If, like me, you are trying to improve your fitness but struggle to find the motivation to run by yourself – parkrun has the solution for you!
With over 900,000 runners participating in parkrun events across the world, parkrun connects runners of all abilities, from beginners to Olympians. Parkrun organise 5KM runs every Saturday that are completely free! All parkrun events are timed, providing a great way to monitor your fitness and speed. What’s better encouragement than crossing the finish line in a faster time or noticing you aren’t as tired at the finish line as the following week?
The results of each run are published on the parkrun website a few hours after each event. Your individual result, position and time are also emailed to you and can be sent via text message, which makes it easy to track your times and monitor your progress. The results system also uses age grading which allows you to compare your performance against other runners of the same sex and age. This is a useful feature for the more competitive athletes among us.
‘How do I sign up ?’, I hear you ask! All you need to do is register on the parkrun website and print your barcode (barcodes cannot be read from a smartphone so remember to print and bring your barcode to every event). You only need to register once, then your barcode can be used at any parkrun event, both in the UK and abroad.
Each event location has its own webpage which provides detailed descriptions about the start location, the event course (such as whether the route is on grass, tarmac or concrete) and information on the facilities available. In regards to where you should leave your belongings when running, please contact the event organiser as it varies between events. Some events are based near a leisure centre with lockers, whilst at others, a volunteer looks after everyone’s belongings near the finish line, and at some, there isn’t a bag drop location.
When registering, you can also express an interest in volunteering. This does not mean you have to volunteer every week but shows a willingness to help out occasionally. When you choose to volunteer and what role you undertake is entirely up to you. There are a range of roles, from marshalling to timekeeping, which are suitable for everyone. Parkrun relies heavily on volunteers and can only succeed with their help.
What is it? 5KM
When is it? Every Saturday, 9am
Where is it? Various locations
How much is it? £0.00
*Exclusive parkrun offer* If you need more convincing to register, for the whole month of June, parkrunners can redeem 20% off at Intersport. So, if you’ve got your eye on a new pair of trainers or still haven’t got your summer running gear, why not head to your local Intersport store (with your parkrun barcode!) and look forward to testing out your new gear on Saturday at your local parkrun.