Sunday 20 August 2017

Operation Transformation causes boom for Dublin 5km Parkruns - as 15,700 extra people register

Kathryn Thomas
Kathryn Thomas
At the Fr Collins Parkrun were Paul Hudson, Maeve Devlin, Greg O'Connor and Kevin Hogan
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

An extra 15,704 people registered for Parkruns nationwide last month - an increase which is being dubbed the "Operation Transformation effect".

The Parkruns were already a very popular event, but the show has brought them to the attention of an even wider audience.

Free

They are free 5km runs, and take place at 14 locations across Dublin every Saturday morning.

The largest one in the capital takes place at Marlay Park. Figures for January, when the TV series started, reveal that 11,891 Dubliners took part over the course of the month across the city.

The busiest day was on January 23 when a staggering 3,549 people took part in Parkruns across Dublin.

A show insider told the Herald that there was little doubt that Operation Transformation had contributed to the growing numbers running in our parks every weekend.

Parkrun Ireland figures show that some 31,751 runners took park in events last month, and nearly half were new registrations, he said.

"They are proving incredibly popular since they were first featured on the show," he said.

"Host Kathryn Thomas and all the leaders took part in a Parkrun, and Ray D'Arcy, who has been following the leaders on his radio show, also ran one."

Thousands of Operation Transformation followers will take part in its biggest annual 5k run in Dublin.

That will take place at the Phoenix Park on Saturday, February 20 - it's the closing week of the show.

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