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?
Wearside runners are flocking to Silksworth Sports Centre and Herrington Country Park events, with a Parkrun also on at Riverside Park in Chester-le-Street.
Further down the coast, there are also weekly events at Cotsford Fields near Peterlee and The Cliff at Seaton Carew near Hartlepool, which is a fairly flat route along the coast to Hartlepool and back.
The South Shields Parkrun is mapped out from Sandhaven Beach, up to Marsden Beach before following the Coast Road back towards the town.
Closer to Gateshead, Parkrun operate events at Windy Nook Nature Park and Saltwell Park while Newcastle has weekly events at Jesmond Dene, Leazes Park and Exhibition Park.
Continuing 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.