Couch to 5K
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Are park run events as welcoming as the website makes out ?

I keep reading about people joining these park runs and would like to do one myself. However only recently graduated I'm afraid that I would be left on my own at the back shuffling along and feeling a bit silly.

How welcoming have people found them to be ? are there really other beginners there who would be willing to shuffle along with me whilst the hard core people run rings around us ? And does anyone know if they hold parkruns in Essex ?



8 Replies

Hi Hayley I can only comment on my experience which is yes my local parkrun is very welcoming. First time I got there early and had a chat with the marshalls, one of whom helped guide me to a good starting position, then she patted me on the back as we started. The marshalls dotted around the course clap amd cheer, no one is last as a marshall takes that position and runs or walks with anyone who needs them.

Based on my experience I'd say don't wait go for it, if you've done this programme you can do it. I even got a special mention on the parkrun news page because I had nhs c25k as my running club. :-) Best of luck, I know you'll love it.


YES! I have run at 2 and they are friendly. I know I found it daunting at the first one (over

300 runners) but people were friendly /approachable. If you are worried go and watch first and chat to the volunteers....I can reassure you they are not all elite runners as I volunteer!!!

Check out The parkrun website to see if any are near you. I think one has just opened in Southend if thats near you. Let us know how you get on


Where are you based? Maybe there's a fellow C25K er already doing the one nearest you? Or someone who would buddy up with you?

I have found the two different parkrun venues I have been to both very friendly, but must admit I did have my sister's company for the first one and I was very nervous! AT the Cardiff one, a lady my sister knew only very slightly came up to me just before the start and gave me a hug and wished me good luck.

The tip about going along early or the week before to say hi to the marshalls and suss out the course is a good one.

You can also look at the results of the parkrun you are thinking of doing to see what ranges people run at but please don't be put off if it's a smaller, faster parkrun, the marshalls are so encouraging and its a great way of challenging yourself.

Good luck.


They have just started a Parkrun in Southend in Gunners Park on a Saturday at 9 am. I ran the first week and found the people to be very friendly and welcoming. I did make my husband run with me but there were people encouraging me all the way round and at the end everyone clapped us as we crossed the line. Afterwards they go to the local pub for coffee and a bacon sandwich and whilst I haven't joined them yet, definately intend to. It is really good. I managed to do the 5K even though I was only on week 7! If you are local come and join us!


YES, well at least mine was very friendly and still welcomes all new comers by a round of applause before the start.


Edinburgh is friendly too. They do a briefing for new runners both novice Parkrunners and people from other locations about 10 minutes before the start. Rounds of applause tend to be for people who've done 50 or 100 not newbies unlike Aberdeen (this is Edinburgh after all!).

One of the things I like is the people coming in at the end are cheered on by the marshalls and the people waiting to get their barcodes read.

As well as looking at latest results if you scroll to the bottom of the results page you will get an idea of the slowest times (ours are usually about 45 minutes) and then right at the very end of the page statistics for the event.

As a 5k graduate you'll be fine. Just take it steady and go at your own pace. Don't worry if you need to walk a bit. Plenty others do and there's always next time to improve on your time.

1 like

Yes, mine in Preston was very friendly when I attended, go for it, I'm sure you'll have a lovely Saturday morning and b set for the day


Hi Phil, didn't realise you were from Preston - we might run into each other (literally) at some point! ;-)


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