How Parkrun could be the first step to becoming a runner

October 22, 2022

Having recently joined the Run Republic team, Head of Event Photography Michael Molamphy outlines his first experience of Parkrun

Isn’t it funny how lives can change on the tiniest of things? I’m sure everyone has a story about how where you live, work, how you met your life partner etc came about from the most inconsequential of situations.

So how did you start running? For some the decision to go pounding the pavements may have started in school or with a local athletics clu.b, for others it may have been a lifestyle decision based on physical or mental health concerns. Some time back a viral tweet from someone considering taking up the sport simply asked: “So lads, how do you start this running thing, do you just open the door and start running?”. It brought some very constructive and quite a few witty responses, but it was indeed a serious question; How do you start? Well, it has never been easier, thanks to the growing popularity of the Park Run phenomenon….

Park Runs are free, weekly, community events held all around the world and there is probably at least one not too far from you. There are currently over 134 such events taking place on a weekly basis in Ireland with at least one in every county. Hosted by volunteers on Saturday mornings at 9:30am, the events are 5k in length and are held in parks, forests and open spaces. What makes them particularly attractive to the first-time runner is that they are set up as a positive, welcoming and inclusive experience.  There is no time limit and perhaps unique for a running event, no one finishes last. Look through results from any of the runs listed on and you will quickly see how participants’ levels vary from walkers to seasoned athletes. A feature of the events also is the listing of local coffee shops where participants are invited to meet up after the event.

To take part you simply log on to, find your chosen venue, fill out a simple application form, which you only need to do once. You must then download your unique barcode which will be used to time your first and all future runs.

So, if you haven’t yet taken up running, who knows, maybe the inconsequential event of reading a simple post on could indeed be that life changing experience!

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Photo taken by Coolbawn Photography for Run Republic at Portumna Parkrun[/caption]

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