parkrun is a wonderful thing, and while the 5k (or the 2k in the case of junior parkrun) might be the hook it’s just an invitation really. The community parkrun creates as a result is ‘the party’.
Paul Sinton-Hewitt – our founder and statesman – couldn’t possibly have imagined when he lined up 13 of his mates on 2 October 2004 that 150,388 parkrunners at 940 events facilitated by 14,200 volunteers across 14 countries would have joined him in celebration of International parkrun Day last weekend! It’s quite incredible, and it gets better… 11,308 of those parkrunners were taking part in their first ever parkrun. Welcome to the #parkrunfamily.
Following a recent trip to the Houses of Parliament by some of the parkrun UK staff, we invited MPs to join us (on our turf) on International parkrun Day. We believe that it’s really important that policymakers have the opportunity to see firsthand the significant impact that parkrun is making every week in hundreds of communities around the UK.
We were delighted that so many of them came along and were pleased to hear that their visits were so well received. Some were running… some were volunteering… some were mingling… and I must give a special mention to Vernon Coaker MP who managed to squeeze in two parkrun visits in one morning! He started at Gedling parkrun in Nottingham where he unveiled their new defibrillator and set the field off, before heading over to my home parkrun to catch the finish line action and meet some of the gang in Colwick Park.
It’s one thing to read that 100,000 people run, jog, walk and volunteer at parkrun every weekend in the UK, but there’s something extra special about actually seeing it happening in your very own community. It also provided a wonderful opportunity for MPs to recognise the enormous contribution that volunteers are making every single week in their local area.
Here’s to the next 12 years! #loveparkrun
Head of Event Delivery
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