Already some years ago my friend living in UK said she was going to run her first parkrun. In the beginning I didn’t quite realize the beauty of it, as at the time I was heading for my first half marathon. Time went by, I did my half marathon and stopped running immediately after that, but my friend continued week after week, did her 1/4 marathon, half marathon and even the full one – and all the time the parkrun was there in her messages.
Eventually I started jogging again and had a privilege to do a parkrun in Wales with my friends Michelle and Kevin in a place I still can’t pronounce: Llyn Llech Owain, I thank you for the great experience! We in Finland didn’t unfortunately have a parkrun, so with some friends we just started walking and jogging (as you can do even without parkrun!) on Sunday mornings.
There were a few middle aged, chocolate loving women willing to give a go for almost regular sports. Women who wouldn’t even dream of joining Tampere Marathon runners or any other running club. We started a Facebook group ”Wannabe parkrun Tampere” and our dream was to be part of the official, global parkrun family one day. We were talking about it to everyone involved in sports as we realized that by ourselves we wouldn’t be able to bring it to Tampere, Finland.
We ran the whole dark and slippery winter, sometimes there were just 2 of us, but sometimes even ten! Wannabe parkrun has meant so many things to us. Maikku said that Wannabe parkrun has brought a new attitude towards running, she feels more relaxed and enjoys it much more as there is no competition involved. For me it has meant a feeling of a safe place to meet friends and having something constant in my life – as an entrepreneur, life is hectic and quite stressful most of the times. We’ve lost some weight, cholesterol levels have gone down, we’ve laughed a lot and talked a lot and had lovely coffee with treats!
In May 2017 we heard that Tampere City´s Johanna Riippi had already contacted parkrun Global and they were planning to start a parkrun in Tampere! I volunteered at once to Johanna and we’ve been really happy to be part of the organizing group. The world’s most northerly parkrun at the moment will take place on the 14th of October 2017! We are happy to retire our Wannabe parkrun Tampere group and join the official parkrun family. Here’s some pictures from the route in Tampere to get you in the mood!
Så ofta vi hinner och vädret tillåter säljer vi fika på parkrun i Hagaparken. Vi är jätteglada att Arbetskamraterna har fått den möjligheten så vi får möta alla härliga människor som har sprungit och sen vill köpa kaffe, bulle, smörgås eller något annat gott. Efter några veckors försäljning känner vi igen personer som springer…
Whilst parkrun is renowned for positivity and mutual encouragement, I seem to have attracted more attention than usual these last months as my tummy has grown. Now at 37 weeks (approaching 8.5 months) pregnant, I’m as astonished (and delighted) as anyone to still be running. I know I’m really fortunate as pregnancies can vary…