Here at St Paulin, there aren’t a lot of us. Our stats are normally lower than the other parkruns in Canada. We rarely have a big crowd at the start line, but we do have people who are addicted to parkrun!
We also have people who spend their lives outside, but but who are there nearly every week to socialize and try to beat their personal best. We have kids who come with their parents and play in the park once they have finished. And we have super nice tourists who come from time to time, and ask why there is a parkrun in tiny Saint-Paulin, so far from any big city? And we have Madame Lessard:
This lady has been there since the beginning, even before our parkrun officially started. She’s always there, with a smile on her face. I think that she has missed just 4 parkruns since the very beginning – but she has never scanned her barcode, because she completes only 2 of the 3 loops. She walks parkrun, and she does what she can – which sometimes involves running a few steps! Even during some of the big summer heatwaves, she’s been there. I wouldn’t dare be so indiscreet as to ask her age, but the entire volunteer team of parkrun Saint-Paulin joins me in saying that we appreciate and admire you enormously, and we wanted to pay a little homage to you!
There are often people who pass under the radar; we highlight PBs, people who hit 25 volunteering roles, complete 50 parkruns etc. But this can lead us to forget people like Madame Lessard, and the little things like coming to say hello to us, thanking us for being there, and participating despite the fact that she can’t complete the full 5km. We want to thank you, because people like you motivate us to get up on a Saturday morning to be there for you! People like Madame Lessard show us that parkrun is truly for everybody, whatever their physical capabilities, and even if you don’t cover the whole 5km, you can still take part!
If you’re reading this at home and feel like 5km is too far for you, come along and do what you can! Not a single person who will judge you – quite the opposite! You will feel supported and encouraged, and find a community that builds each other up. It’s not ’just a 5km’, it’s much more than that! You will love it, guaranteed!
In other news, I’m excited to announce that we now have a cafe in Saint-Paulin, not far from our start line! We’re so happy to finally have a place to meet and catch up after our run. Although most people aren’t used to socializing after the event, we’re sure that it will soon become a new routine. And for any tourists planning a visit to Saint-Paulin in the future, it will be our pleasure to host you at the new Bois Cafe of Saint-Paulin!
Most of you will read the title of this and assume it’s about your finishing time! However that’s far from what I want to write about as it can get… parkrun is infectious, it makes people want to! It helps them find an outlet! It makes a community! It builds and infects anyone who…
La plupart d’entre vous allez lire ce titre et assumer que c’est à propos de votre temps final! Par contre, ce n’est pas de ce que j’ai envie de vous parler. parkrun est contagieux, ça fait que les gens en ont envie! Ça les aide à se trouver une raison d’évacuer! Ça fait une…