Feeling a bit "negative" --

about San Francisco Parkrun.

We are flying to San Francisco today and I "was" intending to do the new San Francisco parkrun this coming Saturday. However - I am starting to get the feeling that US Parkruns are nothing like the ones we love in the UK and Australia. I am accustomed to quite large runs - even in my own local area , all the runs get about 200+ participants each week. I think that perhaps this is why they have become so popular - as opposed to specialist running clubs, parkruns are very inclusive - it is easy to hide in a large group! :) But looking at all of the 4 US parkruns results over the past few weeks , I can see very small numbers. Sanfrancisco had 22 at their inaugural run last week ( of which there were a largish number of Brits) - but on their second run yesterday they only had 12 runners - most of whom were young and fast. Two other of the parkruns had similar numbers .

I don't know what it is about the US that seems to make it so different from the UK and Australia when it comes to this - with only 4 parkruns across the entire continent and with such small numbers participating in these, something is not quite right?

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12 Replies

  • That's really odd Bazza. When I lived near San Jose in the early 90's there were lots of people hiking and they have some great parks for runs. Wish I could go back!

  • Seems odd, maybe the word hasn't spread to the running community??. Maybe pop along anyway And see what it's like and if you don't like the look of it you can hop foot it out of there, you will have your trainers on for a swift exit if needs be. Not sure really be interesting to see what others think.

  • Sounds like they haven't got the point of park run yet. There's not going to be much atmosphere with that number of people turning up is there ? Hmm ! I think you need to go anyway, just to get it on your park run cv....? Does it look like a nice course ?

  • Yes- it is a "perfect" course - along the waterfront at the base of the Golden gate bridge. -Totally flat. I am not concerned about running last :) -- but more a matter of "who is this old man and why is he here ??"

  • You'd be there because you're a runner, and a bl**dy good one too. :)

  • Well said EM ! Hear ! Hear .

    Yes I agree with all the above, you can always do a sharp exit if you dont feel comfortable with it

    Enjoy your holiday Bazz :-) xxx

  • Can you get on the local press/ park run radar as you are travelling such a long way for the run ? Might encourage more people to turn up ?

  • We don't have Parkruns in Canada either. I had never heard of them until this forum - wish we did have them. They'll probably need some time to build up hype across the pond. I think they'd have a good reception here - we have cheap $15 races with medals only for the top winners. The rest of us just get the chip time and a smile on our face. So I'm sure there is the appetite for it.

  • Bazza, it is your duty to go there as an Aussie ambassador and get the message across just how wonderful parkrun can be for the entire running community. You're the man! The potential is so vast in the US and I can't believe the centre of the capitalist world would eschew such a brilliant organisation, simply because it doesn't charge. Parkrun has destroyed the myth that running is for an elite and as you know is a joy to behold.

    Have a great trip.

  • Just goes to show you can't please everybody - I'd love a PR with so few people instead of the Cambridge one where I got trampled underfoot! You can probably come in the first 3 too! You'll regret it if you don't go, who cares about your age? Let 'em think what they like, you go and enjoy your perfect route. xx

  • I agree with Iannoda truffe! Go and show them what they are missing! And anyway, will you enjoy a 5k run after sitting still for ages en route? Do you enjoy parkrun? Is it a lovely route? I suspect yes to all of these! Will you regret missing out on a great opportunity? Possibly! Go for it! Be the messenger. Just because it's the big USofA, doesn't mean they can't learn something from the rest of us - or rather you!! Go and enjoy - and let all of us know how wonderful is was! Picture please too!

  • Well you know the states are always years behind us Brits. Park runs i believe only started about 5 years at Bushy Park and has grown to the phenomenon it is today. It has been exported to quite a few countries where it is very popular and growing.

    However when it first started like SF there were very few runners most of which were good club athletes. If you leave it 5 years the parkrun at SF will either have folded or most probably be one of the most popular parkruns on the planet.

    I can understand your isolation feelings but it was only when the non elite runners participated in Parkruns that the foundation was laid for its popularity. You would be the equivalent of the pilgrim fathers. I wish i could put it on my CV.

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