Surbiton junior parkrun (Sjp) takes place in the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames, London, every Sunday morning.
Event Director Danny Norman tells us more about the event he calls home…
In 2005 I had heard rumblings at my newly joined running club of a free 5k every Saturday morning in Bushy Park, called the Bushy Park Time Trial. I went along in August 2005 and loved it there and then.
The rest is quite a deep history and more than 600 parkruns and 13 years later, I’m just as enamoured. I’ve been the Event Director at Surbiton juniors for just shy of its entire three year history and I love it because it’s just effervescence in a nutshell.
Our course is a fast, flat two-lapper on the inner perimeter of Alexandra Recreation Ground. It’s mostly rectangular except for a dip around a row of trees. It’s 75% grass and 25% tarmac path.
Along the route is the row of trees that lead to the adjacent Millennium Green, home to Millennium Mound, and very visible from the course is the nearby Tolworth Tower, the tallest building for miles around in the SW London area.
We always like welcoming tourists or first-time junior parkrunners to Surbiton. Come say hello! We’re just a part of one big family and will greet you warmly like everyone else. Then, after junior parkrun, we head to Costa Coffee on Tolworth Broadway. The baristas know us very well.
Amongst our parkrun community, Family Ronaldson deserve a mention as beloved stalwarts to Surbiton juniors, and parkrun in general.
Dad Mark and Mum Nicola have both completed more than 200 5k parkruns, and have each volunteered on more than 80 separate occasions.
Their twins, Matthew and James, have each taken part in over 130 5k parkruns and in excess of 100 junior parkruns.
Our event has become an important part of the local community. It seems to have enabled more of the juniors’ parents to start their own running journeys, with many frequenting our nearby elder sibling 5k event of Kingston parkrun on Saturdays.
As well as the parents, we are starting to hear lots of stories about juniors who started at Sjp going on to join local athletics clubs as they found a love for running through our event.
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