Local Heroes: Adam Campion, Run Director at Parkrun
Next up in our Local Heroes series is the wonderful Adam Campion who is Run Director at Parkrun!
Adam put Keswick on the Parkrun map in 2015 and it has come on in leaps and bounds ever since. Around the world, Parkrun has been putting on weekly, timed 5k runs which are completely free to enter.
We’ve caught up with Adam to see what his role with Parkrun involves, how he got started, how Parkrun has impacted his life and the lives of others, and much more. Keep reading for our full interview...
How did you first get involved with Parkrun?
I’ve been a long time listener to the Marathon Talk Running podcast, hosted by Martin Yelling and Tom Williams. Tom is Chief Operating Officer for Parkrun, and often talked about parkrun. I really wanted to have one in Keswick, but had never even been to a Parkrun. On a family visit to Portsmouth for Christmas 2013, we took part in Southsea Parkrun, and brought the idea to Keswick for April 2015.
What does your role as Run Director entail?
It’s a mix of things. We have various run directors, but as the overall Event Director, I put things out on social media, field the emails, gather volunteers every week, store and organise the gear, right up to the moment where I do the run brief before we set off on Saturday morning. Whilst I’m often the face of Keswick Parkrun, my family help a great deal, and there is an army of volunteers we can call on.
In what ways have you seen Parkrun impact the lives of the people who take part?
A large number of people who sign up to Parkrun in the first place describe themselves as non-runners, or occasional runners, so Parkrun has played a big part in helping people become more active locally. A big community has now grown up around it, and there are lots of success stories of people who have seen the great benefits to their well being from simply becoming more active. You only have to look at the list of people who have now completed 100 Parkruns. Some very young, some, less so!
What can runners expect from the Parkrun and the Junior Parkrun?
They can expect to be able to do their own thing. Some runners race themselves to their best possible time, running some great 5k times. Others challenge themselves in different ways, and for some, it’s the next step after a Couch to 5k programme. The main thing, though, is that’s there’s never any pressure to do more or less than you’re happy doing, and the inclusive nature of the whole event is widely appreciated.
How has being such a big part of Parkrun impacted your life?
People have often thanked us for giving up our Saturday mornings, but we haven’t given anything up! There’s an interesting idea around volunteering, the suggestion being that it costs you something, but it’s been a real labour of love, and I’ve enjoyed being part of it. I frequently get to run, and there’s a good social side to the event, based around the wonderful Cafe West in Fitz Park.
What advice would you give to someone who hasn't done Parkrun before but is thinking about starting?
You must know how I’m going to answer that! Register online, print a barcode and get on down there. Run, jog, walk or volunteer - just don’t feel like there’s some minimum standard that you must achieve before you can take part - there isn’t.
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