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 just over 2 years since parkrun started up in the rest of the Nordics, with the first Haga parkrun in August 2016. Since that time parkrun has now expanded and grown to become 17 events across 4 countries, a similar pattern of growth and expansion as has been seen all over the world.
As they say, size isn’t everything, and we are proud that our events in the Nordics can often retain a sense of familiarity and community that might be difficult to maintain at large events. We often get that feedback from parkrun tourists, who comment that it’s nice that we know and recognise the majority of people showing up at our events and that it’s easy to lose a little bit of that when the event grows.
At the same time though, we enjoy seeing parkrun grow and develop and we know that many of our events have plenty of room to welcome many more runners to experience parkrun on their courses. We all know parkrun is fantastic, there’s nothing not to like about a free, weekly, timed run, so we just want lots of people to come and discover us!
So this weekend, and with parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt coming to pay us a visit, we’re hoping that for the first time we will be break through the mark of 1000 runners on a Saturday in the Nordics. We’ve started to get close now in the spring, with over 900 participants a couple of weeks ago (and we also shouldn’t forget that these events are also supported by somewhere in the region of 70-80 volunteers each week).
We will of course need the weather gods with us, and right now, at the time of writing, on Tuesday, the weather looks to be fantastic right across Scandinavia this Saturday. So come on down to your local parkrun and help us achieve a target that will be a great demonstration of parkrun’s growth here in the Nordics!
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…