The phenomenon that is parkrun…..

parkrun – a free, weekly 5km community event in more than 2,000 locations around the world EVERY Saturday morning.

Last Saturday (12 February 2022) 260,722 people walked, jogged, ran or volunteered in a parkrun across 23 countries around the world.

That is a HUGE amount of people…

Myself and my 6 year old daughter, Freya, were two of those people… It was my 100th parkrun and Freya’s 1st 5km parkrun. Freya has completed 24 junior parkruns (2km) to date and wanted to mark the occasion of my 100th “milestone” run with me – it was a special morning.

My first parkrun was nearly exactly 15 years ago on 3 February 2007 at the “home” of parkrun, Bushy Park, where the first ever parkrun was held in 2004 where there were 13 runners. Last Saturday there were 1,123 finishers at Bushy Park, that’s a xx% growth in 18 years. How phenomenal is that??

What do I love about parkrun?

A – lot….

  • It is for EVERYONE….whether you want to walk it, push a pushchair round it, aim for a PB, complete it in a wheelchair, be assisted by a visually able person or aim for a course record. Everyone is made to feel welcome and part of the community
  • It’s free – there really aren’t many things in the world that are free, and something like this which helps not only your physical health but mental health too is invaluable.
  • Similar to our Barnes Fitness events, parkrun is marshalled by volunteers – ordinary people with extraordinary powers who put on a high viz vest to support runners and ensure people are running the correct course, safe and having fun.

I have three favourite memories of parkun (+ a lot more which I won’t bore you with!):

  1. Running with both my brothers (one who lives in Australia) and Ian all at our hometown parkrun, Woking, having had twins 5 weeks previous!

2.     Running Woodley parkun alongside Anna Boniface who was the 1st lady in the Mass Race at London Marathon in 2017. I asked her if she would pace me to a sub 19 minute parkrun 500m in to the run – and that is exactly what she did. Stayed by my side and coached me round….

3. Running my 100th parkrun with Freya last weekend

About the author Ellie Barnes

Ellie is widely qualified and experienced within the fitness industry and she also competes at a high level so she knows at first-hand what it’s like to set demanding goals and achieve them.

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