.


3. Before your parkrun

Around 10-15 minutes before parkrun stats, the majority of parkruns will then have a first-timers briefing. This welcome briefing is specifically for anyone who is new to the event and gives you the opportunity to ask any questions.The course will also be explained to you and you’ll get to meet other people taking part for the first time.



We know some people are more confident than others when it comes to crowds and meeting new people, so remember there’s no pressure at all to talk to anyone!

You are more than welcome to listen to music or do your own thing. Whatever makes you comfortable.

Then, the main briefing will take place. This is carried out by the Run Director, who will usually be wearing a black and white hi-vis vest, and generally takes place near the start of your parkrun.


Even if you’ve been before, it’s important to be quiet and listen to the briefing so you don’t miss any announcements or course changes, as well as the chance to celebrate milestones.Then it’s time to start. The Run Director will usually count down from three, and then you’re off! It’s at this point that the timing starts.


4. During your parkrun 

As you make your way around the course, please don’t worry about being too slow or not being fit enough. It’s absolutely fine to stop, only complete some of the course, walk-run, or walk the entire way – at parkrun there is no time limit. Literally, thousands of people walk every week: In 2019, around the world 301,133 different people walked at parkrun. Every event has a volunteer Tail Walker, meaning nobody finishes last.


You also don’t need to memorise the course or carry a map! parkrun courses are signposted and there will be Marshals along the route offering you encouragement and support. There will likely be other people out using the park, such as dog walkers, so please do be mindful and accommodating we do share our wonderful open spaces with others during parkrun.

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5. When you finish

As you reach the end of your parkrun you’ll see the finish line, or what we call the finish funnel. You’ve made it!

This is the point where your parkrun finishes and volunteers will record your time as you cross the line.


Once you’re in the finish funnel, it’s important that you stay in order and take a finish token. This is just a small plastic tag that has a number on – that’s your finish position.

You then simply take your finish token and your own paper barcode or wristband to the Barcode Scanners.

They’ll be wearing hi-vis and they will scan your barcode first, give it back to you, and then scan your finish token, which they will keep so it can be re-used again next week – please don’t take the tokens home as a souvenir!


For various safety and operational reasons, we do not accept barcodes on mobile phones, so if you’ve forgotten your barcode, just give your token back to the Barcode Scanners. This does mean you won’t receive a time, but you’re still welcome to take part.

Sometimes there’s a queue to be scanned, but don’t panic, it doesn’t matter if you don’t get scanned immediately as all results are processed together once everyone has finished.


6. After parkrun

Once you’ve had your barcode and token scanned, and handed back your token, you are free to dash off and celebrate how you wish. Most parkruns will have a cafe or meeting point close by where many people will gather for a chat and a drink and it’s a great way to meet and chat with fellow parkrunners over a coffee. The results are processed by the volunteer team and you’ll receive an email or text message confirming your time, position and other useful stats. It can sometimes take a while for this to happen, so don’t panic if you haven’t received within 48 hours.

Most importantly, make sure you enjoy and celebrate your parkrun! You got yourself out of bed on a Saturday morning and completed 5k. That’s awesome! #loveparkrun

Find your nearest parkrun here.


parkrun Volunteer Hub – Changing the Course

Ideally, events will have the same course all year round, however, some events will require an alternative, for example, because they regularly have other events using their location or because their preferred course struggles to cope with adverse weather conditions. We do encourage teams, as a general principle, to cancel rather than design multiple courses to cover all circumstances. From time-to-time events need to completely change or move their course, which should be done in collaboration with the Event Ambassador and Event Support.

Whenever changing a course, the following points should be observed:

  • Standard course design principles should be followed (see above)
  • We must have landowner permission
  • Temporary courses should be slower than regular courses (in most cases this means they should be longer so that participants don’t achieve PBs that they can never attain when they move back to the main course)
  • All alternate courses, including a reverse course, must always be risk assessed

As a general rule, due to the time and effort required, we discourage teams from changing their course. However, there are two common reasons why it may be important to do so:

  • The landowner may decide that they want event teams to change the course for a particular reason, we should respect their views.
  • It might be that after running the course for a few months, event teams realise that a change is required in order to improve the safety of the course.

Week 24 Coat found

We found this coat when packing up today.If it belongs to you please email

Week24 COAT


parkrun in review 2019

The 2019 parkrun year in review

As 2019 draws to a close, parkrun Founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE reflects on what has been another huge twelve months for our movement. 

It’s been a year of significant milestones. We welcomed 374 new parkrun events to the family, bringing the total number of parkrun events around the world to 2,078, and in July we saw the six millionth person register. If you discovered parkrun for the first time this year, the warmest of welcomes.

In April, Japan joined the parkrun family with the launch of Futakotamagawa parkrun in Tokyo. It’s been incredible to see how local Japanese people have embraced parkrun so quickly, and we now have 12 events across the country with several more due to launch before the first anniversary.

 Recent adaptations to our operational model, such as the introduction of the Virtual Volunteer timing and scanning app, have meant much greater efficiency in bringing parkrun to new territories.

It’s an approach that is focussed on finding scalable and sustainable solutions, streamlining our operations to find significant cost savings despite accelerating growth around the world.

The weekend of the 12th and 13th January 2019 saw a new global participation record with 371,184 parkrunners walking, jogging, running and volunteering across the world.

Over the course of 2019 more people than ever before discovered the magic of their local parkrun.

Whilst these numbers sound impressive and help to articulate the scale of parkrun around the world, it’s the personal stories and specific projects that fill me with the most pride.

The interventions designed to help communities most in need of regular physical activity, and the individual lives we are helping to change, never fail to inspire me.

 Last year, I wrote about my excitement at conducting our first-ever health and wellbeing survey so that we could prove, with hard evidence, that parkrun really does make people happier and healthier. We were staggered with the response. Over 60,000 completed surveys were submitted, making it one of the biggest ever independent studies into physical activity. On our 15th anniversary we published the findings of the survey in the UK. More than 90% of parkrunners said they felt a sense of personal achievement after participating at parkrun. The results confirmed some long-held beliefs for us: that participating at parkrun is fundamentally good for our physical and mental health. But it also revealed that the biggest benefits were experienced by those who volunteered, as well as walked or ran.

An incredible 84% of volunteers said parkrun improved their happiness.

I am immensely proud of the work we have done to break down the barriers to all forms of participation over the years. There remains a lot of work to do. But it is heartening to know that parkrun is contributing to better health and happiness for so many of us, in so many ways.


 This year the parkrun practice initiative in the UK has grown considerably. More than 1,500 GP practices are now partnered with their local parkrun, signposting patients and staff to their nearest event.

This reflects over 20% of all GP practices in the UK and I’m delighted to see so many healthcare staff and patients participating in parkrun as a way of improving their mental and physical health.

It was November 2017 when the first prison-based parkrun was established. Two years on, we now have 30 events in prisons, young offenders institutes and correctional facilities around the world.

In the UK, more than 4,000 people have completed a parkrun on the custodial estate. 

This year, the first parkrun on the women’s estate was launched at the Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison in Australia. The UK soon followed, with the launch of Downview parkrun at HMP & YOI Downview on parkrun’s 15th anniversary in October.


 All of this work is only possible if parkrun has a solid foundation and financial security. As a global charity, we have a requirement to raise revenue to pay for the maintenance and delivery of all existing events, and the inevitable growth of parkrun around the world.

For a number of years the level of financial security required was not guaranteed, which left our movement vulnerable and the future of parkrun uncertain.

I am thrilled to say that the UK based charity, parkrun Global, is now in the strongest financial position it has ever been in. And that is thanks to your support.

In February, we launched parkrun Forever in the UK, in response to repeated requests from the community to contribute to the financial security of parkrun.

It’s a platform that allows those who want to, to give small regular donations that help secure parkrun for future generations.


There are now more than 5,500 supporters giving regular donations, providing the organisation with a vital revenue stream.

parkrun Forever isn’t the only way we are working to ensure parkrun’s safe and sustainable future. This year we also unveiled the new Apricot range, as well as a number of new barcode products, ID bands and water bottles, with profits from all sales being used to help keep parkrun free, for everyone, forever.In September we celebrated the first anniversary of CONTRA, the new sports clothing brand I created to address the inequality that is ingrained in the sports apparel industry.

I am so grateful for the support this project has received. It’s been an incredible first year for the brand, with sales suggesting it’s one of the fastest-growing sports brands of all time.

I wanted to do things differently. There are no gender-specific colours, and all products come in ten sizes for men and women. All our kit is made in European factories where staff are paid fair wages and are guaranteed decent working conditions.

It’s about a fair deal for everyone. We have a 90-day no questions asked returns policy for our customers, the same postage costs everywhere in the world, and crucially, all profit from CONTRA comes straight back to parkrun.


On a more personal note, I was truly humbled and honoured to be awarded the Royal Society of Arts’ Albert Medal last month.

Whilst it has my name engraved on it, I accepted the award on behalf of you, the entire parkrun community. For what you have achieved for yourselves, for others, and for what our global movement will continue to achieve in the years to come.

 We look forward to 2020 with great optimism. parkrun is a force for good that unites us. And it reminds us that, given the chance, people want to help each other, and themselves, to be better.

Very early in the new year, we will launch a new information resource for parkrun volunteers, that will provide up to date information to their fingertips and will help all parkrunners to better understand our policies, guidelines and rules.

And in the first quarter of the year we will launch in the Netherlands, the 22nd country to join our family. A family that I am pleased to report is once again getting slower.

This year the average finish time at parkrun was 32:31, compared to 32:28 last year.

Slower finish times reflect success in our ambition to be inclusive and truly welcoming to all, no matter your ability, age or background. You are all welcome and it is a privilege to have you with us.

 I wish you a very happy and healthy 2020.





New Year 2020

There will be parkrun as normal on 28th December at Sixmilewater. For those of you who would like  start the New Year with a little bit of extra parkrunning go along to Valley, Ormeau or Stormont  @ 9:30 on New's Years Day. New Year's Day is the only day in the parkrun calender where you can get 2 parkruns on the same day so make your way afterwards to Antrim or Waterworks for 11:am start.

Best wishes for 2020 to you and all your friends and families.



Christmas 2019

There will be parkrun as normal on 28th December at Sixmilewater. For those of you who would like a little bit of parkrunning before Christmas lunch go along to Ecos, Ballymena, Stormont or Waterworks in Belfast on Christmas Day. Same time 9:30am. Happy Christmas to you and all your friends and families.

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