So, you’ve heard about parkrun but you’re still wondering a little bit what it’s all about. Is it really on every week? Can it really be free? Is it a run or a race? How do you get your time? How does it all work? Here’s a quick reminder for the uninitiated:
parkrun is a free, weekly 5km timed run, that takes places in parks and green spaces in around the world (currently 14 countries). In Sweden there’s currently one event, in Hagaparken in Stockholm, (there are plans for more events in other locations around country). Each event is put on by volunteers – without the volunteers there would be no parkrun!
parkrun is all about creating a happier and healthier planet, and making exercise fun, welcoming, and accessible. You can run, jog, walk or volunteer every week. The emphasis is on taking part and being part of a friendly community.
And so to those questions…….
Is it really on every week?
Yes, it is on every week*! Having a regular event means that people can rely that parkrun will be there every week, and we think it helps people to feel part of a community.
(* Occasionally we may have to cancel due to dangerous conditions on the course (i.e. ice) or if there’s another event on in the park)
Is it really free?
Yes, it really is free, and it always will be! One of the main motivations that the founder of parkrun, Paul Sinton-Hewitt, had for starting parkrun, was that he felt that running races were becoming too expensive and he wanted to give everyone the opportunity to take part. Making parkrun free removes a barrier to participation and makes it easy for everyone to join. After all, running is a simple and cheap form of exercise, and the straightforward nature of parkrun events reflects that.
Is it a run or race?
‘It’s a run, not a race!’ You’ll hear this often at parkrun! What this means is that the focus is on taking part and having fun, and not focussing on ‘racing’ and ‘winners’. You’ll get a time for every parkrun you run, and many people really enjoy seeing the progress they make as their times improve. Ultimately, parkrun is what YOU want it to be!
How does it all work?
Before you take part in your first parkrun, you need to register. This takes a couple of minutes and you only need to do it once – then you have a passport to over 1000 events around the world. Here’s the link: www.parkrun.se/register.
You’ll then need to print & cut out a credit-card size barcode to take with you when you turn up at event. That’s the one and only thing you need for parkrun!
How do you get you time?
All the parkrunners start at the same time. When you cross the line, you get given a small finish token which corresponds with your finish position in the parkrun. You take this to the ‘Barcode Scanner’ volunteer at the finish line, along with your own personal barcode that you’ve printed out. This is then matched with the stopwatch times and hey presto, you have a finish time! You’ll receive an email with your result after the results have been processed (shortly after the parkrun finishes) and the results will also go up on the parkrun website, along with some photos from each event.
We hope that you are inspired to come and join us at parkrun! Wherever you in the world, parkrun offers you a relaxed, friendly, welcoming atmosphere to everyone taking part – give it a go!
This weekend will be a celebration of parkrun with our ‘special day’ events taking place in Denmark on 5th June and Sweden on 6th June, in addition to our regular parkrun events on Saturday 3rd June. In Denmark 6 of our 9 events will be hosting a special event on Monday 5th June, including…
All around the world, we’ve seen over 28,000 unique volunteers in the parkwalker role and they’ve parkwalked over 52,000 times! We speak to one of the parkwalkers, Cathy Hannon, about why she chooses to volunteer in her favourite role every Saturday morning. Cathy’s chronic condition means that parkwalking is the best option for her, she relishes the…