Wow what an amazing 12 months we’ve had!
97 participants on the very 1st event and then cancelling the next week due to snow and ice, was an indicator of things to come. In true parkrun style, around the world now in 20 countries, Örebro followed suit attracting a mix of people who wanted to find out what we were all about.
parkrun has a charm, an unpretentious vibe that people soon understand. People who are already active find us quite quickly as they have their radars finely tuned to such events, but what is really fabulous and I’m sure the reason we start them up is seeing non-active people attend and become literally addicted! It’d be unfair to only name a few people as we now have so many “addicts” at Örebro parkrun but they know who they are.
Even after only 46 events we have one person who has taken part (also volunteering several times I may add) 39 times, with a few others in the 30’s. Truly brilliant and their enthusiasm is infectious.
Strollers, couples, families, dogs, young and old, girls and boys EVERYONE is welcome and it seems that message is getting through. If anything, we’d really love to see an even more diverse mix of ethnicities, backgrounds and cultures, reaching people that ordinarily wouldn’t visit us or Rynningeviken. Walk at your own pace or run as fast as you can, it’s all ok with us.
Something that is extremely positive is the goodwill shown by people volunteering to help out each week. I feel we’ve broken all the tradition myths about volunteering with your “förening” who really struggle to convince people to give up some time maybe just a couple times per year. parkrun promotes a message that it is equally rewarding to take part in the event as either a walker/runner or as part of the volunteer team. The tasks are simple and we help each other. It’s a great way to make new friends and ensure the event happens, for free, every week all year around.
We still continue to see “parkrun tourists” from all over the world, including Australia, Tasmania, Portugal, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Denmark and England. How cool is that? That little barcode which we ask you to print off when registering (for free) and bring with you each time is eligible at every single event all over the world.
We love it when local clubs have their “take over” days and both IF Start & Örebro AIK had such event last year which enabled them to promote themselves and show what a lovely bunch of normal people they are. parkrun isn’t about being competitive but we certainly encourage passion for running and being active and if you want to take your running to the next level then being a member of a running club is definitely a benefit.
One particular gesture of goodwill I would like to mention was when Janis, a regular runner at our event, offered to provide us with new signs, completely free! He has his own printing company and said he’d like to “give something back to us for helping him get active” We received shortly after a set of signs printed on the light-sheet metal, which both look stunning and are will hopefully last a while. Thanks mate.
Winter came with all its challenges, having to constantly check the course was safe enough to hold the event. For this I’d personally like to thank the whole volunteer crew enormously. We all have lives outside of parkrun (believe it or not!) – jobs, families, training, etc, etc but everybody has chipped in so nice one guys.
Which brings us around to where it all started a year ago. The simplicity of knowing that every Saturday at 09.30, you can simply turn and take part. No matter what your background or ability, age or gender, by yourself or in a group everyone is welcome. Be active, make friends and share a “fika” afterwards in Naturens Hus in stunning surroundings; what a great way to kick-start your weekend.
See you all on the 14th April.
Örebro parkrun Event Director
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