Companies in the Running Industry I admire and why…and revealing what a jersey bin is!

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  1. Tom Williams says:

    Thanks for your kind words Tim!

    Tom Williams, MD parkrun

  2. runninginnj says:

    I’m slightly torn over parkrun – I did the Cambridge one last year when I was on a trip and started to think about what it would be like to have it here in NJ. However, there are such an overwhelming number of 5k races here, and many of them are in aid of some very worthwhile causes and I started to wonder whether charities would lose the 5k as an effective fundraising tool. I spoke to a volunteer at the Cambridge one and from what he was saying, the weekly run there saved the park, so that was definitely a positive.

    On Strava – I tried it about a year ago but it was very cycling focused and as a runner was annoying to use. Perhaps I should take another look now.

    • barefoottc says:

      Hi runninginnj,

      The charity issue relating to parkrun I hadn’t considered to be honest. Although, apart from the Cancer Research Race for Life events, most of the charity runs I see or hear about tend to be very small affairs for 5k, and more than often tend to be for 10k or upwards in terms of distance. I think you’re right in that parkrun serves it’s purpose best when it adds to a community’s area and involvement. It also is great that it is an option week in, week out, rather than the one off nature of charity events.

      I think Strava have realised the huge market that is available (and growing!) in the running world and although like you I still feel it is cycling-led, it does seem to be shifting from what information I’m getting from them and the input they’re asking us ambassadors for in beta tests of new functionality and usability of the app and website. It would be great to hear your opinion on Strava if you do take another look at it in the near future – keep me posted!

      Thanks for your comment! 🙂

      • runninginnj says:

        I have been using Strava for the last few weeks (alongside the others I use) and it is definitely better than it was and I like being able to select what shoes I was wearing. I still think I need to explore – one thing I like on mapmyrun is the calendar layout with weekly summary and I haven’t seen anything like that on Strava (if it’s there I presumably have to look harder and I admit that I haven’t spent much time digging around but I don’t think I should have to for something like that).

    • David Priddy says:

      The evidence in the UK shows that parkrun is to a huge extent positive. Some clubs and events were worried that somone providing something for free every week would affect them adversely, but in general it has proved the exact opposite simply because parkrun creates runners and increases the pool of runners in the area. Many parkrunners when they start are new to running and would never have even considered joining a club or doing a race, yet they get their confidence from parkrun, see that they’re just as capable as other club runners and racers and so take the plunge. My own club has gained many members from parkrun, and I know at least one club that has been saved by parkrunners joining. And local races have benefitted from the increased pool of local runners – a lot of new parkrunners use our 10k as their first longer race for example even though it clashes with the weekly parkrun, and many then progress on to halves, marathons and even ultras. In fact it’s useful to parkrun that people enter other races as when they’re racing on Sunday they will often volunteer at parkrun on the Saturday 🙂

      As for the charity aspect, well as has been previously said, in the UK apart from Race For Life (where only a tiny percentage of the runners actually run) we have very few charity 5k races – they’re usually 10k or further. I don’t however see why parkrun would affect these unduly. Quite apart from increasing the pool of runners who could enter, people do charity events for different reasons to why they would do a parkrun and I don’t see why that would change. Except of course they may chose a 10k over a 5k as they’re more capable of completing that challenge than previously.

      • runninginnj says:

        The running landscape is very different here in NJ although part of me would like to see Parkrun come here. There are many 5k races to choose from each weekend here, most supporting some cause or other and you often find the same parks and courses used several times a year, and while there are many people who do these for fun they also attract the more serious runners.

        I’ve seen how well it works in the UK and how much good it had done for the park the Cambridge run uses so it can definitely be a positive. I was in the UK for the whole o August last year and I was surprised at how few other races there were but that’s because I’m spoiled for choice here.