Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park celebrates junior parkrun anniversary

Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is celebrating the first birthday of its junior parkrun with a month-long virtual event.

As parkrun is currently on hold due to Covid-19, runners of all ages are invited to mark the occasion by completing a “(not)parkrun” on the usual 2km junior parkrun course at any time throughout November.

(not)parkrun is an opportunity for runners to submit a walk, jog, or run, on a route of their choosing, wherever they are and following appropriate, local pandemic guidance for physical activity.

Thomas McCart, event director of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park junior parkrun, said: “When we launched our junior parkrun last year, we were incredibly excited to encourage more children across the city to take part in such an amazing initiative.”

“The response from runners and volunteers has been incredible, and whilst Covid-19 has unfortunately caused us to temporarily pause the weekly events, we think this month long celebration of not(parkrun) is a great opportunity for all those who are missing parkrun to show their support for us and get in some good exercise.”

not(parkrun) is not necessarily about walking, jogging, or running at your regular parkrun location at your regular parkrun time.

It works a bit like the parkrun ‘Freedom run’ – an opportunity for you to self-declare the date and time of a walk, jog or run and at the same time represent your home parkrun. You can record up to one activity per day, with your fastest time each week included in a weekly results table.

There’s no need to re-register to take part, your existing parkrun profile will allow you to log and view your (not)parkruns.

The 2km, traffic-free (not)parkrun at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park takes in two laps of the Park, following the 1km Outdoor City Run Route, passing the flame from the World Student Games and finishing on the 100m track in the centre of the Park.

Runners are encouraged to share highlights from their (not)parkrun at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park on Facebook via @sheffieldolpjuniors so pictures can be used as part of an “anniversary montage” at the end of the month.

Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is also home to Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, which has been part of the parkrun Research Board – who are responsible for overseeing high quality research linked to parkrun worldwide – since 2016.

Steve Haake, chairman of the parkrun Research Board, who was awarded an OBE for services to sport in the Queen’s Birthday Honours earlier this month said: “Physical activity is one of the simplest things you can do to support health and wellbeing and it is delightful to see young children running with their parents.

“Of all the parkruns I’ve been to, this is the one that has made me most excited, with its location right next door to my place of work and on the site of the old Don Valley Stadium, with its rich sporting history. I look forward to a time when we can take part in parkrun together again, but until then these virtual events are a great way to mark this anniversary.”

Anyone interested in taking part just needs to register, or sign into, the parkrun website to upload their lap times here: https://support.parkrun.com/hc/en-us/articles/360009843618