One of the fascinating features of parkrun's success - revolution might, perhaps, be a better term - is how one local event, at Bushy Park, has developed into a grand-scale, transcontinental phenomena. Here, we take a look at a few events that take place in the farthest reaches of the globe.
Camp Bastion (Afghanistan) - Formed in 2011, the event was started by Lance Corporal James Barnfield who, noticing there were lots of runners in and around the camp, thought there would some interest in something a little more organised.
The course is run mainly on gravelled sandy tracks, and due to the weather, starts at 6:30am every Saturday. Regularly attracting over 100 runners per week, Camp Bastion celebrated its 100th event just last month. Current course records stand at 16:31 and 18:28, which, in the tough conditions, stand as mightily impressive.
Elliðaárdalur parkrun (Iceland) - Located in the centre of Reykjavík, Elliðaárdalur is referred to as 'an oasis in the middle of the city' that is a popular spot for families, fisherman and anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life.
The event started in October 2011 and has a lollipop course with parts that pass alongside streams, waterfalls and stretches of forest. Those who have taken part have often commented on the 'hypnotic' sound of the waterfall. After the run, there is the opportunity to socialise with the Icelandic parkrunners either in the naturally heated outdoor pool and tubs, or over coffee. For those considering a trip to the Iceland to take in the 5k, however, parkrun organisers have reliably informed us that the event is no longer ongoing - the Northern Lights will just have to suffice!
North Beach parkrun (South Africa) - South Africa has a burgeoning parkrun scene with 22 separate events. North Beach, which sits on the Suncoast Casino Promenade in Durban, stands as one of the most popular with a record attendance of 474 participants.
The flat course takes place entirely on the beach front, with runners able to enjoy the viby atmosphere and coast line views along Durban's Golden Mile. If that's not enticing enough, the post-run hangout, Mugg and Bean, overlooks the beach, so you can enjoy a well-deserved cappuccino while appreciating the golden sands.
Have you ever taken part in a parkrun event in another country? Let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments section below.