parkrun has now returned across the whole of the UK, so here are 12 reasons to celebrate!
Everyone’s favourite weekend community activity is now fully operational across the whole of the UK.
1. 11-14 year olds back at all junior parkruns – wherever you are
The return of 31 5k events in Wales over the weekend means that parkruns are now taking place across all of the home nations, and junior parkruns are now back welcoming all ages from 4-14 to log their walks, jogs and runs.
Mac’s girls are loving it.
A ‘roarsome’ time was had by all at Jubilee parkrun.
And Jo was enjoying some early morning volunteering at Dukeries junior parkrun.
2. Even more volunteering opportunities
Speaking of volunteering, with more than 600 5k events and almost 300 2k junior events across the UK that’s even more opportunities to volunteer!
Last week nearly 20,000 different people volunteered at a parkrun event. There are loads of roles to choose from, no training is needed, all you need to do is contact your local event team using the email on their web page.
Grace was on Finish Tokens at Pocket parkrun.
Gemma was feeling proud after stepping out of her comfort zone to be Run Director at Sutton Lawn juniors in Nottingham.
Uma was back on Time Keeping at Dewsbury juniors.
@mrsmansell1 didn’t let the rain dampen her enthusiasm for Barcode Scanning at Ashton Court.
And there was even an honorary volunteer from Birmingham’s Otter Trail!
We love a good statistic here at parkrun. And more parkruns means more numbers for us to crunch. We just mentioned that 20,000 volunteers supported over 900 events this past weekend, but almost 1,500 of them were volunteering at a parkrun for the very first time.
Nearly 7,000 people walked, jogged or ran their first 5k parkrun, and almost 1,500 juniors took on their very first 2k.
The return in Wales saw 31 5k events restart, with over 500 walkers, joggers and runners, and more than 700 volunteers.
Tash and Natalie were over the moon to be back at Swansea parkrun.
4. We’re still getting slower
The stats also tell us that current finish times since parkrun returned are slower than the last time we had a summer of parkrun in the UK.
We’re proud that our average finish time continues to get slower each year, reflecting our ambitions to be truly inclusive. In 2005, the average finish time for completing a parkrun was 22:17. In 2020, it was 32:30.
Helena walked her first parkrun at Sunny Hill park this weekend.
And Samra went through the finish funnel in one hour and ten minutes, after reconnecting with friends and enjoying the walk at Osterley parkrun in West London.
5. The scenery
More parkruns means more beautiful scenery. We loved these photos from parkruns across the UK.
6. The photos
It isn’t just photos of the scenery that we’re celebrating. We can’t get enough of all of your photos.
There’s even the occasional hen do.
We just love seeing everyone as happy as Lou!
7. Those joining us for the first time
We say it every time but those taking their first parkrun steps really are starting something very special.
Most parkrun events have a welcome brief for first timers to ask any questions and allay any fears. And you can get in touch with any event team using the details on their web page, or via social media, if you have any questions ahead of time.
If you’re thinking about going along, but not sure it’s for you, take a look at some of the stories on our blog site to give you an insight into what it’s really like at parkrun.
Encouraged by his son Peter, John finished his very first parkrun as events returned in Wales.
Mairi and her girls also completed their first parkrun and junior parkun.
8. The return of the routine
Now that parkrun has returned across all of the UK, many are getting back into old habits, reconnecting with friends, and making a welcome return to their Saturday and Sunday morning routines.
For Josephine it’s about meeting friends both old and new.
Dave was proud to be getting back to it at Riverfront parkrun.
9. And it’s a routine for the whole family
parkruns are also an opportunity for families to spend some quality time together, and we’re so here for that.
Grace and her family were back together at Ormeau parkrun in Northern Ireland.
Olympian Helen Glover was helped round the course by son Logan, her first parkrun since returning from Tokyo. Welcome back Helen.
And it was a whole family affair for Vanessa, as she ran while the rest of the family took up volunteer roles. She also reported a great mix of wheelchairs, buggies, dogs and nordic walkers joining the walkers, joggers and runners on the Rutland Water parkrun course.
10. parkrun can be whatever you want it to be
Reminder! parkrun really can be whatever you want it to be. You don’t have to run, it isn’t a race, it’s fine not to complete the whole 5k, and you really can just come along and watch.
You can volunteer, walk, jog or run. Some people like Leigh choose to do a mix, as she walked/ran the course, also known as ‘jeffing’, with her friend Sonia.
And for those still wanting to log their walk, jog or run in their own time, you can still notch up your (not)parkruns by logging into your profile here.
11. The weekend lasts longer
Anybody else think starting the day with a parkrun makes the weekend last longer?
Whether you’re still ‘parkrun fresh’ in the cafe at lunchtime, or you got yourself out bright and early to try a new parkrun, it’s all more time spent in the fresh air with friends, family, neighbours and friends you just haven’t met yet.
It really doesn’t matter how long you take to complete a parkrun, a volunteer Tail Walker always finishes last, and as Andy says it’s all just more time spent in the park!
12. A healthier and happier planet
Every parkrun that returns to a local community is a step forward for parkrun’s mission to create a healthier and happier planet.
Every barcode scanned, every finish token handed out, every stop on the timer, every volunteer vest donned, every clap and cheer, every cuppa in the cafe, all contributes to bringing communities together; to be social, together, outdoors and active in the fresh air.
To find your nearest parkrun, to get involved as a volunteer, or just to find out more, head over to our website.
We can’t wait to see you at a parkrun in the UK very soon.
This week’s quick recipe fix is our Banana and Peanut Butter Smoothie, perfect for breakfast or brunch on the go. Don’t forget to scan your Membership Card QR Code at your local event this weekend to receive your money off voucher! In case you might have missed it – to celebrate the return…
After a big life move, Naomi Dawson found herself in a brand new country, knowing nobody. Local parkruns helped her integrate into new communities, and make many long-lasting friendships along the way. I wasn’t a runner, never had been. Then, in 2013, someone told me about parkrun. I completed the Couch to 5k programme, after…