Parkrun: What is the worldwide event and where are runs happening in and around Newcastle?

Parkruns can be an easy and fun way to get fit as part of a New Year’s resolution in 2022.

(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Whether it be a way to maintain fitness or starting an entirely new health journey, Parkruns are a brilliant, community-led way to get running.

The premise is simple – Parkruns offer a safe, free way to run, jog or walk 5k across the world. Registration only needs to be completed once and anyone can get involved.

There are currently 1,089 events across the UK every Saturday morning at 9am, and anyone who isn’t willing to run can still get involved through a volunteering scheme which has been introduced by the company.

For anyone looking for a competitive edge to their Saturday morning runs, the group also uses age grading so any runner can compare their time and result with other people of the same age and gender.

Where are the parkruns closest to me?

Newcastle is home to three Parkruns, one at Leazes Park which follows a scenic route through the park and around the central pond, Town Moor which strictly follows the paths around the park near the city centre while Jesmond Dene founds off the most central options for Newcastle residents. The route starts and ends at the south end of the Dene with entrants spending most of the run at the hospital end of the site.

Closer to Gateshead, Parkrun operate events at Windy Nook Nature Park and Saltwell Park, the latter of which includes two circuits of the park’s large oval park with one side running alongside East Park Road.

Closer to the coast, the South Shields Parkrun is mapped out from Sandhaven Beach, up to Marsden Beach before following the Coast Road back towards the town. Heading north, Rising Sun Country Park in North Tyneside offers runners a chance to beat personal bests while Whitley Bay Links Common is also a popular spot.

Blyth Links and Carlisle Park in Morpeth also offer options for Northumberland runners, and Amble and Alnmouth also have their own events with runners heading to Druridge Bay Country Park and The Pastures respectively each week.

All course maps and further information can be found on the Parkrun website, with each individual course having its own Facebook page for runners to keep up to date.