This morning I headed over to Markeaton Park, and joined 372 other people to take part in one of many Parkruns taking place around the country.

To quote the Parkrun website:

parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in.

Parkrun locations across the UK
Parkrun locations across the UK

As you can see from the map in the image, there are hundreds of locations where you can take part in a fun 5k run every week. The process is very simple and best of all, it’s free:

  1. Go to, register and receive your unique barcode
  2. Print your barcode (the barcode readers don’t work on phone screens sadly) and have it ready to take it with you on the day of the run
  3. Find a location and time from the Parkrun website and just turn up - no need to book!
  4. Shortly before the run begins, the race marshall will explain some safety and housekeeping rules
  5. Run 5k following the great signposting, and volunteers pointing out the route along the way
  6. You’ll be handed a finish token once you run through the finish line
  7. Find one of the volunteers with a barcode scanner, hand over your finish token and the barcode you printed to be scanned
  8. Done! You’ll typically get your results later in the day - and then you can pat yourself on the bag for a job well done!

I’ve run around 10 times, but didn’t get an official time on two occassions when I forgot my barcode. To combat that, I bought a plastic tag that I threaded onto my running shoes!

My average time for the 5k is around 32 minutes, although I hope to go more regularly, and have a sub 25 minute time in my sights!

Go take a look, sign up and enjoy!