Uncategorized - 17th April 2018
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The ‘little p’ mentality

Paul

Recently in the parkrun US newsletter they had an article on why ‘parkrun’ is one word and all lowercase – but however anyone spells it, it’s still simply a great little run (or walk) in a park!

Excerpt from the parkrun US blog:

Most people involved with parkrun want to shout about it from the rooftops because they want everyone to know how much they like it — as an event, a community, a concept. But the culture and ethos of parkrun is more reserved and humble, reflecting the nature of its founder. parkrun is written as one word with a lowercase ‘p’, representing the simplicity and inclusivity of the organization and the events.

We checked in with Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE, who founded parkrun as a low-key meetup for a run and a coffee with some of his friends, in a London park in 2004. Paul is the epitome of the ‘little p’ spirit: humble, generous, and reserved in the extreme.

One of our favorite stories about Paul is from a recent visit to a busy London parkrun, where he helped out as a finish line volunteer. The mother of one of the regulars also volunteered that day, and found herself organizing finish tokens with Paul. She reported afterwards to her son that she had a good morning at parkrun, and that she was working with a nice man called Paul. She was unaware that she had been volunteering with the man who founded the whole movement.

Paul explained to us how the name ‘parkrun’ and its distinctive spelling came to be.

“Prior to our movement being called parkrun, we called it a Time Trial. So the first event was called Bushy Park Time Trial and the second Wimbledon Common Time Trial and so on. Obviously, as we grew we were heading for trouble with this naming convention. Equally, Time Trial just didn’t encompass what we were really about. The first 5% of participants were engaged in a time trial but for the rest we were engaged in a ‘park run’. In 2008 I worked with Nike London to rebrand the movement. While we were searching for a cool new name, a friend who wasn’t aware that I was looking for a new name offered me a piece of advice. Stuart suggested in passing that I should call it ‘parkrun’. At first, this didn’t sit well with me, however, over time it started to make sense.

The rest is history. Nike was brilliant. They threw all their creative resources at the opportunity and this is why we have a name that is always one word and lowercase. The reason it is lowercase is simply a branding issue. Symbolically it conveys the message that we are inclusive, friendly, fun and active.”

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