The view from the back of the pack


by Cyndy McLean

Getting up and out of the house before 9 am in not my strength but on a beautiful late summer morning I found myself at the start of the Eramosa River Trail parkrun.

I even managed to talk my partner, Sylvain, into joining me for his first 5K. This was quite an accomplishment as he has previously stated he'd only run if chasing a ball on the tennis court or if being chased by someone else.


As it turns out, parkrun is a great way to start the day.

I admire, and secretly wish, I was one of the gazelles at the front of the pack gracefully gliding to the finish line. However, there can be some advantages to be a bit of a turtle and at the back of the pack.

You get a great vantage point to admire the full range of participants - younger and older, parents with youngsters in strollers and walkers/runners with dog companions. You get to have little conversations with the incredible volunteers (including the man dressed as a pirate at the turnaround point) and even be reacquainted with someone you haven't seen in 15 years.

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You get to enjoy the sunshine on your face, the clouds in the sky, the coloured leaves that have fallen on the path and the occasional paddler canoeing on the river.

For those that might not consider themselves "a runner" or are worried they walk too slowly, don't hesitate in coming out to parkrun. Everyone has been very welcoming and encouraging and there is a celebration of everyone's ability.

As the popular sportswear company says — “just do it”. And you'll feel a great sense of accomplishment and pride in being part of a wonderful community.


Thanks to the organizers and volunteers of parkrun for creating such an inclusive and accessible event.

— photos by Laurie Macintosh, Angela Drystek, and Natalie Intven

Run Summary, Event #15

  • We had 85 participants this week, with 20 people attending our event for the first time. 17 people achieved personal bests. In fact, for the second time this month we were Canada's largest parkrun event. Way to go!


  • parkrun veterans Don and Anne Eddie participated, along with their daughter Kathleen and her four daughters (one of whom volunteered with us), visiting from Michigan. Did you know that Don and Anne have participated in 55 unique parkrun locations around the world? That's amazing!


  • First finishers this week: Lee Rantala [18:02] and Julie Fordyce [21:10]
  • 13 human volunteers this week, plus one barkrun volunteer at the turnaround


  • parkrun: the next generation – We had many youngsters out this week (11 participants under the age of 14, plus those in strollers), including one awesome kiddo dressed as a superhero!