6 months ago ‘park run’ simply meant going for a run in the park to me. I was confused why boyfriend’s Dad & best friend’s mum were such avid fans of getting to the 8am start line on Saturday Mornings to flounce around a field. Was it something I’d be interested in during my 50 + years?!
Regardless, I gave it a go and realised what park run is. A community event, completely free and accurately timed using barcode technology. Park runs happen every Saturday AM in thousands of locations across the globe, which you can check out here.
But why do I make it a priority every week?
- Community spirit
Being solely run on volunteers makes the atmosphere fantastic. A huge mix of ages participate – I’ve seen kids as young as 4 and OAP’s in their 80’s (who overtake me!) Whilst there are pro athletes who pretty much sprint it, there are groups who speed walk with their dogs or parents pushing prams, all adding to the community atmosphere!
- Goal setting
About 1 hour after each run you are emailed your time along with a dashboard allowing you do filter results by age, gender etc, so you can set yourself goals for next time e.g. mine is to come in the top 10 females in September.
- 100% Free
I’ve paid a lot of $£$ for timed runs in the past – half marathons, 10 and 5k’s, as I thought this was necessary for participating in running events. Park run has made me realised this is not the case.
- Post run fun
At the moment, our local Park run is running a free yoga class after the run by professional instructors. No more tight ITB’s
- The best breakfast after
Food tastes so good when going for breakfast with your fellow runners, with endorphins flying around and a depleted energy store.
- Start local, think global
The majority of the runs that I’ve done have been at my local Sydney park, where about 350 runners meet each week. However, when travelling around Australia we’ve also tried some others and again, the community spirit and fun vibe has been there at every one. My personal favourite has been South beach run in Adelaide.