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Modern Life

Features | By Christian Wolmar

What is a Parkrun?

Just occasionally new technology blends in perfectly with community spirit to create a great new concept. That’s how the Parkrun was born. It is, basically, a run in the park, but with a difference. It is a five-kilometre race – though the organisers hate you calling it that – which takes place at nearly 450 locations across the country at 9am every Saturday. I am a Parkrun addict. I have run precisely 87 of them on courses as far-ranging as Derby, Milton Keynes and Tewkesbury, as well as in several places in London, where I live.  There are, in fact, 47 Parkruns in London alone, which is the birthplace of the idea. It was conceived by Paul Sinton-Hewitt, who earned a CBE for his efforts, and the original run, in Bushy Park in 2004, now regularly attracts 800 runners. It works like this: volunteers act as marshals and timekeepers, and...

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