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Parkrun cancels A-Z records in an effort to deter “parkrun tourism”

Event organizers hope to reduce the environmental impact of runners travelling between venues


Parkrun, the world’s largest weekly timed 5K event, has once again become the cause of controversy, this time over a decision to cancel their “A-Z records” list of runners who have completed a tour of parkrun races in a move aimed at curbing the environmental impact of “parkrun tourism,” The Telegraph reported. The challenge involved participants running at parks beginning with every letter of the alphabet, with all its sites spread across 2,200 locations in 22 countries.


Originating in the U.K., parkrun attracts hundreds of participants of all abilities to take part in timed 5K runs held in parks, trails and open spaces every Saturday morning, with 2,200 locations across the globe. This new move comes on the heels of a controversy surrounding parkrun’s decision to eliminate course records, after accusations of unfairness, particularly regarding its entry rules related to self-identification of gender.

Parkrun under fire for removing course records for inclusivity

The “A-Z records” list challenged participants to run at parks beginning with every letter of the alphabet. The Telegraph reported that internal communication within parkrun revealed apprehension among its leaders about celebrating records that incentivize extensive travel among its worldwide venues. This decision was met with mixed reactions on social media, with some expressing disappointment over the perceived loss of fun and enjoyment, and others applauded the organization’s commitment to environmental consciousness.

Internal communication from parkrun organizers has reportedly emphasized the importance of prioritizing environmental sustainability and community well-being. By refraining from actively promoting “parkrun tourism,” the organization hopes to alleviate potential strains on event capacity and minimize its environmental footprint.

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