I want to highlight parkrun, a collection of 5km routes held across the country (and the world!) every Saturday at 9am.
I think parkrun is amazing for the following reasons:
There are nearly 200 people that run my local parkrun. This number includes runners, dog walkers, kids, people pushing prams. There is a real vibe of inclusivity where all ages and abilities can get involved. There are also junior parkrun events to get kids involved that are just 2km.
These events are all free. They are organised by volunteers, and usually set up by local running clubs. You can volunteer yourself: I volunteered to photograph our 100th parkrun where I took the picture in this post.
The route is only 5km, which means that at a brisk walk you could do it in less than an hour. The routes are usually designed to be as flat as possible. If you want to get into running, then the NHS has a free resource called couch to 5K that has a training routine to get you from running nothing to running your first 5km run.
The 5km routes are all designed to stay away from main roads and you shouldn’t need to cross a road. The two routes I’ve done are a mix of tarmac and grass, so mud is a risk and slipping and falling is a possibility.
I have done a parkrun in Tonbridge, and it was an epic event! There were over 400 runners, and a variety of local clubs running. Knowing that there are events like this happening all over the country at the same time makes me feel part of something bigger.
I think this is the biggest element to parkrun: it’s just good old-fashioned fun. I run with some mates and we have some friendly competition. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people as well, and the camaraderie is always there.
Is this the first you’ve heard of parkrun? Does this article make you want to get involved?