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Monday, 15 November 2010

parkrun is.......free!

That's right, parkrun is free. Free to join and free to run each week. Is this the most amazing fact about parkrun....it must be a contender at the very least.

When I first heard about parkrun back in March or April this year, this was the thing I found hardest to believe. I had been out running around War Memorial Park in Coventry on my own one Saturday morning, I had seen what looked to me like an organised run going on in the park and I had decided to investigate. When I eventually found out that it was parkrun and read all about it, I could not understand how it could be free.

Quoting the parkrun homepage, "parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in." and "parkrun aims to have an event in every community that wants one."

Isn't this amazing? Open to everyone, already in many towns and cities around the UK, run like clock-work, timed, marshalled and all this for free.

So what's the catch? There is no catch. You sign up and then turn up as and when it suits you. You don't have to be committed, but if you are anything like me your committment will come, borne out of the pure addictiveness of parkrun and everything about it.

All that parkrun asks is that every so often each parkrunner takes their turn at being a volunteer. All this means is that maybe 3 times a year, each parkrunner should miss a run and take on one of the jobs that helps to make it all run so smoothly. This may be as a marshall, pointing the way, clapping and giving encouragement to the runners. It may be as run photographer taking photos, running the timing system or giving out placing tokens. None of the jobs are tough, but each job needs to be done and helps to make parkrun run as smoothly as it does each week. Giving may be just 3 Saturday mornings a year to allow yourself and hundreds of other parkrunners to have a free event every week is not much to ask and is well worth it in my opinion.

parkrun costs you nothing, so why not give it a go. Click here for more information on Coventry parkrun or here for the list of all parkrun events.

I hope to see you there soon.

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