parkrun – what you want it to be


Welcome to this week's newsletter. Hopefully by now most people know that parkrun is offically not a race, but a run for everyone!

Of course parkrun means different things for different people. But just because it’s not a race doesn’t mean that you can’t use parkrun as a great tool for improving your fitness, using others around you to push yourself, and to see your weekly parkrun as a motivation for coming back and trying to better that time each week! You choose what you want it to be for you.

Many elite athletes like to run parkrun as it’s such a convenient way to get a timed, measured, regular 5km run into their training schedule. Next week I’m travelling back to the UK, and whilst I’m there, I will – of course – run parkrun in the city I’m visiting – the beautiful city of York. What’s fun to see is that the course records at York are held by no other than Jonny Brownlee (Triathlon Olympic Silver medallist in Rio pictured above at Temple Newsam parkrun, Leeds, UK) and Laura Weightman (Olympic 1500m finalist in 2012 & 2016)!

Possibly even more inspiring though is that the best age-graded score recorded in York is by 66 year old Ros Tabor, who ran 22:32 earlier this year to record an age-graded score of 92.75%! You can read more about how age-graded scoring works here, and use a table similar to the one that parkrun uses here. I love the fact that the age-graded scoring system means that athletes of all ages can compete with Olympians!

Here in Sweden,, the invite to run Haga parkrun has been extended far and wide, and I hope that we’ll see some of Sweden’s best runners on the start line amongst parkrunners of all ages and abilities over the coming months. We hope that you’ll be inspired by lining up alongside these great athletes, but remember that in parkrun and in running in general, the main competition is with yourself!

Happy parkrunning, 

Deri Thomas (A24286)
Country Manager
parkrun Sweden


Visst kommer ni på lördag?

När vi på Mind blev tillfrågade om vi kunde tänka oss att bli parkruns välgörenhetspartner i Sverige, blev svaret ett rungande JA! Vi arbetar för psykisk hälsa och att röra på sig är välgörande för hjärnan och psyket på så många sätt.  

När parkrun kontaktade oss, blev vi givetvis jätteglada. Och när möjligheten öppnade sig i våras under ett London-besök, passade vi på att pröva ett parkrun. Två vältränade medarbetare och en otränad, men envis insamlingsansvarig, begav sig ut i morgondaggen för att springa 5 km runt en park, tillika gyttjepöl. Alla kom i mål, leriga, men glada. Undertecknad kom visserligen näst sist – av 50 personer – men glädjen över att alls ta sig runt var större än nederlaget. 

Och egentligen var det, det som var det bästa med hela loppet. För parkrun är mer än ett lopp, det är också en varm och trevlig gemenskap. Man får komma som man vill, man får springa som man vill och man får vara otränad om man vill. Sen går man och fikar efteråt. Och varje lördag, vid samma tid, är det dags igen. 

Nu på lördag kommer två vältränade medarbetare från Mind och en otränad, men envis insamlingsansvarig, synas i spåret i Hagaparken. Om ni är nyfikna på vårt arbete och på vad vi gör, kom gärna fram och fråga oss i anslutning till loppet. Ni känner igen oss på våra T-shirts. 

Vi ses väl där?

Lovisa Sandberg, insamlingsansvarig Mind


A few words from running legend Dave Moorcroft

This previous weekend, I had the pleasure of saying hello to Dave Moorcroft who was visiting Lidingöloppet with his wife Linda, who ran the Rosa Bandet 10km race on the Sunday proudly wearing her parkrun t-shirt!

For those who don’t know, Dave is the former world record holder over 5000m, running 13:00 exactly at the Bislett Games in Oslo in 1982. Dave is a big fan of parkrun, and the piece below is taken from a recent parkrun UK newsletter where he talks about what running means to him:

"On a spring morning in 1985 I did what around 300 people now do every Saturday. I wandered from my home in Coventry to the Memorial Park, and I went for a run.

It was a far cry from three years earlier in a packed Bislett Stadium in Oslo when I had one of those moments that runners occasionally have. I felt like I was flying, like running was just so easy. On that day I broke the 5,000m world record in a time of 13:00.41.

But in Memorial Park I was alone. I'd been injured, had an operation in Germany, and hadn't run for months. I was about to take my first steps on the long road back to fitness.

I only ran for 100 yards, but it was one of the most enjoyable 100 yards I have ever run. In that solitary moment I learned to love running again.

That run was my first since the Los Angeles Olympics the previous year, which was one of the low points of my athletics career. I had gone into the 5,000m final with a groin injury and was relying on cortisone injections to manage the pain.

Despite my best efforts, I finished last - by a long, long way!

As I crossed the finish line I was using words like 'disaster' and 'tragedy' in my mind. I knew these words were totally inappropriate - we all know what disasters and tragedies are and losing a race isn't one of them - but that's how I felt. I was devastated. I didn't want to run, and I couldn't run because of the injury.

But even though it was one of my worst experiences as an athlete, it was one of my most powerful as a person.

That final act at the Olympics rekindled why I run and why I love it so much. I needed that awful experience of coming last in an Olympic final and then being unable to run for a long time because of injury to remind myself of why I loved running - which is purely because I can.

I have been running since I was 11 and it underpins who I am as a person. For a period of my life trying to win became almost an obsession, but the more balanced me now knows that the running, not winning, was my primary motivation. Running gave me confidence and helped me recognise my weaknesses. It's certainly a great leveller.

Our sport is unique in that anyone can toe the same start line as greats such as Paula Radcliffe in a mass participation event, and having top-level athletes getting involved in a grassroots movement like parkrun is really special. All different people at all different levels can share the same experiences at the same time at the same venue.

I’m a real advocate of parkrun and things like that because I just love seeing people do the thing I’ve loved doing – seeing people whose lives have been transformed after discovering running.

For all of us, no matter what pace we run, it often takes a long-term injury or illness to make us realise how lucky we are to do this thing we call running. It's the most natural of human movements, it's what we are born to do, and we should never take it for granted."

If you are interested in setting up your own parkrun event in Sweden, or to find out more, get in touch with us here


word of mouth


Welcome to this week's newsletter. I’m writing this newsletter sitting out at Rosenhills Musteri on Ekerö.

I’ve brought the apples from our tree to get made into äppelmust. There’s a long line of cars waiting for their turn. The people working here are mostly young people from around the world, and from what I understand, they work and live here together during the peak season.  

Rosenhill doesn’t seem to do much in the advertising, but they don’t need to. The ‘product’ is good and what’s more, it’s genuine. So word spreads, and more and more people come out here. They deserve their success – and of course the challenge is to always keep the spirit of what made it successful in the first place.  

There’s similar stories in the Swedish running world, of running groups, races and applications that are built on love, dedication and passion, and that spread by word of mouth because people just want others to enjoy what they’ve discovered. I remember first using Funbeat over 10 years ago and being amazed at this fantastic resource for logging training. Facebook groups like ‘Springande Tjejer’ and ‘Lonesome Runners’ which just ooze passion for running and provide a positive and encouraging environment for fellow runners. And down on the west coast the hugely popular Göteborg Running Club has been providing fantastic free training for hundreds of people for many years. I know there’s many more out there. 

And so to parkrun. Our aim is to create something here in Sweden that people feel the same way about, something that you just want to tell people about, because it’s great! Everyone who’s involved in parkrun is doing it because they love what parkrun stands for – bringing people together, removing barriers to participation and offering brilliant events for runners every single week. Hopefully that passion shines through! And if it does, then we know that we’ll get the best and most effective marketing of all – word of mouth.

Happy parkrunning,

Deri Thomas (A24286)
Country Manager
parkrun Sweden

If you are interested in setting up your own parkrun event in Sweden, or to find out more, get in touch with us here.


Har parkrun väckt lusten till att springa mer?

parkrun är inte bara en del av en global rörelse, utan också en del av friidrottsfamiljen. Om du är sugen på att springa fler lopp, eller kanske hitta en förening att träna med mellan dina parkruns, så hittar du det på

På sidan samlas lopp som är godkända av Svensk Friidrott och föreningar som har löpargrupper för löpare på alla nivåer – från nybörjare till mer vana löpare – alla är välkomna!


say goodbye to soggy barcodes! 

As you may have seen on our Facebook page, we’re happy to announce that the nice people at Effective Barcode Solutions, who supply UK parkrunners with durable parkrun wristbands, credit cards and tags, have now made it possible to order these directly to Sweden. And of course you’ll never have to rush around in a panic again on a Saturday morning printing out a new paper barcode.

You can see what they all look like in the picture above, and they’re all very reasonably priced – a 3 pack of the tags costs around 50 SEK (plus 10 SEK postage), the credit card costs around 45 SEK (plus 10 SEK postage) and the wristbands cost around 150 SEK (plus 30 SEK postage) (all approximate prices, converted from UK pounds).

All details are available on the website here.


parkrun in a winter wonderland


parkrun in a winter wonderland


Welcome to this week's newsletter. One of the first questions we always get asked about parkrun here in Sweden is "Will you run all-year-round?"

To some people, that’s a given – parkrun is an all-year-round event and of course that’s going to be the same in Sweden. Other people have just assumed that we’re only going to be running in the summer months. 

There’s certainly a lot of misconceptions about running in the winter, when it’s cold and when there’s snow on the ground. When I think back to my running days in the UK, I would never have imagined that I would be out running right through the winter and what’s more, absolutely loving it!

There’s a great Swedish expression ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, just unsuitable clothing’ (I note on Google that this is also attributed to legendary British Lake District walker and author Alfred Wainright). This is of course absolutely true, and it’s certainly important to keep warm on a winter’s day with gloves, a hat and layers of clothing, and make sure that you don’t spend too long outside after your run before changing into dry, warm clothes.

But the reality is that it is an absolute treat to run on a day where it’s a couple of degrees below zero, with a clear, crisp, blue sky above, and well-packed snow below! So we fully intend to run through the winter at the first event in Hagaparken and let everyone else experience that feeling too.

One thing that is very important about parkrun is the fact that it is a regular event and that you can keep coming back week after week, knowing that parkrun will always be there for you. We hope that the Swedish weather allows us that continuity. Generally, there are extremely few running events between the start of October and the end of March, so parkrun will hopefully play a part in filling that gap and providing an outlet for runners, joggers and walkers in the 6 months of the year where there is not an event every weekend.

Of course safety is of paramount importance for parkrun, and there will inevitably be times in winter where parkruns will have to be cancelled – where the course is dangerously icy, when the temperature falls below -15 degrees, or when there has been heavy snowfall that has not been cleared. And some parkruns are likely to be held on elljusspår, which will of course mean that it will not be possible to hold an event when there is snow on the ground.

But we will learn from our experiences from the first winter and aim to provide a safe, fun, enjoyable running experience for everyone all-year-round!

Happy parkrunning,

Deri Thomas (A24286)
Country Manager
parkrun Sweden

If you are interested in setting up your own parkrun event in Sweden, or to find out more, get in touch with us here.


Vill du rädda liv?  Bli volontär för Mind i Stockholm eller Göteborg

Vill du vara med och rädda liv? Mind söker volontärer i Stockholm och Göteborg för att bemanna vår Självmordslinje. Vi kan erbjuda ett av de mest meningsfulla och utvecklande volontäruppdrag man kan åta sig. 

Som volontär i Självmordslinjen stödjer du personer som mår psykiskt dåligt och ofta har allvarliga självmordstankar. Du lyssnar och försöker motivera dem till att vilja leva. 

Självmordslinjen är öppen dygnet runt. Uppdraget är oavlönat och innebär arbete i vår stödlinje (telefon och chattstöd) två pass per månad, samt en natt per termin. Innan du börjar får du en utbildning på två dagar. Därutöver erbjuds fortbildning och handledning, oftast kvällstid. Arbetet sker i våra lokaler i centrala Stockholm och centrala Göteborg.  

Läs mer och anmäl dig Varmt välkommen!

Carl von Essen
Generalsekreterare, Mind


a message from CauseyWestling

CauseyWestling is a very proud partner to parkrun Sweden, which has finally made its way to our country. We think parkrun is a truly great concept, enabling people to run together across generations and experience. 

For us as a company, it is important to encourage a more active life and to contribute to improving public health. For the same reasons, we give our staff the opportunity to exercise together on a weekly basis, and we often participate in different sporting events and tournaments. 

As a company we have participated in an annual charity run which has led to staff members taking part in everything from going out for a run every now and then to multiple IronMan and Swimrun competions. A single sporting event can make you discover an interest you did not even know you had. 

It is not about being the fastest or most frequent runner: what matters is only that you get the opportunity to give it a try. 

CauseyWestling is a full service tax law firm. We assist large property owners with their property investments.

parkrun Sweden is on the lookout for more sponsors and supporters to help support the organisation and to continue to provide parkrun for free every single week. If you are interested in knowing more about you or your company could help, please contact


parkrun comes to Sweden


have fun, it's just a run!

In this first newsletter we tell you the story of parkrun Sweden, about our charity partner, Mind, and explain how you can get involved as a volunteer. 

I’d like to warmly welcome everyone in Sweden to the big worldwide parkrun family! So first of all, a little bit about my background - I’m a Brit who has been living in beautiful Sweden since 2005. I have always just loved to run – as simple as that – and Sweden for me is such a fantastic place for runners. There are so many wonderful locations; along waterfronts, through forests, in parks, on gravel tracks and small country roads.

And some great races too – Lidingöloppet, Midnattsloppet, Tjejmilen, Göteborgsvarvet, Stockholm Marathon, Vår Ruset, Blodomsloppet – the list goes on. But the one thing that has been missing is parkrun on a Saturday morning! Both for the people who run but also for the people who don’t – yet! So for a long time it has been an ambition to change that and introduce Sweden to the parkrun world. 

I ran my first parkrun back in 2008 back in Cardiff in Wales. I can’t remember exactly where I heard about parkrun, but I turned up to my first event, barcode in hand, not quite knowing what to expect. There were 33 runners that day – Cardiff now averages over 600 runners, so that gives you an idea of how much things have changed since then! 

And the thing was I immediately ‘got it’, just like thousands – in fact millions – of other people have done since then. The only thing people ask is - "so it’s totally free, what’s the catch?" Well, there is no catch!

parkrun helps to restore your faith in humanity in an often troubling world. People are good, running and walking is fun, volunteering is rewarding. So come along and join the family. Start the weekend in a positive way. You’ll ‘get it’ pretty quickly. And remember, “Have fun, it’s just a run”!

We have great hopes for parkrun Sweden. It was a great start with Haga parkrun last week, with 91 runners taking part in the first event, and the number of people registering on the parkrun website continues to rise. parkrun is not an organisation that spends lots of money on marketing and publicity, but works on positive word of mouth from those who take part in an event.

So keep telling people that parkrun has arrived in Sweden and together we will make a network of parkruns around the country that will benefit and brighten up the lives of thousands of people.

Happy parkrunning,

Deri Thomas (A24286)
Country Manager
parkrun Sweden

p.s. I’ve been here in Sweden now for 11 years and counting! Those who know me know that I often start emails - "I hope it’s okay if I write in English, please feel free to reply in Swedish". And the same applies now!

Print Mind – parkrun Sweden's charity partner

parkrun Sweden is delighted to announce a partnership with Mind, a charity that works with issues surrounding mental health in Sweden.

We look forward to playing our part in helping to highlight the importance of good mental health in society and to promote the importance of physical activity as one strand of achieving this. Here are some words from Mind’s General Secretray, Carl Von Essen, about Mind’s co-operation with parkrun Sweden

Varför är det viktigt för Mind att samarbeta med parkrun?

Mind är en av de ledande organisationerna i Sverige för den psykiska hälsan. Mind driver flera stödverksamheter för personer som mår dåligt, samt sprider kunskap och bildar opinion för en bättre psykisk hälsa. 

Motion är ett viktigt sätt att främja den psykiska hälsan. Alltfler studier visar att motion både kan förebygga psykisk ohälsa, och kan fungera som behandling när man väl är drabbad av psykisk ohälsa. Vi gillar parkruns upplägg. Vem som helst kan delta, det är gratis. Sträckan på 5 km är lagom lång, och möjlig att avverka för många människor. Det är en bra morot för den som vill förbättra sin kondition och hälsa. Samarbetet är ett bra sätt för oss att få ut våra budskap och samla in pengar.

Find out more about Mind at


volunteering at parkrun

So why not put yourself forward one week to volunteer to help keep parkrun run smoothly, safely and for free, every single week? There are numerous varied roles available, from Timer, to Marshal, to Run Director or Barcode scanner, so there is something for everybody! A little help now and again goes a long way.  

A big thank you to all the Swedish volunteers who have helped out so far with the Haga parkrun event - you are the first Swedish parkrun volunteers and that is something very special! We look forward to welcoming many more volunteers to parkrun in the weeks, months and years to come.

If you are interested in setting up your own event, or to find out more, get in touch with us here.

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