Victoria parkrun, Kitchener is cancelled on 11 April 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

No-parkrun news; April 4th, 2020

Well, it’s been two weeks so I thought another splash of parkrun news was due. I hope you’ve managed to stay well and get out and about for a little exercise in the last fortnight. The weather has been kinder lately, which is encouraging even if the emphasis on social isolation keeps us at arms length (and a little bit more) from one another.

If you’ve followed any of the parkrun social feeds, you may have seen some of the ingenious lengths people will go to in order to keep their parkrun addiction fed. There have been a number of inaugural events in people’s homes, typically with one marshal, one runner and a PB position as well as a PB time. A fair example below from the Wycombe Rye parkrun follows.

Alongside treadmill virtual 5km, you may have noticed a number of people running their Saturday morning 5km in their gardens/yards/driveways, and/or up and down their street. The UK COVID-19 lock down is certainly making things challenging there, but it’s wonderful to see the spirit of parkrun alive, kicking and innovating.

Here, my neighbours have been doing laps of their garden (they’re snowbirds in quarantine) so we decided to get with the programme. A 5km takes some careful counting of laps, or a good phone app, although we started with that in mind things rapidly evolved. If you fancy a little variety, I can recommend you add obstacles to your route/routine (we added a hula hooping station, a swing and a crazy dog for interest). I started off thinking it could be Canada’s first junior parkrun if we kept going long enough to clock 2km; now I’m wondering whether obstacles will catch on more permanently…

However, you spend your Saturday mornings during our no-parkrun period, I hope you stay healthy, connected and motivated. Keep calm and carry on.

Happy plodding, jumping, hula-hooping, skipping etc,



Staying connected – Saturday March 21, 2020

Hello friends of Victoria parkrun, Kitchener. Welcome to our new world. I hope you
are keeping well and have been able to get outside to enjoy some exercise in the
milder weather we’ve had this week (keeping social distancing in mind of course!). Bit cold today eh?

So all parkrun events across the world are temporarily closed. You might think this
means an end to parkrun news, but this week at least, I thought I’d say hello,
and share about staying active safely.

parkrun devotees acknowledge (at least) two great components to the parkrun
success story; community building and health promotion. Whilst we have to put
a hold on the face-to-face asset temporarily, don’t feel you’re loosing out on the
parkrun fraternity altogether. There are several parkrun groups on Facebook
and other social networks. You can pick up the feed from Victoria Park, Guelph
or further afield with parkrun tourism discussion groups etc. etc. Time to

Don’t forget there’s a myriad of mobile phone apps that will track your run and
help you stay connected too. I know a few parkrun regulars use Strava and I have
been known to lurk from the couch, inspired (or shamed) by the efforts of
friends and family (thanks Ola, thanks Bill!).

I won’t have to sell the other big parkrun plus to you. We all know that running,
jogging and walking are great ways to improve your health and well-being. These
perks are needed more than ever now and unlike a trip to the gym or a game of
hockey, these exercise boosts are still accessible to us all. You should be
encouraged too to hear a good number of scientific papers promote mild-
moderate exercise as a way of priming your immune system. You armchair
immunologist/parkrun news writer can report regular exercise has been found
to reduce the risk and severity of respiratory tract infections in a number of
studies. Please don’t overdo it though, or run if you have cough/cold symptoms
already. Keep your distance from others and stay safe.

So I hope you stay healthy, connected and motivated in the coming weeks. Keep
calm and carry on.

Happy Plodding,



Run Report for Event #90 Saturday March 7, 2020

Victoria Parkrun joined parkruns all over the world today in a celebration of
women participating in sport. The purple ribbons and clothes (buried perhaps
beneath outer layers) were worn to recognise International Women’s Day (8th
March 2020) #IWD.

Photo Credit: Ola Mabifa

Photo Credit: Ola Mabifa

You’ll also have noted a good amount of green on display as we welcomed folks
from the Irish Real Life Festival. They were kicking off ten days of events and fun
in Kitchener-Waterloo region (check out their website for more details at ).

So around the park this morning you’ll have seen brilliant blue skies, snow, ice
and flashes of purple and green. Positively Spring-like if you’ll excuse the minus
9 on the thermometer! Still, with the sun and snow battling it out and St Patrick’s
day coming up on the calendar you know the cold can’t last too much longer.
Fingers crossed. I know it was mighty cold last week but I’m feeling optimistic as
I study the weather forecast for this week at least.

Photo Credit: Steve Money

Photo Credit: Steve Money

Joining at us for the first time this week were newcomers Robert HALE, Sue
MACNEIL, Anes R and Ivy FRIEDMAN. We were also joined by friends from
Guelph. Welcome, one and all. We hope you enjoyed our colourful race.

The first runner home this week was our familiar First Finisher Chris MOORE
(18:00). Similarly, the First Female Finisher was familiar face Erin FOX (19:41).
As one of the newbies commented to me, nobody minds being passed by Erin as
she always has enough breath for some words of encouragement.

It was a good turnout for our rather wintery event. Sadly, a good few people
hadn’t registered with parkrun for the their barcode so I can’t crow about
anniversaries, PBs or other oddities. Instead, I’ll conclude with a big thank you
to our volunteers and spectators. Volunteering this week were Julia HEYENS,
Jonathan GASCHO, Eugene HO, Kristin SNELL, Ola MABIFA, Cathy MONEY, Steve
MONEY and Will PERCIVAL. Great work, folks. May the luck of the Irish be with
you all!

I hope to see you next week at our 91st parkrun event next week and start the
clock on your count down to the 100 th event on 16 th May 2020.

Til then, happy plodding everyone,



Run Report for Event #87 Saturday February 15th, 2020

Question: How cold does it have to be before we don’t run parkrun?

The answer (at least in our house) is yet to be defined…. Another properly cold
morning this Saturday in Victoria Park (-13°C): the sort of temperature the
English might aptly describe as “Parky”. With that recollection in mind, I’d like to
start by saying thank you, once again, to our volunteers who come out rain, or
shine, snow or sleet. This week the parkrun core team of Julia HEYENS, Cathy
and Steve MONEY were ably assisted by Edith PERCIVAL.

If you’ve ever thought about volunteering and wanted to know more, you can
check out the different roles on the parkrun pages…. Handing out tokens is a
pretty safe place to start, or helping set up/take down our portable signs. The tail
walker has the pleasure of ensuring everyone is home safely and if you’re
looking for more responsibility there’s time keeping, race directing or trying to
mention the best of everyone’s achievements in the run report. Sign up and give
volunteering a go!

Back to our crisp 5km. We may not have had many runners this week, but that
doesn’t mean there was nothing of note going on. It seems Personal Best (PB)
times are up for grabs whatever the weather. Justin SCHOENFELD was back for
his second parkrun and took the best part of 5 minutes off his previous run.
Chris MOORE collected a 10th first place this week. Quite a nice sound to that 10
parkruns and 10 first finishes track record. Congratulations Chris! This guy
obviously the one to watch out for at our event. Erin FOX also has a tidy record
at our event. The first lady home this week, Erin has only once failed to claim the
First Female Finisher position in her Victoria parkrun 5kms. Nicely done, Erin.

Whilst on the subject of Female Finishers, I’ll take this opportunity to point out
parkrun is encouraging you to invite a female friend or relative along on
Saturday 7th March 2020 ahead of International Women’s Day. parkruns on this
day will be part of a special initiative to breakdown the barriers that prevent
women and girls from participating in sport. You’ll know, of course that parkrun,
is for everyone, no matter what your race, background or physical ability.
However, across the world, parkrun wants to spread awareness of the benefits of
community exercise and involve as many people as possible. This is a special
opportunity then to promote the parkrun feel-good factor. Invite a female friend,
sister, mother or daughter along and don’t forget to mention participants of any
pace are welcome and they won’t finish last (a position strictly reserved for that
tail walker volunteer I mentioned earlier). There’s an optional purple dress code
for this special occasion.

I’m off on my holidays next week and won’t be back until that special event on 7th
March so good luck cajoling your female friends and Happy Plodding.




Run Report for Event #86 Saturday February 8, 2020

Well, at -10°C that was a cold one. I thought I’d start with a quick comparison of
parkrun temperatures this week, as it seemed rather chilly out there in Victoria
Park. Knowing how far south we are (relatively speaking in Canada), I took a
quick look at what the weather conditions were like at other events across the
country. For example, you could have been enjoying a sunny and balmy 4°C at
Clover Point Parkrun in Victoria, BC or a snowy run in Halifax (just -5°C though).
Even the most northerly parkrun in Canada, at Syne Point Park, Fort McMurray,
AB wasn’t much colder than Kitchener this week (-12 °C) so well done to all
those who turned out, volunteers, runners and spectators alike!

Photo Credit: Steve Money

Photo Credit: Steve Money

So this week, our first named finisher was Martina CANESI. I had the dubious
pleasure of watching the finish as I passed nearby with a lap to go. It looked like
a great dash for the line with Martina passing a couple of “unknowns” in the last
few metres. Well done Martina, & get your bar codes out everyone else to help
me keep track of your brilliant results!!

Despite the cold, we had solid performances from familiar faces like Steve
MONEY, Natalie de FREITAS and Mark HARRISON plus some new blood too.

Welcome to Hans MUELLER, doubly so for joining us on such a cold morning. I
hope your first parkrun was a positive experience.

A couple of new Personal best records to note in my brief round of news this
week; Amin JAHANPOUR and Jessie BARROW were going faster than ever.
Congrats on your PB times. Something to do with a race to get warm, I wonder?

Well, let’s look forward to another parkrun next week and hope that spring isn’t
too far away now we’ve reached mid-February. Our gratitude goes out again to
the volunteers who turn up whatever the weather. Thank you this week
particularly to Julia HEYENS, Cathy MONEY, Steve MONEY, Douglas PERCIVAL,
Ola and Alesha MABIFA and other assorted PERCIVAL family members for
setting up.

Happy plodding & keep yourself upright in the ice and snow,

Best wishes,


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