We offer free, weekly, 5km, timed runs that are open to all ages and abilities
parkrun started in 2004 with just 13 runners in Bushy Park, Teddington. Since then, the Bushy parkrun has become a well established running event; open to everyone who happen to be near a parkrun venue on Saturday morning. When we started Bushy, this was the only regular, weekly, 5km, timed, running event in the UK and probably in the world. Wherever possible, our events are run every Saturday of the year and some even boast a special event on both Christmas and New Years Day.
In 2007, Wimbledon Common parkrun was developed to respond to the demand from the runners and on the same principles as Bushy parkrun. This was quickly followed by Banstead Woods which paved the way for the others to follow.
When Paul first set out to create Bushy parkrun, his aim was to make it simple for anyone to take part whenever it suited them. He hoped that runners would want to compete against themselves and not necessarily against the other participants. Right from the start, this was to be a community project where the runners would always run for free.
parkruns are community events with strong loyalty from runners and volunteers. We help local volunteers set up events throughout the world using the 'parkrun-in-a-box' concept.
Every event is growing and there is strong demand for more. parkrun is sponsored by adidas, GSK Lucozade, and Sweatshop in the UK who make it possible for these events to be free. We also receive support from The London Marathon and the London Mayor in the UK. Adidas now sponsor parkrun in other international territories and we are gaining interest from other parties now.
Bushy Park parkrun won the Runners World Best Small Event in 2007 and parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt won a Runners World Heroes award in 2009.
parkrun offers a unique proposition to runners
- A non-commercial, free, feel-good, community based event but with a family stretching across the world.
- Runners sign up on the website once in their life… then just turn up and run at any event in the world.
- Results are emailed the same day and posted on the website with historical results and stats including age group records and age-graded performances (for those getting older!).
- There are clubs to encourage participation. A 50 Club for runners who've reached 50 runs, a 100 Club, a 250 Club, and a Junior under-19 10 Club.
- We offer an annual points competition at each event to encourage attendance.
- We keep in touch with runners through an emailed weekly newsletter and the website and social media.
parkrun offers free, weekly events with low barriers to participation and in doing so drives participation in all sports. We believe that parkrun fosters an attitude towards improving ones health and for some to join a formal club structure. We have also seen that people taking part in parkrun are more likely to pay to take part in a formal race.