Parkrun has become a global movement. It initially started in the UK with some friends meeting up on a Saturday for a run followed by coffee, and has grown to over 1100 locations in 14 countries around the world with 3.5 million people registered.  Yes, it really is that big!

With 200,000 participants joining in every weekend for free, it’s no wonder it has taken on a life of its own, especially as many of the people involved through running and volunteering are people like you! Just good, genuine people!

Paul Sinton-Hewitt, the founder of Parkrun, is here to talk about the growth they have experienced completely organically, and why Paul thinks the people who participate are some of the best people in the world. With fostering community as the heart of Parkrun, it’s easy to see why.

Parkrun has been responsible for over 100,000 people joining clubs, and they celebrate the milestones of reaching 50, 100, 250, and even 500 Parkruns (thats over 10 years straight!).

You are going to love this episode if you love the running community, and I hope if you haven’t already participated, you will consider it in the future, yes, even if you are unable to run right now.

This podcast episode is for you if you love to make new friends, be a part of the running community, and participate in social movements. Parkrun is making the world a healthier, happier place, one location at a time.

Today’s Guest

Paul Sinton-Hewitt

Founder of Parkrun; growing it from a few friends meeting for a run and coffee to 200,000 runners every weekend.

What You Will Learn About

  • Where the idea for Parkrun came from and how it grew the way it did
  • Why the race is a 5k
  • Why Parkrun will ALWAYS be free
  • The setbacks to address when setting up new events in the US and other countries around the world
  • What happened when one of the Parkruns tried to add a fee for park maintenance

Listen to the Running for Real Podcast

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Inspirational Quotes

It’s a simple run, in a park, every single week, with your mates, where we socialize at the end of it. Those principles stand today.

Slowly but surely we are energizing the world, we are making the world a healthier and happier place.

I receive all these awards, but I receive them on behalf of all the people who make this happen, as without all those volunteers, we would be one event in a park, and I would still be the person doing all the volunteering.

We are a social movement that just happens to run. For anybody, regardless of whether they intend running in the future or not, this is a place to go where you meet fantastic people. The people you meet are some of the most beautiful people in the world.

Parkrun isn’t a cure for everyone, but it is part of the process of how people can be the best they can be. There is nothing more rewarding than doing that with your friends, people who are there to support you and help you and celebrate your achievements.

We want more people running more often. We want more people more active more often. Anything we can do to help other people achieve that same goal, we will.

If things carry on the way they are, in 2023, we will have over 10000 weekly events and a million runners a week.

Resources Mentioned

Thanks for listening! I hope you enjoyed today’s episode.

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Thank you to Paul. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.

Parkrun, running community

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