In April I attended the Jamaica Park parkrun in Boston. It was only their third event and it was occurring on Boston Marathon weekend – which meant a lot of parkrun tourists would be in town. There ended up being just under 200 parkrunners and the JP parkrun team performed admirably for a turnout that doubled their previous runs. But one of the things that caught my eye was the willingness to help from all the parkrun tourists. From helping setup and tear down the event, to some finishing their run and then pulling out the phone (and parkrun app) to start scanning barcodes. It truly showed the parkrun spirit.
Victoria’s tourist industry is one of the top economic generators in our region. It’s no surprise then that during tourist season we see our participation numbers jump. With the return of tourist season come the return of hands raised in response to the weekly question: “do we have any parkrun tourists today?” It’s a ton of fun seeing how far people have come: from across the strait in Vancouver to South Africa to Australia and of course the original parkrunners from England, just to name a few. Just recently we were so close to having our first parkrunner celebrate a milestone at Clover Point parkrun, with a parkrun tourist from New Zealand running their 49thparkrun!
As hosts we get to hear the stories of parkrun tourists: what brought them to town, how long they’ve been parkrunning, how did they enjoy our parkrun, etc. My favourite comment from parkrun tourists is: “we came to Victoria because we saw you had a parkrun!”, because it shows that even our small event can have a benefit beyond providing runners a safe and enjoyable way to stay healthy – we are also helping our local tourism industry!
But the thing that really strikes me about parkrun tourists is how the immense ability to bring together and create a bond with people from across the world can occur in just a few hours on a Saturday morning by walking, jogging, and running.
Clover Point parkrun Event Director
The impact of parkrun on mental health extends far beyond physical activity and has the potential to support people outside of traditional mental health services, according to new research conducted by Staffordshire University in the UK. People with mental health difficulties are among the most socially excluded people in the UK, and social exclusion is…
One of the wonderful things about parkrun is that you never know who you are going to meet at your local parkrun. parkrun is fantastic for meeting people you wouldn’t normally cross paths with. Be it someone in a different industry to you, different area of town, completely different hobbies, and now with international…