Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Park Run

On Saturday February 23rd it was time for Marcus, Andrzej and Agata to once more step out into the cold for a Saturday morning

Marcus has mentioned this event before.  But today I would like to re-emphasise it, as its simplicity and brilliance continues to amaze me.

For additional information, consult Wikipedia

+ Park Run is simply a free 5km running race held internationally on a Saturday morning

+ It is staffed entirely by Volunteers and whilst it started in England, it now extends to many countries including Australia, South Africa, Poland and many more

+ You have to register with the website and print out a barcode that you need at the end of the run  (only, i.e. not the start).  If you become a regular you can purchase a wrist band or other gizmo that contains this barcode.

+ You turn up on Saturday, in our case at 09.00, listen to the security briefing and then run.   

After completing the 5Km run; you finish and take a small printed barcode number from an official.   You then take this barcode together with your personal barcode for scanning, handing back that second barcode you were given at race end.

This enables the organisers to calculate your running time and place and publish it onto the website.

+ As usual we had a wonderful time although this morning the -5 degree weather made for movement rather hanging around before and after the race

+ Some parkruns allow you to run with dogs, some parkruns have special provision for disabled runners, there is also a juniour shorter distance parkrun in some countries.

The Brilliance of it All

+ As advocates of Health and Wellbeing, Parkrun is a powerful motivational tool.   It is simple to understand, free to enter,  and caters for runners fast and slow.

+ Parkrun only works because of the Volunteers and the technology that has been enabled thanks to the Web and modern scanning and timing technology

+ If you currently do not run, Parkrun can be an easy way to get started with running, because 5k is quite a modest distance

+ To get you started from scratch, to enable you to get to a 5km finish I also recommend this application Couch to 5km  which aims to get your fitness level up from Couch Potato, zero km runner.   Please try this first

And there you have it.  Whatever your running level from beginner to competitive Athlete, the Parkrun can be of value to you.

It can help you achieve a sense of community,  aids to basic health and wellness, and can be a way to make new friends, even in a foreign country by taking part in the common activity of running.  Simply brilliant.