Parkrun is the UK’s most successful provider of free physical activity, and has more than one million registered participants. There are 360 5k events across the UK and more than 70 junior parkrun events (2k for 4-14 year olds). Every week we welcome about 75,000 people and 8,000 volunteers to our events.
We have many VI participants, as runners, joggers, walkers and volunteers. However, we are keen to encourage more VI people and their families to take part. These runs take place in the same location at the same time each week. This enables people to develop familiarity with the course and also the other participants (who generally attend most weeks)
We believe that the events are accessible for those that are VI because they:
- have a strong sense of community spirit and mutual support and encouragement
- are not races, and hence non-intimidating
- allow dogs (including guide dogs)
- do not require special equipment
Andrew Jones running the 10K with Guide Runner Ben Roback!
I started running regularly in 2003 when a friend started up a local running group whilst training another friend to run the London Marathon. I initially ran without a guide but as my sight deteriorated I discovered that I did not fall behind and was safer running holding onto a friends arm.
I ran my first race in 2005 and in 2006 I ran my first and last race without a guide when I did not manage to meet up with my guide at the start of the race. I bought a good treadmill in 2009 as I decided that I either learnt to run on one of these scary machines or I would have to stop running. I have kept up with my running but it is difficult to remain motivated to run on your own on a machine without training for a goal or a race.
I joined Metro a year ago and have found my running spirit again. When I am running I am winning because it should not be possible for me to run due to my eyesight. It allows me to compete against my failing vision.
I joined Metro to regain the social aspects of running. I competed in the Metro games in the summer, and I have started running regularly at Park Run. I met Ben at the Metro Games where he offered to run as my guide.
We have now run several times together despite living over an hour apart. and last week, I ran my first 10k race with him. I had not managed to run for over three weeks due to a back injury and had also not run on hard surfaces for several years.
We talked our way around the first 8k and then the race was on as Ben had suggested picking up the pace at each of the last markers and making sure I had a sprint finish. Well, sprint finish was duly provided but the aspect of running which I am realising is most important is showing up and taking part. Thanks to Ben and to Metro.
My suggestion for anyone thinking of taking up running or joining Metro would be to give Metro a go and don’t look back!
article by Andrew Jones
We also have a large number of parkrunners who are trained and willing to be running guides. We are incredibly keen to welcome the VI community to parkrun.
London ParkRun List
- Ally Pally
- Bedfont Lakes
- Bushy Park
- Crystal Palace
- Finsbury Park
- Fulham Palace
- Hackney Marshes
- Hampstead Heath
- Harrow Lodge
- Highbury Fields
- Hilly Fields
- Mile End
- Northala Fields
- Oak Hill
- Old Deer Park
- Peckham Rye
- Richmond Park
- Roundshaw Downs
- South Oxhey
- Wanstead Flats
- Wimbledon Common
- Wormwood Scrubs
If you find the London Parkrun List useful, please feel free to share this page with friends and family.
To take part all you need to do is register on www.parkrun.org.uk and head down to your local event. If you would feel more comfortable contacting someone beforehand, and perhaps arranging for someone to act as a guide or helping hand,
please email the Event Director whose contact details are on the individual event’s website.
All UK Parkrun events Link here: http://bit.ly/2A2yYCi
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