A Great Idea: parkrun
November 4, 2011 § Leave a comment
Sometimes a simple idea is so obviously great, it makes you wonder why no one thought of it before. One of those ideas flickered across my Twitter feed today.
parkrun is a British organization that organizes free, weekly, 5k runs.
I love this idea on a few different levels.
First, earlier this week, I whined about the whole process of getting into some races now-a-days. You can almost hear me cuing-up my old, crotchety voice, “back in my day, you could just decide on a whim to show up at any race on race day and just sign right up”. From what I skimmed, these are much smaller, informal races that discard the hype.
Second, from a training perspective, the best way to get into racing shape is to race. I know I’m able to race much faster than I can train. For whatever reason–the excitement, the competition, the feeling of being judged, I can just race faster than I can run. Having a consistent, affordable, regular series of races/runs provides awesome workouts and measuring tool. Reminds me of the awesome Salomon Autumn Trail Series that I’ve run the last three years. The series consists of 4 races, two weeks apart, at a local park. I’ve said it before but the Salomon Trail Series give me a chance to re-create a mini-Cross Country season.
Which leads me into the final, and perhaps most important, reason I love the idea–it gives runners an excuse to get together on a regular basis. A few different events over the last three months have emphasized how much more personal an in-person bond can be, experiencing things together. Getting together with friends, comparing notes, having a bit to eat, and going for a run together is a great benefit.
I’ve been toying with a similar, less grand version of this for a little while but maybe I should raise my goals although taking time to organize things takes a lot longer than I knew.
Would you participate, at least occasionally, in a weekly run/race? For either training, psychological or social reasons?