Not heard of parkrun? Then you're missing out. Not only that but so is your family and I mean everyone from your baby to your Granny and oh yes, I even mean the dog too! Really, I hear you say? Yes - parkrun is the weekly 5k Saturday 9.00am run happening at locations up and down the country and we have two right on our door step at Kings Park, Bournemouth and Moors Valley Country Park. And the best bit is it's free. No cost at all. Ever.
Umm you're thinking - that sounds competitive. Well it is but only against yourself - parkrun isn't a race but a time-trial and your only competitor is yourself and the clock. Get yourself registered on the website, take along your printed out barcode and your time will be pinged to you later that day. Trust me, it'll give you a motivational boost as it's really quite fun trying to improve upon your time. Whether your personal best (PB) is 20 minutes or 60 minutes, whether you choose to walk, jog, run, or a little bit of all of them - it doesn't matter. You'll be cheered on by the supportive team of volunteer marshals and feel pretty good when you cross the finish line.
200 plus regularly attend our local parkruns each week and this is an all-inclusive event - buggies are welcomed (best if it's onethat can handle a little bit of off-road terrain) and well-behaved dogs are certainly welcome on their leads. Once your child is 4 years old they can even bring along their own barcode if they would like to know their time. Up to the age of 11 children need to run alongside an adult who can be responsible for them. From 11 onwards they can go off on their own (no doubt leaving you in their wake!).
parkrun prides itself on being a sociable event; friendships are made, coffee is always drunk together at the end for those who want to and many regulars soon want to get involved by volunteering. There are plenty of €˜job's on the rota needing a volunteer and some still allow you the opportunity to run that week like being the tail runner or weekly reporter.
So fancy a healthier start to your weekends and one that includes the whole family? Then best find those trainers and become a much welcomed member of the parkrun community.