UK's latest craze Parkrun jogs into Bristol's Ashton Court
BRISTOL is the latest city to host a series of free, weekly 5k runs – a national movement that is sweeping the nation.
Almost 80,000 runners take part in a Saturday morning 'Parkrun' at venues all across the country.
From April, Bristol's Parkrun, which is organised by volunteers, will take place every Saturday at 9am.
The timed runs are designed as community events, set up by volunteers who are also runners.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Bristol is fast developing its reputation as a runner's paradise and this year the city's 10k has been recognised nationally by UK Athletics as one of five leading British road races to be included in the first ever Runbritain Grand Prix Series.
The first Bristol event has been organised by runners Nick Kirby, Geoff Keogh and Jan Burke.
Mr Kirby, 42, who works as a personal trainer, has taken part in more than 100 Parkrun events himself.
He said: "I started going to a Parkrun in Brighton. There were only six or seven people turning up then but it soon grew to 60.
"All the runs are properly timed and the results go up on the website afterwards so it's a good way of measuring how you are doing each week."
Barring extremely bad weather the runs take place every Saturday morning without fail. There are sometimes special runs around Christmas and Easter.
Mr Kirby said: "We saw what was happening in Brighton and around the country and wanted to start an event in Bristol.
"It is a big commitment to organise this every week, but we want people to embrace the ethos and get involved.
"The course is the same every week and it's not a race it's more of a time trial. We're hoping people of all ages will get involved.
"The oldest park runner I know of is 82 years old but it's for all ages. We've seen ten and 12-year-olds taking part with their parents, people bringing their dogs along and people running with their personal trainers – it's just a great atmosphere and really nice to be part of something.
"Bristol has such a massive running community it seems right that we have Parkrun here."
The group are in the process of carrying out a series of trial runs to ensure their technology is in place to be able to time each of the runners. Once registered, runners are given a barcode that they must take to each run and use to record their times.
Georgette Van Hoof, director of runbristol, the organisation behind the Bristol 10k and Half Marathon, said: "Initiatives like Parkrun help build on the portfolio of runs that strengthen Bristol's reputation as a running city.
"We hope to link in our free monthly training days, in the lead up to the Bristol Half Marathon, with the Parkrun events so all parties can share running tips and advice and maximise their potential."
The first Parkrun was set up in 2004 in Bushy Park, Teddington, and since then more than 4,000 events have take place.
Founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt set out to create a run that was simple for anyone to take part in whenever it suited them.
He hoped that runners would want to compete against themselves and not necessarily against the other participants and was adamant it was to be a community project where the runners would always run for free.
He expected 20 club athletes to turn up each week but instead he saw hundreds arriving for a weekly dose of healthy competition.
For more information and to take part in Parkrun register on www.parkrun.com.