So you’ve started to run or maybe thinking of giving it a go. Someone says ‘you should come to parkrun’, you think ‘hmm I’m not sure I’m ready for that’. But you are and more and more people are joining in. An incredible 845,615 of us took part in 2017 in the UK alone, a further 595,002 took part in the growing world wide network of global parkruns.
But what is it? The concept is simple a 5k run in a local park that is totally free to sign up to, is timed and offers the perfect environment to step into running. To take part it is as simple as registering totally free on http://www.parkrun.org.uk/ and printing your bar code. Then just turn up before 9 am to enjoy a great run out with friendly like minded people.
The parkrun annual report has just been released and makes for a fascinating read. You can check it out here: https://issuu.com/parkrun/docs/parkrun_2017_issuu_v4.1
The average time taken in a parkrun is getting longer every year and has gone from a speedy 22:09 minutes in 2005 to a still respectable but certainly more comfortable 29:06 minutes in 2017. So how is this progress? Well it highlights very clearly how inclusive it has become, everyone of all standards really are welcome to come along and run or walk your way around the course. One of the joys is the timed nature of the runs is that it allows you to track your progress and maybe go for that PB!
I’m no veteran of parkrun, I am just approaching my first milestone of 50 runs and am very excited to do so. I’ll be eligible for a free (to me) red milestone t-shirt too, who doesn’t love a bit of stash? But in spite of not being a stereotypical die-hard runner, I am a massive advocate of parkrun. You’ll be welcomed with a smile and never judged but always encouraged, challenged and supported.
So get registered and get down to your nearest parkrun, you won’t regret it!