We have started up 7 events in Scandinavia since we began just over a year ago, with several more events in preparation ready for launches in spring 2018. Look out for further announcements coming soon!
After featuring on TV4 last week, we saw comments on social media with people who were a bit disappointed that there wasn’t a parkrun near them, and quite right too! Well, what does it take to start up a parkrun, and could it be something for you?
In many ways, setting up a new event is very easy. The main qualities are enthusiasm and a determination to want to make it happen! You don’t have to be an expert in organising running races to start a parkrun. parkrun is designed to be simple, to make it easy to organise each week.
Here’s a few questions and answers about setting up a new parkrun event:
How many people need to be involved?
We usually say that if you have a small core team of people who want to start up a new event, perhaps 2-4 friends, then that is a great start. Having a small team gives you the opportunity to share responsibility, test ideas together, and have different people responsible for parkrun each week, so that it doesn’t all fall on a single person. Having other friends, family, club members or colleagues that you can also rely on in the early days after you have started is also useful.
Isn’t it difficult getting volunteers each week?
Our existing events show that people are understanding the concept and helping out at events. Most events also have people who are regular volunteers rather than runners, and that’s great too. And as time goes on, and more people register for your event, that increases the number of people who are potential volunteers.
Will we get help?
Of course! That’s what we’re here for. We will help you with the whole process, from advice about designing a suitable course, how to use the timing equipment (it’s very simple), and ideas about how you can promote your event in your local community. We’ll help you through the whole process.
I don’t know what my course look like?
Designing a course is super exciting! It doesn’t have to be in a park (on a forest trail is great) and it doesn’t have to be one 5km loop – 2 or 3 lap courses can work equally well. It should be safe, so that means not crossing any roads or car parks. And keep it simple – having lots of signs or places where you will need volunteers out on the course can make it more complicated to organise each week.
What happens in the winter?
parkruns generally run all year round, including through the winter. However, we understand that in Scandinavia, depending on the weather, and depending on the course, this might always be possible. We’ll take a sensible approach, to see what works best for you.
Will it cost me anything?
At the moment parkrun is helping to provide all the equipment for new events to help them to get going, so you won’t have to pay for anything. Having some small local funding to help with marketing and promotion of the event is definitely useful.
We hope that people out there feel inspired to start something amazing in their community. Get in touch and we will be delighted to explain more!
Over the past few weeks as we’ve launched several new events in the Nordics, we’ve noticed that the overall profile of the course is often a hot topic of discussion! In other words, people seem a bit daunted if the route includes some “upwards flat sections”, also known as hills! Sometimes there can be…
We have some stunning parkruns here in the Nordics to show off to the world, and what better way to do so than capturing them on film. Here below can you see videos of a number of our events across our four countries, to see what parkrun looks like in each of these locations. The…