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Tuesday, 16 November 2010

parkrun is...a race

Is parkrun really a race? Well the simple answer is yes, or course it is. But to be honest, parkrun is whatever you want it to be. It can be a race against others, a race against yourself (or your PB), a training run, a warm-up, a warm-down, a social event or any other reason for running - should anyone need a reason to run, other than for fun that is!

If you take the first 15 or 20 people in every parkrun, they certainly look like they are treating it as a race. In truth, many of the fastest parkrunners are probably treating it as a training run. Just another excuse to get out there and do a few more miles in a nice friendly, relaxed environment. But parkrun isn't really about those fastest runners, at least not in my opinion anyway.

parkrun is all about the all-inclusive aspect, anyone can join, everyone that wants to should join.

For me, it started as a bit of fun, became a challenge to better my personal best (PB) and move up the field and has now become a weekly event in my life that I always look forward to whatever the weather. Though this last statement may be tested now as I head into my first winter of parkrun. And to be honest, at the Coventry parkrun we have been blessed with pretty good weather almost without exception. So often, 9am on a Saturday morning, War Memorial Park in Coventry seems to get the best weather of the weekend. Almost without fail I find myself commenting on what a lovely morning it is. Typically this is during the post race adrenaline high phase of my race recovery.

If you want to treat it as a race, there will be plenty of like minded individuals. If you run a consistent time each week, you will see many of the same faces around you each week, plus plenty of new faces as parkrun is on the up-and-up and attracting new participants every week.

In summary, if you want parkrun to be a race, it certainly can be. It certainly is for me most weeks, both against my PB and the same people that I meet week in and week out and slowly but surely start to consider more as friends than rivals. Long may that continue!


  1. 'sup Wilko, love to see the evangelism! If you're down in London at any point, give me a shout and we'll go do the Finsbury parkrun! Be warned: it has a PIG of a hill.

    I'm also hooked on the parkruns, although there's always a bit around halfway when I think my legs are going to fall off and I wonder if I'm going mad.

    Look forward to seeing you at the Cov event again some time soon!

    Danny Mac

    ps. At the risk of detracting from the 'parkrun' angle, I'm doing the Sphinx Coombe 8 on the 28th... interested?? (It's a Sunday, so no fixture clash!)

  2. Hey Danny, that is Danny Mac as in...we met at Russ' stag do in Cov, right? I'm sure it must be.

    Won't be able to make the Combe 8 as I am seeing some mates that weekend. Sorry.

    Look forward to seeing you at the Cov parkrun again sometime soon.


I would love to hear what you think.