14 Aug

parkrun Finds New Champion

Andrew Baddeley

On the day of Mo Farah's triumph in the 5,000m, parkrun crowned its very own Olympic champion with Andy Baddeley setting a new record at Bushy (Saturday 11 August). Baddeley, fresh from a semi-final appearance in the Olympic 1,500m, completed Bushy parkrun in an impressive time of 13:48, slicing 12 seconds off the previous record held by Craig Mottram.

The rumour mill started churning early on Saturday morning when Baddeley's coach, Andrew James Hobdell, tweeted: 'A morning in Bushy Park...business as usual'. After narrowly missing out on the 1500m final in London, the ace miler headed a 900 strong field, finishing more than 2 minutes ahead of Anthony Jackson (16:11).

Such was the strength of his performance, Baddeley would have finished in the top ten in the 5,000m final. Granted, Saturday's event turned out to be a highly tactical affair - commanded by Mo, of course - but Baddeley certainly brought an Olympic touch to parkrun last weekend. Although memorable Andy Baddeley's performance isn't really representative of what parkrun is about. The free weekly 5k timed run welcomes runners and joggers of all abilities.

Carrying on from the sporting enthusiasm generated by London 2012, parkrun is encouraging runners to take part in their local 5k next weekend with a Super Saturday (18 August). Part of the Join In Local campaign, there are 5,000 events organised between 13-28 August as local communities look to create the UK's biggest celebration of local sport.