Parkrun directors near Bristol issue hilarious ‘legal letter’ over theft of unique spiral course feature

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The Curly Wurly has been ‘stolen’ from Somerdale Pavilion parkrun

Furious organisers of a parkrun near Bristol have jokingly hit out at the team behind another event in London which has ‘stolen’ its course Curly Wurly. The unique spiral is one of the main attractions at the Somerdale Pavilion parkrun in Keynsham since launch in 2018.

But the event organisers have spotted plagiarism of the highest degree with a similar circular feature appearing on the course at Thames Path parkrun. It has led to a ’legal letter’ being sent to the Woolwich-based event over ‘infringement of course’.

The letter, from the offices of Marshal Walker Parker and Runner LLP, sets its aim to ‘address a matter of spiralling concern regarding the unauthorised and infringing use of our client’s intellectural property rights’.

It amusingly adds that the feature has ‘become an iconic symbol embraced by participants, volunteers, and the local community’ and that a delegation of run directors will be sent to Thames Valley in July to ‘inspect this egregious breach and collect further evidence’.

Aware of the threat imposed to their feature, the organisers held a ‘Original Curly Wurly’ event on May 13 which saw a record course of attendance of 226. And now a group event has been set up to send runners to Thames Valley on July 8, with 18 people already saying they will go, and a further 41 interested.

A description of the event 166 miles from Keynsham on Facebook reads: “A new parkrun has “stolen” our curly wurly. Despite attempts to mediate and even arrange a truce they still insist on copying us. Imitation is the best form of flattery though…..We are planning a trip en masse to visits the event, try out their inferior version and inspect the course before deciding on our final course of action.”

An extract of the letter sent on behalf of Somerdale Parkrun to Thames Path parkrun by Marshall Walker Parker & Runner LLPAn extract of the letter sent on behalf of Somerdale Parkrun to Thames Path parkrun by Marshall Walker Parker & Runner LLP
An extract of the letter sent on behalf of Somerdale Parkrun to Thames Path parkrun by Marshall Walker Parker & Runner LLP | Alex Ross

In response, the organisers of Thames Path parkrun have also got involved in the fun. As well as joining in banter on the Somerdale Pavilion Facebook page, they have also been posting pictures of Curly Wurly chocolate bars and inviting members to sign up to Cadbury’s Curly Wurly Club (in exchange of volunteering on the parkrun).

As for the ‘legal letter’, the group replied on Facebook: “I’m sorry to say that we have received the following from the lawyers at Somerdale Parkrun I think we need legal advice and I’m sure that none of you are qualified to give it so fire away in the comments, should we cancel for good, just cancel on the 8th of July, completely ignore this or buy a “welcome to the new improved curly whirly” sign and have it in place before the 8th?”

Before we go round in circles (sorry) on this issue, Bristol World enjoyed reading the banter between the two groups which we hope raises further the profile of the two parkruns and gets more people to join the friendly Saturday morning communities.