Image source: Garmin

How to add your Parkrun barcode to a Garmin or Apple watch

Looking for a more convenient way to register your barcode at the end of a parkrun? This can now be done with a Garmin or Apple watch. Here’s everything you need to know.

What is a parkrun?

Parkruns have only been around for 10 years or so. But in this short time they have become very popular. For those not in the know, parkruns are free, weekly, 5k events that take place in parks and open spaces on Saturday mornings. The following day there are 2K junior events.

Go at your own pace whether that is a walk, jog or run. While the average finishing time is 28:57, for a typical park run times might range between 15 or 16 minutes, and over an hour. Some of these events have more than 300 people participating!

At the time of writing 190,260 parkruns have been organised in 759 different locations. Most of these are in the UK but such events are starting to be take off in the US, Canada, Australia and a few other countries.

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Apart from the community aspect, one of the major benefits of joining is that you get an official time that is registered on the parkrun website. Each participant has their own barcode which they scan at the finish line. This registers their result.

In the past, you had to carry around a paper copy with you. There are also options that come in the form of wristbands and keychains. In 2021 the ability to scan a barcode from your smartphone was added. But as of a few months ago, there’s even an easier way to register your result at the finish line. You can now do this with the running watch on your wrist. No more desperately looking for the little paper with your barcode, checking your pockets to find the thing!

How do I get a parkrun barcode on my Garmin?

Garmin sports watches are extremely popular with runners. It’s no wonder. There is a wide range of devices to choose from and they are known for their accuracy, excellent build quality, and a plethora of metrics directing your performance into minute detail.

Parkrun barcode widget

These devices also have the option of installing widgets. One of these is called parkrun barcode. Install this and you’ll no longer need to take a print of your barcode to an event. This widget displays all the relevant info including your parkrun id, barcode, name and emergency contact details (ICE).

The widget can be installed on most Garmin watches (over 70!). The barcode and parkrun id are scaled as large as possible depending on the size of the device.

The other option is to open the widget and tap, swipe or enter/start/stop button. This will take you to a second screen which displays a QR code. Yes, you can scan QR codes at the finish line along with barcodes. The first is larger so should scan more easily.

Here’s how to add the widget to your Garmin watch.

  1. Open Garmin Connect and then tap on the tab with three dots at the botom. Choose Connect IQ Store.
  2. Do a search for a widget called “parkrun barcode“. Open it and click on the Install button.
  3. Wait for the installation to finish. It might take a few minutes.
  4. Customisation can be done in the widget settings on your phone in the Garmin Connect, or Connect IQ apps or via a PC using Garmin Express.
  5. Type in your ‘A’ number and the app will automatically generate your barcode
  6. The barcode should be available on the widget on your watch once you’ve synced it with Garmin Connect.
  7. The added bonus is that it is a handy way to tore your Emergency contact number (ICE).

Parkrun Garmin watch face

The other option is to install the “parkrun barcode watch face“. This shows your info all the time so you don’t have to mess around with widgets at the finish line. It is also the solution for the Garmin Forerunner 45 which doesn’t support widgets.

This watch face displays your parkrun id, barcode, name and emergency contact details (ICE). The time is shown as a background in a selectable colour. For now Garmin watch face does not support the QR code option.

How do I get a parkrun barcode on my Apple Watch?

Installing a barcode can also be done on the Apple Watch. iPhones and Apple Watches have the Apple Wallet feature that archives ID passes and barcodes. This can also be used to store parkrun barcodes.

Robert Sargant made a nice little open source web tool which lets you create a virtual barcode pass. Simply fill out the form with your details on this page, and click “Generate Pass” to create a QR code. Then scan it with your phone, and add the pass to your Apple Wallet.

When you complete a parkrun double-click the side button to bring up your wallet. Then choose pass to display your barcode.

If you have an Apple Watch linked to your iPhone, the barcode should automatically be carried across. This provides an even easier way to access the info.

Unlike the Garmin option, the Apple solution only shows the QR code. This is because the Apple Watch cannot display traditional barcodes.

And remember – its always a good idea do carry a paper copy of your parkrun barcode. Just in case your device runs out of battery, for example. In fact parkrun HQ advises that you carry your physical barcode for its emergency contact information.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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