Every Saturday at 9am, tens of thousands of runners in 850 locations across 12 countries head to their local park to compete in the Parkrun.
Founded on the ethos of being free and open to everyone, Parkrun is not for the uber-competitive racers, it’s not for the casual joggers or even the newbs. It’s for everyone, and that’s the beauty of it.
Taking part couldn’t be simpler. You register on its website, print off a unique barcode and then turn up on a Saturday at 9am. The website has a map of participating parks, and it is operated entirely by volunteers who organise events and marshall the course every weekend to allow hundreds of thousands of people to take part in a safe and enjoyable manner.
But recent actions by a local Parish Council could throw all this in jeopardy.
On Tuesday Stoke Gifford Parish Council in Bristol, England, became the first in the world to impose a financial charge on parkrun. They argue that parkrun should stump up money for repairs to park paths if it is to continue operating, undermine the core founding principles that there should be no barrier to participation in physical activity, however small.
Agreed – free for everyone, always. https://t.co/ir1Sejxmbe
— Paula Radcliffe (@paulajradcliffe) April 12, 2016
A public outcry has since followed. Athletes, celebrities and commentators have come out in support of #loveparkrun, with a new microsite now live demonstrating the incredible impact parkrun has on the lives of thousands of people across the World.
To give your support, visit the site and engage on social media with #loveparkrun.