The 100th parkrun on Oct. 19 was just a prelude to the parkrun birthday festivities planned for Nov. 16. (Photo courtesy of Renton parkrun)

The 100th parkrun on Oct. 19 was just a prelude to the parkrun birthday festivities planned for Nov. 16. (Photo courtesy of Renton parkrun)

Runners of all shapes, sizes and ages celebrate

Friendly joggers invite Renton to join them for a trot

  • Saturday, October 26, 2019 1:30am
  • News

Every Saturday at 9 a.m., runners and walkers of all age groups and abilities toe the line at Renton’s Riverview Park in Renton for a free 5k run/walk. Last Saturday, Oct. 19, marked the 100th event since parkrun first launched.

The Renton parkruns are coordinated through parkrun, an online system that connects Saturday morning 5k from all over five continents. By making your own event page, parkrun uses its website to register your guests and provides barcodes to attendees to track their time and distance.

Since the Renton launch in November 2017, over 1,200 participants have completed a parkrun in Renton, with the average number of times attended per person around three and a half. And 200 more have registered and indicated Renton as their home event place, but have not yet participated.

“We’re excited about how far we’ve come and the opportunity that still lies ahead,” Co-Event Director Cathryn Burby, who helped found this event, stated.

Parkrun offers a non-judgmental, go-at-your-own-pace event — many parkrun participants would have never dared step foot near a starting line of a big race. But now several parkrun participants have gone on to develop their running skills and stamina, allowing them to enter races elsewhere.

“We all run for our own enjoyment,” Burby stated. “Please come along and join in whatever your pace.”

Participants come in all-ages: from four to their mid-80s, with finish times ranging from just under 17 minutes to over an hour. All registered participants receive a time via their personal barcode which is scanned at the finish line.

“Every parkrun only happens because of the time and dedication of our volunteers,” other Co-Event Director Cam Kennedy stated. “Without them it would not be possible to maintain this as a free event, so are always looking for new volunteers.”

Renton parkrun has also partnered with the City of Renton and the Downtown Renton Partnership to offer a free community 5k as part of Bark in the Park, the Salmon Festival and other community events.

Having a parkrun located at Riverview Park has put Renton on the map for parkrun tourists from around the globe— literally. Every week it is not uncommon to have guests attending the event from the United Kingdom, Australia or South Africa.

After each event is complete, the group heads over to Luther’s Table in downtown Renton for coffee and breakfast. Several parkrun participants have forged friendships and now participate in other weekly runs in town, including an informal “Pub Run” beginning and ending at a local pub downtown Renton on Thursday evenings.

Renton parkrun has inspired two other cities to start their own events. In addition to Renton, there are now also parkrun events in Des Moines and Redmond, with possibly more still to come in other nearby communities.

On Nov. 16, Renton parkrun will be marking the two year anniversary since its launch, with a cake to celebrate. All are welcome to join in this celebration, just don’t forget your barcode.

More information at parkrun.us/Renton.


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The 100th parkrun on Oct. 19 was just a prelude to the parkrun birthday festivities planned for Nov. 16. (Photo courtesy of Renton parkrun)

The 100th parkrun on Oct. 19 was just a prelude to the parkrun birthday festivities planned for Nov. 16. (Photo courtesy of Renton parkrun)

The 100th parkrun on Oct. 19 was just a prelude to the parkrun birthday festivities planned for Nov. 16. (Photo courtesy of Renton parkrun)

The 100th parkrun on Oct. 19 was just a prelude to the parkrun birthday festivities planned for Nov. 16. (Photo courtesy of Renton parkrun)

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