In this cold and windy new year, there’s one thing that promises to warm our hearts. The simplicity and welcoming nature of the well-known parkrun is something families and friends constantly enjoy.
AppyRun invites you to look back at last year’s success of the weekly Saturday morning 5k’s, following an inspiring gesture of gratitude from parkrun co-founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt, CBE.
He said, “I still find it hard to believe that a concept as simple as a free run with friends and family has captured the imagination of more than 1,000 communities across 14 countries.”
Paul also thanked the many generous volunteers, “everyone who has worn the high-vis this year and marked out courses, timed, scanned, processed results and everything in between.”
Since launching in 2004, the organisation has partnered with a small number of organisations that align with our values. Paul expresses his gratitude to these, and promises 2017 will continue these thriving partnerships.
So what happened last year?
“We showed exactly what parkrun is about – equality, respect, tolerance and being proud of our communities.”
Their spirit remained strong and proud as Little Stoke parkrun fought council efforts to charge the group for using the park. While this was unsuccessful – and stressful! – Paul was uplifted by member’s and volunteer’s dignity and drive against the case.
On an ‘appier note, 2016 saw a record registration of three million runners, and 1.1 million different people partaking at some point. “None of that would have been possible without the 142,000 amazing people who gave their time to volunteer,” beamed Paul.
In 2016, the 1,000 communities involved expanded to Sweden and Canada. Now 14 countries are part of the parkrun family.
Parkrun Poland’s efforts were acknowledged when they won an award for Most Significant Running Event while parkrun UK was awarded Participation Event of the Year at the Sport Industry Awards.
Chief Executive Nick Pearson and Chief Operating Officer Tom Williams lead a dedicated team ensuring all 1,000 UK parkruns were safe and efficient.
Paul concluded that, “our vision is to create a healthier and happier planet by continually breaking down barriers to participation and bringing people together from all walks of life whenever they want to come along.”
View the parkruns hosted weekly in South Wales here: