9 things I wish I had known before my first ParkRun

Jan 14, 2024
If anyone's interest is piqued by this article, PLEASE make sure you read the official website and/or your local event's social media page to check things. Honestly, it sounds like the writer and/or editor have been to exactly one parkrun - if they hadn't been to any and researched from the official website they'd have gotten fewer things wrong.

1. It's parkrun - one word, no capitals. If you really can't stand no caps or can't recast a sentence so it's not the first word, Parkrun might be okay but never ParkRun. Blech.

2. I've been to exactly one parkrun that has a tarpaulin on the ground for participants to leave things. In my experience, it's much more common for events to use a picnic table or shelter if available, or nothing at all.

3. The stock photo of the dog is misleading - global parkrun rules are that dogs must be on a handheld lead unless they aren't allowed at all (which is usually due to landowner rules for that specific location).

4. While most parkruns in the UK are at 9 am, in Australia they're mostly at 8 am, but some are at 7 am or 9 am. While the writer acknowledges that times can vary, she gives the impression that 9 am is the default time in all countries.

5. Yes, walkers, joggers, prams, etc, are welcome at parkrun, but some have a reputation for being less friendly to those of us who are slower, so it's worth checking the event results on the parkrun website. If you see lots of finishers at 40 mins and slower, you'll be fine (plus there's always a tailwalker which means you never come last). If you're building your fitness, you don't even need to finish but can do one out of two laps, for example, and just not go past the timekeeper.

6. You only ever need to register once, regardless of how many parkruns you travel to, and barcodes can be scanned from a printout or phone screen at every parkrun - there's no real preference except paper ones can get wet and soggy.
Jan 20, 2024
Not sure what to expect from your first ParkRun? Our writer shares the things she wishes she had known before her first ParkRun.

9 things I wish I had known before my first ParkRun : Read more
But people should be aware that parkrunUK and many
other countries operate a self ID policy and are promotors of gender ideology.

When you register, you can't enter your Sex, you enter your "Gender" identity, this is used for results and rankings.

There are loads of records and first finishes by males registered as females and parkrunUK refuse to do anything about them.

Some records have been held for years are are unlikely ever to be bettered by actual Females.

I love the parkrun initiative but this has ruined it for me and many others, so dismissive.

Men get to have fair competition (if they want it, you don't have to run fast) but women have to just sacrifice and not complain.. as in many areas of life. I thought parkrun was better than this.