parkrun: The Best Timed Runs to Help you Train
Are you planning to join the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon? Then think about taking it outside when you’re training and try a timed run.
Timed runs are a great way to train if you’re planning to challenge yourself against the clock this year and feel like exercising outdoors in the wide open space. You’ll also officially log a time which will count towards your registration as a runner for the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon.
parkrun, in partnership with Vhi Healthcare, are organising free timed runs all over Ireland every weekend and rapidly becoming a global pop-up fitnesss phenomenon, popping up in many countries across the world.
There’s no other movement quite like parkrun. These community-based running events promote volunteer-led physical activity and the 5km timed runs are completely free and open to everybody who wants to take part either on their own or with family or a group of friends.
parkrun Ireland first started in November 2012 when the inaugural run took place in Malahide, Co. Dublin. There have since been 5,869 events in 59 locations around Ireland with an average of over 100 people running in each. Almost 800,000 registered participants have run more than 2.5 million kilometres at parkrun Ireland events since then.
Running Together is Better
The runs take place every Saturday morning at over 55 venues with around 5,000 people of every age and ability taking part each week. Events are entirely staffed by volunteers, they’re free to enter and everyone who registers gets an official time. At parkrun, running together is definitely better as runners of mixed fitness levels gather to take part, enjoy the outdoors and socialise afterwards.
A Healthy Inspiration
The beautiful parkland surroundings are the perfect setting for healthy inspiration. The idea behind the runs is that people of every ability are encouraged to take part, from those taking their first steps in running to Olympic-standard runners or just those that want to walk.
What’s the Average Time for a 5k?
So what’s the average run time for 5k at Ireland’s parkruns? It’s 29 minutes and 10 seconds. A massive 135,363 people have already achieved their personal bests at these events, availing of the opportunity for a timed run and the numbers are growing steadily.
Vhi Healthcare has a long history of supporting activities that promote healthy lifestyles and the relationship with parkrun deepens Vhi Healthcare's support of participative running. “We’re committed to helping our members live longer, healthier, more positive lives and this partnership will enable us to do just that. The health benefits, both physical and mental, associated with running are unparalleled,” says Declan Moran, Director Marketing and Business Development, Vhi Healthcare.
Get Going - From 4 to 14
And parkrun is not limited to adults. There’s a chance to get going early and establish a lifetime of fitness. parkrun has proved so popular that there’s now a great new innovation with the development of Junior parkrun. These are a series of 2k runs for children aged between 4 and 14. There are currently 7 junior parkrun events in Ireland – 4 in Dublin (Albert College, Balbriggan, St. Annes and Rush; others in Bray, Co. Wicklow; Ballina, Co. Mayo and Tralee, Co. Kerry.
It is hoped that 2017 will see junior parkrun spread to every corner of the country, to encourage children to develop a love for running at a young age.
So where is your parkrun?
If you’re training for the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon or are just interested in trying out a parkrun, there are events from Bere Island to Ballincollig, from Castlebar to Clonakilty; Glengarriff to Gorey and Kilkenny to Killarney.
The full list of parkrun locations across Ireland can be viewed here.
How do you enter parkrun?
To register for a parkrun near you visit www.parkrun.ie. New registrants should select their chosen event as their home location. They then receive a personal barcode which acts as a free entry to any parkrun event worldwide.
Women can enter for the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon, which takes place in Dublin on Monday 5th June, by registering online here. For those that would like to enter by post, official application forms are available in The Herald every Wednesday and Saturday.