Nose Hill parkrun started on 1st September 2016 and we have now reached our 80th event. We were the second parkrun to start in Canada, two weeks after Okanagan. Some of the statistics are amazing, such as the fact that we now have 930 people registered and there have been 591 personal bests (PBs) and 127 volunteers.
Our biggest attendance was on our first birthday on 2nd Sept 2017 when we had 118 participants but we have also had events where the number of volunteers equals the amount of participants! In fact the average number of runners per week is 36.9, not bad when you think of all the other running events happening each weekend in and around Calgary and the conditions during the winter months.
We have seen many of the volunteers reach their membership of the 25 club and our first participant to reach the 50 club also happened this year, with many more expected in 2018. As we do not have the “ten t shirt club” for the children in Canada, I make parkrun certificates instead to celebrate this achievement. We also have some extra fun runs with treats, such as the Easter run, the “Halloween” run and Xmas run, where we dress up in a variety of costumes – I wonder what the coyotes think of people running around in bunny ears, cow onesies, Santa outfits and directed by Wonder Woman?
The real wildlife in the park such as the coyotes, porcupines and deer have kept their distance when we all invade their space but plenty of dogs have joined in the fun. They love chewing and running off with the course marker cones especially!
In May 2017 we featured on Global News TV, with Sports anchor Kevin Smith, which was a great bit of publicity. See the clip here.
There were plenty of treats/cake when we celebrated the Canada 150 day on 1st July 2017 and some great photographs of runners all wearing combinations of red and white. This will no doubt become an annual event. In fact over 2000 photos have been downloaded to the flickr site (accessed via the website) and not all the pictures feature ice and snow! We have some spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains, Downtown Calgary and beautiful landscape. In the summer we had rolling fields of green, wild flowers and plenty of sunshine. Of course it can be windy, cold and exposed at times, so we have to dress appropriately.
We have been visited by many tourists from around the world and receive messages of support from other parkruns and park runners who look at some of the pictures in amazement. It is a challenging 2 lap course and participants have to cope with the altitude, the hill at the end and the variable weather! Great training for the flatter runs though.
We held our first New Years Day event this year and witnessed our first park runners marriage proposal on that day too, which we couldn’t help but share on the Facebook page.
The people who get involved with parkrun are also an eclectic international group and so many have become friends. Co-incidentally the owner of the “Friends” Cafe, about a 5 minute walk from the park, thanked me recently for reserving a table every week. She said the atmosphere of the cafe is improved and she reported the park runners to be such nice people. She opened the cafe on Xmas eve especially for us, when she knew we would be running. This all helps the community spirit, which is indicative of parkruns around the world.
I must personally thank everyone who has helped support out first 80 events and look forward to reaching our 100th in August!
Nose Hill parkrun Event Director
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