Our vision is for there to be a parkrun everywhere in the UK that someone would like one, with no target for the number of runners at any one event we hope to see many small, friendly and inclusive events all catering for their local community.
The benefits of regular physical activity are well documented and working together with local authorities, health services, landowners, NGBs and other commercial organisations we expect that by the end of 2013 there will be over 200 parkrun events in the UK and over 30,000 people running for free every week.
Not considered races, parkrun events are free to attend, weekly, timed 5km runs. Results are presented in time order however there are no performance related prizes or medals and the first person across the line is termed the ‘first finisher’ not the winner. They may cover any reasonable surface such as tarmac, gravel paths, grass, forest trails, pavement and meadow but they do not run on public highways. Although some parkrun events will be certified as 5km, in most cases this is not guaranteed especially as courses can change from week to week in order to accommodate local conditions such as flooding or fallen trees. In England and Wales all parkrun events take place on Saturday mornings at 9:00am, in Scotland and Northern Ireland they take place on Saturday mornings at 9:30am. parkrun events look to support rather than compete with paid races and although runners of all abilities are welcome, the focus is on recreational running and increasing participation.
Setting up a new parkrun costs around £6,000 (including VAT), this includes all on-course equipment, laptop, scanners, timers, training and support for the team, help with course design, local event website and anything else needed to get things going. Once an event is up and running we will provide all the ongoing equipment and support required, indefinitely and at no extra cost. In order to raise the start-up costs we look for 50% matched funding (£3,000 including VAT) to come from local organisations with an interest in improving the health and well-being of their community. Our operational costs are covered largely by our amazing sponsors and supporters.
The most important aspect of organising parkrun events is of course that each local event is delivered by a team of amazing volunteers and in the UK in 2012 over 20,000 different people volunteered 91,000 times. If you think you’d like to start a parkrun event in your local community then feel free to complete the form below.