Another entry in the amazing-athletes-get-2019-off-to-a-great-start category: British runner Charlotte Arter, the current British 10,000m champion, ran the fastest-ever parkrun time, in Cardiff, Wales yesterday. Arter ran the 5K in 15:50, finishing second overall.
Not a bad way to start the new year! Got the lungs and legs going again after a solid 3 weeks training. Next stop, Stirling XC! https://t.co/dc94lDOLsl
— Charlotte Arter (@charlottearter) January 5, 2019
The previous parkrun record of 15:55 was set by Hannah Walker at St Albans in 2013. Arter’s previous parkrun record was 16:10.
A week ago, 20-year-old Alex Yee ran the second-fastest parkrun 5k ever recorded (male), with a 13:57 in Dulwich, in south London.
Arter led the British team to a silver medal at the European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg, Netherlands in December. She finished seventh in individual competition.
Parkrun is a regular weekly timed 5K run that is free of charge. Runners sign up once, are assigned a bar code which they must bring to every run, and therafter they can show up at any parkrun in the world with their barcode (without registering beforehand) and receive an official time. Parkrun takes place on Saturday mornings on measured courses in parks around the world.
Since runs are timed and results recorded, the phenomenon appeals to those looking for fast competition (at least, it does in the UK). But its genius lies in the fact that it is also free, inclusive, and highly supportive of beginners and recreational runners. More than 42 million parkruns have been recorded since 2004.