With the number of 5km parkruns in Scotland set to grow again in 2019, parkrun UK is very keen to support any individuals or groups looking to start more of the 2km children's versions of their popular events.
There are currently 14 ‘junior parkruns’– free, timed 2k runs for 4–14 year olds – in Scotland, but more are needed.
The first was set up in Helix Park near the Kelpies in 2014 and the most recent at Barshaw Park in Paisley earlier this year. At least one new junior parkrun is planned for the first half of the year.
Unlike at the 5km events, at a junior parkrun, children can run, walk or jog with or without an adult. They can also volunteer to help manage the event if they prefer.
Attendance at junior parkruns can vary, but the average number of runners per week at most of them is around 40 or 50.
Although parkrun UK stipulates that their 2km events must be held on a Sunday morning at 0930, there is no requirement that they be held in the same locations as their 5k ‘big brothers’.
In Aberdeen, for example, Scotland’s most northerly junior parkrun is held in Duthie Park, while the 5km events are held at the Beach Boulevard and Hazlehead Park.
When thinking about setting up a junior parkrun, choice of route is key. parkrun UK stipulates that the course must be ‘very open and straightforward’ and have a maximum of two laps.
Potential race organisers should also take into account issues like access, parking, toilets, volunteers needed and public use of the venue at the same time.
Anyone considering setting up a junior parkrun should contact parkrun UK, who will offer extensive support. More information about starting your own event is also available on the parkrun UK website
Image: Stirling Junior parkrun