Last reminder for "Longest parkrun" 2012

After the summer solstice on Wednesday and the longest day, here’s a note from parkrun’s Crispy (of "Crispy Corner" fame) as we look ahead to the "Longest parkrun"...


This Sunday (24 June) sees the third annual “Longest parkrun”.

In case you don’t know, the “Longest parkrun” is a tour around a group of local parkrun courses held on the first Sunday after the longest day of the year. The emphasis is very much on the socialising rather than out and out speed, and runners are welcome to take part in as few or as many of the runs in the circuit as they choose.

There’s no registration and no official timekeeping, but if the last two years were anything to go by, it will be fun (and possibly hot). This year the original South West London circuit is joined by new circuits in North London and Yorkshire. Full details and timetables can be found at

The North London circuit organised by Rajiv Ratan, starts at 9:00 with the Oak Hill parkrun course and finishes with a run on the Valentines course starting at 18:00. The route is pretty compact, with no journey between courses longer than about 4.5 miles, so cycling between them should be easy. Rajiv has also given public transport directions.

Steve Darby has gone for a circular route starting and finishing with the Leeds parkrun course (Hyde Park or Woodhouse Moor depending on who you talk to). The Yorkshire contingent will be playing a weird game of catch the Olympic torch relay/avoid the Olympic torch relay. Three of the towns on their tour are hosting legs of the Olympic Torch relay that day (Huddersfield, Bradford and Leeds), so they are hoping to avoid getting caught up in traffic, while still hoping to see it arriving in Leeds after they’ve finished...good luck with that.

Please note that in order to synch up with the torch arrival they are starting their tour at 08:00. The total tour distance is well over 100 miles and the timings somewhat impractical for bikes, so I suspect nobody will attempt to cycle between them...but have I just thrown the gauntlet down?

And finally, the South West London route is the same as last year’s itinerary, starting and finishing with runs in Bushy Park at 09:00 and 18:00 respectively (and hopefully the now traditional trip for pizza afterwards). Timings worked perfectly for cyclists last year, so that’s my preferred transport option for this route, but many will be touring around by car. I look forward to seeing loads of you at Bushy on Sunday morning.

Good luck to everybody who’s taking part, please enjoy yourself and do look out for each other.

I’ll leave you with my six top "Longest parkrun" tips:

1. Arrange your transport now, many will be driving, so if you need a lift, ask around and you should be able to find a seat. If you’re cycling, work out the best route from run to run.

2. If you’re not familiar with any of the courses then work out where you will park, and get a rough idea of the courses.

3. Take plenty to eat and drink; 35km is a long run even if it is broken up; if you’re doing them all treat it like an interrupted marathon.

4. Take a change of clothes and dress for the weather; bring sunscreen if it’s sunny.

5. Stick to the start and departure times for each event – it’s better to arrive early at the next event than to be rushing to get there, and if you are going to miss the start then it may be better to cut your losses and carry on to the next location on the list.

6. If you have a parkrun t-shirt of some sort wear it – particularly to the first events of the day – it will help to identify each other.

Cheers and happy Longest parkrunning,