Festive Reflections

By Paul Sinton-Hewitt, parkrun founder
— Sunday 21 December 2014

Well what an amazing 12 months we’ve had!

Looking back to this time last year and as we turned the corner in to 2014 (our tenth year), we had 355 events and around 760,000 registered parkrunners. Now, as we enter December’s finishing funnel, we’ve added another 200 events, have surged through the 1.3 million registered runners milestone and recorded over 7.3 million runs in this period.

All of this is made possible of course by our wonderful team of volunteers. About 6,000 of you volunteer your time each week to make sure parkrun continues to happen in your local area.

It was touching to see these efforts recognised in the UK last week, with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards promoting JoinIn’s #BigThankYou saluting volunteers across the country.

British 10,000m World Champion, Commonwealth Games bronze medalist and super-mum Jo Pavey (who came third in the SPOTY contest) took the opportunity on the night to personally phone and thank one of our UK Event Directors for her efforts volunteering at parkrun!

So let’s follow Jo’s lead and say a #BigThankYou to the volunteers at parkrun over this festive period.

Online store and an adidas discount

2014 saw the launch of our online store, with the help of our retail partner Wiggle. We have big things planned for the store over the coming months, but for now we can let you know that the range of adidas items still in stock will be available with a 20% discount. So if you need a last minute Christmas present, or want to treat yourself, head over to www.wiggle.com/parkrun to take full advantage of this fantastic offer.

The Limited Edition t-shirts we produced to mark the 10th anniversary of parkrun have proved popular, and it’s been wonderful to see the pictures of you wearing them in all sorts of places across the globe! This was a truly one-off order and we only have a few left. A massive thanks to everyone who has purchased one so far. The profit from these sales goes directly to ensuring we continue to deliver a free weekly parkrun in every community that wants one.

Talking of the 10th anniversary…

Of course on a personal level, this was a huge year for me. Not only was parkrun ten years old but I was honoured to receive a CBE from the Queen which is a daily reminder of the brilliant work all our volunteers do to make parkrun happen.

More holiday offers

You might have seen we recently announced a partnership with Jabra, the headphone manufacturer. The team at Jabra are parkrunners themselves and have been keen to support us with a global partnership. Of course we must be careful about the use of headphones whilst at events – we don’t want anyone to miss important instructions. But we also recognise that some folks enjoy wearing headphones for motivation, as a means of listening to podcasts and monitoring training. We particularly like that Jabra offer wireless headphones – no more annoying wires getting in the way of our running!

In eligible countries, parkrunners can enjoy a 20% discount on Jabra sport headphones until January the 5th 2015 by simply clicking on the display advert on our website.

What’s in store for 2015?

So what’s in store for 2015? Essentially, more of the same. There will be lots of exciting announcements over the coming months that we know you are going to love.

No question we will continue to grow… but we’ll be happy if we continue to be known as ‘those runs where you make friends’.

A heartfelt #BigThankYou from us all to our wonderful parkrun event teams in each of our countries for a tremendous 2014. Have a safe and prosperous festive period, and we look forward to seeing many of you at parkruns across the world in 2015.

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