As we run into 2019, Derek Kontkanen reflects on Penticton parkrun’s first year – the PB’s, the community and the friendships!
Penticton parkrun started on December 9th 2017, with great community support and with a bit of snow on the ground. 2018 saw one of the snowiest winters in a long time. This made running the two loop course a bit of a challenge some days. I can remember chasing the snow cleaner up and down the Lakeshore Boulevard. A few modified courses to miss the ice and snow, and runners still came out!
Even with the snow on the ground we had runners setting new PB’s. Over the course of our 56 events to date we have had 276 new PB’s from 311 runners. It is great to see returning runners at the start line chatting with others about their parkrun goals, and the encouragement seen from the other runners to cheer them on. A great thing that has started at the finish line is everyone gets a high five once they cross it.
We have had parkrun tourists from eleven different clubs from around the world. parkrun is great global movement, and we have even seen some of our Penticton regulars running in other parkruns around the world such as Australia, New Zealand and the UK!
We have had our first sub 17 min runner in 2018, which was a great to see a runner flying at that speed. We have seen some amazing junior runners getting out there, proving that parkrun really is for everyone. Our youngest finisher was 5 years old, and the oldest was in the 80-84 category!
It is also amazing when you look at the distance we have covered as a group over the past year – the distance running from Penticton to Eastern Ontario and back to Penticton!
parkrun gets us outside, fitter, but best of all, it has led to many new friendships that would not have happened without this event. We have had some great conversation at a new local coffee shop, The Hideaway Café, which as been a great supporter of our event; they have even supplied delicious cakes for our 25thparkrun and our 1 year anniversary!
Here is to more PB’s and new friends. See you out there and everyone is welcome to join us in Penticton – remember to raise your hand for a high five at the finish line!
By Derick Kontkanen, Penticton parkrun
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