This week saw the 500th running of the Woodhouse Moore Parkrun in Leeds, UK. That’s a lot of parkruns! This parkrun started in October 2007, and was the brainchild of Tom Williams, who’s now the Chief Operating Office for parkrun Global. Tom had visited London and run the original Bushy parkrun, and was inspired to create the first parkrun in the north of England.
On the day of their launch, they welcomed a nice little group of 15 people (pictured below).
Last Saturday, 9 and a half years later, this beautiful community celebrated their 500th parkrun in their local park!
Here’s a few statistics for to understand what 500 parkruns and 9 and a half years of weekly events means:
• 667,470km traveled in total (almost 17 times around the Earth!),
• A total of 133,494 registered runs,
• A total of 17,012 parkrunners,
• 267 participants on average every Saturday morning!
For their 500th parkrun the volunteers had prepared labels to fill in which were inscribed “I like parkrun because …” (you can see these in the picture at the beginning of this story.
Jaz Bangerh, who works for parkrun in the UK, ran her very first parkrun on the day of the Leeds Parkrun launch (she is the 2nd from the left in the picture above) and she was obviously present this Saturday (where she ran her 360th parkrun!). Below are her feelings of what makes this parkrun so special for her and her local community:
“718 Parkwood Woodhouse Moor today. We exploded the previous record. We have offered people to write on labels the reasons why they like parkrun. Some were funny and cheerful. Some touching. Some moving and sad. Many were inspiring. Many wrote that parkrun had helped them in depression, cancer, mourning, breakdown or loneliness moments. Someone put “this has changed my life”. Another wrote that it had helped her to trust her again after an assault. Many spoke of friendships and community. Few have spoken of the very action of running.”
We look forward to the 500th running of Haga parkrun sometime in 2027! I’ll be in my 50s, plan to be still running and volunteering and hopefully also overseeing an event with hundreds of runners like this one!
Have a great week and happy parkrunning.
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