News - 28th November 2022

Bring on 1,000 parkruns


Have you ever wondered who has completed the most parkruns, or who has the most volunteer credits? You’re about to meet Darren Wood and Nicki Clark!


Some might be surprised to learn that neither parkrunner was at the first parkrun event back in 2004. But ever since Darren and Nicki started, they have never looked back. Here’s why.


Darren Wood


I wasn’t at the first ever parkrun, but I was at the second event. Now, 18 years later, I’m on 826 parkruns and counting at almost 80 different locations, as well as over 520 volunteer credits. I also became co event director for my local Edenbrook Country parkrun.


From parkruns in Finland, Poland, North Carolina, and parkruns in prisons, I’ve been all over the world at parkrun. What I love about it is parkrun is the same everywhere you go, whatever country you’re in. You can always expect the same welcoming community.


I’ve even done parkrun on crutches after surgery on my foot!


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When I first started parkrunning, it was about the speed for me and getting my fastest time. Gradually, I realised parkrun is more about the community. A chance for me to see family and friends and connect with new people.


parkrun has also massively been there for me over the years for my mental health.


To me, Saturday and Sunday is parkrun. Bring on 1,000!


Nicki Clark


I’m a deeply reluctant runner, but a very enthusiastic volunteer with now over 860 credits at parkrun.


The parkrun community is an amazing, inclusive, supportive and friendly place. Volunteering puts me right in the heart of that community week in, week out. Having a reason to be up and spending time outside is a huge boost, and the knowledge that so many people are getting so much from something that I’m part of is really fulfilling.


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parkrun is a huge part of my life, and many of my closest friends are parkrun friends – if you can get through a winter and survive wet kit, battered signage, numb fingers and disintegrated soggy rosters with a team still laughing, then you can get through anything!


I’ve done most of the volunteer roles – (apart from pacing, signing, VI guide and lead bike!) and it’s hard to say which is my favourite.


I enjoy run directing because it puts me in the thick of things (and maybe because I’m naturally bossy). I really like timing, because it requires focus, and barcode scanning means you get to chat to lots of people. Marshalling is also a favourite because it’s basically an hour or so of yelling at the top of my voice without anyone complaining about the noise – it can be very cathartic.


The team at Riddlesdown (my local parkrun), is extensive, and lovely!


For me, volunteering isn’t giving up a run, it’s simply participating in a different way – facilitating the participation of others, and contributing to the longevity of the event.



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