Appraising parkrun as a family event

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Parkrun is a weekly 5 km event that is free at the point of participation. Originating in one London park in 2004, parkrun now has a global reach. Not long before the lockdown, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the UK alone, 2.3 million adults had collectively registered almost 35 million parkrun completions, and over 325,000 children had registered over 3 million junior parkrun completions across 729 parkrun events and 342 junior parkun events, respectively. Parkrun self-presents as a responsible community of health promoting participants with an inclusive and family-friendly ethos. Scholarly interest in parkrun has proliferated, with the primary foci on the potential public health impact for adult participants and the extent to which parkrun constitutes a ‘community’. Drawing from our research that examined the perceived impacts of parkrunning on adult participants’ sense of identity, community, well-being and performance, this chapter addresses a gap in the canon of parkrun knowledge – exploring how parkrun might be considered a ‘family practice’. Analysing fixed and open-ended responses to an online survey completed by over 7,000 parkrun participants, we explore how some parents are using parkrun: to perform responsible parenthood; to practise concerted cultivation and as a family enhancing practice. We also draw attention to the obstacles to parkrunning that families encounter, and how the parkrun community is presented as a family. In sum, our aim is to appraise parkrun as a family event.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFamily Events: Practices, Displays and Intimacies
EditorsThomas Fletcher
Place of PublicationLondon and New York
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781003051190
ISBN (Print)9780367507725
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2022


  • parkrun
  • family
  • sport
  • running

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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