Beginners and Parkruns!

Hi everyone!! image 

It's only a couple of weeks since I've learned about the concept of the parkruns and I really liked it! To a beginner like myself sounds like the fun middle ground between running alone and entering a race. The distance looks ideal as well! But is it really so?? I ve been reading a number of threads (both here and in fetcheveryone) and they look dominated by the same old people, quite serious about running, quite interested about other people's perfomances (especially bad ones), too much me-myself-and-I-talk (that I dread), too much three-years-54800threads-120eventsentry-beginners.. Not my cup of tea whatsoever!!! So, I was wondering.. Are they really open, beginner friendly events, or just another group of "village"-gossip, clique-centered and match-making-in-disguise ones???

I would much appreciate any feedback from real beginners, and especially about the Cambridge and/or Milton Keynes events (since I am right in the middle and I can choose both ways)..

Thanks a lot!



  • That's what I've been scared of and put me off going, I registered ages ago, but neve quite got around to actually running one.


  • Hi

    I run at the Bramhall one maybe once a month and it's great.Very supportive, friendly and encouraging. You do see lots of tha same faces but in a nice way. I have been last and run it 7/8 times with my 8 year old and always get great encouragement from the marshals. The times at ours vary from 15-40mins.

    Also a good way of seeing your improvement.

    Can't recommend them highly enough, but if you're not convinced why not volunteer as a marshall the 1st time to suss it out?


  • You've really got nothing to worry about.

    Have a look at the photos on the parkrun website, virtually every event has photos every week,  to get a feel for what goes on.

    If you still dont feel comfortable about it, just go down and take your dog for a walk one week and you'll see what its all about...very relaxed and inclusive.

    There are a good few people who register and never appear, probably for the reasons you suggest, but very few that run one and never come back (if any).

    I did my first one about 15 months ago not really knowing what to expect...and have now done I'm biased.image

  • Park Run is a great concept and don't be put off.

    I'm leaving in 15 minutes to run my 7th tme at Black Park.

    There is a big spread of ability, some men the 5k in 17 mins, the slower runners come in at 40 minutes.

    Very friendly no competitive clicky thing at all on my local one.

    It's free, they time it all and the website results are very motivational for me in terms of pushing myself - started at 30:02 now down to 26:52 in a couple of months.

    Also try MK and Cambridge, you can enetr any Park Run event once registered so try both and see which you prefer. You can even enter others if staying with friends or on holiday in the UK.

  • No don't worry about it. I've done Cambridge park run (and came last!) but didn't feel out of my depth or patronised. Everybody was friendly and no one was cliquey. Yup some people do turn up week in and out but because they love them so.

    Join in - that's what they are all about!!

  • I've done the Camb event twice now and really enjoy it. There are some serious runners but plenty of others, most people are friendly enough.

    It is very light touch organisation and very informal.

    I was a bit surprised to be honest how quick most people were - i thought there would be more people over 30mins than there were, but dont let that put you off. (i'm even hoping not to get lapped one week!)In each of the runs i have done i've ended up chatting with someone and running with them on the course.

    I'd definately give it a go if you haven't tried it before.

  • Thanks guys!! Your feedback is much appreciated!!!

    Spinkletoes and vs4b.. One more question for you: How flat the Cambridge route is??? imageimageimage lol (don't worry spinkletoes!! for as long as I ll be running there you're not going to finish last ever again!!! imageimage)

    But yes!! I will most definitely give it a go - I can't make it for next saturday, so I m guessing it will be the one after..

    Thanks again!

    eve x

  • Well there is a huge incline that you have to cross twice - oh no wait a minute that's the bridge over the stream!

    There is about half a metre of so of incline over the whole 5k! Its pancake flat!

    Welcome to the fens!


  • vs4b wrote (see)

    There is about half a metre of so of incline over the whole 5k! 

    I can handle that.. been training hard and I am kinda-tough as well... image (lol)

    Thank you very much indeed vs4b!!!! image See you there..

  • I would say definitely try a parkrun. I have done the Milton Keynes parkrun three times and found it to be an enjoyable run with good mix of people ranging from a family with a pushchair right the way through to people in training for major events.
  • PipesPipes ✭✭✭
    I've also done MK 3 times (and was part of the aforesaid family with pushchair on one occasion!) and love it. No pressure, go as easy or hard as you wish, FREE and very pleasant scenery. I can't wait till Saturdays come for this. Hope to see you at MK some time Eve_C, (although try out Cambridge as well as I'm sure they all have their own individual features and qualities).
  • Thank you so much all!!

    William and Pipes: I would much prefer the MK one, since it seems that my other half and his son have lots of things to do around as well.. BUT the 1.000.000$ question though remains ---------> any serious inclines??? image 

  • PipesPipes ✭✭✭
    Ran MK again yesterday and still LOVE IT!
    There are a couple of minor inclines to go over bridges but they aren't long or steep. The part that probably causes people the most problems is the 'switchbacks' - a series of slopes going back and forth, as opposed to the steps that go straight up the middle (which we aren't allowed to go up - that would be cutting out some distance). Very scenic at the same time.
  • Parkruns are a brilliant way to spend a Saturday morning, they are for everyone to enjoy, fast or slow it doen't matter a hoot. Just enjoy it!!

  • Also try listening to the 'parkrun show' podcast, which does a good job of reflecting the ethos and spread of running times, from speed snakes running 17 minutes to those taking nearer 40 minutes. 

  • Sounds like Huntingdon should be pretty convenient for the OP - the course is lovely there. Not PB-friendly, but well worth the visit.

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