Vitality today announced it has become the first headline partner of parkrun UK. The community-based running series will be referred to as ‘parkrun UK with Vitality’, and the agreement will enable the events to further develop and grow.

Health and Life insurer Vitality has been a partner of parkrun UK since 2012. The enhanced headline partnership will help parkrun to continue leading the way in the provision of free community based and volunteer led physical activity, while at the same time fulfilling Vitality’s vision to encourage more people to be active and live a healthy life. The partnership will also support the continued growth of new parkrun events around the country and the development of junior parkrun, which are 2k runs for 4 – 14 year olds.

To launch the new partnership, Vitality Ambassador and Olympic Games Gold Medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill took part in her local Sheffield Hallam parkrun on Saturday (04/02). The run formed part of Jessica’s training for VitalityMove, a new running and music event series she has created with Vitality that aims to encourage people to be more active by making running fun.

parkrun supports local communities in organising free, weekly, timed 5k runs every Saturday morning at more than 440 venues across the UK, along with 147 2k junior parkruns. Around 110,000 people of every age and ability take part each week thanks to the contribution of 10,000 volunteers. 1.2 million registered participants have run almost 70 million kilometres at parkrun UK events since it launched in 2004. parkrun began in the UK and is the single biggest participation running event globally with more than three million registered participants and up to 200,000 weekly participants.

Jessica Ennis-Hill said: “I really enjoyed taking part in my first parkrun UK with Vitality at my local park. Everyone was really friendly and supportive and it was great training for VitalityMove at Chatsworth House in July. Initiatives such as parkrun UK with Vitality are so important because they encourage everyone, no matter how fit or experienced they are, to get outside and be active in a fun environment.”