19 reasons why Parkruns are great

The first South Shields ParkRun.
The first South Shields ParkRun.

It’s a phenomenon which only started 11 years ago.

But Parkruns are now a hit pretty much everywhere.

The South Shields Park Run on The Leas

The South Shields Park Run on The Leas

Every Saturday, thousands of runners give up their Saturday mornings to tackle a 5km race.

But what makes the Parkrun so great?

Here’s 19 reasons why.

1. It’s free! So pound the streets knowing the pounds stay in your pockets - while you, er, lose pounds from your waist.

The Hartlepool Parkrun, from Maritime Avenue at the Marina to Seaton Carew and back.

The Hartlepool Parkrun, from Maritime Avenue at the Marina to Seaton Carew and back.

2. Every Parkrun finishes with a post-run cuppa. Fun and a frappuccino. Result!

3. Parkruns attract a fantastic mix of people. They’re pretty laid-back events. Don’t be surprised to be running next to dog walkers and people with push chairs as well as the more serious athlete.

4. It’s easy to join. Just sign up on the Parkrun website, choose your race and get those running shoes on!

5. Parkrunners are warm, welcoming and spur each other on. So when you’re flagging, there’s someone there to give you a cheer.

6. Run at your own pace or push yourself to your limit. It’s your choice and no-one’s going to argue.

7. You can proudly view your finishing time on the Parkrun website. The dedicated team of volunteers compile your result. Give yourself a pat on the back.

8. Once you’ve finished, you’ve got the rest of the weekend to enjoy yourself, knowing you’ve already exercised.

9. Become a Parkrun volunteer and you could help marshall the runners of the North East.

10. They’re everywhere. Hartlepool, Sunderland and South Shields all have their own Parkrun, so there’s no need to venture far from your own doorstep.

11. You don’t have to stick to one run. You could enjoy Durham one week, Sunderland the next and Hartlepool the week after.

12. You’re never alone. Parkrunners will always applaud their fellow competitor.

13. Do the Hartlepool run and you’ll get to enjoy the fantastic and bracing sea air as you run along the seafront. Get in!

14. You don’t have to be an elite athlete to take part. Anyone can join in.

15. Sunderland’s Parkrun at Silksworth is a great chance to improve your personal best on a wonderfully fast course.

16. South Shields’ Parkrun follows some of the Great North Run route, from opposite the Bamburgh pub to the Sanddancer. It could be your way of training for the Big One.

17. It’s a great way to vary your exercise regime. Why stay in the gym when you could be enjoying the North East scenery?

18. You could get to meet a great new selection of friends.

19. And even if your time wasn’t what you hoped it would be, there’s always next time. There’s just seven days to wait.

To find out more, visit the Parkrun website HERE.