Friday, 7 May 2010

Parkrun and a Rant

Well Parkrun seems to be hitting the news again. Firstly, news that Parkrun is now sanctioned by Runbritain. Then locally, when last Saturday Ian Hudspeth of Morpeth won the Newcastle Parkrun in 15.07, despite running into a herd of cows on Newcastle Town Moor. Then this morning I received my weekly newsletter emailed from the Parkrun organisers, which contained the following plea:

"Please do not use your car to get to the park if you can help it. When the car parks fill up at 9am on a Saturday Parkrun is blamed. This in turn brings the authorities down upon us which, believe it or not, threatens the existence of your event."

Now I don't know if I am just being tetchy because I am not training properly at the moment (or as my daughter would say just a grumpy old man) and putting aside any 'green' issues, but is the function of the car parks not to provide parking space for the park user or and I can only speak of the Newcastle event here, does the proximity of the shopping facilities give preference to Shoppers?

Are runners and particularly road runners being made into second class citizens at the expense of 'the shopper'? In recent years a number of road races have either been lost or, if you are lucky, moved to parks or off road due to increased road usage by motorists, and is it any coincidence that this phenomenum coincided with the introduction and subsequent increase in Sunday shopping a few years back? and all this while the Government spends a fortune trying to encourage people to exercise!

I think I need to get out for a run!

1 comment:

David Rowe said...

The issue we have locally if I look at Bushy Park parkrun is that the main car park fills up at about 8:45 and then there's a queue of cars trying to get in at the last minute. We've had plenty of drivers then park in non-existant spaces and the local dog-walkers and others who come along on a saturday morning blame the chaos on 'the runners.'

Frustratingly there's another car park in Bushy that is 5 minutes jog from the start, free to park (at least right now) and always empty. It may be that runners are a healthy bunch but most of them don't half want to drive/park as close to the start line as possible.

If its shoppers using the car park as in your example I say sod em - park users should have a priority here.