Parkrun

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Parkrun
Parkrun logo.png
Parkrun logo
PredecessorBushy Park Time Trial
UK Time Trial
Formation2 October 2004; 16 years ago (2004-10-02)
FounderPaul Sinton-Hewitt
HeadquartersPhoenix Wharf, Twickenham, Middlesex, UK
ServicesGlobal provision of weekly, timed 5km running events
Membership
Total individual runners (October 2019): 6,301,016
Key people
Paul Sinton-Hewitt
Volunteers
Total individual volunteers (September 2019): 515,283
Websitewww.parkrun.com

Parkrun (stylised as parkrun) is a collection of 5-kilometre (3.1 mi) events for walkers, runners and volunteers that take place every Saturday morning at more than 2,000 locations in 22 countries across five continents. Junior Parkrun (stylised as junior parkrun) is a spin-off event that provides a 2 kilometres (1 14 mi) event for children aged 4–14 and their families weekly on a Sunday morning. Parkrun events are free to enter and are delivered by volunteers, supported by a small group of staff at its headquarters.

Parkrun was founded by Paul Sinton-Hewitt on 2 October 2004 at Bushy Park in London, England. The event was originally called the Bushy Park Time Trial. It grew into a network of similar events called the UK Time Trials, before adopting the name Parkrun in 2008 and expanding into other countries. The first event outside of the United Kingdom was launched in Zimbabwe in 2007, followed by Denmark in 2009, South Africa and Australia in 2011 and the USA in 2012. Sinton-Hewitt received a CBE in 2014 for his services to grassroots sport. By October 2018 over 5 million runners were registered worldwide. Parkrun is funded mainly through sponsorship, with local organisers only needing to raise money when they launch an event.

Events take place at a range of general locations including city parks, country parks, national parks, stately homes, castles, forests, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, canal towpaths, beaches, promenades, prisons, racecourses and nature reserves. Runners who have completed the "milestones" of 50, 100, 250 or 500 separate runs are rewarded with a free t-shirt. Juniors also receive a t-shirt for completing 10 runs. Runners can travel to and complete any Parkrun. Those that travel are termed "tourists" and can complete unofficial challenges such as "Londone" which involves running every event in London. The male world record holder is Andrew Baddeley who set a time of 13 minutes and 48 seconds at Bushy Parkrun on 11 August 2012. The female world record holder is Charlotte Arter who set a time of 15 minutes and 49 seconds at Cardiff Parkrun on 1 February 2020.

History[edit]

Participants at Bushy parkrun in 2014

Parkrun was founded by Paul Sinton-Hewitt on 2 October 2004 at Bushy Park in London, England.[1] Sinton-Hewitt was born in Zimbabwe and went to Potchefstroom High School for Boys as a boarder in South Africa.[2] He became a club runner with a personal best time in the marathon of 2 hours and 36 minutes.[3] In 2004, Sinton-Hewitt was suffering from depression and unable to run due to an injury. He founded Parkrun because he wanted to continue to spend time with his running friends.[2] In a BBC Radio 4 interview he said that the idea for Parkrun came from his time in South Africa 20 years earlier where he had experienced competitive races that took place on the same course at the same time each week.[4] The first event had 13 runners, three volunteers and was managed by Sinton-Hewitt.

The Bushy Parkrun was originally known as the Bushy Park Time Trial, and its results were timed with a stopwatch, recorded on paper while washers stamped with a finish number were used as finishing tokens.[5][6] Over the next two years the event took place every week with the number of participants and volunteers growing, and new technology introduced to streamline the processing of results. The second Time Trial was launched at Wimbledon Common in 2007; it was here that the model of having an identical structure at different locations began.[5] That year saw a further six events established.[7] They were initially known as the UK Time Trials before the "parkrun" name was adopted. There were five more locations added in 2008 including the first in Scotland and the first in Wales.

The first event outside the UK was launched in Zimbabwe in 2007, though this event no longer operates. The longest-running Parkrun outside the UK was launched in Denmark in 2009. In 2010, there were 30 new events added including the first in Northern Ireland.[5] In 2011 parkun began in South Africa and Australia, both of which have seen significant growth in event numbers, and in 2012 Parkrun USA launched. Junior Parkrun started at Bushy Park in 2013.[5] Sinton-Hewitt received a CBE in 2014 for his "services to grassroots sport".[8]

In 2015 more than 80,000 people were gathering in parks across the world each week to run, jog and walk a Parkrun – more than twice the number who take part in the annual London Marathon.[9] 2016 saw 1.1 million different people completing a Parkrun and 142,000 gave their time to volunteer.[10] In 2018 on an average Saturday around a quarter of a million runners took part in 1,500 events spread over 20 countries.[11]

Event outline[edit]

The first event at Serpukhov Parkrun in Russia

All Parkruns are 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) in length and are free to enter.[12] Anyone can take part, from pensioners to parents with their children, people with their dogs, wheelchair users, people pushing prams, club runners or casual runners, although not all courses are suitable for all participants.[13] Beginner runners, older adults and overweight people are common.[14]

They usually take place at the same time, at the same place, on the same course, once per week. There is no formal procedure before the run with participants asked to arrive shortly before the start time and wait near the starting line.[15] A run director will make announcements giving safety instructions and community news before beginning the run.[16] Participants run or walk the course and are directed by marshals along the correct route to the finish line.[17] As each runner crosses the finishing line a volunteer records the finishing place number and time. The information recorded by the timers is later uploaded onto a computer, which allows runners to be matched with their times.[18] The results are uploaded to the Parkrun website which also generates a number of statistics. The results available are finishing position for both male and female runners, the time taken to complete the run, whether or not a personal best time has been run, the total number of runs completed by an individual, their age grade result and their position in relation to other veteran or junior runners.[19]

To have a time recorded runners are asked to register on the Parkrun website, print out a personal barcode and bring it to the run. This needs to be done just once with the barcode valid for any subsequent Parkrun in the world.[20][21][22] Runners can still participate without registering or if they forget to bring their personal barcode, but they will not have their time recorded. If the runner does not have a barcode, their position on the finishers table will be recorded with the name "unknown" and no time.

Participation[edit]

Participants lining up to start at Parkrun Łódź

A 2013 article in The Guardian noted the rapid growth of Parkrun and suggested this was mainly due to its simplicity and accessibility: runners register online once, turn up at any event, and run.[7] Inclusivity is also a factor,[23] as participants have a wide range of running abilities, from fast club runners to those walking, a wide range of ages from children running with their parents to the elderly, also allowed are wheelchair users, those pushing buggies and people running with their dog.

A Parkrun ID can be personalised with name, athlete ID barcode number, ICE (In Case of Emergency) telephone number and any specific medical details.

A 2015 qualitative study by the University of Loughborough found that runners attending a Parkrun for the first time were typically motivated for weight loss or an improvement in their physical fitness.[24] On the other hand, there were a range of different motivations for runners to continue regularly taking part, with runners wanting to beat their personal record time, to reach a certain number of runs and join a milestone club, to enjoy being outdoors at the park, to make new friends through volunteering or to meet existing friends or family for the run.[24]

The Daily Telegraph reported that "what's clever is that it’s not a race against everyone else but a timed run", and that trying to improve your personal best time is a great incentive even for slower runners. They commented that it does not matter how good or bad a runner one is: anyone can take part, from pensioners to parents with their children and dogs,[13] and further explained that the success of the events is down to them being free and weekly because it allows people to get into a routine.[25]

An article in The Telegraph said that a drop in gym usage can be attributed to a backlash against gym membership fees combined with the popularity of events such as Parkrun and fitness tracking devices.[26] Professor Kathleen Armour, head of the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Services at Birmingham University said: "You could speculate that people have shifted from the gym to running" and that "the cost of using a gym is likely still to be a major factor behind the slump".[26]

The Journal of Public Health reported in a 2013 study upon 7,308 Parkrun participants that the events were attractive to people who described themselves as non-runners; with women, older adults and overweight people well represented. It added that participation problems have been minimized, with no upper age limit, no special equipment and no cost. And that while some participants ran before a Parkrun, some are new to exercise, and Parkrun offered the opportunity and support to become active on a continuous weekly basis.[14]

One of the attractions is the chance to run in a pleasant park or location, some of the runs take place on National Trust land, for example Sheringham Park, which is noted for its rhododendrons, azaleas and stunning coastal views. The National Trust and other similar organisations are encouraged to host their Parkruns despite not formally charging a fee because of the extra revenue generated by people visiting their cafés and gardens.[25]

An article in The Guardian by Adharanand Finn said "for beginners, joining a race or running with others can be intimidating, but parkrun is set up to cater for British awkwardness. While it’s all very welcoming, if you don’t want to talk to anyone, you don’t have to".[15] A July 2015 editorial in The Guardian praised Parkrun, arguing that "The glitz of London 2012 failed to persuade the nation to get off the sofa. The lower-key success of parkrun shows a smarter way to boost participation in sport."[27]

Writing in The Independent on 4 September 2018, Jonathan Liew, their Chief Sports Writer, said "parkrun is not simply one of the biggest sporting events in the world, but one of the most important, largely because it entirely upends what we have long been told sport is about."[11] He discusses how sport has become ever more something the public pay to watch, packaged ever more expensively, with the sports people lives tipping over into light entertainment, concluding with the comment "parkrun offers something entirely different: community, opportunity, the outdoors, the simple pleasure of sport and people. In so doing, it has resurrected a vision of sport that has been in recession for a generation."[11]

Volunteers[edit]

Each Parkrun event is run entirely by volunteers. To assist the volunteers, Parkrun HQ provides the necessary equipment and there are several different volunteer roles at each Parkrun event.[28] Every event has a 'volunteer' page, with the same basic information about how to get involved as a volunteer, as well as crediting those who have made the effort in the most recent week.[29] The Parkrun website credits those who volunteer each week as "the heart" of Parkrun, and integral to its not-for-profit status.[30] It also provides a useful range of responses to commonly asked questions about volunteering, with information on each of the different roles, in its FAQ section.[31] At the outset of Parkrun, the central organisation sought to simplify the volunteering process to allow new events to be set up with a low number of volunteers, this simplification now allows new volunteers to assist with minimal training.[32]

Each event has a core team who has received permission from Parkrun HQ and the location owner to stage the event. The individual roles are typically filled by different volunteers each week and include the following; a run director who manages the event making announcements and starting the run; a timer who records the time taken, marshals who direct runners to the correct route, barcode scanners who scan finishing tokens, event setup and close down volunteers, tail walkers, pacers and result processors.[33]

According to Steve Flowers at the University of Kent’s business school Wikipedia and parkrun are both examples of "people’s innovation".[34]

Events around the world[edit]

Parkrun is held in the 22 different countries listed below as of August 2018.[35]

Parkrun in Australia[edit]

The first Australian Parkrun event was held at Main Beach, on the Gold Coast, on 2 April 2011.[36] ABC News remarking on Parkrun Australia said "there are competitive runners aiming to win but there are just as many people running for the fun of it. If people want to race each other, that's fine, they can, but if you want to walk that is fine too. Everyone is welcome, from kids to grandparents, it's one of the few sporting events that a family can do together."[37] The two biggest Parkruns in Australia are South Bank in Brisbane, Queensland and Albert Park and Lake in Melbourne, Victoria, the two having alternating attendance records over the years with South Bank holding the current record of 1,010 participants set on Christmas Day, 25 December 2019.[38]

Parkrun in South Africa[edit]

Parkrun South Africa was started and promoted by ultramarathoner Bruce Fordyce.[39] The first Parkrun took place at Delta Park in Johannesburg on 12 November 2011 and had 26 participants. It is now one of the larger Parkruns regularly drawing up to 1200 runners and attracting tourists as the first one in the nation.[40] The record attendance was at North Beach, Durban, which saw 2527 runners on 20 Jan 2018.[41]

Parkrun in Ireland[edit]

The first run in Ireland was at Malahide Castle on 10 November 2012. The rollout of Parkruns in Ireland was assisted by funding from the government's Department of Health with the aim of empowering local communities and encouraging individuals and families to lead active lives.The record attendance was at Marlay Parkrun on 21 January 2017 when there were 795 runners.[42]

Parkrun in Poland[edit]

The first Polish Parkrun took place in Gdynia on 15 Oct 2011. Poland has the first Parkrun to cross the border of another country. Cieszyn Parkrun starts in Poland but crosses into the Czech Republic before returning to Poland.[43] The record attendance was at Poznan Parkrun on 27 Dec 2015 when there were 1111 runners.[44]

Parkrun in Germany[edit]

The first three parkruns in Germany were Georgengarten parkrun in Hannover, Küchenholz parkrun in Leipzig and Neckarau parkrun in Mannheim, when they all hosted their first event on 2 December 2017. When Aachener Weiher parkrun started in Cologne, it became the first parkrun in the alphabetical list of all parkruns.

Main events (5km)[edit]

Updated as of 7 March 2020

Country Locations Cite First event name First event location First event date
United Kingdom United Kingdom 725 [45] [a] Bushy Parkrun London 2 October 2004
Australia Australia 398 [46] Main Beach Parkrun Gold Coast 2 April 2011
South Africa South Africa 227 [47] [b] Delta Parkrun Johannesburg 12 November 2011
Republic of Ireland Ireland 99 [48] Malahide Parkrun Dublin 10 November 2012
Russia Russia 83 [49] Kolomenskoe Parkrun & Severnoe Tushino Parkrun[c] Moscow 1 March 2014
Poland Poland 75 [50] Gdynia Parkrun Gdynia 15 October 2011
United States United States 46 [51] Livonia Parkrun Livonia 2 June 2012
Canada Canada 43 [52] Okanagan Parkrun Kelowna 20 August 2016
Germany Germany 34 [53] Georgengarten, Küchenholz & Neckarau[d] Hannover, Leipzig & Mannheim 2 December 2017
New Zealand New Zealand 32 [54] Lower Hutt Parkrun Lower Hutt 5 May 2012
Italy Italy 18 [55] Uditore Parkrun Palermo 23 May 2015
Japan Japan 17 [56] Futakotamagawa Tokyo 6 April 2019
Sweden Sweden 11 [57] Haga Parkrun Stockholm 27 August 2016
Netherlands Netherlands 11 [58] 6 locations [e] 6 locations [f] 29 February 2020
France France 8 [59] Les Dougnes Parkrun Cubnezais 6 May 2015
Denmark Denmark 8 [60] Amager Fælled Parkrun Copenhagen 16 May 2009
Norway Norway 6 [61] Tøyen Parkrun Oslo 26 August 2017
Singapore Singapore 4 [62] East Coast Park Parkrun Singapore 21 June 2014
Namibia Namibia 4 [47] Swakopmund Parkrun Swakopmund 8 April 2017
Finland Finland 3 [63] Tampere Parkrun Tampere 14 October 2017
Malaysia Malaysia 3 [64] Taman Pudu Ulu Parkrun Kuala Lumpur 14 April 2018
Eswatini Swaziland 1 [47] Mbabane Parkrun Mbabane 6 May 2017
Jersey Jersey 1 [45][65] Jersey Parkrun Saint Brelade 26 September 2015
Guernsey Guernsey 1 [45][66] Guernsey Parkrun L'Ancresse 9 April 2016
Isle of Man Isle of Man 1 [45][67] Nobles Parkrun Douglas 21 October 2017
Falkland Islands Falkland Islands 1 [45][68] Cape Pembroke Lighthouse Parkrun Stanley 26 October 2019

Former event countries[edit]

Country Eventname
Afghanistan Afghanistan Camp Bastion
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Rolf Valley
Iceland Iceland Elliðaárdalur

Junior events (2km)[edit]

These events are weekly, free, 2km running events for runners aged 4 to 14. Parents are allowed to run with their children but are not eligible for a placed finish. Juniors who have completed 11, 21 or 50 junior runs are awarded a coloured wristband.

Country Locations Cite First event name First event location First event date
United Kingdom United Kingdom 233 [69] Bushy Juniors Parkrun London 1 April 2010
Republic of Ireland Ireland 15 [69] Rush Junior Parkrun Dublin 13 December 2015
Australia Australia 3 [69] Southport Junior Parkrun Southport 22 April 2018

Festive and special events[edit]

There are festive and special events which do not necessarily occur on a Saturday. Furthermore, on New Year's Day, parkrunners were allowed (up to 2020) to record two runs. On New Year's Day 2017, a Sunday, globally there were 15,589 runners who completed a 'double'.[70]

Festive and special events are organised by country on public holidays, which are held optionally by local parkrun teams. These are listed in the table below:

Country Occasions (Date / Month)
Australia Australia New Year's Day (1 January), Christmas Day (25 December)
Canada Canada New Year's Day (1 January), Canada Day (1 July)
Denmark Denmark New Year's Day (1 January), Christmas Day (25 December)
Finland Finland New Year's Day (1 January)
France France New Year's Day (1 January), Christmas Day (25 December)
Germany Germany New Year's Day (1 January), German Unity Day (3 October)
Republic of Ireland Ireland New Year's Day (1 January), Christmas Day (25 December)
Italy Italy New Year's Day (1 January), Christmas Day (25 December)
Japan Japan New Year's Day (1 January), Greenery Day (4 May)
Malaysia Malaysia New Year's Day (1 January), Malaysia Day (16 September)
New Zealand New Zealand New Year's Day (1 January), Christmas Day (25 December)
Norway Norway New Year's Day (1 January)
Poland Poland New Year's Day (1 January), Boxing Day (26 December)
Russia Russia New Year's Day (1 January), Orthodox Christmas (7 January)
Singapore Singapore New Year's Day (1 January), Chinese New Year (varies)
South Africa South Africa New Year's Day (1 January), Freedom Day (South Africa) (27 April)
Sweden Sweden New Year's Day (1 January), Swedish National Day (6 June)
United Kingdom United Kingdom New Year's Day (1 January), Christmas Day (25 December)
United States United States New Year's Day (1 January), Thanksgiving (November)

General locations[edit]

Events take place in a range of general locations (that need not actually be a park), including city parks, country parks, national parks, stately homes, castles, forests, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, beaches, promenades, prisons, racecourses and nature reserves. The runs have different degrees of difficulty, with hilly runs harder to complete than those that are flat. The running surface varies with many city park Parkruns being run on tarmac footpaths, closed roads, grass or a mixture of all three, while forest and country park Parkruns are more likely to be on trails. The weather affects the difficulty of the course with trail runs more liable to be affected by mud or leaves than runs on tarmac paths. Runs that take place in hotter countries often start early in the morning to avoid excess heat and runs in snowier climates have a course chosen to minimise the effect of the snow.

Restricted and closed events[edit]

Permanent event closures are rare. Zimbabwe was the first country to host a Parkrun outside the UK. The event started in 2007 but closed several years later. Parkrun Elliðaárdalur closed in 2012 due to operational difficulties in the winter, and Hillerød Parkrun in Denmark closed in 2013. Camp Bastion Parkrun was hosted at a military base in Afghanistan, which shut in 2014. The most notable permanent closure to date was at Little Stoke in 2016, after a conflict over charging for access with the local parish council, which drew international media attention.[71]

More frequently, Parkruns have formally closed at a location, but have relocated to a nearby venue nearby and with a new name. This has occurred for a variety of reasons. Notable examples include Hatfield Forest Parkrun and Heartwood Forest Parkrun.[72]

Closed events[edit]

Country Event name First event Last event Reason for closure
Afghanistan Afghanistan Camp Bastion 30 September 2011 11 November 2014 End of Operation Herrick and camp closure
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Rolf Valley 26 September 2007[73] 2009[when?]
Iceland Iceland Elliðaárdalur 29 October 2011 28 July 2012 Operational difficulties
Denmark Denmark Hillerød 7 January 2012 12 November 2013 Low attendance
United Kingdom United Kingdom Little Stoke 3 November 2012 7 May 2016 Conflict with the local authority[74]
United Kingdom United Kingdom Caldicot 29 July 2017 14 October 2017 Dispute over land rights, relocated[75]
United Kingdom United Kingdom Hanbury Hall 2 July 2016 31 December 2016 Location difficulties[76]
United Kingdom United Kingdom Heartwood Forest 29 July 2017 6 October 2018 Location difficulties, relocated[72]
United Kingdom United Kingdom Hatfield Forest 21 March 2015 23 September 2017 Location difficulties due to increasing attendance, relocated[77]
United Kingdom United Kingdom Wythall 16 September 2017 16 September 2017 Location difficulties[78]
United Kingdom United Kingdom Bodelwyddan Castle 18 August 2018 29 June 2019 Bodelwyddan Castle closure[79]
South Africa South Africa Three Silos 5 December 2015 29 December 2018 An alternative to the suspended Nahoon Point parkrun, which resumed in 2019[80]
Australia Australia Town of Seaside 20 June 15 25 August 2018 Local noise complaints, relocated[81]
Australia Australia Woodford 19 May 2018 13 April 2019 Location difficulties, relocated
Australia Australia Heirisson Island 6 September 2014 11 July 2015 Issues with island residents and Aboriginal rights protestors[82]
Australia Australia Doomadgee 28 July 2018 29 September 2018 Need to establish a new event team[83]
France France Mandavit 12 March 2016 24 June 2017
Republic of Ireland Ireland Tramore Valley, Cork 26 September 2015 23 January 2016 Access issues due to a high volume of car traffic after being featured on RTÉ[84][85][86]
United States United States Moberly 28 October 2017 7 July 2019 Very low attendance
United Kingdom United Kingdom Fritton Lake 5 May 2012 30 March 2019 Landowner withdrew permission[87]

Restricted events[edit]

Several Parkruns have restricted access to the general public due to the terms under which they are permitted to take place or their location. Many but not all take place within the grounds of prisons, the first of which was Black Combe Parkrun at HMP Haverigg in November 2017.[88][89] Results for closed Parkruns are published on the main website, but the names of runners are anonymised.

Country Event name First event Reason for restriction
Republic of Ireland Ireland The Glen 7 July 2018 Closed residential centre, recovery from addiction and substance abuse
Republic of Ireland Ireland Progression 1 September 2018 Prison – Mountjoy Prison
United Kingdom United Kingdom Black Combe 4 November 2017 Prison – HM Prison Haverigg
United Kingdom United Kingdom Cromhall 19 January 2019 Prison – HM Prison Leyhill
United Kingdom United Kingdom Feltham 19 January 2019 Prison – HM Prison Feltham
United Kingdom United Kingdom Lower Drummans 6 January 2018 Prison – HM Prison Magilligan
United Kingdom United Kingdom The Grange 1 May 2019 Prison – HM Prison Kirklevington Grange
United Kingdom United Kingdom Walton 20 April 2019 Prison – HM Prison Liverpool
United Kingdom United Kingdom Bickershaw 22 September 2018 Prison – HM Prison Hindley
United Kingdom United Kingdom Springhill 9 June 2018 Prison – HM Prison Spring Hill
United Kingdom United Kingdom Keppel 28 July 2018 Prison – Wetherby Young Offenders Institute
Australia Australia Dhurringile 20 April 2019 Prison – HM Prison Dhurringile
Australia Australia Mobilong 27 April 2019 Prison – Mobilong Prison
Australia Australia Hopkins 13 July 2019 Prison – Hopkins Correctional Centre
Australia Australia Wandoo 20 July 2019 Prison – Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison
Australia Australia Ron Barwick 17 August 2019 Prison – Ron Barwick Minimum Security Prison
Australia Australia Tarrengower 19 October 2019 Prison – HM Prison Tarrengower
Australia Australia Banksia Hill 30 November 2019 Prison – Banksia Hill Juvenile Detention Centre

Milestone clubs[edit]

parkrun 50 milestone t-shirt

The number of runs by each participant at all events is recorded and available online using individual login details. When a runner reaches a certain number of runs they join one of the "milestone clubs". There are five different clubs to which a runner can belong: the '10 Club' for runners aged 17 or below who have completed 10 or more runs, and the '50 Club', '100 Club', '250 Club' and '500 Club' for anyone who has completed that number of runs.[90] Anyone in the world entering a 'club' is awarded a free colour-coded T-shirt with a number on the back to represent the club they are in. The T-shirts are coded as follows; ten runs for white; fifty runs for red; one hundred runs for black; 250 runs for green, and 500 runs for a blue T-shirt. There is also a purple T-shirt for those that have been a volunteer 25 times or more.

Parkrun tourism and unofficial challenges[edit]

Parkrun tourists travel especially to seek out new runs.[91][92] Runners, when they sign up on the Parkrun website, are asked to pick a "Home Parkrun", usually the one they live closest to and are likely to frequent most. Parkrun tourism is broadly defined as anyone travelling to a run that is not their home Parkrun. Tourism can involve running in a neighbouring park, town, region or even country with some runners travelling to a different run every week.

Parkrun challenges involve completing a number of different runs in a particular way which are personally meaningful but not officially sanctioned. These include "Londone" which is completing all of the Parkruns in London.[93] The "alphabeteer" is running a Parkrun beginning with each letter of the alphabet[94] and challenges such as "Stayin' Alive" which is completing three runs beginning with B and three beginning with G.[95] A Google Chrome and Firefox extension details further challenges such as "Groundhog Day" which is running the same time at the same Parkrun location in two consecutive weeks and "Regionnaire" which is to complete all of the Parkruns in any region.[96]

Individual running records[edit]

  • Female world record holder (running unassisted): Charlotte Arter set a time of 15:49 at Cardiff Parkrun on 1 February 2020[97][98]
  • Male world record holder (running unassisted): Andrew Baddeley set a time of 13:48 at Bushy Parkrun on 11 August 2012[99][100]
  • Female world record holder (running assisted): Elaine Sherwin set at time of 15:12 at Kingsbury Water Parkrun on 11 February 2017 with a canicross dog[101]
  • Male world record holder (running assisted): Ben Robinson set a time of 12:24 at Kingsbury Water Parkrun on 18 November 2017 with a canicross dog[101]
  • Female record holder (wheelchair): Lizzie Williams (15:27, set at Dulwich Parkrun)[citation needed]
  • Male record holder (wheelchair): Danny Sidbury (11:16, set at Dulwich Parkrun on 22 December 2018)[102][better source needed]
  • Age-graded record holder: Fauja Singh with 179.04%, set at Valentines Parkrun with a time of 38:34 on 31 March 2012 (the day before his 101st birthday)
  • Global record holder for highest number of runs: Darren Wood with 766 runs (as of 19 March 2020)[103]
  • Global record holder for the highest number of different events: Paul Freyne with 516 different Parkrun locations (as of 19 March 2020)[103]

Community[edit]

Parkrun endeavours to promote health and well being through a number of initiatives. Its mission statement is "a healthier and happier planet".[104][105] In the UK Parkrun has partnered with the Royal College of General Practitioners in order to promote healthy living through increased physical activity, socialisation and mutual support.[106][107]

Relations with local authorities[edit]

Most events are run with the support and sometimes the sponsorship of local authorities. A notable conflict occurred at Little Stoke Parkrun. Parkrun does not set up events where charges would apply to the organisers or runners.[108] Little Stoke Parkrun had begun with the council's permission in November 2012.[109] In April 2016 the responsible parish council in Stoke Gifford, Bristol, England, voted to charge runners a fee to participate.[110] Despite an online petition and support from the Minister for Sport, the council would not change its decision, so the Parkrun was permanently cancelled.[111] In April 2017 the British Government proposed that in future local councils in England would not be allowed to charge for Parkruns in a public park.[112]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The total for the UK includes 4 events which take place outside of what is technically the UK, so the total has been reduced accordingly. UK events include those for Jersey, Guernsey & Isle of Man which each have one event and are Crown Dependencies as well as 1 event in the Falkland Islands which is a British Overseas Territory;
  2. ^ South Africa events currently also include those for Namibia (4) and Swaziland (1), the total for South Africa has been reduced accordingly.
  3. ^ Both events started on the same day.
  4. ^ Three events started on the same day.
  5. ^ Stadspark parkrun - Groningen, Maxima parkrun - Utrecht, Kralingse Bos parkrun - Rotterdam, Goffert parkrun - Nijmegen, Karpendonkse Plas parkrun - Eindhoven, Tapijn parkrun - Maastricht
  6. ^ Groningen, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Nijmegen, Eindhoven & Maastricht

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Our story". www.parkrun.com.
  2. ^ a b Saayman, Marianke (16 November 2017). "Founder of parkrun in Potchefstroom after 40 years". Potchefstroom Herald. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Q&A: parkrun Founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt – Men's Running UK". 27 February 2017.
  4. ^ "Saturday Live – Viv Groskop and Paul Sinton-Hewitt – BBC Sounds". BBC.
  5. ^ a b c d "Our story". www.parkrun.com.
  6. ^ "Paul Sinton-Hewitt Interview".
  7. ^ a b Brilliant, James (11 March 2013). "Parkrun, the running revolution coming soon to a park near you". the Guardian.
  8. ^ "SPOTLIGHT: PAUL SINTON-HEWITT, FOUNDER OF PARKRUN".
  9. ^ "How parkrun became a global phenomenon".
  10. ^ McCausland, Malcolm. "Inside Track: parkrun phenomenon continues to spread worldwide". The Irish News.
  11. ^ a b c "How parkrun resurrected a vision of sport that has been lost for years".
  12. ^ Bachman, Rachel (10 July 2017). "Parkrun Lovers Ask: Why Pay to Run a 5K?" – via www.wsj.com.
  13. ^ a b Harrison, Linda (31 August 2012). "Parkrun: we're all record holders now" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  14. ^ a b Stevinson, C.; Hickson, M. (15 August 2013). "Exploring the public health potential of a mass community participation event". Journal of Public Health. 36 (2): 268–274. doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdt082. PMID 23954885.
  15. ^ a b Finn, Adharanand; Ramaswamy, Chitra; Jonze, Tim; Benedictus, Leo; Khaleeli, Homa (30 August 2016). "'We still come if the rain's sideways' – how Britain fell in love with outdoor fitness". the Guardian.
  16. ^ "What does a Run Director Actually Do?". www.parkrun.org.uk.
  17. ^ "Walking the Talk – parkrun UK". www.parkrun.org.uk.
  18. ^ "How the magic works". www.parkrun.org.uk.
  19. ^ "Where can I find my results?". parkrun Support.
  20. ^ "TimeOut – Bushy Park Time Trial". Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
  21. ^ Phillips, Mitch. "parkrun clubs mix world class and weekend warriors".
  22. ^ Phillips, Mitch. "Grass-roots support pushes parkrun to new heights".
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Further reading[edit]

  • Bourne, Debra (2014). Parkrun: much more than just a run in the park. Chequered Flag Publishing. ISBN 9780956946072.

External links[edit]