What was the first country outside of the UK to start up a parkrun? Whilst South Africa, Australia, Poland, Ireland, Russia and the US have plenty of parkruns, it was in fact Denmark where parkrun first arrived back in 2009. Thanks largely to the efforts of the founding Country Manager Jonathan Sydenham, parkrun quickly expanded in Denmark, and soon there were a number of parkruns spread around the country.
Things have never quite grown as large as in other some countries, but parkrun has an extremely loyal following from those who have now been running for many years. A quick look at the results show many ‘50’, ‘100’ and even some ‘250’ runners amongst the regular runners – dedication!
The parkruns here are known for their ‘minimalist’ approach, delivering parkrun each week simply and effectively. It’s not uncommon to find arrows of flour on the floor marking out the route instead of signs, and a row of cones marking out the finish. But they’re also known for being very friendly and welcoming to parkrun tourists, and proud of their parkrun history. With the oldest events reaching 10 years next year, there’s a lot to be proud of when you have successfully delivered over 450 events.
Copenhagen has three well attended events, Amager Faelled (pictured at the top of the article), Amager Strandpark and Faelledparken, all giving you a very different parkrun experience. Further afield you have Esbjerg and Braband parkrun (Aarhus), whilst Vejen and Nibe are small, intimate parkruns where you feel like being welcomed to a family. Here’s a link to all the Danish events if you are tempted!
With the upcoming launch of Malmö Ribersborg parkrun in April, we’re looking forward to furthering the links between parkrun in Sweden and Denmark and taking our turn to welcome our Danish parkrun friends to our new event.
Almost 1,700 communities worldwide are now home to parkrun events every Saturday and Sunday, and just like the variety of parkrun courses, parkrunners come in all different shapes and sizes, ages and experiences, coming together every week for a walk, jog or run, followed by a coffee and a chat. Whilst man’s best friends, the four-legged parkdogs…
Globally parkrun continues to grow at a rapid pace, with this year welcoming two new countries to the parkrun family, Malaysia and Germany, and more recently, reaching the 5th million person to register for parkrun. But closer to home in the Nordics, we have also reached some important milestones which show how parkrun is…