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Monday, 21 July, 2014

If you happen to be in a park at 9am on a Saturday morning, you may well encounter a parkrun. parkrun (always one lower-case word!) is a free, weekly, timed 5K run – not, it is stressed, a race – open to all. The parkrun message is that ‘parkrun is for everyone’; locally driven, and as much about friendship, community and supporting sustainable lifestyle change as it is about running. In addition, a recent research study has concluded that parkrun may be a cost-effective way to improve public health, with evidence that it can improve participants’ physical and mental wellbeing. Started in 2007, parkrun is run as a not-for-profit initiative, by and for volunteers, supported in some areas by local councils, and other organisations such as universities. This overview looks at three locations in the North West – Burnley, Penrith and Ormskirk – and their experience of the benefits of parkrun.

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