The word ‘the’ is the most commonly used word in the English language – so much so, we’ve already used it four times!
And parkrun is no exception to this, with 12 parkruns worldwide starting with the word the.
For those parkrunners looking for some inspiration, here are five parkruns that will capture ‘The’ imagination…
1. The Beaches parkrun – Australia
Our first stop on ‘the’ tour takes us Down Under to New South Wales, where we find a parkrun that leaves little to the imagination… it’s The Beaches parkrun.
The course is a two-lapper starting at Cooks Hill Surf Club, heading towards Merewether and back again, and travels entirely on sand, with many of the regulars opting to kick off the shoes and parkrun in bare feet.
Temperatures in Newcastle, Australia are slightly warmer than namesake Newcastle in the UK – topping 33°C in the peak of summer!
Since launching in November 2014, almost 3,000 different people have enjoyed the views of the South Pacific Ocean whilst they walk, jog or run, of which 1,373 parkrunners have shell-ebrated PBs.
2. The Farmstead parkrun – South Africa
Staying in the southern hemisphere, our next destination swaps sandy beaches for rural farmland, as we arrive at The Farmstead parkrun in South Africa.
This event is a new arrival in the parkrun family, having only got underway in April 2019. Your parkrun experience takes you around a single-lap off-road course to the west of Pretoria.
The Farmstead parkrun, north of Johannesburg, might make you think you’re in a Sir David Attenborough nature documentary, with herds of buck and antelope roaming and cantering by as you make your way around the course.
But whether you have four legs or two, galloping your way to the finish funnel is just as satisfying!
3. The Pastures parkrun - UK
The next event on ‘The’ tour is our first stop in the UK, as we arrive at The Pastures parkrun in the north of England.
The start of 2019 brought with it the start of this parkrun, which is set in the shadows of the spectacular Alnwick Castle in Northumberland.
The Pastures parkrun is a three-lapper and will appeal to mud-lovers and those who like getting off the tarmac and pavements, with the entire course travelling along grass pastures alongside the River Aln.
Fans of Harry Potter may recognise the castle – it was used as a filming location for both The Philosopher’s Stone, and the Chamber of Secrets movies, and was where Harry first learnt to fly his broomstick.
Sadly, at parkrun we do not permit the flying of broomsticks (sigh!), but despite that, we’re sure this magical parkrun and everything it has to offer will leave you spellbound.
4. The Ponds parkrun – Australia
We return to Australia and New South Wales for our next destination, with a trip to The Ponds parkrun.
This event celebrated four years of parkrunning in May and has welcomed just shy of 8,000 different people in that time, all of whom have been presented with an out-and-back course.
The Ponds parkrun typically welcomes between 400-500 parkrunners every Saturday, and given the name of this parkrun, you might expect a water-lined course. In fact, the event actually gets its name from the suburb it is located in – The Ponds, roughly 25 miles to the north-west of Sydney.
5. The Wammy parkrun – UK
Wham! Last and by no means least, it’s The Wammy parkrun in Staffordshire.
With over 1,800 parkruns in the world, and more starting every week, it’s impossible for us to ever choose a favourite, but The Wammy parkrun certainly has one of the most unusual names that you will come across.
The event can be found in Knutton, Newcastle-under-Lyme offers an out-and-back course that is regularly completed by 250-300 parkrunners on a Saturday morning.
Once you’ve finished and had your barcode scanned (and handed back your token!) you can grab a post-parkrun coffee at Ken’s Café, hosted at Newcastle AC clubhouse, which is just a five-minute walk from the finish.
Headline photo credit: MD photo
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