What is Parkrun? Why This Free Event Is Worth Your Time

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What is Parkrun? Why This Free Event Is Worth Your Time


Have you heard people talking about Parkrun? Or maybe during a morning run you found yourself passing some flags and people in neon vests, wondering if it was a race?

Even better, it’s something you can join to find running friends!what is parkrun

On October 2, 2004, Paul Sinton-Hewitt, feeling down about an injury that squashed his hopes for ever running a marathon, gathered 13 friends for a timed run in their local London park. That self-organized fun run eventually became an official organization known today as Parkrun.

Parkrun is free, weekly timed running event held in local parks across the globe every Saturday morning. Everyone is welcome to join, no matter the pace, running background, or ability.

Since that first run with Sinton-Hewitt and his friends, Parkrun has expanded across the world. In April 2019, Japan became the 21st country to host an event. In its 15 years of existence, over 6 million runners have participated in the free event.

Most of you reading this are suddenly coming across Parkrun USA events and wondering how to get involved, so here’s your primer!

How Parkrun USA Works

Participation in a local Parkun event couldn’t be more simple:

  • Register
  • print your barcode (which serves as your timekeeper. No barcode, no results)
  • show up on Saturday morning
  • run!

Registration is completely free and all paces and abilities are welcome.

While the runs are timed, the events are non-competitive. From parents pushing kiddos in strollers to dogs, prisoners and Olympic…

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