Kilometres of friendship and fun
by AWA Running Group
It’s race season and the AWA Running Group are embracing it with enthusiasm! Races make the weekly runs and training fun yet purposeful. Scheduled are local and abroad races. One of the AWA Running Group leaders, Caroline Beaumont contributes this piece about Park Runs, as she and her family have run the original one many times in the UK. Caroline shared her enthusiasm for it with the AWA Running Group who now do a Park Run the first Saturday of every month.
Park Runs in Singapore!
“The AWA Running Group did our inaugural 5km Parkrun at Bishan Park last weekend. Parkrun is a weekly, free community 5km running event. When Parkrun started in the UK in 2004, the first run attracted 13 runners. Last Saturday at the original site at Bushy Park on the outskirts of London, there were 1,266 runners!
Now there are 768 events every weekend worldwide in twenty-two countries including Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Southern Africa, across Europe, Canada and the US.
There are of course people out to break the course records. Fastest female was 15:45 by Lauren Reid; fastest man was 13:38 by British Olympic runner Andrew Baddeley. But don’t let that put you off from joining. There are often dogs, kids, prams with kids or dogs inside, walkers, joggers and a whole host in between. In fact, the organizers are delighted that the average time it takes to run the 5km routes continues to increase as more at the slower end of the spectrum have joined in. There is a small army of volunteers each week who help set up the course, marshal the event, welcome first-time runners and time your run.
As a family we have run Park Runs in the UK (including the original one which is the nearest to our home), the US, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and of course Singapore! When we are traveling, we always look to see where we will be on a Saturday morning in case there is a Park Run nearby. These have included ones in Santa attire, on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
If you need more motivation, there are fun Park Run challenges to complete too - the Alphabeteer (attend a Parkrun starting with every letter of 1 the alphabet except X), Jetsetter (attend a Park Run in five different countries) and Tourist Streak (attend five different Park Run locations in a row). If you reach a milestone of runs (25, 50, 100, 250 or 500) you will get a round of applause on the day and can buy a t-shirt to celebrate and wear to future runs. And yes, you do occasionally see the blue 500 shirts!
There are three Park Runs in Singapore: West Coast Park, Bishan Park and East Coast Park. All start at 7.30am to avoid the worst of the heat, and all have a designated coffee rendezvous afterwards. All you need to do is to pre-register on the Park Run website at www.parkrun.sg. You will be given a unique barcode which you will need to bring to each race for your time to be valid. After the run, you will receive an email telling you the time for your 5km, your position on the day, and where you finished in your age category.”
Thanks, Caroline! The AWA Running Group is excited to run all three Park Runs and make it part of our tradition as well. If you’re interested in joining the group, ping us on the Facebook group page!
Interested in having fun while running? Yes, it is possible!! Join us Tuesdays at the Botanic Gardens. Then, explore new routes and see Singapore in a new light on Thursday and Saturday mornings. https://www.facebook.com/groups/AWArunning/