Bristol City Council were pleased to be able to work with parkrun to help enable the set-up of Eastville parkrun in November last year. At the time we believed that this would be one of the best legacies of Bristol’s year as European City of Sport.
Eastville’s very first parkrun on Saturday 18th November 2017 attracted so many runners it was the largest inaugural parkrun since parkrun began in 2004. So many that they actually ran out of Finisher tokens, however the organising team were so slick that they sorted out a plan and each and every finisher of the 679 was rewarded with a correct time.
On that bright, slightly chilly Saturday morning there would have been over 800 people in the park – running, walking, volunteering and supporting. If you could have bottled the electric atmosphere of excitement, energy and achievement and sold it there would have been a lot of money to be made. Paul Sinton-Hewitt the founder of parkrun, a dinosaur, lots of other major local people in the parkrun world were in attendance.
Since then there have been 49 weekly parkruns at Eastville involving 5360 individuals with an average of 380 participants each week, making a distance of 93180Km covered or 2.3 times around earth or 2.5 return trips to New Zealand.
Fast forward a year and we are fast approaching Eastville parkrun’s first birthday – this Saturday 17th November, an event which will no doubt have the energy and ambience of a party in the park – at 9am without the alcohol but with as many smiley faces, happy chatter and camaraderie between ‘just met soon to be’ friends and old, but there will no doubt be cake as major milestones in the parkrun world are usually celebrated with balloons and cake.
Last time round sports team members indulgently took part in the event, fully embracing the waves of energy, as there were plenty of willing volunteers to help make the run happen. This time round we will be enthusiastically marshalling, and it will be our mission to put as many smiles on tired faces as they successfully complete the course as their own achievement, because in parkrun it isn’t really the time that matters or your place, but the fact that you came, you took part and you had fun. The question is, how many runners will there be? Will the record be broken or will people be travelling to other local inaugural parkruns? Parkrunners are also known to dress up on occasion, what will be the most innovative outfit, a birthday cake?
We would like to say a massive thankyou to the Eastville team, it can’t be easy to get up and be enthusiastic on those tiring dark, icey, rainy wintry mornings. You have created an opportunity and a motivation for so many people to get up and start the weekend well, a goal for many to start walking and running and to aim for, and a community where all feel welcome – Thankyou!
What is parkrun?
Parkruns are run all over the world on a Saturday morning, usually at 9am, they are all organised by volunteer teams who have either sourced or worked in partnership with organisations to raise the set-up fee. They are free, they are 5k, you can go as fast or as slow as you like, a lot of parkruns have a ‘Tail Walker’ so never fear about ‘being last’. Parkruns rely on volunteers, but you do not need any experience, your friendly event director will tell you on the day what you need to know. A great way to still get the parkrun buzz.
If this is your first parkrun, you will love it, don’t forget to register and to print off and bring your barcode.