By Lois McClure, Assistant Partnerships Manager
If you want to exercise more, get fit or just want to join a friendly community for a morning run, parkrun is perfect for you.
They’re weekly timed 5-kilometre events, that are free to take part. You can run to beat your personal best, or you might want to walk and talk with a friend, or even take the baby out for a 5k stroll. The best part is, dogs are also invited!
Joining parkrun is also a great opportunity to fundraise for our national charities – Mind (England), SAMH (Scotland) and Inspire (NI). It’s also a great way to blow the cobwebs out, clear your mind and join in with your local communities.
We’d love to see as many of our colleagues (and your pets) taking part in parkrun this year.
How does our parkrun partnership work?
We’ve partnered with parkrun for two years now, and as part of our partnership, we created #HealthySwaps. These are ideas, recipes and ways you can boost your health through what you eat. We also hit the road regularly, travelling up and down the country in our parkrun van delivering healthy food boxes to runners!
Make sure you make the #HealthySwap pledge and keep an eye on out on www.coop.co.uk/health-wellbeing/parkrun to see which parkruns we’ll be visiting this year, but that’s not all.
Are you up for the Co-op Challenge?
To get colleagues out and about, we’re setting everyone a challenge.
There are over 700 parkruns across the country. From the furthest reaches of Kirkwall in Scotland to the rocky slopes of Land’s End in Cornwall, we want colleagues representing Co-op at every single one. We want Co-op colleagues to parkrun the whole UK!
We’ve created a map with every parkrun on it, and once a colleague runs in the parkrun, the location gets a check. We’ll be sharing regular updates on Yammer and on the Co-op Colleagues Facebook page, so keep an eye out for any parkruns near you that need to be tackled!
We’ve also created a parkrun bingo card, which might help you take part in our challenge. Head to www.coop.co.uk/socialhub to check out the bingo challenges – you can also share your parkrun updates on social media with some special graphics we’ve created.
How do I get involved?
It’s really simple:
- Register to parkrun
- Make a pledge to #HealthySwaps – make sure you enter your employee number so we know you’re a colleague. This is how we’ll know which parkruns colleagues are running in!
- Start running! Join any weekly parkrun, every Saturday at 9am (or 9:30am in Scotland)
There are also some great exclusive prizes to be won – if you run three parkruns, you’ll get your own Co-op parkrun t-shirt to wear with pride every Saturday.
So, what are you waiting for?
We’d love to see as many of our colleagues sign up as possible. You can do it in groups, as individuals, or as part of social activities.
There’s a parkrun Yammer group already up and running (pardon the pun!), so get involved, share your pics, and tell us your stories.