After a lot of work behind the scenes, we’re delighted to announce that we’re starting a new parkrun this Spring in Malmö!
The launch is planned for Saturday April 7th, where Malmö will become the 6th Swedish parkrun, and the 15th across the Nordics. You can follow the event on Facebook for now – the event page will be up and running closer to the launch day.
Phil and Katherine, two Australians who’ve lived in Sweden now for 4 years, are heading up the organisation of this new event. We asked them to talk a little bit about themselves…
Phil, how did you get into parkrun?
My first Parkrun was in 2010 on Wimbledon Common in London. I remember a running friend from work telling me about parkrun. We signed up and ran our first parkrun together in Wimbledon Common in London. I remember enjoying the run, but it didn’t grab hold of me right away.
I ran a couple of parkruns here and there but it wasn’t until just before I moved to Sweden in 2014 that I got seriously hooked. There weren’t any parkruns in Sweden at that time, but I was pleased to see that there were a couple in Copenhagen that wouldn’t be too hard to get to. Since then, I’ve been catching the train across Öresundbron to Copenhagen regularly on Saturday mornings to run parkrun.
Katherine, you’re not a runner. How did you get involved with parkrun?
That’s right! I’m definitely not a runner, but I’ve been Phil’s cheersquad since his first parkrun and I love it. It’s a great opportunity to get out for a walk in the fresh air after a week in the office, and the camaraderie is wonderful. Everyone encourages each other from the super speedy front runners to the tail-end walkers to the parkrun volunteers. There are always cheers when someone beats their personal best, no matter the time.
The enthusiasm is also really infectious. It’s been amazing to see our friends, who hadn’t run since high school, start parkrun and then go on to run multiple marathons and 24-hour races, and even start their own running club!
I can’t wait to get even more people on the parkrun fun-wagon by starting a parkrun here in Malmö where everyone will be welcome.
Phil and Katherine, why do you think Malmö be a great location for a parkrun?
Since we’ve been living in Malmö, we’ve discovered that the Swedish love the outdoors as much as the Australians. No matter the weather, there are always people running and hiking in the parks. We have a great course planned out near the beach in Ribersborg.
It’s a fast, flat course for those aiming for a PB, and the single lap course winds around a couple of large ponds for those looking for a more scenic jog in the park. Of course it wouldn’t be parkrun without a chance to share your post-run tales in the local cafe, so we’re finishing close to the Ribersborgs Kallbadhus (see picture below) for those that want to join us for a fika or even follow the run with a refreshing swim!
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…