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Aberdeen Parkrun

  • 5k
  • parkrun
40 watchers
Feb 2011
5:25pm, 3 Feb 2011
5 posts
  • 0
J Cassidy
This is a copy of the original posting I put on the Aberdeen Fetch Mile Forum earlier this week- once things get going properly it will probably deserve its own thread-

Hi there, I am Jamie (in Aberdeen) who first contacted Richard about getting a Parkrun going in Aberdeen. I have been trying to get enough momentum going before I wrote out to everyone. I have added a mesasge to everyone that I had in my Parkrun contact list, but was told that this forum was a good place to be as well. I am sorry that not everyone was keen on my suggestion for the beach promenade, but there realy isn't a park in town that could hold a 5k run without involving multiple laps, track flooding or car parking issues. The beach passes all these tests. I know it is not a beautiful or windless location, but it was the best i knew.
I do not want to be too much in control of this project, and would be really interested if anyone has any practical suggestions that I have not thought about so far. Now I know about this forum I hope I can keep in touch with everyone that is interested.
It has been 10 months since I started making first enquiries into getting a Parkrun set up in Aberdeen. Richard Leyton has forwarded many of your emails addresses to me, and I thought it was about time I let you know what was happening.

A small group of us met in May and we researched possible locations, and it was felt that in terms of accessibility, parking, congestion and track quality/consistency, that the Aberdeen Beach Promenade was the best overall location. Unfortunately Aberdeen does simply not have a large enough park to allow a regular running event, and the beach is a underutilised location. The 5k route is one and a half circuits of the Donside end of the promenade, with the finish virtually at the same point as the start.

It has loos. ample free parking & the local cafes are also a nice feature for those that fancy a coffee after the run.
After a long period of me trying to find the right council department, I eventually met with the council in November 2010, and had the Beach promenade approved with an events licence.

Next step is to secure funding, a new Parkrun requires several thousand pounds to start up, and I didn’t have it spare. I have just submitted an application for a NHS health improvement funding, as an initiative to get new people running. I will find out in the next few weeks if this has been successful. There has been some previous Parkruns in England which got started with this sort of funding, so my fingers are crossed.
If I do not secure funding this way, then we may have to look to the private sector.

If any of you work in the private sector and think you may know someone who has funds available, then get in touch with me directly and I can help get negotiations going.

Once the money is sorted, we then need to do a risk assessment and get the pool of volunteers set up, and this will hopefully be done with the Parkrun management team, who will also need to teach us how to use the computers and timer systems that they supply.

The last few months really have been quite a bit of work in terms of emails and meetings, and I really hope that this message is some assurance that we will get things going eventually. I never had any idea how many hurdles needed to be jumped, and I hope that in time we will get a great event going to pay off the work.
Feb 2011
5:31pm, 3 Feb 2011
6615 posts
  • 0
I know there are a few parkruns that have multiple laps(Glasgow for one) so not sure if that would be a problem. Unless it is 3 or more laps. Edinburgh is an out and back course on a promenade and it works well. Best of luck with it all.
Feb 2011
6:07pm, 3 Feb 2011
9196 posts
  • 0

Good luck.
Feb 2011
6:21pm, 3 Feb 2011
232 posts
  • 0
I'm sorry but if I'd had to run the beach route back when I started running I would not be running now. I know that hand on heart I would have given up long ago. When you are seriously overweight (actually technically obese) this would have seemed so much like an impossibility as the road appears to be never ending.

Part of getting this lardy lady fitter was something to take my mind off what I was putting myself through.

I will still support when I can, but sad that it could not be somewhere more inspiring.
Feb 2011
6:24pm, 3 Feb 2011
2093 posts
  • 0
Hi Jamie, I don't mind the location - the idea of a parkrun in Aberdeen is great though. The positives is the course is flat ..... PBs galore, the negatives yes it can be windy but hey it is the North East, it is expected. Would be nice to have it in an actual "park" but it sounds you have done your homework and nothing seems suitable. I never knew Duthie Parks loop was so small all the way round the boundaries, but hey I learn something new everyday :-)

Hope you have some luck with the funding.
Feb 2011
6:50pm, 3 Feb 2011
2 posts
  • 0
I wish you all the best, the beach has my vote - can't think of a better location, and once its up and running and the word gets around am sure it will become popular. If not and then folk want to change location maybe then would be the time - lets give the Beach a go - I don't think it should be dismissed without giving it a go!!! I don't actually think it would be that boring if only out for a 5k run/walk - now doing reps back and forth along it is (been there done that!)

Out of interest have you ever spoken to the folk who organise the 3k Proms series ie know there is one there tomorrow lunchtime - if not might be worth asking them how they organise it - though think fairly simple you turn up pay a £1 and run!! Think its Metro Aberdeen that organise that one.

Am sure once word gets out via the local running shops, clubs, jog scotland groups you will have plenty of folk along, maybe more in summer than in winter, but thats the joys of running in the North East climate!

Am going out with my club tomorrow night for a meal and will mention to some of them and see what they think about location also. Good luck though, 5k's are a great way to get folk interested in running as an achieveable target for many to aim for.
Feb 2011
6:58pm, 3 Feb 2011
892 posts
  • 0
Hi Jamie,

Good luck indeed with getting a parkrun off the ground in Aberdeen. I know from our own experience trying to get Falkirk on the go that its a nightmare scenario, making sure you get Councils onboard, a suitable area with the basic amenities (car parking, toilets & cafe) then the appropriate funding to boot. Our 2 stumbling blocks have been the Event Director recruitment & funding. We've got the numbers now, just awaiting on the funding. I like the idea of the NHS route for funding, we never thought of our local NHS. Might have to put the feelers out now :)

I would have thought Hazelhead Park as an ideal location but I've never ran or visited except for looking at the memorial and played golf once there so don't know of any paths/woodland trails.

All the best and hope you get a good response from the NE Scotland Fetchies

Feb 2011
9:08pm, 3 Feb 2011
First-time poster!!
  • 0
I'm really excited about the prospect of parkrun in Aberdeen and hope it goes ahead soon. I've taken part in one of the London parkruns a few times and have really enjoyed the positive vibe there. Would be great to bring some of this to the north east. I've only been running for the past 18mo or so. I've taken part in a few races - more for the atmosphere of a big event because I've absolutely NO chance of winning anything - but races get expensive, so the idea of a regular free event is fab.

The beach seems a good venue. Have run all over the city and always enjoy the beach. Whether the sea is sparkling (it DEFINITELY does, sometimes) or grey, there's always something to look at down there ......and plenty of options for a hot chocolate afterwards if the weather isn't at its best! Have also frequently run in Seaton, Duthie and Hazlehead parks. Hazlehead is by far the biggest. I do a 5 k route through there, but the paths are pretty narrow and it doesn't take much for them to get really muddy. Wouldn't work well with a couple of hundred people running through.

Good luck - and I hope it won't be long before I get my hands on one of those coveted parkrun 50 T shirts that everyone down at the Bushy parkrun seems to have.
Feb 2011
9:18pm, 3 Feb 2011
228 posts
  • 0
The Duckinator
I'll do what I can to help with the parkrun. Unfortunately it's a simple lack of available parks that's the main problem at the moment!
Feb 2011
9:29pm, 3 Feb 2011
1061 posts
  • 0
154 Rob, MacSprings
don't worry about the wind - Edinburgh is along the seafront too. Newcastle is also very exposed.
Newcastle is sponsored...by Sweatshop, Lucozade (and possibly the VLM). All they want in return is a namecheck on the website and at the pre-race speech. They set up a stall or hand out leaflets occasionally but it's never intrusive.
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