Christmas Parkrun: How To Find Out If Your Local Parkrun Is On This Christmas
There is no better way to start Christmas Day than a parkrun, and you can do one on New Year’s Day to kick off 2023, too
Most Christmas traditions are as old as Christmas itself – singing carols, decorating a tree, arguing with family. It takes something special to forge a new tradition, but Christmas Day parkrun has become a cornerstone of 25th December for many people.
Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are the only two days of the year where parkrun stages events outside its normal Saturday morning berth. That means those who have a 100, 250 or even 500 parkrun club T-shirt in their sights can notch two extra parkruns in the space of a week. The rest of us just get the perfect chance to start Christmas Day or the new year in the best way – by running or walking 5K.
It used to be the case that you could even do two parkruns in the same morning on New Year’s Day, because events started at different times so you could finish one in time to reach the start of another. This is no longer possible owing to the crowding it could cause at the later events, and the added risk of people rushing from one parkrun to the other, so all parkruns on New Year’s Day now start at the usual time and you can’t log two results in one day.
Not all parkruns have a Christmas and/or New Year’s Day event, however. It’s not easy to get volunteers to put on the event on those days, especially in 2022 when both fall on Sundays – the day after many of those volunteers have helped put on the normal Saturday parkrun.
To find out if your local parkrun has an event on, head to the Special Events section (opens in new tab) of the parkrun website. There you can see all the parkruns that have declared one way or the other – a green tick means a special event is on, a red cross means no extra parkrun. Many events don’t decide until late in December, so a blank box means they haven’t made the call yet.
If you’re travelling to see family or friends at Christmas and see that a local parkrun is on then make sure you check the start time, because these vary around the UK depending on how late the sun comes up. If you’re heading to Scotland for Christmas you can expect a 9.30am start, for example, whereas London parkruns routinely set off at 9am.
Get the Coach Newsletter
Sign up for workout ideas, training advice, reviews of the latest gear and more.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.