parkrun is for everybody
We are into the second week of parkrun Canada and another great event took place at Okanagan parkrun. This Saturday is again special as we introduce our second Canadian event, Nose Hill parkrun in Calgary.
Bill and his team at Okanagan prove that they are unstoppable at providing great events and their Facebook page is buzzing with activity and photos from Saturday's event.
The parkrun vision is to provide a truly accessible, free, family friendly event that caters to all abilities. If you have signed up to parkrun and are unsure about it, or know someone that may be interested, rest assured that the emphasis is very much on participation and having fun.
All abilities are welcome and you needn’t have completed a marathon, triathlon, or any sports at school to take part! The 5k distance can be run or walked and the volunteers will be there to support you until you get to the finish line. If you are really unsure, then I invite you to go down to Okanagan or Nose Hill parkrun (you don’t need to tell anybody you’re there) and just check it out, see if it’s for you and then attend the next week if you like.
We are very lucky to be able to start our Canadian journey with two parkruns virtually from the start. I’d like to introduce Suzanne Brooks, once a regular at Netley Abbey, who emigrated to Calgary with her family and wanted to bring the parkrun ethos and spirit to her community.
Suzanne has been spearheading the parkrun effort in Calgary and this week we launch with Nose Hill parkrun. To cite from Wikipedia, Nose Hill is the second largest urban park in Canada and is regarded as a retreat from the city and a place to enjoy nature. Perfect then for a parkrun!
what are parkrun’s future plans, anyhow?
As we are introducing a second parkrun this weekend, it may be a good time to talk about what our vision is for the future in Canada. At parkrun we are committed to providing the support and services to any community that would like to have its own event, and we have seen that there is a huge appetite for parkrun in Canada.
Not a week goes by without two or three enquiries about starting a new parkrun. No area is too small or big to have a parkrun. The largest parkrun (Bushy parkrun, London, UK) sees over 1,000 runners weekly, whereas the vast majority are much, much smaller. There is even a parkrun in Bere Island in Ireland, where they have a population of only 250!
While we can hold parkruns with huge attendances, we are much more invested in delivering smaller parkruns in commutable distance to as many Canadians as possible. We are looking to establish our presence in the cities, but at the same time we will be reaching out to smaller, more remote communities to see if we can work with them to bring and support a parkrun in their area.
It has been proven in our 12 year history across 14 countries that a parkrun brings numerous benefits to the local community – the population becomes happier and healthier, and we think that’s something we would all like.
If you are interested in setting up your own event, or to find out more, get in touch with us here.