This Saturday sees the launch of Penticton parkrun, Canada’s 12th parkrun!
Penticton is a super active community, so it was only a matter of time before a group of enthusiastic individuals got together to get behind a parkrun.
The event is headed up four super keen volunteers – Tony, Celine, Amanda and Derek. The journey started back in New Zealand where Tony and Celine got involved with their local parkrun, as Tony explains
“Our friends had started attending parkrun in Lower Hutt, New Zealand and I had attended a couple of times, but it was when Astrid and George started a parkrun in our local community of Porirua Celine got hooked. While 8am was right in the middle my normal saturday morning triathlon training time, after the birth of our second child it was her turn to have Saturday mornings without the kids. I eventually got into the act but the deal was that I would take the kids in the stroller.
We had so much fun in the parkrun community in Wellington and really missed parkrun after moving to Canada, and with the help of another great local family (Amanda and Derek) we have managed to get it off the ground.”
Running at Porirua parkrun, New Zealand
Penticton parkrun has been a year in the making, and progress was made with seemingly normal run which turned into an opportunity. When Amanda went out for a run, she ‘ran’ into Celine:
“we both chatted briefly and agreed it would be our mission in 2017 to try and make parkrun a reality for Penticton! With Celine and Tony’s vast parkrun experience in New Zealand I quickly learned about the impact it makes on the communities who host them, on a variety of levels, but primarily for the mental and physical health and wellness for participants and volunteers!”
The group were really fortunate to have a parkrun close-by, with Okanagan parkrun in Kelowna, and Event Director Bill Justus was only too keen to help out, as Celine continues
“[Bill] was more than happy to share the stats and story of Okanagan parkrun. He invited our family to Kelowna to check it out, so in February, with our bar codes a ready we met him on a snowy morning in Kelowna. We thought…who is going to show up with a foot of fresh snow on the ground and Bill said “just wait, you’ll see” and sure enough about 8-10 parkrunners showed up (counting a couple furry friends too) and this included a couple from a UK parkrun who specifically selected to visit Kelowna because of parkrun and they were proudly wearing their 50 parkrun T-shirts proudly. It was a great experience to help Bill out, he even got our 3 children involved scanning bar codes. After chatting with the enthusiastic Okanagan parkrun participants and volunteers it was an easy decision to get our family involved and help bring parkrun to Penticton.
We are all looking forward to December 9th!”
The course is a double out and backer which runs along the south end of Okanagan Lake providing beautiful views. Anyone familiar with Penticton will of course be familiar with the Peach which marks the start, middle, and end!
For those not familiar with Penticton, this city is located in the Okanagan Valley, about 50 minutes south of Kelowna, where we had our first Canadian parkrun. Penticton’s location offers much in terms of outdoor activities. There is skiing, boating, fishing, golfing, biking, rock climbing, hockey, soccer and of numerous trails for running and walking. One highlight for running is on the Kettle Valley Railway trail which is steeped in Canada’s mining history.
For those new to parkrun, we organise free community events designed to get people out and interacting in their community in a fun environment that gets you running or walking with friends and strangers alike. Volunteers organise parkruns every Saturday year round so you can drop in whenever you like! You only need to register once only at www.parkrun.ca/register, and if you have parkrunn-ed in another country then you don’t need to re-register, your original registration will still work!
If you can’t attend this weekend please wish Penticton parkrun good luck on social media using hashtag #welcomepentictonparkrun, and we hope to see you soon!
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