If you’re looking to get outside and try a bit of fresh air and light exercise, why not try out a Parkrun. This enjoyable running event is free and incredibly easy to join and actually participate in.
Originally called the Bushy Park Time Trial and started by Paul Simon-Hewitt in London in 2004. It grew steadily in the UK into a few events called the UK Time Trials, and eventually expanded to Leeds in 2007.
It was renamed Parkrun in 2008, and the following year the first Parkrun outside the UK was held in Denmark.
The growth of the Parkrun internationally since 2009 has been phenomenal, and currently there are over twenty countries that hold Parkruns. The founder of the Parkrun Paul Simon-Hewitt has been honoured numerous times for his philanthropy in the sports world, his start-up that encourages so many to exercise.
With Global participation only at 10000 by April 2011 it has exceeded 100000 in 2017, so its popularity is not dwindling. Currently there are over four million registered people on Parkrun, with a lucky Pakrunner in South Africa getting the Parkrun ID of 4,000,000.
Current Countries hosting Parkrun events:
- South Africa
- New Zealand
- United States
So if you happen to live in one of these countries or need to exercise while you are on holiday on one of these countries, register and go for a quick run outside. You would see a lot more of the local scenery compared to checking out the local breakfast place.
How does it work?
Parkruns are a collection of events that are run over kms, every Saturday morning and participation is free. Parkruns are run by volunteers, with these volunteers being supplied the necessary training and equipment from the Parkrun head quarters.
Most of the Parkrun events take place in public parks, or possibly on a beach, and some have even been held at a prison. Each event is run by those volunteers with different roles; these volunteers are given a volunteer page. This volunteer page provides the basics of what to expect from that event, as well as thanking prior volunteers and a list of frequently asked questions and answers.
These volunteers are the backbone of the Parkrun, and the reason it can run as a not for profit sport event. The Parkrunners are encouraged to volunteer occasionally, to ensure everyone gets a chance to run.
Parkruns use up to date tech to ensure timing is kept accurately. Parkrunners register advance online and receive a unique barcode with their personalised athlete number. Volunteers at the finish line record each athlete’s race time on a stopwatch that exports the data to a computer.
This volunteers issues a tag to the runner who take the tag to a second volunteer to scan the Parkrunners barcode and tag, there by recording the athlete’s time and recording it.
So get some exercise on a Saturday morning and spend the rest of the weekend checking out a online gambling casino, and relaxing with the knowledge that you are healthy and fit.