Book Review – “parkrun: much more than just a run in the park” (Author: Debra Bourne)

Parkrun: much more than just a run in the park


From Goodreads:

“parkrun – a stunningly simple concept. Every Saturday morning, tens of thousands of people, all ages and sizes, gather at their local park to run, jog or walk five kilometres.

parkrun is about taking part, no matter how fast you go or how long it takes you to finish. parkrun is open to all, from Olympians to octogenarians. And parkrun is always free, just turn up where you want, when you want.

parkrun is also spectacularly successful. From humble beginnings – thirteen runners at Bushy Park in 2004 – it has evolved into a global phenomenon. parkrun now has more than 450 locations across ten different countries and over one million registered runners. And it continues to grow.

Join Debra Bourne, Event Director at Lloyd parkrun, as she charts the rise of parkrun and finds out how and why this simple idea became the biggest and friendliest running community the world has ever seen. But don’t forget your barcode!”


As somebody who still considers himself a novice runner, I bought this book because I’ve heard a lot about parkrun through athletics publications and various athletics articles on YouTube.

For those, like me, who don’t know about a great deal about parkrun, this book serves not only to explain what parkrun is, but also as a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the first Bushy Park Time Trial which eventually became the template for parkruns which take place in ten countries.

This book is a collection of stories and testimonials that represent various aspects of these weekly organised five kilometre runs including the organisers, participants and partnering organisations.

There is a lot in this book to inform and inspire anyone looking to take on parkrun – however they participate whether as a walker, runner or volunteer – and the majority of this book is an easy read. However, there are some chapters that are heavy going – most notably the chapters that describe the various parks in which the runs take place and the business aspects that go into keeping parkrun going.

That issue aside, this book is a good starting point for anybody who is curious about parkrun… well, apart from strapping on a pair of running shoes and taking on the five kilometres themselves.


Review originally published on Goodreads on 1st February 2015



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