parkrun is a free, weekly 5km run organised by volunteers across 500+ locations in the UK and world-wide. Participants can run, jog or walk the distance and get a timed-result by email and SMS later that day.
My first parkrun was January 2016 and I have since completed 25 runs in 5 different locations. It has definitely helped my running and here are my 5 reasons why you should participate in your local parkrun.
- Organised – parkrun is a regular event – every Saturday morning at 9am, wherever in the world you participate. This regularity helps to plan training, or just ensures you get out of bed to go run.
- FREE – There are very few places where you can participate in an organised 5km run and get a timed result. With thanks to the army of volunteers and corporate sponsors, parkrun is free for everyone.
- Everyone is welcome – Whether you are participating for the first time and walk the course, you’re running with your children and/or dog or it’s your 50th time and run it in sub 20 minutes, EVERYONE is welcome to participate. Volunteers on all parts of the course will cheer everyone on and a Tail Runner will ensure that the last person to cross the line, doesn’t finish alone.
- Everywhere – Well not quite everywhere, but there are over 500 parkrun locations so if you are wanting to participate in the UK, there is a good chance there’s a parkrun pretty close to you. I live near Crewe and fortunate that there are 4 locations Crewe (beautiful park), Hanley (undulating), Delamere (trail run) and Congleton (flat!) all within striking distance and a fifth one (Newcastle-Under-Lyme) is coming sometime in the Spring. All the courses are different in their difficulty, some being hillier than others, whilst others are purely on trail, paths or grass.
- 5km (3.1 miles) – A distance short enough to be achievable by everyone, (whether they run, jog or walk) but long enough for it to register as a good training session. As it’s timed (its not a race) you can use the run for whatever you want it to be, want a PB? Go for it, want to use it for training or intervals? Yes, you can do that too.
That’s my five reasons why you should participate in parkrun, there are so many more reasons why you should. Go to your local parkrun and discover your own reasons why you should take part.