Stirling Parkrun lays January blues to rest

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Nearly 500 walkers, joggers and sprinters celebrated the festive period at the University of Stirling Parkrun over the Christmas and New Year weekends.

With Christmas Day and New Year’s Day both falling on a Sunday, Parkrun organisers globally had the opportunity to host a quadruplet of five-kilometre loops between the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023.

The decision to host an additional Parkrun to welcome in the New Year was seemingly a huge success, with 137 people crossing the relentless uphill loch-side gradient to start their year in the best possible way, in spite of the grey skies.

The festive atmosphere is a tribute to the relaxed nature of the weekly fixture, with run director Colin Sinclair complimenting the multiple Santa and Elf costumes present on December 24.

Though it might be best to keep those yule log-themed neoprene running tights in the loft for the next 11 months, there’s certainly no risk of Parkrun losing its appeal. Parkrun operates on a run, jog or walk basis and dogs are even welcome.

Speaking to Colin about the decision to take up the opportunity of hosting an extra event on New Year’s Day, he emphasised the need for compromise; participants see New Year and Christmas Day as chances to get “additional runs in,” yet Parkrun cannot function without the all-important volunteers who provide the foundations for the 65 Scottish Parkruns taking place every Saturday morning.

Parkrun would fall apart without volunteers, which Colin mentions UOS Parkrun are always in need of. In the end, Stirling Parkrun organisers decided to take both the concerns of runners and volunteers into consideration, choosing to host a New Year run due to a lack of alternatives at Plean and Falkirk.

Ready to celebrate their 100th event in mid-February, the trajectory of UOS Parkrun continues to be a positive one, and furthermore a positive choice for Stirling students moving into 2023.

The success of Stirling’s first festive triple is evidence of the attractivity of a 5k loop navigating the picturesque Airthrey, whether that be incentivised by the unrivalled morning views over Dumyat, the PB or the post-run coffee at Nourish. A provenly addictive hobby, an especially dedicated few have even gone on to collect the esteemed “Albateer” accolade and cross the finish line at every Scottish Parkrun.

Stirling Parkrun begins at 9:30 a.m. every Saturday from the boat house opposite the Swimming Centre with an introductory talk at 9:20 a.m. for first-timers, providing a warm welcome for runners of all abilities.

Featured Image Credit: Rachel Matthews / University of Stirling Parkrun

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