Weekly 5km parkruns are a great local opportunity for outdoor exercise. These free, volunteer-run events take place around the world with an estimated 700,000 people joining in since 2004. All you need to do is register yourself online and you’re ready to run. These events are open to all ages and abilities; you can take as seriously or casually as you like.
How to register?
Before attending your first parkrun you must register online here: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/register/. Once you have completed this registration you will be enrolled on the system (you do not need to register before every run). This registration will give you an individual barcode and allows you to be identified and timed whilst doing the event.
Why take part?
- It’s free and it’s local, so financial and transport concerns are minimised.
- It is a brilliant start to your weekend. With most parkruns taking place early on a Saturday morning by mid-day your exercise is over, you’ve earned a post-run fry up, and the rest of the day is yours.
- Studies have shown that group exercise is more motivating and enjoyable than working out alone. Bring along a group of friends, complete the run, and organise something to look forward to afterwards, like lunch or a pint.
- It really is for all abilities, the distance of 5k was chosen because it is a manageable target for everyone. You are encouraged to complete the run at your own pace, there is no pressure to be the best or the quickest. You can set weekly goals for yourself, to hit a certain target such as reducing your last time- but it is absolutely up to you, that’s the beauty of it
Within Northern Ireland, parkrun’s take place in 27 different locations, usually beginning at 9am on a Saturday morning;
- Belfast Victoria
- Colin Glen
- Derry City
- Dungannon Park
- MUSA Cookstown
There are also smaller 2k events for juniors aged 4-14, a great opportunity for your children to get outside, get some exercise, and enjoy the event with friends. Junior park runs take place in 16 locations across Northern Ireland:
- Bangor juniors
- Belfast Victoria juniors
- Broadmeadow juniors
- Comber juniors
- Derry City juniors
- Jordanstown juniors
- Larne juniors
- Lough Moss juniors
- Lurgan juniors
- Magherafelt juniors
- Moira juniors
- Musgrave juniors
- Ormeau juniors
- Portrush juniors
- Riverside juniors, Ballymoney
- Waterworks juniors
You are bound to find one that is handy and local to you.
For more information visit the official website: https://www.www.parkrun.org.uk
Do you take part in your local parkrun? How did you get involved? What advice would you give to those just starting? Recommend your local parkrun, tell us why you love it, join or start the conversation below.