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What is Parkrun?

Natalie Moore

Any runner in the world would have likely heard of parkrun.

Any non-runner probably has not. I have learnt pretty quickly that this is the case more often that not.

And I have to say each time I get a confused look when I mention parkrun that it surprises me. I too only a couple of years ago, did not know about them and I feel it is now time that I introduce non-runners to this running experience.

Parkrun was created in 2004 by Paul Sinton Hewitt in the UK. He had a vision that everyone and anyone should be able to run for free, safely and in any community across the world.

So what is it exactly?

Parkrun is a global phenomenon. Every Saturday around the globe, runners from all walks of life congregate to an area local to them and they run the designated 5km track. What's more, it is FREE and if you are interested it is timed.

As a runner myself and now a small business owner of a running inspired business, I love this concept and idea. It is the perfect opportunity for people who are starting to run, recreational runners or advanced runners to do what they love in a larger group without pressure.

Research and studies into health and wellbeing, highlight that doing something you are passionate about along with having a connection to/with people promotes happiness within ourselves. Parkrun presents both opportunities.

I had recently joined the Cairns parkrun last weekend and the feeling of belonging was instantaneous. I had never met a single person running at 7am that morning but I was surrounded by like minded people who were simply out to run, judgements non-existent, inhibitions gone and just the pure enjoyment of being outdoors and running evident. My passion for seeing others giving running a go has grown ten-fold since I started Running Fit Box and I want to spread my message as to the mind, body, soul benefits of it.

I feel it would be unjust for me to not inform non-parkrunners as to the weekly parkrun events. No matter where you are in the world, you can search for your local parkrun, sign up and then join the group for a run. What’s more parkrun is run purely by volunteers. People from within the local community, so even if you find yourself not being able to run you can join as a volunteer.

I am big on setting goals and I love that parkrun is a run set at the same time, week in week out. Even if you are travelling, you can be sure that there will be a parkrun somewhere in the world.

Parkrun will help you set small running goals each week. It will promote consistency each week and if you do not come away from a Saturday Parkrun with a sense of achievement and fullness in your heart I would be very surprised.

Running doesn't have to be time consuming or expensive and parkrun promotes this same message. I am pretty sure once you start on the parkrun experience there is a fair chance you will re-evaluate your goals and take your running goals further than you could ever have expected. But what is so wrong with that.

 

Check out the ParkRun Website www.parkrun.com.au



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