Making Parkrun part of your “Park Life”
It’s got nothing to do with vorsprung durch technic you know
And it’s not about you joggers who go round and round and round
Veteran Park runner Paul has kindly written a very interesting article about Parkrun, enjoy
So What is this thing you call parkrun?
For those of you that haven’t been up early on a Saturday morning, it’s a weekly timed 5K run held at over 200 locations around the UK. Every Saturday morning at 9am tens of thousands of people gather at their local park and have a run. If you are 5 or over you are welcome, whether you can run 5K in sub 17 minutes or it takes you over 40.
Where is parkrun?
There are currently over 230 park runs in the UK, with 40 in the South East not including London. Most of the Finch coasters migrate to Woodley although the club has run at Reading, Frimley Lodge, Newbury, Basingstoke, Margate, Newcastle, Cardiff and Delamere!
How do the Finch Coasters do?
parkrun’s ethos is that it is a run not a race but the competitive amongst you can try and better yourself by running a personal best. All Finch Coasters efforts and PBs can be seen at on the website. Currently in1st place are Chris Aitken (19.08 at Reading) and Jo Widdup (20.35 at Woodley) but we are always trying to get more fast members down to their local park on a Saturday morning. Also, occasional Finch Coaster Andy Stay’s record is 16:48 if you want something to aim for!
There are lots of reasons to parkrun. You can use it as a tempo run in a bigger training plan or just as a test of your current 5K speed. Alternatively, you can use it to socialise with other like-minded people and as an excuse to eat cake in the cafe where people gather afterwards.
Caught the parkrun bug? Well rack up 50 appearances and get a free tee shirt to celebrate the fact. You can also get a new one for 100 and 250 runs. If you get bored running in the same park every week then why not try a bit of tourism. With over 200 different courses you can do a bit of site-seeing all around the country. If you are truly adventurous/mad you can try and join the Cowell Club, a small set of people who have been to a 100 different events. If you want to push the envelope further, then because parkrun is truly global, why not parkrun in the US, South Africa, Poland, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia.
Been to a parkrun or two and really enjoyed it? Then why not help out by volunteering next time. Parkrun is entirely run by volunteers and so they people to help time, scan, marshall, hand out finishing token, take photographs etc. if you’re interested just email the parkrun you want to help out or see http://support.parkrun.com/hc/en-us/sections/200112523-Volunteering for more details. Also if you are feeling flush (especially since parkrun is free) you can donate via a link on every sites latest results page.
They say ‘variety is the spice of life’, and there are lots of things to spice up your parkrun experience. Next week (and every month) there are pacers to help you get that new PB. Also, due to it being that time of year there is a spot of festive dressing up on the 21st, and also extra parkruns on Christmas day and New Years day for those people want to get some exercise/escape the in-laws.