parkrun is a free, weekly, 5km timed run, open to all ages and abilities, held every Saturday morning at over 450 locations around the world, almost 300 of them in the UK and, with the arrival of Portobello parkrun on 18 April 2015, 18 in Scotland.
To participate, all you have to do is register, the night before your first run is fine, and print off the barcode you will be sent a link to. Then all you have to do is turn up at 9:15, ready to run, with your barcode, listen to the first-timer’s briefing, and run. Each event is managed and marshaled by volunteers who make everyone feel welcome, and you’ll get lots of encouragement from them and the other participants. Once you’ve run and had your barcode and finishers token scanned at the finish, you’ll receive an email, and a text message if you provide a mobile phone number when you register, with your time and finishing position. Once you’ve run a few times you’ll be able to track your progress on the parkrun web site, improve your personal best and gain entry to the 50, 100 and 250 Clubs, earning yourself Tribesports technical running shirts in the process.
Since the first Edinburgh event began on the promenade at Cramond in October 2009, 78 ERN members have run at least one parkrun, with several running many more, two members having completed over 100 parkruns, and a further three have completed 50, gaining entry to the parkrun 100 Club and 50 Club respectively, in the process! More details on the Edinburgh parkrun web page.
Like many free events, parkrun couldn’t operate without the assistance of the volunteers on the day. Participants are encouraged to volunteer and you may be given the opportunity to take on a role such as timing, registration, finish funnel management, marshalling, dealing with runners’ enquiries, and assist with set up and take down of the event’s start/finish area and signing. Those who volunteer regularly can also earn a Volunteer milestone club t-shirt from Tribesports.