It’s a free-to-enter, 5 kilometre run that takes place every Saturday at 9am in Locke Park and is part of a national chain of events in parks across the country. I’ve taken part in the event a number of times and I always enjoy the great atmosphere and camaraderie of the run.
To take part, you need register online to receive a wristband with your own barcode, which records your individual time at the end of the run so you can see how you did compared to previous weeks. Their ‘age grading’ scoring system even allows comparisons between people of different genders and ages. It is very easy to register.
The people at the front end of the run take it fairly seriously and compete with each other to win. However, on the whole, parkrun is not hugely competitive. So whether you want to race, track your own progress over time or just want to enjoy a steady leg-stretch, it really is up to you.
People travel from far and wide to take part – thanks to the inclusive, welcoming atmosphere and the hard work of the organisers and volunteers.
On Sundays at 9am there is also a junior parkrun for children. I think it’s a brilliant way to promote exercise to young people, which is why I support organisations such as Team Activ in Barnsley who believe in the power of sport in bringing people together and contributing to greater health and wellbeing.
However the best aspect of the run is the people – who are always friendly, warm and positive. There’s even a post-run cuppa and chance for a chat at Locke Park Café, which is an opportunity to meet new people and talk about the parkrun, or anything else for that matter.
Whilst sadly I don’t get to run as often as I would like, I still take part whenever I can and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone. Even if participating isn’t for you, you can turn up and support, have a chat, or you can volunteer and help out at the event.
So if you’re thinking of trying something new, why not give Barnsley parkrun a go? You won’t regret it!
You can find out more here: www.parkrun.org.uk/barnsley/
P.S. The picture was taken by the brilliant Steve Frith. He raises money for a charity called Malaria No More UK. You can find out more here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mossienetphotography