The return of Parkrun

Stephen Lloyd-Jones invites people to lace up their running shoes again

Volunteers at the Parkrun event in Pymmes Park, Edmonton
Volunteers at the Parkrun event in Pymmes Park, Edmonton

After a 16-month, pandemic-enforced hiatus, Parkrun is back!

The UK’s biggest mass participation sporting event now has three locations in Enfield borough; two five-kilometre adult races at Pymmes Park in Edmonton and at Grovelands Park in Southgate, taking place every Saturday morning from 9am; plus a new 2km junior Parkrun event taking place every Sunday from 9am at Town Park in Enfield Town, open to all children aged between four and 14 years.

The concept of Parkrun is simple – you turn up, run the route, and use a personal barcode to record a time at the finish line, so you can see how your performance measures up against others in your age group.

Pre-pandemic attendances at our Parkrun events in Enfield had reached record levels in early 2020, but the restart this summer has been cautious for obvious reasons. More volunteers are needed per event in order to avoid any crowding at the finish line and barcode scanning areas. Runners are also asked to start roughly according to their likely finishing time.

After six 5km events run under these arrangements over the summer, we are pleased to say that everything is looking safe and well organised, giving us confidence to start encouraging runners back in larger numbers this autumn.

If perhaps you have been less active during the pandemic, Parkrun is a welcoming environment in which to start physical exercise again. Parkrun is free to join and is a great community event, held outdoors in some of Enfield’s fantastic green spaces.

Registration online is required before you start, but then all you need to do is turn up on time with a printed copy of your barcode (scanning from phone screens is not available) and then the website records your weekly times, plus any volunteering you have done. Free milestone running shirts come with 50, 100, 250 and 500 runs, and also after volunteering at 25 separate events.

Volunteer roles include timekeeper, barcode scanner, pre-race briefing, course setup, safety marshalling and ‘tail runner’ to support and encourage those needing to take their time. Remember to opt in to the volunteer email when you register.

Runners cross the finish line for the Parkrun event at Grovelands Park, Southgate
Runners cross the finish line for the Parkrun event at Grovelands Park, Southgate

For more information on the Pymmes and Grovelands Parkrun events:
Visit parkrun.org.uk/pymmes
Visit parkrun.org.uk/grovelands

For the junior Parkrun event at Town Park:
Visit parkrun.org.uk/enfieldtown-juniors