Free weekly 5k coming to Henrico

The Richmond metro area is no stranger to 5k races and events. To participate in most 5k events, runners must register and pay a fee. But the Parkrun organization will be providing Henrico County with a free 5k every Saturday at Deep Run Park starting June 3.

Parkrun began in England in 2004 and eventually found its way to the U.S.

The Deep Run Parkrun program will be the 10th one in the U.S., said Darrell Stanaford, the country manager for Parkrun USA.

“The first U.S. Parkrun was in a suburb of Detroit in Michigan,” Stanaford said. “June 3 will be the five-year anniversary of the first Parkrun in the U.S. So, on June 3 there will be the first Deep Run Parkrun and at the same time they will be celebrating the fifth anniversary of the first Parkrun in the U.S.”

Parkrun is a global organization that hosts free 5K events in which people can participate – and enjoy – at their pace. Organizers want participants to have fun while exercising with their families and friends.

Parkrun’s overall mission is to make the planet a bit happier and healthier, Stanaford said.

“The goal of the event is to welcome anyone who wants to walk, run or jog five kilometers for free,” Stanaford said. “We want to get more people active and out in the parks on a regular basis.”

Event director Nicole Brown said that although the event tracks peoples’ times, the 5k has no set time restrictions.

“There is unlimited time for this 5k,” Brown said. “We just want people to come and walk or run at their pace and have fun. Dogs, children and children in strollers are welcome as well. We want people to come and have fun while working out. We want them to have the opportunity to meet other runners or walkers in the community. This also provides participants with motivation to come out on Saturday mornings and work out.”

The Deep Run Parkrun is the first Parkrun event in Virginia, but there are Parkruns in Fletcher’s Cove and Roosevelt Island in Washington, D.C. and one in College Park, Md.

Online registration for the Parkrun event – available at – is straightforward, and participants only have to register once.

“[Participants] will be assigned a barcode, which they will need to print out and bring with them to the 5k each week," Brown said. "This is how their time is tracked.”

The Deep Run Parkrun will start each Saturday across from the park's first lake at 9 a.m., beginning June 3.

For details, visit
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May 2017

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