parkrun UK 2017 Run Report

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pre-event welcome

parkrun UK: 2017 Run Report


2017 run report



Paul’s pre-event welcome


Sweaty Selfies


parkrun around the world


A safe environment for all


The joy of volunteering


I will be back


The volunteers


Helping to keep parkrun free


A precious gift




UK parkrun & junior parkrun in 2017


Analysing the numbers


As easy as that


Global activities 2017


Homeless to 100


Changes across the board


2018 and beyond


Core team


Introduction by Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE

Tom Williams

Jaz Bangerh

Words by: Simon Kingsley-Young

Words by: Azara Storm Chittock

Our impact

Chrissie Wellington


Important first steps


An enormous sense of satisfaction


Collaboration is key

Words by: Kelly Barton

Words by: Helen Walcott

Helen Hood

Words by: Jane Goodchild

Words by: Brendan Spellman

Nick Pearson


2017 run report


pre-event welcome

Paul’s pre-event welcome “2017 was a watershed year for parkrun and junior parkrun.” We were able to demonstrate the tangible impact that parkrun is having like never before, and we took significant steps to proactively engaging with the people who have the most to benefit from a free, weekly, socially-focussed event in the open air. ​ For me, 2017 started the same way as it did for 15,589 other parkrunners globally - with a New Year’s Day ‘double’. That day I ran at Poolsbrook parkrun in Chesterfield and Graves parkrun in Sheffield, and throughout the remainder of the year I attended a further 44 different parkrun and junior parkrun events. During my travels it was wonderful to meet so many amazing folk and see the way the parkrun concept has been embraced all over the world. I will never tire of hearing how parkrun has inspired people to make a positive change in their life or how it has helped to unite a community. But what really has the most profound effect on me personally is meeting parkrunners who were previously inactive - people who thought that running wasn’t for them, who believed organised physical activity was daunting or inaccessible, who didn’t realise that walkers are not just welcomed at parkrun but they also get the loudest cheers. It’s these parkrunners who embody what our movement has always strived for: personal empowerment. Throughout 13 years of watching parkrun grow and travelling around the world chatting to parkrunners, what has become most apparent to me is the discrepancy between different sections of society when it comes to accessing physical activity. This can take many forms: for some people it is based on geography, income or culture, for many it’s a negative experience in the past such as being forced to run around a muddy playing field at school, while for others it is a disability or long-term health condition. parkrun is committed to representing those individuals who don’t have those same opportunities as others, and it is imperative that as a movement we understand and appreciate those challenges and develop creative solutions. Whatever the reasons and whatever the barriers, 2017 was a transformational year in our ability to proactively engage with people for whom physical activity and volunteering is not the norm and therefore who potentially have the most to gain. Thousands of parkrunners now belong to peer support groups that cover ten different disabilities and long term health conditions. Furthermore, we

fostered closer links with the NHS as more and more health professionals began ‘prescribing’ parkrun to their patients. Finally, the launch of Black Combe parkrun the first parkrun event inside a prison - was an historic moment that proved the parkrun model can reach the most vulnerable people in our society. In 2017 we continued to redefine what it means, and looks like, to be physically active. The average finish time at 5k parkruns in the UK was 28 seconds slower than the previous year, and more than 50,000 people who took part identified themselves at registration as being inactive, clear evidence that we continue to be viewed as a first step to a more active lifestyle. Access to opportunity doesn’t just apply to walkers and runners, it applies to volunteers as well. In 2017 alone we saw 117,000 different people volunteer at parkrun and junior parkrun events in the UK, and I would like to personally thank all of you: from the people who set each course up on a Saturday or Sunday morning, to those who process the results and post the photos and run reports online afterwards, to the Event Directors and the network of hundreds of ambassadors. All of you play an integral role and I am immensely proud of everyone who pulled on the hi-vis. Of course, parkrun wouldn’t happen each week without everybody who walks, jogs and runs. Nor would it be possible without our commercial partners and sponsors, the councils and landowners who provide permission every weekend for our events to take place, and our small but dedicated team of paid staff. I thank you all. For parkrun to be successful it is critical that we remember that we are a community of equals in which every single person shares the same value and where every single one of you plays a part. The continued commitment and support from each of you means that we are in a stronger position than ever before. No matter how much we evolve and how much more efficient we become as an organisation, what drives us more than anything is to keep the parkrun experience the same as it has been since the beginning. As we reflect on our achievements from 2017 there is no doubt that we are in a fantastic position to continue with our mission to help make the world a healthier and happier place. Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE parkrun Founder A1674


2017 run report

parkrun around the world At the start of 2017 there were just over 1,000 parkrun events across the world, with 44% of those spread across 15 countries outside of the UK. Over the following twelve months we launched in another 300 locations, with the majority of those outside of the UK, and saw the share of non-UK parkrun events rise to 48%. Whilst our long-term vision is to make parkrun accessible to everyone, everywhere, we currently turn down the large majority of requests from new countries. This is because our primary responsibility is to support the existing parkrun communities, and therefore any future expansion should only be committed to alongside a robust and well thought-out strategy. So, with this at the front of our minds in 2017, we set about streamlining the process of event activation. Working with an Australian app developer we created our Virtual Volunteer, a mobile-based timing and scanning app


with the potential to replace a number of items of hardware we currently send to every event. In December we launched parkrun Germany as an ‘app-only’ territory where for the first time we didn’t supply timers, scanners, or laptops. Initial feedback is that whilst rain and extreme cold do prove challenging, this system works really well, allowing event teams to easily record and process results, and allowing us to significantly reduce the cost per event startup.

“With 2017 seeing the introduction of parkrun Norway, parkrun Finland, and parkrun Germany (taking our total number of countries to 19) we certainly learned a lot.”

Finally, as a fan of numbers, it would be remiss of me not to pick out a couple of fun milestones. My favourite two would be having one million walkers, joggers, and runners, in a We also developed our operational single calendar month for the first processes around creating new time (in April, thanks to five weekends), events, allowing us to remove our self- and our global weekend participation imposed cap of eight new events per record (including volunteers) of week. Whilst the benefit of this would 235,441 people on the 14th and not be seen until 2018, the majority of 15th of October. the work was done in 2017 and, again, formed part of our strategy to support Tom Williams significant international growth. Chief Operating Officer A6013 We’re still learning the best and most efficient way of taking parkrun around the world.

The joy of volunteering In last year’s Run Report we featured a number of parkrunners who highlighted the benefits of volunteering, and we looked at the financial value that volunteers contributed in terms of the number of hours they gave to parkrun in 2016. Since then we have significantly developed our understanding of what volunteering is about.

“Volunteering is every bit as beneficial a form of physical activity as walking, jogging, or running, and it provides a fantastic opportunity for people to participate in their community.” I’d even go as far as saying we have redefined, in our minds, what being physically active actually means. Whilst the established view is that it’s measured in heart rate, calories, intensity, or duration, we increasingly believe that it’s much less tangible than that. Aspects such as personal development, social interaction, and exposure to a natural environment add huge value to physical activity, yet are not accounted for in the aforementioned measures and are often undervalued by those looking to improve their health and wellbeing. Whilst we’ve always understood the

function of volunteering and how it can effectively add operational capacity at scale, it’s only in the past year or two that we have really begun to understand how beneficial it is to the volunteer in terms of health and wellbeing. So often we hear negative terminology around volunteering, even from prominent members of the volunteering sector, with comments such as “giving up their time”, “doing their bit”, or “giving something back”. All of those statements position volunteering as something that should be done for reasons other than the simple joy of volunteering. This strongly contradicts the significant feedback we receive every day, where the act of volunteering has changed people’s lives. Throughout 2017 we saw a weekly average of around 12,000 volunteers supporting our 5k and junior events in the UK. An amazing number, and one area of parkrun where we have significantly changed our approach since the early days. Originally, when we saw volunteering as a necessity in order to put on runs for other people, our aim was to reduce the number of volunteers to the smallest amount possible. Now, with our new-found understanding, it is quite the opposite.

come along to help out. Roles can be easily delegated so that people can do small or large bits of volunteering, and there is an opportunity for collective volunteering so people can do roles such as marshalling and tail walking in groups or with their friends. There is a volunteering opportunity for everyone regardless of age, background or ability. parkrun volunteers come from all walks of life, which brings a diverse range of skills, expertise, support and opportunities. Volunteers are referred to as parkrunners in the same way as walkers, joggers and runners are. Volunteering opportunities are promoted, and we continually strive to make it as easy and accessible as possible. parkrun has always been committed to celebrating the volunteers who make a significant contribution to parkruns around the globe every week. The next step is to celebrate everything that is positive about volunteering. Jaz Bangerh Head of HR & Volunteer Management A7786

The parkrun model makes volunteering easy and accessible and anybody can


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2017 run report

A PRECIOUS GIFT Words by: Simon Kingsley-Young

When Simon Kingsley-Young was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety a few years ago, he made a commitment to do something every day to get himself out of his house. Weekdays weren’t a problem because he had several things to do each day - it was the weekends that he struggled with. If it wasn’t for junior parkrun and parkrun I would still be struggling to get up and out. I am not keen on talking about myself, so I am doing this to help others to understand mental health issues and to show that volunteering is an awesome reason to get up. For me it’s important to spread the word about parkrun and mental health issues, and the fact that I can do both is great. I hope that by sharing my experiences I can do my bit to make someone else’s life a little easier. In the summer of 2015, whilst I was going through a bad phase of mental health issues, I gave up the other seats at a cafe table I was sitting at to a woman named Shelagh. Shelagh happened to be part of the core team of a junior parkrun that was about to launch, and she introduced me to a group of adults. The following Sunday I found myself volunteering as a course marshal at the inaugural Haywards Heath junior parkrun, and that’s what I’ve been doing almost every Sunday since. I’ve now volunteered 139 times at Haywards Heath junior parkrun and Clair parkrun. This cafe where I first met Shelagh had become my own home away from home because it’s a place where I feel comfortable. My 14-year-old son Louis calls it my ‘town office’. I spend several hours every day there, the wonderful staff know me by name, and it’s where I meet Louis’ mother,


my support worker, and anyone else who I need to see. Even though I spent that time with Shelagh and had done some research on the parkrun UK website in the week leading up to volunteering for the first time, I was still quite anxious walking to the park. I was overthinking what the scenarios were that could cause me harm, and thinking over the possible escape routes. Having worked in retail for more years than I care to remember, I can appear, to others, on the outside as if nothing is wrong, that I am as cool as a cucumber in most situations; but inside my heart rate is high, my breathing is affected, anxious thoughts rush around my head and I can get a dry mouth and clammy. With experience, I can put a smile on my face and crack a poor one liner to help me cope, so I would say that I’m a swan, graceful and happy above the water line, but paddling like crazy underneath. But lo and behold, with junior parkrun I needn’t have put myself through all that thinking and stressing. On arrival I recognised Shelagh and she explained that it would be sensible to have me in a regular position, which helped. One of my concerns with volunteering at junior parkrun was that I get easily anxious and have no real way of knowing when it may strike. So having ‘my corner’ helps with regularity and structure in my routine. In my situation, and in many other people’s,

a change is not always a good thing. Thankfully the core team were very obliging in giving me my own marshal spot, and they have always been completely accommodating. I didn’t know anyone else there that first morning, but I got chatting to some of the other marshals with Shelagh’s help. By talking to the other volunteers, I soon realised that many of them had never volunteered at a junior parkrun before, which helped pacify me, as others could well be feeling just as anxious about the ‘unknown’. I found myself telling people about my mental health issues and that I saw volunteering as a way of managing my time and life. junior parkrun is something incredibly special. To see these children doing something that is going to improve their health and wellbeing throughout their lives is awesome. These young people are the future of our local communities and if being there on my corner giving encouragement and handing out high fives helps them get around with a smile and sense of achievement, then I feel as though I have achieved something too. Sometimes I have volunteered as photographer and this really helps me too as it clears my mind. I have certainly improved my photography skills through volunteering at both junior parkrun and Clair parkrun. I have even had one of my images published as the parkrun UK Facebook cover photo. I like that, as someone can see that I am good at something,

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which is an aspect that I have real issues with.

watching over me and touched me when I most needed it.

Through volunteering at junior parkrun, I have met three people I feel comfortable to be around and talk with. They are understanding, caring and supportive. I can often turn up with my head flying around in circles and they can see that I’m struggling, but then they come up and speak to me and this is massively appreciated. There has even been an occasion when I was standing on a platform and I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned to see no one there, so I have to assume someone I care for was

Volunteering has helped me slowly move forward and head in the right direction, and I have done all sorts of volunteering since I started marshalling at junior parkrun. I have been a room guide at a National Trust property, marshalled at the Mid Sussex Marathon Weekend, and I am part of the organising team for the Greater Haywards Heath Bike ride that raises much needed funds for local causes. I am also a project co-ordinator with the Bentswood Community Partnership, which is

looking at running a mental health and wellbeing course in our ward and organising regular community events and workshops. From my perspective, the opportunity to volunteer is a precious gift, and doing so gives me an enormous sense of satisfaction. Simon Kingsley-Young parkrunner A1853922


2017 run report


50,793 +34% Previously inactive now running

213,748 +20% Female first-timers

409,775 +28% First-time parkrunners 12

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2,806 +59% Walks, jogs and runs by Visually Impaired people being guided. 52 VI people volunteered in 2017.

73,136 +36% People aged 55+ who completed a parkrun

87,516 +28% Participants from most deprived quartile 13

2017 run report

AS EASY AS THAT Words by: Azara Storm Chittock

Azara Storm Chittock was nine years old when she completed Brockenhurst parkrun for the first time, clutching her mum's hand most of the way around. 33 parkruns later, and having volunteered 15 different times including as Run Director, Azara explains how she is encouraging other girls to get involved in sport, and why a red face after running is so much better than not running at all. My parkrun experience didn’t get off to the sunniest of starts. I remember my first time, clutching my mum’s hand while trying to stay upright on the slippery grass of the Brockenhurst course, being lashed with rain which stung my face. By the third of four laps, I was shivering with cold, but – despite my mum saying I could stop at any point – I was determined to go on. And I did. In fact, afterwards I loved it so much that I have run 33 parkruns and have managed to knock more than six minutes off my PB. Even though I was nine when I completed my first parkrun, I’ve known about it all my life. When I was very little, I would cheer for friends we knew and those we didn’t – people who would turn out every Saturday morning to run around Bushy Park. My mum and I lived only a few metres away from the park entrance and so we would cycle down to watch, at first with me on the back of her bike and later on my own bike. These people – strangers and friends – would smile and wave in return, little knowing that they were already my inspiration. At about the same time, my mum tells me I did my first junior parkrun, though I don’t remember much about it. My only memory is of crossing the finish line with everyone else cheering for me when I came in as the final finisher! Over the next few years, running – and parkrun – became an important part of our family’s life. My mum and step-


dad got married in March 2015 when she was six months pregnant with my brother and on the morning of the wedding in Hagley Park, Christchurch, New Zealand, I supported with my Nanna as my mum, step-dad, auntie, uncle, cousins and Papa (grandfather) all ran it. The wedding celebrations took place later that day, just across the same park, but fortunately for all of us we had time to change our clothes in between! By now, we were living down on the south coast and a little later we became a family of four. It wasn’t long before parkrun became a weekly tradition for the whole family, with my little brother first of all watching and then enjoying being pushed around in the buggy. For me, parkrun has never been just about the running. I first volunteered with my mum at Brockenhurst parkrun. This was our closest parkrun until it came to our local town a couple of months later. I was so excited to help on the evening of the trial run for Lymington Woodside parkrun. Wearing my high-vis volunteer vest, I stood with my mum and showed people the way to go. Little did I know that one year later, I would be shadow Run Director and have volunteered 15 times. If you were to ask me if I prefer running or volunteering, I’d say it was a difficult decision, but I’d probably choose volunteering. Not only was this my

first official experience of parkrun, but also because I enjoy being able to help people, inspiring others to take part – running or volunteering – and supporting those who need help, sometimes needing a boost to run faster or someone to encourage them simply put one foot in front of the other. I’ve gained many skills from parkrun, such as looking out for and after other people, leadership, independence and the courage to keep on going. But, it’s also really helped me improve my confidence. I was so pleased to be asked to support one of the regular volunteers, Stuart, and be shadow Run Director on the day we celebrated the first anniversary of Lymington Woodside parkrun. On the day, I felt a range of emotions. Standing in front of more than 100 walkers, runners and volunteers, I introduced myself and gave the run briefing. Only after did I realise how much I was shaking from nerves. But it was amazing being there, cheering people on and wearing the blue and white vest of the run director. I also had the very important job of blowing out the candles on one of the many cakes, with Mac, the oldest regular runner. My family has made so many friends from parkrun and it really is one of the highlights of our week going down to support or take part. And whether we know them or not, we greet with a smile and as friends – that’s what parkrun is all about.

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I know that there’s pressure from society that means for some teenage girls sport gets harder the older you get and that often girls decide that they’re no longer interested in taking part. Sometimes, girls think it’s not cool and they believe that all that is important is appearance. But the thing is running is cool; it’s great for you in fact. It helps you to stay fit, helps you to concentrate, puts you in a good mood, introduces you to new people and gives you stamina to achieve lots of different things. Okay, it might sometimes give you a red face, but that’s nothing compared

with the benefits. And I’d rather have a red face than not run at all! Some of my friends don’t like sport and I do everything I can to encourage them to try it, because they might just enjoy it. It makes me a little bit sad because not everyone realises how important it is to support and encourage girls at my age to take part in sport. It’s really important for everyone else too, not just my peers. The great thing about parkrun is that it doesn’t matter whether you’re eight or 80,

you can be involved. All you need to do to start is simply put one foot in front of the other and then repeat. It’s as easy as that. To anyone who is thinking about doing parkrun for the first time, I’d say do it: it doesn’t matter how fast you are, you’re faster than all the people who haven’t got out of bed. I’m pretty sure that like me you’ll make friends and enjoy yourself. You’ll feel a million times better too for making the effort. Azara Storm Chittock parkrunner A2465083


2017 run report

OUR IMPACT Our work is guided by the philosophy, increasingly supported by research, that participation in parkrun contributes to improved health and wellbeing. This is now reflected in our mission statement: “a healthier and happier planet�.


pre-event welcome


2017 run report

Our work is guided by the philosophy, increasingly supported by research, that participation in parkrun contributes to improved health and wellbeing. This is now reflected in our mission statement: “a healthier and happier planet�. The benefits of physical activity are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of parkrun being a health-enabler. Friendship, community cohesion, mutual support, access to open space and fresh air, skill development and personal and professional empowerment are just some of the reasons why participation in parkrun can lead to improved mental and physical health and happiness. However, organic growth can only take us so far and targeted, tailored support is required if we are to meaningfully impact health inequalities. In 2017 we took great strides in the pursuit of our mission to make the world healthier and happier. We continue to work closely with the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) in Sheffield, who chair the


parkrun Research Board, to undertake the research and build insight in line with our priorities. We also undertake internal research which can inform the development of interventions and enable us to evaluate our impact. For example, in August 2017 we conducted a UK-wide survey to find out whether healthcare practitioners are signposting people to parkrun (also known as social prescribing), the methods for doing so and the barriers that might exist. The 1,800 plus survey responses are being used to guide our work on social prescribing. We are forging and nurturing strong relationships with the health sector in order to make advances in this area, including the recruitment of two GPs as Health and Wellbeing Ambassadors who are passionate about using parkrun to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and the communities in which they live. Furthermore, our research into those who register but don’t take part also continued. Through this we have developed important insights on which to base the development of revised email communications to new-

our impact are based on a peer support approach, led by volunteer Outreach Ambassadors with specialist expertise. By December 2017, 10 different, condition-specific groups had been set up covering asthma, blood pressure conditions, deaf and hard of hearing, dementia, diabetes, endometriosis, heart conditions, learning disabilities/ autism spectrum disorder, obesity and visual impairment.

“In 2017, UK parkrun events saw a 30% increase in the number of walks, jogs and runs by participants living in the most deprived quartile of the UK.� In February, junior parkrun in the UK welcomed its 100,000th different participant as more than 11,000 4-14 year-olds took part across 147 events that weekend. By the end of the year the number of junior events had soared to 199. Encouragingly, more than 40% of participants were accompanied by adults, showing that junior parkrun really is a family affair and can have significant health benefits for adults as well as juniors.

registrants to overcome some of the barriers to participation that have been identified. In line with our UK Participation Strategy, we have continued to promote participation by those who are least active and/or have lower levels of health. This included the significant step of establishing parkruns in prisons in order to facilitate rehabilitation, improve health and wellbeing of staff, prisoners and their families, and reduce reoffending. The first HMP-based event, Black Combe parkrun, was launched in November 2017 at HMP Haverigg in Cumbria and has catalysed significant interest from other prisons in the UK and overseas. Our initiative has been extremely well received from within and beyond the parkrun community, including the UK Government, and we intend to grow the number of HMP events in 2018 and beyond.

In 2017 we made the subtle but significant change to the title of Tail Runner to Tail Walker, as a reflection of our commitment to supporting participation by those who want to walk. In addition, we actively encourage all 5k events to have welcome briefings for first timers, and have supported the introduction of volunteers trained in British Sign Language (BSL) and the growth of a guide-runner network. Throughout 2017, we expanded our network of Outreach Ambassadors who have the specialist knowledge to work with specific communities to drive participation. We continued to nuance our messaging to ensure it resonates with our target audiences. We have also developed resources, such as the 5k and junior parkrun health and wellbeing flyers. The flyers have been disseminated to a range of stakeholders as a means of encouraging people to take part in parkrun, especially those who are inactive. *Deprivation figures calculated using Government Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) data based on home postcode of participant. Chrissie Wellington Health & Wellbeing Lead A406323

We are also expanding our activities under our PROVE (parkrun Running Or Volunteering for Everyone) and Visual Impairment (VI) projects, to increase engagement by those with long term health conditions. These projects


2017 run report

IMPORTANT FIRST STEPS In 2017, there were 64,888 instances of people taking more than 50 minutes to complete a 5k parkrun - an increase of 88% on the previous year. The average finish time at 5k parkruns in the UK gets slower every year and the number of walkers increases, a clear sign that parkrun is seen as an accessible first step towards a more active lifestyle.

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2017 run report



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When Kelly Barton’s GP asked for her help in encouraging more Visually Impaired people to become involved with Southport parkrun, she mentioned that she wouldn’t mind giving it a go herself. 12 months on and Kelly is a member of the 50 Club, is 18 minutes faster, and has some valuable advice for fellow VI parkrunners and their guides. I am in my forties (I can’t believe I’m in my forties!) and have always been registered blind due to being severely sight impaired. I have absolutely no vision in my right eye, but am very fortunate to have a tiny amount of sight in my left eye. To give an idea of what this means, someone would have to speak to me so that I know who it is or even to determine if it’s a man or woman. And I use braille, voiceover and various speech programmes to assist me in work and life generally. I’m always up for a new challenge and am happy to give most things a try. So when Simon (who is my GP) told me about parkrun, with a view to me assisting him and the Southport parkrun team in getting more visually impaired people involved, I mentioned that I wouldn’t mind giving it a go myself. One week later I did my first parkrun. I had never really thought about running. I have joined gyms in the past and have got a treadmill at home, but prior to parkrun I had never actually ran on it. A short time ago I was part of a local gym that does group personal training.

In those sessions when everyone else went out to run I stayed inside on my own and used a rowing machine because the trainers felt that running would be too difficult and inaccessible for me. I never really questioned this and just assumed that they were right – but not doing what everyone else was doing meant that I never truly felt part of their community. To my delight I found parkrun to be very different to this. It feels extremely inclusive and everyone is friendly and encouraging. There are a growing number of VI runners / guide pairings at Southport parkrun, and the volunteers are doing everything they can to make it as inclusive as possible whilst encouraging more people to be guide runners. Mike, an experienced guide, was my first guide runner. Despite knowing he had guided before, I was extremely nervous on my first run. Due to the fact that I had never run before, I had no idea if I could even complete 5k and after about the first two minutes when I began to feel out of breath, I honestly felt doomed and as though I would never complete it. But I’m happy to say that I did. The things that have really struck me about running, as someone who can’t see, are these: It feels really weird being outside and not having a cane in my hand, but putting my total trust in another person instead. Also, I feel quite nervous around crowds of people, for example at the start of the run, because I have that feeling that I am going to crash into somebody.

breaking it down for me and telling me when we have completed 1k, 2k etc. The nature of our parkrun means that we have a lake to run round which has quite a lot of lefts and rights – I like this part because of the feel of it, I have a reference point, and I know where I am. Prior to running, I had no idea what I would need from a guide runner. But I have discovered that I like to run holding the guide’s arm and I like to be told when to turn left and right and if it will be a sharp left or right - without this I think I would find it quite disorientating. It’s also nice to be told if the surface we are running on is about to change and both guides have been really good at describing who is around us, for example children, older people and couples. All these descriptions add to my overall parkrun experience and helps me to build up a picture of what’s going on around us. Overall, I love the challenge of running. It feels really liberating to be moving faster than a walking pace outdoors – it’s like having a sense of freedom that you don’t often get when you can’t see, due to having to be relatively cautious when walking outdoors. I find it difficult and I am exhausted at the end. But at the same time I feel an enormous sense of satisfaction at what I have achieved. Kelly Barton parkrunner A2989363

Finally, when I first did parkrun, I had no real concept of what 5k was. Maps mean nothing to me and I don’t have the advantage of being able to look round the park and build up a visual picture of how far I’m running. But my guides have been extremely good at


Collaboration is key

2017 run report

"How can it be that, outside of parkrun, there is no large-scale movement that has the potential to be a major part of improving the nation’s health?"


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2017 run report

Collaboration is key We recently saw the publication of the latest Active Lives Survey, which measures the number of people taking part in physical activity. This particular survey applies only to England but the findings are consistent across the UK: as a nation we are not making the strides towards greater levels of health and physical activity that we need to be. This is despite the industry ploughing hundreds of millions of pounds annually into projects designed to increase participation levels. How can it be that, outside of parkrun, there is no largescale movement that has the potential to be a major part of improving the nation’s health? To understand the barriers and develop a solution, there needs to be an acknowledgement that the rehashed and rebadged plans of the past 25 years are flawed. The patronising blame culture being adopted by a number of physical activity providers in an attempt to shame more people into activity has failed for a generation, and it is frustrating to see it being repeated. People can be forgiven for failing to engage with interventions that are prescribed by the patronising establishment, because the simple fact is that those schemes have never worked in the past. Taking sports that most people can’t access to excluded communities, or throwing some grass down in a market square once every four years to turn it into a playing field, doesn’t increase participation levels. Telling people that they need to eat less and exercise more doesn’t inspire an active lifestyle. Yet despite this, we continue to blindly follow an agenda that isn’t having the widespread impact that it should be. The first major challenge we need to overcome is this: stop judging others based on our own experiences, because as soon as you trivialise somebody else’s situation you lose your ability to influence. It’s almost a natural response to say ‘If I can fit in a 30 minute run then so can anyone’, or ‘If I can refrain from eating that packet of crisps anybody can’. We must acknowledge that for most people, finding time is hard, and running is hard. How can we support a mother of four who works two jobs and does the school run to make a positive change?


“We won’t hear anything until we stop blaming people and start listening to them.” Furthermore, our industry is not immune to the prevalence of fake news, and worryingly it is often the source. Inflated participation figures and exaggerated engagement levels are counterproductive. If we are to accurately gauge the true impact of interventions designed to improve the nation’s health then we must do so in a credible and transparent way. We have a responsibility to promote healthy lifestyles and therefore it is imperative that we also challenge the claims made by fast food chains and sugary drink companies, who argue that you can eat and drink as much as you like as long as you balance their products with something healthy. There’s no question that we have been sleepwalking into a public health crisis for a generation, and if we are serious about changing our direction of travel then two things need to happen. Firstly, we must listen to the people with whom we are trying to engage. Secondly, progress will only be made by organisations that aren’t attached to the glory of owning the solution. Collaboration is the key. It’s not all doom and gloom - progress in these areas is being made. Damaging, tabloid-type comments that people are fat because they are lazy are being challenged more than they used to be. We are beginning to understand that it’s not a lack of willpower that’s the problem: it’s an almost unlimited number of factors including environment, culture, lifestyle, income and access to facilities, to name but a few. Over the past 13 years, parkrun has developed a scalable model of operating and we have used the power of positive celebration of everyone’s achievements to encourage people to take part. And we’re not alone. GoodGym, whose members stop off on runs to support isolated older people and undertake manual labour for community organisations, and Our Parks, which works with local authorities to organise free exercise classes led by qualified instructors in parks and open spaces, are prime examples of organisations that are successfully creating access to

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regular, fun and social physical activity. The importance of developing enjoyable activities with which people have a positive relationship, rather than a pressured one, cannot be understated. While some traditional sporting organisations still can’t accept that a 40 minute 5k for some people is of equal value to their health as a 14 minute 5k is for others, there is an increasing understanding that participation is far more important than performance. The speed and intensity of physical activity doesn’t relate to the health benefits - it’s about an individual doing what works for them. parkrun is in a unique position in that we can put an event anywhere in the country, which is especially impactful in communities that have the most to gain from physical activity and volunteering. But we can’t change the world alone - a walk, jog, run or volunteer in the park on a Saturday or Sunday morning is only part of the journey to

a healthier and happier society. It is paramount that we can positively collaborate with others to help build global solutions for local communities. Nobody can own that solution, it has to come from organisations and institutions that are competent enough to listen, understand, act, and be motivated by the right outcome and a genuine desire to change.

“By empowering people to take control of their own health and happiness we can take a significant stride towards making healthy lifestyle choices a habit rather than a burden.” Nick Pearson Chief Executive Officer A18497


2017 run report


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2017 run report

SWEATY SELFIE Words by: Helen Walcott

Helen Walcott was given a five percent chance of survival when she suffered a cardiac arrest aged just 34. After overcoming the odds, she embarked on an active recovery programme that eventually led her to Brueton parkrun where she rarely misses a week. Helen credits her instant love affair with parkrun in part to the support of the Tail Walkers, so we asked her to share her remarkable story and explain the real impact that the high-vis heroes at the back of the pack make every week. In May 2012, at 34 years of age, I suffered a cardiac arrest at work. I was lucky to survive. Initially the doctors assumed it was a heart attack due to my size, but it turned out that I had suffered a cardiac arrest. I was eventually diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart’s ability to pump blood is decreased because the heart’s main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, is enlarged and weakened. At that time I was newly engaged, very shocked and frightened.

it clear that being lighter would be better because I have a weak heart. I have always been a big girl but enjoyed physical activity, and previously I had done swimming and belly dancing to keep fit. So once my recovery had progressed and I had settled in with my medication, I set about losing some weight and getting fitter. Initially I joined Slimming World and lost three stone, which gave me the confidence to start focussing more and more on exercise. I joined a local gym and started doing their classes.

Following my cardiac arrest I had an implanted cardiac defibrillator fitted that will shock my heart if it ever happens again. There is a 95% chance it won’t, but there was only a 5% chance I would survive in the first place.

By the time January 2017 came round I was feeling fitter thanks to the time in the gym, so as part of my New Year’s resolutions I decided to sign up to parkrun. My friend Charlotte is a keen runner and had got involved with parkrun as part of her training. She told me how good it was, so I looked at the website and loved all the positive comments. I signed up for my barcode, my husband laminated it and off I went to Brueton parkrun.

Being resuscitated by my work colleagues and the ambulance staff didn’t break my ribs, but they took a good bruising (I am not complaining!) so I lost any core strength I had. I couldn’t sit up in bed, so my fiancé had to haul me out of bed, help me dress and wash my hair. Consequently, my anxiety levels went through the roof and I was frightened to move. As a result, I ‘comfort ate’ and felt very sorry for myself. My doctors have never nagged me about my weight, but they did make


Suffering from anxiety, the thought of my first parkrun was really terrifying. So my friend Charlotte, who had encouraged me to sign up, offered to come with me. She also gave me loads of tips on what to wear. I wore my long gym leggings (purchased from a supermarket), trainers, an old t-shirt, long-sleeved top and a hand-crocheted woolly hat. It was

minus three degrees and sleeting but we were determined to do it anyway. I have never been so wet or so cold before! I felt really scared before the start, wondering whether I would be able to do it and whether everyone would hate me for taking so long to get round. But I needn’t have worried. Siobhan, my first Tail Walker, was so lovely and encouraging that these fears soon faded and I was able to enjoy the feeling of being outside. Afterwards, I was really proud of myself for finishing. That first hot shower when I got home had never felt so good and after that I felt like Super Woman. I took my first postparkrun selfie with my towel on my head and a HUGE grin on my face. My first parkrun was walked in 1:06 and I have not looked back since.

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One Saturday at Brueton parkrun we were all delighted to have gymnast Megan Parker volunteering as Tail Walker as part of #teamparkrun. She was behind me most of the time encouraging other walkers, and then we chatted at the end – she is a confident young woman and very supportive of parkrun. The Tail Walker role is so important because you are never last (where else could I be two seconds faster than a future Olympian?!), you feel supported, and there is someone to talk to. For me it is invaluable and I cannot thank the volunteers who tail walk enough. parkrun appeals to me because it is a supportive community and that is what I need. After the first one I couldn’t believe how encouraging everyone was – they cheered, high-

fived and kept me going. None of the volunteers scowled at me for making them stand in the sleet for more than an hour, and some even held on after they had finished to give me a kind word of encouragement. I felt like I was part of something important; a community of support to change your life. parkrun has impacted on all aspects of my life and I am very proud of my apricot vest, and I am looking forward to my first milestone t-shirt. I really enjoy reading all of the social media posts and cannot believe all the lovely comments on my Sweaty Selfie that parkrun shared. I have now done 28 parkruns and I have also volunteered. I have dropped a dress size, gained confidence, made

new friends, and I am well on the way to being able to run the whole 5k. I’m sleeping better, eating better, I am better. parkrun is the perfect place to take your first steps as a walker or runner because you don’t need any special equipment – a decent pair of trainers, some comfy clothes and your barcode – it provides a safe, supportive, friendly community. It doesn’t matter how fast you are, what you wear, who you are – it just matters that you are there. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and you WILL get there. Here’s to many more Sweaty Selfies!

Helen Walcott parkrunner A3089046


2017 run report


Over the years we have worked tirelessly to protect the parkrun experience, for walkers, runners, and volunteers, always aiming to remain as close as possible to the original Bushy parkrun spirit of a simple run in the park with your mates. Relatively little has changed over the years - you can still turn up 10 minutes before the start of parkrun and walk, jog, run, or volunteer for free. The changes we have made have been largely related to providing a safe environment for our participants and supporting the amazing volunteer teams who facilitate the events every weekend. Importantly, all of these changes have been as a result of the extensive learnings taken from delivering tens of thousands of events around the world, week after week. During 2017, in the UK, we recorded 3,964 incidents across the categories of medical, operational, safeguarding, and disputes. Each of those was entered on to our dedicated online reporting system which allows us to track trends, investigate further when necessary, and where appropriate make changes to our processes. When added to all global incidents and historical data, we believe we have a world-leading process for recording and reviewing incidents. This helps us to ensure an appropriate level of health and safety provision, whilst maintaining our principle of removing barriers to event delivery, in addition to event participation.


For example, in last year’s report we wrote that by the end of 2016 69% of 5k events had access to an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) within five minutes of their finish area.

“Having launched another 60 5k events in 2017 we increased this figure to 98%, meaning we have almost reached our goal of 100% AED coverage including junior events by the end of 2018.” Our busiest weekend in 2017 in the UK, in terms of participation, was the 28th and 29th of October, when 144,000 people walked, ran, and/or volunteered at one of the 655 5k or junior events across the country. Scaling to this size would not have been possible without a huge number of dedicated volunteers at the coal face, the parkrun Ambassadors who provide vital support to events, and our staff, who are all keeping the wheels turning and ultimately making parkrun one of the most accessible, inclusive, and safest places in the world to engage with physical activity. Helen Hood Head of Event Delivery A165246

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2017 run report

I WILL BE BACK Words by: Jane Goodchild

21 January 2017 began as a normal parkrunday for Jane Goodchild, but by that evening she was coming around in the cardiac dependency ward in hospital. Jane, who is now back running regularly at Clumber Park parkrun, expresses her gratitude to her fellow parkrunners for their quick reactions that day, and explains how nothing could stop her getting back to her beloved sporting activities. My name is Jane Goodchild, a 56-yearold woman with the mind of a 25-yearold who is always doing something that involves sport. Jogging around Clumber Park, a National Trust property in Nottinghamshire one Saturday morning with my dogs, I noticed a run was in progress in the park and I recognised some of the people from my home town of Retford. I asked them what the run was, I signed up and the following Saturday I was running my first parkrun. That was in August 2014, and I went on to join the parkrun 100 Club at Christmas 2016. After a few parkruns I decided to volunteer, which I really enjoyed, and I got a friend who did not run to come along. As well as meeting the people there is a very strong community spirit and a feeling of being part of one big ‘parkrun family’ which has been a great inspiration to me. 21 January 2017 was a normal Saturday morning, but I was extra excited because after parkrun I had planned to finish packing and travel down to Birmingham for a flight the following day to Andorra for a week’s skiing. I started the parkrun with my ‘running mate’ Paul and on the second lap had a bit of banter with my friend Sandra at marshall point four, who was encouraging me to get up the hill for the final push as I then would


normally sprint to the end. But that was not to be on this particular day, and my next memory was coming round in hospital in the cardiac high dependency ward. The following details are accounts given to me by parkrunners members, friends and family – I made it to the top of the hill with the finish stretch in sight when apparently I just fell. The group of runners around me immediately reacted to the situation and cared for me until the emergency services arrived. The defibrillator, that had only been purchased two weeks prior, was for the first time put into use. Clumber Park is a National Trust property and the team there coordinated the emergency services, the paramedics and the Air Ambulance, who all needed access to the park, and also the general public and vehicles that were still coming into the park for a day out. I was airlifted to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield. One friend travelled by car with another parkrunner to the hospital, while another friend took my car along with my dogs back home to tell my partner and family. I had suffered a cardiac arrest which resulted in me being put into an induced coma in the intensive care unit. When I was brought out of the coma I was moved

onto the high dependency ward where my treatment and recovery continued. I did require a stent to be fitted. Memories of this time are still vague and I still have to ask friends and family about certain events. My younger brother had died the month before my cardiac arrest with the same problem, which was a blocked artery, but he was not so lucky to have known my saviours. It was a good day when they finally discharged me from hospital; I could go home and see my two dogs Stride and Dotty who I had really missed. Unfortunately, two days after coming home I had to make the decision to have Stride, my eldest dog, put to sleep. Normal routine seemed to have resumed as life and all its trials and tribulations still went on. Four weeks after my incident, on a wet, dark Saturday morning, I returned to Clumber Park parkrun to say thank you to the community for helping to save my life. But when I attempted to speak I just couldn’t manage it – I was so overwhelmed with everyone’s concerns and well wishes. Luckily the Run Director on the day came to the rescue, knowing just what to say. He still knows my parkrun barcode number off by heart! There were so many people to speak to and so many tears were shed. No words can be written to express how

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all those people who helped on that day, who sent message of support or cards to me, who supported my family and I during my time in hospital. The first time I took part in parkrun after my incident was early March 2017, as a walker, and I went back again the following week. I wanted to do this but was very apprehensive and was very grateful to many of my fellow parkrunners who supported and encouraged me to take it easy but not to give up. By the next week I felt that I could run the course but again needed support, and there at my side was my ‘running mate’ Paul and we completed the run in a time of 37 minutes. This was just nine weeks after my incident.

Recollections of conversations with the medical staff are still somewhat vague but my partner and sister have both said that the medical staff certainly believe that my levels of stamina and fitness helped me through and aided my recovery. I also believe that as I have always been active and driven to keep running this enabled me to get back to participating in parkrun so soon afterwards.

I still feel I am getting back to fitness but it will take time. I played rounders through the summer and started hockey training and I am back parkrunning almost every Saturday. Unfortunately I will not be skiing this season but look out for 2019 – I will be back, and I will get to go on that skiing holiday that I was so excited about! Jane Goodchild parkrunner A1114043

There is no doubt that life has changed, but it has not stopped me carrying on with my sporting activities; it just means I have to take care and plan what I do and when. Planning in resting and recovery periods, listening to my body and understanding how far I can go.


2017 run report


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2017 run report

HELPING TO KEEP PARKRUN FREE We have always fought to balance the financial requirements of the organisation and the impact sponsors have on the parkrun experience, and we’re proud that we work with a small group of sponsors who understand parkrun, are respectful of the community and contribute more than just financially with exciting campaigns, money-can’tbuy competitions, prizes and exclusive offers. Our commercial partners provide around 60% of our funding, which helps ensure we can safely and successfully support our existing events and develop parkruns in new communities. We welcomed Leeds Building Society and Exodus Travels to the parkrun family in 2017, and agreed a renewal with Vitality that saw our long-term partnership evolve to ‘presenting partner’ status. Leeds Building Society launched its Community Heroes campaign, celebrating the unsung heroes at parkruns up and down the country as nominated by fellow parkrunners. Every parkrun has stories of members of the community going above and beyond, and it’s fitting for Leeds Building Society to recognise and celebrate exceptional parkrunners and for all of us to be given a chance to say thank you for helping to make the events happen.


Exodus Travels visited seven parkruns across the country in the first three months of becoming a partner, and laid the foundations for a number of unique parkrun-inspired adventures that will be taking place in 2018. Intersport continued its commitment to support local communities via their network of more than 200 independent running retailers. Elsewhere, Vitality invited Olympic gold medallist Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill to Sheffield Hallam parkrun to help announce the renewed partnership, and they initiated the Volunteer of the Month award which acknowledges stand-out volunteers each month, as nominated by Event Directors and Ambassadors. Our charity partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK saw the continuation of two highly-successful fundraising campaigns: Running Down Dementia (RDD) and Donate Your Time (DYT). Running Down Dementia once again challenged the parkrun community to run or walk 100k and raise £100 each throughout the summer and Donate Your Time saw 716 parkrunners turn their finish time in December into a one-off donation. In total, £392,000 was raised by parkrunners for ARUK in 2017 - a staggering amount that, in its direct support of research, really is helping to advance our knowledge of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Our partners play a crucial role in helping to ensure that parkrun always remains free for us to enjoy whenever we choose. It is vital that we support them all so that they can continue to support parkrun.

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2017 run report 0 50

MILESTONES Individuals Joining Milestone Clubs & junior parkrunners Joining Milestone Clubs

r io

b : 2 3, 9 Clu 27

10 Club : 13 ,4 65

Ju n


Club : 7

ub : 9 0 Cl 46 25


Club : 10,22 0 3 0


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athon : 7,65 ar 6


Ul t


5 73

arathon : 15 M , f

arathon :


M ra

Ha l


lub : 6,7 5C 2


2017 run report

ANALYSING THE NUMBERS parkrun makes up two-thirds of the UK’s running market and continues to grow faster than anyone else, but we are constantly working to secure long-term financial sustainability. Guaranteeing that parkrun is free, for everyone, forever, will always be our number one priority and as we grow at a faster and faster rate this challenge will always exist.

2017 EXPENDITURE 48% Total Staff Costs 18% Technology Costs 14% Event Costs

2017 saw an increase in revenue of around 60%, a consequence of restructuring our sponsorship agreements and bringing in new partners. This allowed us to make similar increases to our infrastructure and investment and compensated for a decrease in grant funding. We continued our commitment to keeping staff costs and headcount to an absolute minimum, while investing in projects and technology that drive down the cost of starting new events.

“When parkrun Germany launched in December, for example, there were zero hardware costs. This was a major achievement as we look to start another 5,000 events by our 20th birthday in 2024.” Finding ways to reduce the costs associated with starting an event is key to ensuring we can manage the ever-increasing costs of maintaining such a huge global movement. The following is an approximate breakdown of the distribution of 2017 expenditure and income for the UKbased team, responsible for delivering all parkrun events in the UK and supporting delivery of parkrun around the world.


10% Administration 5% Travel 5% Staff and Volunteer Training

2017 INCOME 60% Sponsorship

20% Grant Funding

12% Local Funding

8% Retail Sales * Total staff costs include company NI contributions, statutory pension contributions and costs for temporary non-contract staff.

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2017 run report



693 640



6,120,001 4,013,963

845,615 595,002

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31,531 27,789


117,605 65,562


645,538 285,300 45

2017 run report


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HOMELESS TO 100 Words by: Brendan Spellman

In 2011 Brendan Spellman was a homeless alcoholic living underneath Brighton Pier. Six years later he completed his 100th parkrun in Brighton surrounded by friends and well-wishers, and feels that he owes his life in part to parkrun. Following a happy, healthy childhood, I had my own home, a family and a reasonable salary working in the building trade in Surrey. However, as a result of the recession and downturn in building projects, I lost my job, my savings and eventually my house and relationship. I moved to Brighton in 2011 to try to make a fresh start but things didn’t work out and I quickly discovered the vicious circle of homelessness. Eventually my mental strength ebbed away, I started drinking from dawn to dusk, and took to sleeping under the pier where at least the pebbles gave me a certain level of security as they stopped most people coming over to hassle me and gave me advance warning of anyone approaching. One day I was approached by some people who were ‘companions’ from a wonderful charity that operates as a social enterprise by generating income that pays for homeless people to be homed and receive food and upkeep, in return for them coming off benefits and working five days a week at their centre. I was fortunate enough to be accepted there, and it gave me a stable structure of a meaningful role, a safe living environment, as well as a framework that didn’t involve alcohol. I got to know Val Poole (parkrunner A49391) who first told me about parkrun. I hadn’t run in more than 15 years but I had played a lot of football in the past. Val encouraged me to go along with her to Brighton and Hove parkrun to

give it a go. I found it really difficult to start with but I just kept going back every week and eventually realised that I was enjoying it. Val introduced me to lots of people and I started making friends. My self confidence grew and I started going jogging during the week. In 2015, I ran the Brighton Half Marathon after one of the charity trustees arranged a place for me. I am always going to struggle with alcohol issues but parkrun and running in general have given me a structure to make a different choice and not fall back into a rut. If I get up and go for a run, I come back feeling upbeat; I shower, have a healthy breakfast and I’m set up for a positive day ahead. Before, I would be bored and purposeless so I would inevitably turn to drink. parkrun is so fantastic – I love the variety of people that come along. One of my most cherished runs was next to a baby being pushed in a buggy who giggled the whole way round. I also enjoy marshalling, barcode scanning and token sorting. I could never give this up. I proudly sport my milestone t-shirt and I know that it will remind me of the journey I have come on as well as the future that I have got to look forward to.

Brendan Spellman parkrunner A383135


2017 run report

CHANGES ACROSS THE BOARD Many of the reasons for parkrun’s success are outlined in the pages of this report, but the one theme that flows through it is this: parkrun has never been afraid to be daring. When it comes to the way that we govern ourselves the same approach must apply. There is no doubt that sports and physical activity has historically been managed and delivered by people who are not fully representative of our society, and we must acknowledge that needs to change. If we are to genuinely make physical activity and healthy lifestyle choices enjoyable and habitual across every demographic we quite literally need diversity across the board. parkrun is in a position to lead the way and that is why, over the next few months, we will be introducing a new generation of leaders to parkrun's Global Trustee Board. Dynamic, creative people of different ages with a range of perspectives, varied experiences and greater diversity that reflect our position internationally. They will join current Board members Christine Gibbons (Chair), Jeremy Townsend, Andrew Lane and Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE. As we continue to work towards breaking down the barriers to participation, we are committed to ensuring that diversity, equality and fairness are reflected in the approaches we take and the decisions we make as a global organisation. Nick Pearson Chief Executive Officer A18497


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2017 run report

2018 & BEYOND...

We look forward to 2018 with great excitement. This year globally we will start more than 400 events for the first time, welcome our five millionth registrant, see 200,000 hi-vis heroes volunteer more than one million times, and have more than 12 million run  performances. parkrun has grown to become the world’s largest running event, not to mention the growing number of walkers that we welcome too. We are the largest provider of free physical activity and one of the largest providers of volunteering opportunities on the planet. We are a leading light in breaking down the barriers to participation, combatting inactivity, fostering diversity and inclusion and promoting social justice. We are driving the agenda in these areas and are the real benchmark in our industry. And we will continue our efforts to engage those most in need of sociallyfocussed, community-led physical activity as we work towards our goal: a healthier, happier planet.


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2017 run report


At the end of 2017, parkrun staff employed in the UK had collectively completed 4,685 parkruns and volunteered on 2,604 occasions across 521 events. Their average run time was 26:50.

Arabella Gilby

Cath Jones

Cathy Martin

Chris Jones

parkrunner A1203462

parkrunner A33656

parkrunner A769125

parkrunner A19147

Responsible for liaising with parkrun’s partners and supporters and coordinating their contact with parkrunners and events.

Responsible for financial affairs and preparing monthly management accounts for the Board.

Responsible for office and operations administration, organisation of staff and volunteer training events, administers reporting and internal information.

Works with national and local grant funding organisations to access grant funding, and to manage the reporting of the project and outcomes to the grant funder.

Chrissie Wellington

Clare Fowler

Debbie Norris

Glen Turner

parkrunner A406323

parkrunner A1074389

parkrunner A1764724

parkrunner A65462

Responsible for developing and broadening the impact of parkrun. Develops and evaluates interventions to ensure that parkrun is as accessible to as many people as possible, especially those from marginalised groups.

Responsible for safeguarding policy at parkrun. Manages all incidents reported at parkrun related to safeguarding and child safeguarding.

Provides support for website set up for all new parkrun events and is responsible for event equipment.

Manages the parkrun UK communications team, edits the weekly newsletters and handles media enquiries.

Digital Communications Coordinator

Health & Wellbeing Lead


Finance Manager

Safeguarding Lead


Event Support Administrator

Head of Fundraising

Communications Manager

core team

Helen Hood

Ian Rutson

Jake Lodge

James Kemp

parkrunner A165246

parkrunner A249753

parkrunner A209983

parkrunner A17187

Responsible for process and policy at parkrun UK events.

Responsible for managing the technology and infrastructure required for parkrun events to operate.

Responsible for the day to day maintenance of IT systems.

Supports all parkrun territories in managing and developing operations.

Jane Niven

Jason Milligan

Jaz Bangerh

Joanne Sinton-Hewitt

parkrunner A45296

parkrunner A798469

parkrunner A7786

parkrunner A987

Responsible for frontline runner and event support, manages global information resources for parkrunners, supports the website setup for all new parkruns.

Responsible for the day to day management of parkrun’s Twickenham office.

Manages and supports staff and volunteers.

Responsible for frontline support for all parkrun UK events and supports volunteer teams in delivering parkrun. Manages the activation process of all parkrun UK events.

Head of Event Delivery

Head of Support

Technical Lead

Office Manager

IT Support Analyst

Head of HR & Volunteer Management

Global Operations Manager

Event Support Manager


2017 run report

Mike Graney

Neil Marshall

Nick Pearson

Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE

parkrunner A41158

parkrunner A504008

parkrunner A18497

parkrunner A1674

Analyses parkrun data, creating the insight that steers strategy and decision making.

Supports the day to day operations of parkrun Ireland.

Leads the global parkrun team. Develops strategy and culture to create a sustainable business model.

Established Bushy Park Time Trial in October 2004 and created the movement that became parkrun.

Rowan Ardill

Russ Jefferys

Head of Communications

Communications Executive

Tom Fairbrother

Tom Williams

parkrunner A72589

parkrunner A169596

parkrunner A336230

parkrunner A6013

Responsible for a specific outreach project, increasing junior parkrun events and participation in the most socially deprived areas of the UK.

Develops global communication strategies and oversees relations with commercial partners.

Responsible for social media, country newsletters and requests to use the parkrun brand.

Develops global growth and operational strategies.

Head of Analysis

Engagement Officer


Ireland Administrator

Chief Executive Officer


Chief Operating Officer

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2017 run report

Designed by

Š parkrun Ltd 2018


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