News - 20th March 2023

Five reasons we love the barcode


At parkrun, we’ve always tried to keep that event day experience the same as it was back when we began in 2004.


But one thing has evolved over the years – the barcode. Here we take a look at the importance of the barcode, and why we love it.


For the first five years, there was no barcode system at parkrun. Volunteers would download a database of every individual parkrunner every week, and this was used to record times into a bespoke results database.


The barcode system we know today wasn’t actually introduced until 2009. Now, by scanning your barcode at the end of your parkrun you can get your parkrun stats sent directly to you, and your barcode is registered every time you volunteer too, giving you a full record of every time you’ve volunteered at parkrun.

Whilst digital scanning of barcodes is now allowed as a last resort, we wanted to just take a moment to remember why we love the printed barcode, and how it can even help save a life.


1) Feel safer

Should something unforeseen happen to you before, during or after your parkrun, consider including the details below as it could save your life if you’re unable to speak for yourself:

  • Display your medical aid name and number so you can be taken to a preferred hospital in the case of an emergency.
  • List any allergies you may have – it is important for medics to know this information.
  • An emergency contact number so that emergency services can reach your loved ones should something unforeseen happen to you.




2) Personal greeting

The parkrun community is a special place, and the friendliness of parkrunners helps make it what it is. How lovely is it when a barcode scanner can greet you by your name because it’s on your printed barcode? That person may just remember it the following week; it might help them feel a part of a community, as well as make new friends.


3) Feel lighter

Carrying your personal barcode means that you don’t have to carry your phone during the event. It allows you to switch off from the busy world in your pocket and enjoy your walk, jog or run feeling that little bit lighter, safe in the knowledge that you can still get your time.


4) Showcase your love of parkrun

Showcase your love of parkrun, whether on your wrist when unlocking the office or wearing your favourite pair of sneakers. Wear them during the week and they provide an instant conversation starter about your favourite weekend activity.




5) Supporting parkrun

We are committed to keeping parkrun free, for everyone, forever.  We generate revenue to support our events from purchases from our online shop. Not only are you supporting parkrun with all profit coming back to us, but you’re also helping to keep that parkrun magic alive.


If you’re ready to upgrade your barcode, shop here for your parkrun ID flatband or parkrun ID wristband in a variety of popular parkrun colours!



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