Our First Parkrun – Roundhay Leeds

dog parkrun roundhay leeds

Parkrun organises timed 5k runs, which happen in various locations all around the world! These are free to take part in, all you have to do is print out your barcode to be scanned at the finish line to receive your time. Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a short lead.

I’ve heard lots of positive things from friends who take part in Parkruns near them, so I thought I’d give it a try! I’m not really a runner as such, I am fairly fit from dog walking and gym classes, and like running about on Otley Chevin, but I don’t really go for runs – so I was interested to see how I would get on with the 5k – and I hoped that running with others would motivate me.

The Roundhay Parkrun is the closest to us, and I roped in my dad to come too as he enjoys running. The race starts at 9am so we got there for about 8.45 – there were plenty of parking spaces in the Roundhay park carpark, and we followed the other runners to the starting line.

There was a lovely friendly atmosphere, the more serious runners got themselves lined up near the front and we took our place towards the back. There were quite a few other dogs there for Fifi to say hello to. 🐕There were lots of volunteers to help and a nice chap made a few announcements, then we all set off! The circuit has a couple of slight slopes up and a downhill slope, and the rest is flat. To complete the 5k you have to run 3 laps of the circuit.


It took us 38 minutes to run the 5k, so hopefully, when we go again we will be able to do it in a shorter time. The volunteers at various points around the route were very supportive and provided lots of words of encouragement. The whole experience was great, and certainly encouraged me to run further than I would normally have done.


Doing the Parkrun is a great start to the weekend & if you are considering it I would highly recommend giving it a go. You don’t have to run the whole time, it is just for fun so if you want to walk for a bit you can do. At the end of the race you get your barcode scanned, and then the times are released on the Parkrun website – this is great if you want to monitor your time to try and improve each week 😀

Roundhay Park is a beautiful location, and a lovely spot if you want to go for a walk around afterwards to cool down. Fifi enjoyed having a drink and a sit down by this nice fountain near the finish line. Dogs only have to be on the lead during the race so they don’t trip people up, but after the race is over you can let your dog off the lead to play if you like – if they have any energy left.

If it is hot, make sure you bring water for you and your dog, and you can always have a little break in the shade if you’re feeling overheated.

roundhay lake through trees

I’d like to say a huge thanks to the Parkrun volunteers who give up their time to make the whole event possible. If you’re interested in finding out more about Parkrun, you can visit the website here – www.parkrun.org.uk.