In 2010, parkrun aficionados decided to express their commitment to the event by running in as many of the 5k routes as possible. Last year's 'The Longest Parkrun' began at Bushy and saw 19 runners complete 7 runs across London. This December provided a sequel when three eager runners completed their own version of the challenge as they tackled the 10 Yorkshire parkruns (further events have been added since).
Rather than organising the event for the summer and take advantage of the extended hours of sunlight, the trio, Steve Darby, Tom Williams and Sam Dooley, embarked on their tour of Yorkshire on the shortest Saturday of the year.
Beginning at 6:15am on Saturday, December 17, the three began their series of parkruns earnestly trying to avoid ice at a gloomy Roundhay, finishing in just under half an hour. By 9am the trio took part in the official parkrun at Hull, with Simon completing the circuit in an impressive 18:50.
By the time they were back in Leeds for the Hyde Park run, 14 hours had passed since the first 5k, whilst car journeys amassed to a total of 280 miles as the three made their way through Yorkshire. Assisted by their head torches, the trio completed their final parkrun and covered an impressive 32 miles in the process.
In Steve Darby's blog detailing the Yorkshire adventure, the runner identifies a telling lesson he learned along the way: "It seems tougher in hindsight than during or before the challenge." For more on their 'Le Tour De Yorkshire,' you can visit Steve's blog.