Bernie Andersson is an Irishwoman living in Huddinge. She has become a regular volunteer at Huddinge parkrun. She’s not a runner but she has become a big parkrun fan. Here’s her story.
”I first heard about parkrun about 3-4 years ago, from my niece. She lives in UK and is big into running & cycling. We were to meet in Copenhagen for a weekend and her first priority was the local parkrun. At the time I couldn’t understand the big deal but it was fun; she enjoyed it and was delighted to “check off” Copenhagen from her list.
I met Colm O’Callaghan at the Stockholm marathon about 10 years ago. As we both live in Huddinge, we kept contact over the years, and when I discovered that he had started parkrun in Huddinge, it was a given that I would help out. It’s nice to help each other, especially another Irish person.
What I really like is the idea that there are no obligations to turn up every Saturday. We can decide how often. I volunteer every 6th week or so. I like that it’s early on Saturday morning, and lots of time left in the day once I have done “my bit”. I have a colleague that has ran the marathon many times, and I remember him often thanking me over and over again, and pointing out that without volunteers these things would never happen. So I guess I realised the importance of our roll. Life is all about helping each other in my opinion.
I’m not a runner myself and that’s what I like about parkrun. It’s mainly a forum for ordinary people where exercise is the focus. If some cross the finishing line in 20 minutes or 50 minutes it doesn’t matter. They are all made to feel like winners – and so they should.
Sometimes I walk around the track after parkrun is over. It’s just so so lovely. I had walked there many times years back when my son used to train there, but I had forgotten how nice it is. Very relaxing. One day I might run it but maybe not. Lets see. I’m happy walking it.”
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…