Winchester’s first junior parkrun was held on July 3 2016 and last Sunday (February 4) marked its 300th event. 

That’s quite an achievement because, like the 5k parkruns, they rely totally on volunteers to organise and manage. 

The average number of juniors taking part each week is 77, and to date 3,018 different children have, between them, clocked up 23,171 finishes.

Event director, Katie Warburton, explained that the Winchester course is an ideal and safe location because the whole of the flat, two-lap course is within view from the start/finish area. Parents or responsible adults can accompany children around the course – but only the children can pass through the finish funnel.

Before the start there is a gentle mass warm-up and the participants are reminded ‘It’s a run, not a race – keep a smile on your face’.

Katie added: “The children don’t have to run – they are most welcome to walk. There is an adult ‘tail-walker’ (who actually wears a tail!) to ensure that no junior will finish last.” 

The run director for the 300th event was David Greenslade who dressed up as Super Mario’s twin brother Luigi. He was assisted by 14-year-old visually impaired runner, Keira Mills, who led the warm-up and set the 127 children on their way at the start. Keira runs the 5k parkrun most weeks at Winchester with a guide runner, but she decided to run the junior course unassisted to celebrate the 300th event. 

There are incentives for completing junior parkruns. Coloured wristbands are awarded for those completing particular numbers of parkruns. Special milestone T shirts are also available. 

For more information on how to register for junior parkruns, see the website at: or its Facebook page ‘Winchester junior parkrun’.

Once registered, juniors can take part in any of the 427 junior parkrun events across the UK (as well as those in Ireland and Australia).