Posts Tagged ‘parkrun’

Cash-strapped council wants to levy charge on popular parkrun

Posted on Friday 20th November 2015 at 8:54 pm by SH (Editor)

Little Stoke Parkrun trial event on 22nd August 2012.

The future of a hugely popular, free weekly running event held in a Little Stoke Park for the past three years could be under threat after the local council said it planned to levy a charge of £1 per runner to cover ongoing maintenance costs of the park.

One of hundreds of similar events that take place around the country at 9am every Saturday morning, Little Stoke parkrun is a free-to-enter timed 5k run that is open to everyone and designed to be safe and easy to take part in.

The Little Stoke event began in November 2012, with support from South Gloucestershire Council, and has seen its number of participants grow from fewer than a hundred per week during its first six months to an average of 243 per week in October 2015.

The increasing numbers have put a strain on car parking at the Little Stoke Lane venue, which the organisers have attempted to solve by encouraging runners to walk, jog or cycle to the venue. Additional car parking has been made available at Little Stoke Baptist Church and car sharing is encouraged.

The event is organised on an entirely voluntary basis, with a core team of helpers supplemented by participants who, from time to time, “give up” their run in order to help.

After a unanimous decision to levy a charge was made by Stoke Gifford Parish Council’s Finance Committee on 8th September, representatives of parkrun were invited to attend a meeting of Full Council on 13th October, where the matter was thrown open for debate.

Chair of council Ernie Brown told the meeting that the park had significant running costs, including maintenance of the car park and perimeter path (both of these are used by parkrun participants), and, in these times of austerity, needed to be “run as a business”, adding “nothing is free in this day and age”.

More: Event has "positive personal and community impacts" »

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The magic of junior parkrun

Posted on Friday 17th July 2015 at 10:20 pm by Ian Shepherd

Start of the first anniversary Little Stoke junior parkrun.

Popular weekly event in Little Stoke Park celebrates first anniversary.

Sunday used to be my one day of the week to have a lie-in, until just over a year ago, when I took on the role of Event Director of the brand new Little Stoke junior parkrun. As an enthusiastic runner and big fan of parkrun (the more established, free, weekly timed 5km run for all ages), I was very excited to be involved in the Bristol debut of the newer junior events for four- to fourteen-year-olds, which was ostensibly about getting children interested in running, but turned out to be so much more.

The process is simple enough: having signed up for free on the parkrun website and printed their personal barcode, runners turn up at Little Stoke Park shortly before 9am on Sunday, listen to the run briefing, take part in a short, fun warm-up routine, run a lap and a bit of the park, then have their barcode and finish token scanned so that the results can be processed and published later. Colourful wristbands are awarded for completing 11, 21 and 50 events, representing the distances of half-marathon, marathon and ultra marathon.

A run, not a race

It’s what happens around all this that makes it magical. A buzz builds as families start to arrive, just as the volunteer team is making the finishing touches to the course. Friendships are renewed and new ones made; some have even come along just for this social side and don’t actually plan to run at all!

Runners have loads of fun either flying round as fast as they can to beat their best time, or just sauntering, picking daisies or playing as they go. Parents are amazed and proud week after week at how far their children can run, or how fast they complete the course, or how they go back to cheer on their friends as they approach the finish line. Some parents run with their children, and are often surprised to find themselves enjoying running, so much so they might even take it up themselves. This is the magic of parkrun – a run, not a race, which is accessible (in all senses of the word) to all, regardless of ability.

More: Each event requires the support of 20 volunteers »

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Weekly ‘junior parkrun’ starts this Sunday in Little Stoke Park

Posted on Saturday 28th June 2014 at 9:22 am by SH (Editor)

Little Stoke Parkrun trial event on 22nd August 2012.

A junior version of the successful weekly Little Stoke ‘parkrun‘ has its inaugural event this Sunday (29th June 2014) in Little Stoke Park.

Parkrun is a free, weekly 5k timed run, which takes place all over the UK and beyond, every Saturday at 9am, all year round.

Speaking about the new 2km junior version of the run, which is for 4 to 14 year-olds, event director Ian Shepherd told The Journal:

“Although it has always been inclusive and attracted many families, the 5km distance of the ‘standard’ parkrun can be quite a challenge for children, which is where junior parkrun comes in.”

“At only 2km, the junior parkrun event is far easier on little legs, so the activity remains fun instead of becoming a chore. We also have a lot more marshals dotted around the course, making it safe for children to run on their own, although parents can still accompany them if they like.”

“The juniors also have their own reward scheme, earning different wristbands after 11, 21 and 50 runs, which represent the equivalent of half-marathon, marathon and ultra marathon distances.”

Subject to successfully mustering a roster of twenty volunteers each week, the Little Stoke junior parkrun team will be putting on the run every Sunday at 9am from 29th June onwards. All runners or volunteers need to do is register once at www.parkrun.org.uk, print out their personal barcode, then just turn up to run or email littlestoke-juniorshelpers@parkrun.com to volunteer.

For more information, visit the ‘Little Stoke South Gloucestershire parkrun‘ and ‘Little Stoke junior parkrun‘ pages on Facebook.

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Weekly Parkrun to commence on 3rd November

Posted on Wednesday 24th October 2012 at 12:42 pm by SH (Editor)

Little Stoke Parkrun trial event on 22nd August 2012.

A new weekly ‘Parkrun’ for local runners and joggers is to begin in Little Stoke Park on Saturday 3rd November.

Parkrun is a free, weekly 5k timed run, which takes place all over the UK and beyond, every Saturday at 9am, all year round.

News of the start of the regular weekly session follows a successful trial event in the park on Wednesday 22nd August, attended by around 80 runners.

Feedback received from participants in the trial was generally positive, with praise for the flat course and good marshalling.

Concerns that the course had too many sharp turns and might become slippy in wet weather have been addressed by adjusting it to make more use of the tarmac paths.

The revised course now consists of  three laps on tarmac plus an 800m finish section partially on grass.

Runners are asked to register in advance via the Parkrun website.

Post-run coffee and cakes will be available in the Community Hall.

The results from each run are normally published on the website by the following day.

Another local parkrun, in Bristol’s Ashton Court, was established in April 2011 and now regularly attracts more than 100 entrants.

More info: Official Little Stoke Parkrun webpage

More photos from the Parkrun trial event in August on PicasaWeb.

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