I often ask myself this very question after being, to say the least, heavily involved with setting up a parkrun in Örebro for well over a year now, “What’s in it for me?”. It’s not that I lie awake thinking it about it but surely people must be wondering? In an age of wanting, craving, selling and personal growth it’s only natural I guess that the vast majority of folk are curious!
I mean surely it can’t be right! A 5 km run or walk in a stunning national park, every week, timing and placings, totally for free! You must be pulling my leg? What is he really after, this strange, ever-constant Brit? There must be some hidden catch, like he’s going to brainwash me into joining some weird running-sect. Or maybe cleverly ask me to pay a membership fee every year!
Running and walking is a very simple task. You simply put one foot in front of the other and repeat; why complicate it? What could be simpler than meeting up with a bunch of like-minded people every Saturday morning, go for a walk, jog or run and then take a coffee together afterwards? That in essence is parkrun.
parkrun is about so many things – inclusivity, bringing people together, getting outdoors, being active and having fun. But maybe it’s also just a little bit more than that. How about spreading the joy of running with others? Encouraging goals that a lot of people would have otherwise thought impossible. There are thousands of examples of amazing stories from various parkruns around the world where people have gone from couch to running for the 1st time in their lives. From walking 5 km’s to running the whole way. From 5 km’s to completing the holy grail of running – a marathon!
At our very own parkrun in Örebro last Saturday I saw several groups of small children getting involved with their parents some of them as young as 5. A runner with their dog, running-strollers, some “regulars” on their way to their 1st milestone t-shirts (want to know more, read here).
We even had a group of runners from a local running club who timed in their regular Saturday long-run, joining us at exactly 09.30, for a quick 5km and then away to finish off their training.
And so therein lies the answer to my question – “what’s in it for me”? For me it’s about giving back. Running has helped me out in the past when I was overweight, unfit and depressed and decided to run my first marathon. I could hardly run 5 km without nearly passing out but the journey it took me on, the people I met, the lessons I’ve learnt have helped me immensely. Running is awesome and parkrun gives me the chance to share that “awesomeness” with others.
Just come on down and join us at Örebro parkrun. We’re there every Saturday, starting at 09.30 opposite Naturens Hus.
Örebro parkrun Event Director
It’s now over 9 years since parkrun started up in the Nordics, with the first event in Copenhagen’s Amager Faelled parkrun in early May 2009. There were 20 runners that day, supported by 7 volunteers, including Henrik Poulsen, who remains the Event Director to the current day, 480 events later! But it is only…
I’m not a fast runner (Editors note: everything is relative Claire!) in fact since discovering parkrun back in 2012 I have managed to run the 5km distance in less than 30 minutes just once, and that course was nice and flat! Haga parkrun is definitely not flat so when I was challenged by Deri Thomas…