Nicola made a good point on the parkrun podcast a week or two back. Ronnie O'Sullivan had done his first parkrun and was tweeting good things about it. The main response he got was people carping about his use of a capital letter. As Nicola said, it's not a great way to welcome someone into the parkrun fold. It seems a weird sense of priorities to me. I'm afraid some people like a little point scoring and showing that they're more in the know than others. I've been doing weekly parkrun threads on our club facebook page - I always use the proper written form, no-one else ever has in the lively and enthusiastic discussions, in more than a year. I'm not going to start correcting them, it wouldn't achieve anything beyond making me look like a pedantic nutter By all means expect official parkrun representatives to use the official form, but why correct the general public when they get it "wrong"? It's a completely hopeless mission. And imagine the negative PR for adidas, say, if they started whinging about it and correcting their customers.
I'm finding the endless insistence on one word, no caps for "parkrun" increasingly irritating - ok, they need to get their branding consistent internally, but giving people a hard time for getting it wrong isn't helpful - there are more important things to worry about. Possibly Danny Norman's OCD getting a bit out of hand
[the rest of was typed while Matty was making his post above - what he said, basically ]
The Run Not a Race line is slightly more meaningful. But not much, really. Nearly everyone running in any given mass participation "race" is really treating it as a time trial; they're not in it to win it. I think there might be some requirement for insurance behind it, but at the end of the day, what's in a name? People are having a great time running with others regularly. I couldn't really care less what it's officially called. As far as getting towed around by huskies goes - parkrun have introduced a new time classification of Assisted" to distinguish the cani crossers. It's one of those things where I suppose the fact it's not a race does come into play - it shouldn't really matter what time other people are doing, so "fairness" doesn't apply as much as if it was a true race. people are going into the same finishing order in wheelchairs, with buggies, all sorts - the open to all ethos is part of the charm. But I think it was a problem when cani crossers are smashing course records and making them unattainable by non-assisted runners, that does seem a bit off, so I'm glad of the option to distinguish them as Assisted.
I aim for a top 10 place at mine, just as a bit of fun. It's absolutely about consistency. I'll always fall out of the running sooner or later through having to miss parkruns but it adds a bit of interest while I'm there or thereabouts. Don't forget to volunteer three times - 100 points for each, but no points for volunteering after the three .
I'm in Kings Heath Running Club, if you want something a bit less "full on" than the BRATs. Very beginner friendly, informal, and anyone's free to run with us, member or not. It's a good intoduction to club running. Facebook page gives a flavour of the group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/248229563140/