Fitness 3: Parkrun or Walk

Parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. Parkrun New Zealand

Measuring progress

By Roger Childs

Happy Parkrun finishers at Otaihanga in Kapiti

If you are a seasoned campaigner or just getting underway, it’s good to be able to measure how you are doing. Timing how long you are riding, walking or jogging is a good idea and something to record in your fitness diary.

And, if you are doing a regular course, you can quickly see if you are improving. However, you shouldn’t become a slave to the stopwatch, as everyone has stronger and weaker days.

However, doing the same course or distance once or twice a week does give you the incentive to improve. Parkrun is fit for this purpose.

Parkrun: free, regular, friendly

If you can run or walk 5km you can do Parkrun. In Kapiti the venue is Otaihanga Domain every Saturday at 8.00am.

Some background on this world wide movement.

  • It started at Bushy Park in England back in 2004 to get people exercising.
  • 14 countries have taken it up and there are 1161 “parks” in operation.
  • New Zealand started in 2012.
  • There are now 17 New Zealand locations and over 22,000 people are registered.

Give it a go!

Parkrun provides a personal challenge: to run, or walk 5km.  You can race it, jog it, go with your kids, push a stroller, start at the back with the dog, whatever. And it’s free thanks to the sponsorship of NZ Home Loans – Kapiti Coast Branch.

It’s easy to register: go to

Once you’re registered, the key thing to remember is to take your bar code to the event! You’ll receive six. However, if you leave it at home, it doesn’t matter as your name will be recorded.

Tip: Laminate your bar code so it will last longer.

Results are sent to you by email, usually within an hour or two of the run/walk finishing.

Park run is a great way to get fitter, lose weight and feel better. You also get to know plenty of interesting people. It’s got to be good for you and may become addictive!