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Parkrun – A Celebration of Community with Nick Pearson

by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee   /  December 26, 2018

Parkrun began 14 years ago, with a simple concept: a free five-kilometre time-trial around Bushy Park, south west London. It was a low-key, unofficial affair with socialising at its heart. Now over 5 million people across 20 countries have registered for the event! But why has it become so popular? Nick Pearson, Chief Executive of Parkrun and guest on this week’s Feel Better, Live More podcast, explains why. He believes that community is a basic human need that has been squeezed out by our lifestyles. We all crave community and that is what Parkrun is all about. It is inclusive and it doesn’t matter whether you run, jog or walk – there is always someone behind you. Even if you can’t run, you can volunteer, which can be even more beneficial than running for your social wellbeing and confidence. In fact, because of its success in making movement accessible to all, the Royal College of General Practitioners has partnered with Parkrun to promote the wellbeing of its staff and patients.

Parkrun really is more than a health movement – it is a social movement that makes you feel part of your local community. It has transformed my weekends. If you haven’t already, I hope this podcast inspires you to give it a go!

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Episode Highlights:

  • What is Parkrun?
  • When did Parkrun start up and how was the idea conceived?
  • How has the Parkrun journey changed since it started?
  • Hear about the new collaboration between The Royal College of GPs and Parkrun.
  • Why do the volunteers for Parkrun events get just as much benefit as runners?
  • How does Nick think that doing Parkrun with your kids can bring multiple benefits?
  • What benefits can Parkrun bring for all age groups throughout their lives?
  • Hear about how Rangan saw a group of Couch to 5k runners at his local Parkrun.
  • Should Parkrun be timed?
  • What incentives to they offer at Parkrun?
  • Hear about Parkrun on Christmas day
  • What is Nick’s challenge to you?
'Somewhere in peoples DNA is a desire for them to be part of a community.' Share on X

Find out more about Parkrun:

Website   Instagram   Twitter

Facebook   You Tube

Parkrun Christmas Day and New Year day events

Further learning:

Books about Parkrun:

Dr Chatterjee’s resources:


DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee MbChB, BSc (Hons), MRCP, MRCGP