News - 8th June 2022
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Welcome to parkrun!

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If you enjoy parkrun, you can help us spread the message about our events by sharing this article about parkrun with friends, family and colleagues who haven’t been lucky enough to experience parkrun yet!

 

What is a parkrun?
It’s a free timed 5km event held every Saturday morning. Currently there’s 32 different events in the Nordics, and over 2000 events around the world.

 

Why is it called parkrun?
The first event was held in Bushy Park in London, and was first called ‘Bushy Park Time Trial’ before the name was changed to called Bushy parkrun – and the name stuck. But whilst lots of parkruns are held in parks, they can also be held in other open spaces such as paths around lakes, through forests or by the sea.

 

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Is it really free – what’s the catch?
Yes, it really is completely free to take part in parkrun! parkrun is funded through sponsorship, grant funding, donations and selling our own merchandise, and these sources of funding help to keep parkrun free, for everyone, forever.

 

And really every week?
Yes, every Saturday, all year round, unless there’s another event taking place on the course, or if the conditions are unsafe (icy conditions for example)

 

How do I sign up to take part?
You register just once, before your first event:

When you register, you get a barcode, which is basically your ‘number’ that you need to take along with you when you take part. You can print out on paper, or you can just have it on your mobile phone. You can also buy wristbands with your barcode on.

 

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What happens when I turn up at a parkrun?
If you’re taking part for the first time, you can turn up maybe 10-15 minutes before the start, and listen to the first-timers welcome from one of the volunteers, who will explain a bit about the course and how things work. You’ll see that many of the regular parkrunners turn up 5 minutes before the start, as there’s nothing that you need to do (i.e. pre-registration) before you take part each week

 

How does the timing system work?
Basically everyone starts together at 9.00 (in Denmark) or 9.30 (in Sweden, Finland and Norway) – just like in any normal running event – and follows the course which is marked out with signs and/or marshals. When you come to the finish, you’ll be given a finish token – it has a little number on it, which relates to your finish position in the parkrun. You then take this to a volunteer who scans the finish token and your personal barcode, to get your finish position and time.

 

What happens afterwards?
parkrun is as much about the social side as the running, so most events invite everyone who wants to join them to a cafe afterwards to have coffee and a chat.

 

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How do I get my result?
You’ll be sent an email when the results are processed sometime after the parkrun has finished (usually in the post-parkrun cafe), and the results will also go up on the parkrun website.

 

How fast do I have to be to take part? Will I come last?
No, you can be as slow or as fast as you want! We have super quick runners and people walking around and everything in between. parkrun is not about ‘winning’ – it’s all about taking part. You can walk, jog or run around, it really doesn’t matter. We also have ‘Tail Walkers’ who walk around at the back of the event, so that no-one who takes part finishes last.

 

Who is it that’s organising each individual parkrun?
Every parkrun event is organised completely by volunteers. Each event will have a ‘core team’ of volunteers who have helped to get the parkrun started, but then the whole concept of parkrun builds on the fact that everyone who takes part in parkrun is also a potential volunteer! We’re a community of parkrunners – not an ‘us’ (runners) and ‘them’ (volunteers). So if you can help out as a volunteer once in a while, then the whole thing works out.

 

Where do I find my nearest event?
You can see a map of the events here:

(From this map you can also scroll around to see events in other countries. You can take part in every event around the world, for free, with your barcode. Just check the local event page for start times and other information).

 

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Why haven’t I heard about parkrun before?
Although we’re a big organisation around the world (globally there’s over 7.5 million registered to take part in parkrun), we still have just a small core team of staff involved in helping to run parkrun, and we don’t have a budget for marketing and advertising. parkrun has always spread by word of mouth and we’re a bottom-up, community driven organisation.

 

I love parkrun! How can I help?
Help us to get more people to hear about parkrun by sharing this post, and by encouraging friends, family and colleagues to come along to parkrun!

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