5k Parkrun

On Saturday I ventured out into the wind and cold voluntarily before 9am. Actually the time is irrelevant. As to a Mummy with two little ones 5am is a bit early, 9am is most certainly not.

The wind and the cold were braved in order for me to participate in a 5k parkrun. This marks the first timed run in which I have taken part since having baby Pumpkin.


For those of you who have never heard of parkruns, these are fantastic weekly organised runs that happen in many locations around the country. The events are free and open to runners of all ages and abilities. They usually take place on a Saturday morning around 9am, often through picturesque locations.

How to take part in a Parkrun

Prior to taking part in a parkrun you need to register online. A unique bar code is then generated and you print this and take it to the run.

My local Parkrun takes place on the Whitely Bay Links Common, this is a pretty green area adjacent to the sea front. The course is a mixture of gravel and tarmac paths and involves a couple of small inclines.

What is it like to take part

  • My local parkrun this week had 302 participants!
  • The fastest runner completed the 5k run in a fairly quick 17 minutes 23 seconds
  • The slowest few runners all finished in just under an hour
  • During my run I was overtaken by 2 dads pushing pushchairs.
  • I ran past several children (and was overtaken by a couple too!).
  • I saw several dogs running alongside their owners too.

Forever Young


Overall it is a really inclusive event. The Parkrun is supervised by voluntary marshals, who point you in the right direction and provide friendly support as you run.



Later on the day of the Parkrun you receive your results via email. This gives you your time, gender position, overall position and also age grading. You can also look them up online and will see a list of all of the participants and their times.

The age grading is a cleaver score that allows you to compare yourself against someone of a different gender or different age. The higher the score the better the performance. These scores are calculated as a percentage against the world record for your gender and age group.

My experience


On saturday, I completed the 5k distance feeling tired but not exhausted. I was a whole 4 minutes slower than my personal best so plenty of room for improvement. This still represents a huge achievement for me.

**NOTE: For those of you who feel uncomfortable, or uncomprehending at the term ‘pelvic floor’ I suggest you skip these last two paragraphs***

After having Pumpkin the weakness of my abdomen (diastasis recti) also caused weakness of my pelvic floor and a uterine prolapse. Running is one of the activities that may exacerbate a prolapse. Fortunately for me this has now resolved. I’m not going to go into any more details now, but suffice to say I am delighted to be able to run with all my organs in their correct anatomical position.

So on Saturday morning I could have stayed at home, having a calm family morning with my two angelic children. Or more realistically a chaotic, noisy morning full of laughter and the occasional tantrum. Instead I thoroughly enjoyed my 5k run, despite the wind and the cold, and am immensely grateful to have been physically able to participate.

30 Second Summary: Parkruns are free 5k running events that take place on weekend mornings in various locations throughout the country. The runs are friendly and inclusive of all ages and abilities. The results system is thorough and allows a participant to easily track their progress against themselves and other competitors.

Do you have any experience of parkruns or other 5k runs? Or like me have you had any injuries or complications that have made running more challenging? Do leave any thought in the comments section.
Further information

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18 thoughts on “Parkrun

  1. Miss T March 18, 2015 / 9:57 pm

    Well done! I had a really traumatic birth last year after a crappy pregnancy so I know how tough it is to get back… And now I have two marathons fast approaching, eeeeeeeek!

    parkrun is great. Will you be going next week?


    • tenminutesspare March 18, 2015 / 10:20 pm

      Wow two marathons that’s amazing. Where are you running? I thought I’d never run again though so I’m pretty pleased just to have run a slow 5k!


    • tenminutesspare March 18, 2015 / 10:21 pm

      Oops didn’t reply to the last bit… I’m away this weekend but will definitely be doing park run again soon


  2. Alison March 19, 2015 / 9:18 am

    I have never heard of these. It looks like a great idea. I have just started running again and am building up to 5K so I will have to look out for them when I can manage it


    • tenminutesspare March 19, 2015 / 9:19 am

      They really are great and the lovely thing is your ability really doesn’t matter at all. There are always a few people just chatting and walking on the way round as well as super serious runners!


  3. DrJuliet March 19, 2015 / 10:48 pm

    Hurray. Well done, so easy not to get back into running, especially with things heading south. Feel proud.


    • tenminutesspare March 19, 2015 / 10:55 pm

      Thanks! I am actually immensely grateful to still be able to run. I wasn’t going to be graphic in my post but ’twas a third degree prolapse so I genuinely didn’t think I’d run again. It’s taken 9 months but all better now so I can start doing everything again now… Just need to find the time!


  4. tenminutesspare March 19, 2015 / 11:01 pm

    These shorts look amazing. Exactly what I need! I might need to do s bit more running to justify them though.


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