welcome to the newsletter
In this month’s newsletter, we look at how the world celebrated parkrun’s 10th anniversary, journey to South Africa to discover a porcine parkrun, and learn what gets one Clermont runner out of bed for those early Florida starts.
It’s been a month today since we marked 10 years of parkrunning, so it seems a good moment to stop and look back at how everyone partied (hint: there was a lot of running involved). Our three runs in the US saw 114 runners join the festivities, with most of those at the ever-popular and much loved Clermont Waterfront event. Here they are below, smiles all around and ready to run!
From Poland to Ireland, South Africa to Australia and Singapore, everybody was celebrating the big 10. Around the world, a jaw-dropping 80,047 people got up on a Saturday morning, laced up their shoes, and had a trot around a park with their families, friends, and neighbors. South Africa’s army of parkruns saw over 11,000 people turn up, and Australia and Singapore had 14,716 runners and nearly 900 volunteers.
But the most amazing display had to have been where it all started, in Bushy Park, London. The tale of those first 13 runners, brought together by parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt, has reached the status of folklore in the international parkrunning community. They and five volunteers showed up on that October morning in 2004 to run together as friends, never knowing what would unfold over a decade. So it must have been a special thing for all who made the pilgrimage to Bushy Park on October 4 to see all 18 of the runners and volunteers from that first event. But don’t take my word for it - go read UK Country Manager Tom Williams’ amazing first-hand account of that magical morning for yourself!
Here’s to the first decade of parkrun and several more to come!
Julie from parkrun USA (get in touch)
parkrun and the IAAF
parkrun would like to announce that it has joined forces with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to become a Partner of Athletics for a Better World.
You can read more about this programme here.
Each week parkrun introduces more venues across the globe where people can take part in a free, fun filled, 5k run. In doing so we are delivering social change in all the countries that we operate in. As an example, last week we witnessed nearly 80,000 people enjoying a walk, jog or run at one of our friendly events, which is only made possible because of the commitment and generosity of 90,000 volunteers since parkrun began. This weekend’s events were brought to you by nearly 6,300 of our wonderful volunteers.
With over 1.2 million people registered and growing by over 14,000 new members each week, parkrun’s welcoming attitude and community focus makes it an ideal place for social change to take place. Each week we celebrate everyone’s achievements at each of our 500+ locations.
By introducing this partnership, the IAAF and parkrun accept that we have a global responsibility to use the power and reach of athletics to make a positive difference in peoples lives.
By Paul Sinton-Hewitt, parkrun founder
parkrun USA in numbers – October 2014
Number of runners - 245
Number of volunteers - 57
Number of first timers - 62
Number of PRs - 46
what in the parkrun world…?
This section of the newsletter features an introduction to one of the more than 400 parkruns around the world. This week, we look at (get ready for this) Piggly Wiggly parkrun in beautiful Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Those of us in the south east of the US or in a couple of select states outside of the south (along with fans of the film Steel Magnolias) know the Piggly Wiggly to be an oddly named chain of grocery stores. But it seems that it is also the name of a country village in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands town of Howick. According to their parkrun page, the Piggly Wiggly course runs over paths, grass, and dirt, looping around a vineyard one time to complete the 5K. Afterwards, runners go to Piggly Wiggly for coffee and breakfast, though there’s no indication that anyone has attempted to abbreviate the name to simply “The Pig” as happens with the US Piggly Wiggly.
It’s been just over three months since Piggly Wiggly parkrun started on July 19, and they have since completed 16 events. There have been a total of 25 different male and female first finishers with course records being held by Luzaan De Wit at 21:15 for females, Owen Bengo at 17:39 for males, and Carol Alison at an age grading of 83.58%. 412 runners have earned 233 PRs and represented 34 running clubs. With a record attendance of 86 and an average weekly turnout of 59.3 runners, parkrun seems to have quickly become part of the Howick community. It’s great to know we have a Piggly Wiggly in the parkrun family!
parkrun 10th anniversary tee on sale
To celebrate 10 years of parkrun, a limited edition commemorative tee-shirt is on sale through our online store. Available in both adult and junior sizes, all profits go back into parkrun to support our growth. Wear one and be parkrun proud!
Clermont Waterfront parkrun
November 27 – Thanksgiving Day (Thursday) parkrun at 7:30AM
November 22 – Clermont Turkey Trot (8:00 at the Historic Village)
December 6 – Santa Fun Run Rotary 5K (8:30 at Waterfront Park)
Durham NC parkrun
Volunteers wanted! If you’re staying in town for Thanksgiving and interested in helping out, please let Martin or Julie know on any given Saturday morning, or you can email them. There’s a free, dented can of cranberry sauce for all helpers.
feedback from the field
Greetings Clermont, this is Leicester, England, calling!
Just want to say how much I enjoyed my Clermont Waterfront parkrun debut at the weekend. It was an absolute pleasure to meet you all. Thank you so much for all your efforts in helping me get there, it was
very much appreciated. I hope very much to be back in the not-too-distant future. We visit Orlando at least once a year so I shall do my best to ensure a visit to Clermont is on my holiday itinerary from now on, though am expecting continued resistance from the Mr. who neither shares my passion for parkrun nor agrees with the early starts! Thanks again for a wonderful welcome on Saturday and for all your help and kindness.
Hope our paths cross again soon.
Anne (aka Mrs. Bland!) xx
Thank you for the great photos on your Facebook page from today! I really enjoyed them, and they are some of the first of me running in a long time that I won't even be embarrassed to share! - Steve Begin on Livonia’s Facebook page.
Sometimes it's not about a PB, but about running with friends. - parkrun Volunteer and photographer Tom Griffin’s note and photo (below) on Durham NC’s Facebook page
We want to hear from more of our runners, volunteers, and parkrun tourists! Get in touch with me, leave a note on a parkrun USA event’s Facebook page, or send an email via the event’s parkrun page.
Drop us an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.
parkrunner of the month
Name: Paris Davis
Club: Black Girls Run Orlando
Home parkrun: Clermont Waterfront
Number of runs: 41
Favourite volunteer role: Finish tokens
What do you do at parkruns: To be honest, I’m always running late for parkrun. I always leave a little later than I’d planned and have to rush to get there. Once I’m there, I usually do more walking than running.
How has parkrun changed your running: When I first started going to parkrun, I couldn’t even run from one room in my house to another. It took me an hour to finish my first parkrun. But I kept coming back and have brought my time down about 10 or 15 minutes since that first run. I can’t run a whole lot, but I keep trying and am doing better. I hope to run the whole 3.1 miles and do it in under 45 minutes. Another goal I have is to finish a half-marathon in December.
What do you like about parkrun: The night before parkrun, I find myself hoping and praying that it will be cold or raining in the morning so I can give myself an excuse to skip parkrun. But every Saturday morning, I still get out of bed and get ready to run. I even made myself go in the rain not long ago, even after giving myself an excuse to stay home. And it’s because of the people there: that’s why I get up and go. I just like going to hang out with the people, talking and being at parkrun.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: One memorable moment was the parkrun when I started running and I felt so good when I got started that I kept on going and didn’t stop until I’d passed the one-mile marker. I couldn’t believe I managed to run one mile in 12 minutes without stopping. But my most memorable parkrun was last year when I got a PR on my birthday. Like I said, I was taking an hour to finish when I first started. So to finish parkrun in 45 minutes on my 60th birthday was a really special moment for me.
.: We want to hear your parkrun story! To be the featured parkrunner of the month in an upcoming newsletter, fill in your answers to the questions above and email them to me along with a jpeg image of you at your local event or on the road as a parkrun tourist.