The extraordinary rise of Parkrun is easily the running success story of recent times with Parkrun’s popping up everywhere. We are very lucky in our local area that there are loads to choose from for us adults, but what about the kids, they like to run too?
But preferably not Saturday morning with you as to slow you down eh?
Thankfully, Sunday morning Barnsley Junior Parkrun comes to the rescue as our only local Parkrun for kids. As the Junior Parkrun map shows, you’d have to head as far as Leeds, Manchester or Huddersfield after that.
Junior Parkrun is a 2k timed run instead of the 5k adult version and is solely aimed at children aged between 4 and 14 with a 9am Sunday morning start.
You register the kids in the same way as adults, for free via the Parkrun website and print out their barcode exactly like the adult version.
So this morning we headed off to Locke Park, Barnsley and it was dead easy to find and only 2 minutes drive off Junction 37 of the M1. We found a FREE car park (Sheffield Council take note) and headed through the park. On reflection, we’d have been better driving further down Broadway and parking on the street as it was quite a walk through the park to the start.
The start (and finish) is located next to the awesome little play park with swings, slides, climbing frame, sand diggers etc which is very reminiscent of the set-up in Graves Park. Perfect for keeping the little ones entertained before and after the Parkrun. There is also a little cafe with snacks, drinks and ice cream, so perfect for the adults before and after too. Facilities are rounded off with toilets next to the cafe.
Volunteers are what make Parkrun and they were great here. They took the kids down to the start and had them complete a fun little warm up ahead of the run. The 2k run itself is two shortened laps of the park with marshals and cones at every corner so the little ones don’t get lost. I had no worries about letting my 5 year old go off on her own as she was always in sight of at least one marshal.
The volunteers were very vocal too and were motivating and high fiving everyone that came past, what a great bunch.
The uphill finish was a wall of noise as every child put their all in as everyone cheered. Those parents of a teary disposition had better pack the kleenex as it can be very emotional. 🙂
There were 60 runners today on the 14th Junior Parkrun from Locke Park, with the winner coming home in 7:17 and the last one in 18:40. So as with all Parkrun’s, it doesn’t matter about ability, its all about taking part as the cheers are as loud for the first home as the last.
Numbers look to be steadily growing which is brilliant, lets hope the volunteers get the support they deserve and the event continues to grow.
I can’t recommend it highly enough. Great location, great course, top facilities and fantastic volunteers. What is there not to enjoy?
Forget the iPad, Xbox and Playstation for a morning, get your kids out there running. You might have a future Olympian on your hands.