Parkrun ditches its ‘A-Z’ list of runners who have completed a tour of its sites over fears it creates tourism which damages the environment


  • Challenge involved completing park runs in 22 different countries  

Parkrun has scrapped its ‘A-Z records’ list over fears it encouraged people to travel the world.

The challenge involved participants running at parks beginning with every letter of the alphabet, with all its sites spread across 22 different countries.

But bosses at the charity have now pulled a list showing people who had attended the most events over concern about the environmental impact of ‘Parkrun tourism’, the Telegraph reported.

Internal communication to volunteers and ambassadors suggests the charity’s leaders feel uncomfortable about celebrating records which encourage travelling among its 2,200 worldwide venues.

But the decision received backlash on the ‘Parkrun Tourism’ Facebook page.

The challenge involved participants running at parks beginning with every letter of the alphabet, with all its sites spread across 22 different countries

The challenge involved participants running at parks beginning with every letter of the alphabet, with all its sites spread across 22 different countries

Two participants in the group, Stu Rutherford and Joanne Parker, labelled the decision as ‘woke‘, while Will Hartley, a geography teacher from Woking, said that though he teaches children about the importance of protecting the environment, this move takes ‘the fun and enjoyment out’.

Just last month, the charity prompted outrage after it scrapped records for its fastest finishers following a row over trans athletes holding female records.

The organisation said it would stop publishing data such as most first-place finishes, age grade and category speed records, and removed a search bar on its website as part of an ‘inclusivity’ drive.

The decision prompted backlash from athletes, with former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies criticising Parkrun for being ‘cowardly’.

Parkrun denies it removed the records due to the uproar over its gender self-identification policy, and says there is a difference between its ‘community-led’ events and competitive sports.

Now, with its newest decision, it says ‘it doesn’t feel right’ to encourage ‘Parkrun tourism’ and worries that actively promoting it could mean putting a ‘strain on event capacity’.

A spokesperson for the charity added: ‘Given increasing concerns about environmental impact, it doesn’t feel right for us to encourage this, particularly when the vast majority of people participate only at their local Parkrun.’

Weekly individual times and positions as well as gender classifications and age gradings are still available on the website despite most all-time record lists being taken down.



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