Winter brings a challenge for parkruns in colder climates, like here in the Nordics. We always want to make sure that parkrun is safe for everyone to take part, regardless of what footwear they’re wearing. (Sometimes it might be best to wear spiked shoes, but we never want to make it a requirement as it puts up another barrier to taking part if you don’t have the right equipment). So this means that we have to make sure that our courses are safe to run every week.
Ironically, if we had more snow and the temperature was a bit colder, then the conditions would be more reliable and we could run every week. But with the winters that we seem to be getting in the southern half of Sweden (and in Oslo) then we are often faced with temperatures hovering around freezing, with snow melting, refreezing and turning our courses into ice rinks…..
So this means that in addition to being there to put on parkrun every Saturday morning, the parkrun team will also be out checking the course during the week, virtually every week from November through until March. Here in Stockolm, Haga parkrun is pretty close to my workplace, and one of my regular running routes, so it’s fairly easy to check the course here, but for other parkruns such as in Örebro, Toyen or Skatås, where the courses are a bit further away, it’s more of a challenge.
Luckily we have some true parkrun heroes, like Stig Andersson, pictured above, who has become a regular at Skatås parkrun, and now also runs the course during the week and gives reports and feedback to the Skatås team. An amazing service for everyone!
So whether your parkrun is declared OK to run, or whether we have to cancel that week, give a thought to the people who have taken the time to check the course so that you can all run safely!
Country Manager, parkrun Nordics
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