Global Running Event parkrun Attempted to Break a Guinness World Record

Last Saturday, they had attempted to set a world record.

The worldwide parkrun running event, a global 5km running time trial that takes place in 10 countries on the same day, had wanted to mark their 10th anniversary with something spectacular. So they had attempted to break the Guinness World Record for the ‘most participants of a 5km run across various locations.’

Triumphant runners at east coast park parkrun, in Singapore. (Image: Parkrun).

A huge turnout last Saturday at the east coast park parkrun, in Singapore. (Image: Parkrun).

Said Carol Cunningham, 36, the Event Director of the East Coast Park parkrun in Singapore, “We had wanted to do something special that everyone could contribute to.” A world record, therefore, would have been a good way to achieve this.

Carol Cunningham, Event Director of parkrun in Singapore, is on the move! (Image: parkrun).

Carol Cunningham, Event Director of parkrun in Singapore, is on the move! (Image: parkrun).

The parkrun event fell just short of the official record

The current record holder is Cancer Research UK, who had set the record at Race for Life One Big Day event, held at 23 locations across the UK on 4 June 2006. That event had attracted 101,246 participants.

In comparison to that, parkrun had 80,160 runners last weekend, including some junior parkruns in the UK. There were also 6,000 volunteers, who devoted their time and efforts to help with the smooth running of the parkrun events.

Singapore’s East Coast Park parkrun did set one record though – by breaking their own record of the largest number of runners taking part. At an attendance of 60 people last weekend, this has completely smashed the previous East Coast Park parkrun record of 44 runners, on 23 September. So there was one thing to cheer about.

Runners had plenty of fun at the Guinness World Record Attempt

The participants – many of whom had dropped by the Singapore parkrun event from overseas – had plenty of fun taking part in the run and they felt really great to be a part of the Guinness World Record attempt.

Said company director Simon Baines, 43, who is visiting Singapore from London, “It feels really fantastic to be a part of this world record attempt. Trying out for an official world record is a good idea because parkrun is huge and this will only make the event bigger than ever. In fact, I am phoning my son in London today – to tell him to do parkrun today so that he can be part of this world record attempt too.”

Huge surprise for him to find out about parkrun’s world record attempt

For 30-year-old retail manager Nathan Egan, finding out about the world record attempt was a huge surprise. “I knew that it was the tenth anniversary for parkrun this weekend but I didn’t know that we were attempting a world record. I got a pleasant and happy surprise when I turned up today,” he said.

That's me (in pink) in action at parkrun last Saturday!

That’s me (in pink) in action at parkrun last Saturday!

But even though it may not have been a successful world record attempt though, Egan, who is from Brisbane, Australia, still had lots of fun at his first parkrun event in Singapore. “No matter where I go, parkrun feels like a community. Everyone is fun and friendly and just wants to talk, so that feels good. I should definitely be coming down to parkrun again in Singapore,” he explained.

Added Luis Fernandes, a 40-year-old engineer, “It’s always a lot of fun doing parkrun, and is even more special because so many people are doing it all over the world – and I am one of them.”

Even though east coast park parkrun is a smaller event than his ‘home’ parkrun at Southbank, Brisbane, though, he felt that it was very well organised and was a run that he definitely enjoyed, according to Fernandes.

Optimistic that the record will come tumbling down next year

And with these high levels of enthusiasm from the runners that are generated from the weekly parkrun events, Cunningham is very optimistic that this eight-year-old world record will finally come tumbling down – when parkrun has another crack at breaking it again next year.

Click here to find out more about parkrun, the global 5km running phenomenon.

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