What is parkrun?
Over on our facebook group (Active Mothers Together) we often talk about parkrun. parkrun is a free, 5 km run that is held each Saturday morning at lots of beautiful park locations all over the world. There are over 200 parkruns in Australia and over 1,100 worldwide. The events are timed and after your run you receive an email with all of your run stats (eg your time, overall placing, age placing and gender placing). And all of this for FREE!
How does it work?
parkrun started with just one event in the UK in 2004. Nowadays the events run smoothly from start to finish thanks to years of experience. Before attending your first parkrun, register your details at parkrun.com. After registration you will be sent a barcode to print out and bring along each week. On your first run day, arrive fifteen minutes before the start time for the first-timers’ briefing. At this briefing the volunteers will tell you what you need to know about the course, safety information and what happens at the finish.
What will I get out of it?
The most obvious benefit of parkrun is fitness. When you’ve got a timed run each weekend you are motivated to run more during the week. We love feeling like part of our local community too. You’ll be surprised who you see at parkrun. We often see friends, work colleagues and parents and teachers from our childrens’ schools. It’s lovely to build new friendships with people based on a common love of running.
How much commitment is needed?
You can commit as much or as little time as you can. You can try it once, you can go every week or you can just turn up on any given Saturday. Volunteers are always needed to cover the various jobs each week too.
What if I’m not fit enough?
parkrun is for people of all fitness abilities. There is no time limit and there are always lots of walkers at our local parkruns. parkrun is not just a race against others; it’s about having fun and enjoying a run as part of a group.
Can I take my kids?
Yes! Our four older children are registered and little ones in prams are welcome. Our advice would be to jog or walk 4 or 5 km with your children before they attempt their first parkrun. Some kids don’t realise just how far it actually is. It is amusing to see parents bribing and “encouraging” their children to keep going. Prams are okay and usually start at the back, but bikes and scooters are not allowed for safety and practicality.
Are you ready to give parkrun a go?
To find out where your nearest event is, head to parkrun.com. After finding your local course, register your details (remember to add “Active Mothers Together” as your running club). Print out your barcode to take along with you, then turn up and give that 5 km your best shot.
Don’t be worried about losing your weekend sleep in…there’s always Sunday.
Jo and Beck