Parkrun Edinburgh is a weekly free 5km running event organised by volunteers for runners of all abilities. Parkrun was founded by Paul Sinton-Hewitt in England in 2004 and now it has weekly runs all over the country.
Glasgow has been having parkruns for almost a year now and many Edinburgh people travelled through to take part. There was a demand for the race to be run in the East and the four people who got together to start the Edinburgh Parkrun are Gary, Mark, Mitch and Alia. They spent a lot of their free time finding a suitable venue for Edinburgh, working closely with the council. News of the Edinburgh event spread purely by word of mouth and Edinburgh Parkrun has been popular since its start 4 weeks ago.
The event starts at 9.30am sharp every Saturday, starting on the Cramond to Silverknowes promenade near the Cramond end. The number of runners taking part each week is around 200. All abilities and ages are welcome, even those who wish to run with their pushchairs or dogs !
Runners congregate, warm up together and catch a quick chat, making this a very sociable event. One of the organisers briefs runners who have not taken part before, explaining that it is a public path still and to make sure they collect their finishing token so that their time can be registered properly.
Everybody is then invited to join the starting line and given a 30 second countdown before the race begins. A lot of members of Edinburgh running clubs attend Parkrun and they can be found at the front of the pack, followed by people of all ages and speed behind them.
Lucy, 11 (pictured) chose to volunteer this week as she was unable to run through injury. She was positively beaming and happy to be there but looking forward to getting back to taking part.
Edinburgh Parkrun needs a minimum of 10-12 stewards weekly to ensure the event runs smoothly.
As the runners cross the line, one of the organisers uses a special piece of equipment to register the times. Other stewards then hand a numbered token (in the order that they finished ) to the runner that they can take to the timing station. Here they are given their time and it’s registered on the computer.
Afterwards, people socialise at the nearby cafe at Cramond Harbour and pass on training tips and hints.
The first person through the finishing line this week was Neil Renault of City of Edinburgh Athletic Club with a very respectable time of 15 minutes 11 secs. Renault says his best for the course is 14:59 but had just recently run two other 5km races.
I am sure it won’t be long before some runners from the Edinburgh branch are standing on podiums collecting medals. Ruaridh Miller, 14, ran the 5km in a very respectable 17 minutes and 18 seconds ! Definitely a name to watch out for in the future.
Edinburgh Spotlight highly recommends getting involved with this wonderful FREE community event. There’s a wonderful friendly atmosphere on the course and lots of encouragement for those just perhaps taking up running. No egos anywhere to be seen.
Suitable for disabled ? Yes, they allow people to walk the course, use wheelchairs etc. If you wish to race in an adapted racing wheelchair, please contact the organisers prior to entry to accommodate any needs you may have.