A weekly timed running event in College Park hopes to set an American record for participation this Saturday.
Parkrun College Park has held free five-kilometer running and walking races each Saturday on Paint Branch Trail since October. It aims to bring hundreds of participants to this weekend’s run, which will be attended by British founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt.
Sinton-Hewitt began the runs in 2004 with a regular 5K with friends in a London suburb. Since then, it’s grown to become a global phenomenon with 3.5 million registered runners in 14 countries.
The key to parkrun is its informality. Events are run entirely by volunteers, there is no charge and the vibe is friendly and relaxed. But as long as you register ahead of time online, you can print out a barcode that allows you to get an official time, which helps runners track their progress.
Parkrun College Park participants also typically meet at The Board and Brew afterward for coffee and conversation.
The runs are held at 9 a.m. each Saturday, starting at Paint Branch Trail at 4289 Metzerott Road in College Park. (Here’s a map of the course.) Children under 11 must be accompanied by a parent. You can register online here.