In July 2017 my hubby Paul and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. We wanted to share our celebrations with parkrun, so we asked our local (Newark) parkrunners, and friends and local clubs, to dress appropriately for a wedding. We had an amazing morning running, Newark had its largest number of runners, and so many people wore dresses, suits, flowers, hats, even a guy dressed head-to-toe in silver paper! It really was a fun way to begin a weekend of celebrations.
So we were thrilled when parkrun UK facebook featured a photo of a Danish couple, Holly and Nanna, who had recently got married in Aarhus, Denmark and also began their celebrations with parkrun. I commented on their facebook post and Holly immediately replied sending congratulations back to us, and mentioning that if we were ever in Denmark that we would be welcome to stay with them and join in their parkrun.
So, we decided to take them up on thier offer. Several facebook messages crossed and we got together with our close friends who we often parkrun with, and tour various parkruns with, and we booked a weekend. We were all very excited as it was to be our first parkrun abroad, and if timed well, would be mine and Mikes 100th!
In Aarhus we were warmly greeted by Holly and Katie. We were a bit nervous, but really didn’t need to be. We all immediately started chatting and laughing as we ate together, sharing stories of parkrun, running, and just life in general! On the Saturday morning we were greeted by an extremely friendly bunch at Braband parkrun. It was really like visiting family (but without the stresses and the grumpy relatives!) It was a lovely parkrun. We were made to feel so welcome by everyone, especially as Mike and I celebrated our 100th parkrun. Our home parkrun averages about 200, is three laps and very undulating. Braband is one lap of what seemed a small wasteland, averages 35 people, but also quite up and down!
We then went for Parkrundstykker, a get together post-parkrun, to chat, drink tea, coffee, eat freshly made bread, buns, cheese and jam. Yum! We had such a lovely time and we all felt like we’d known each other for years. We spent the rest of the day visiting Aarhus followed by drinks and card games late into the night. Sunday came tinged with sadness that we were heading home, but reassured that it was the beginning of a lovely friendship between us all. It was also my birthday and I was treated to a beautiful breakfast and was sang Happy Birthday to in Danish!
Our journey home was halted at the first jump as snow and bad weather grounded our flights. When we discovered this en route to the airport, our hosts rushed back straight away to offer assistance, including extra nights staying with them if need be. In the end we took a delayed flight from Copenhagen so had an extra 36 hours in the beautiful country of Denmark and explored Copenhagen.
Thank you so much to our hosts for having us and to parkrun for it happening in the first place.
Nicki Fenton, Paul Fenton, Angie King, Mike Richards, Sue Oldfield (UK contingent)
Holly Chabowski and Nanna Sorenson, Svend Hesselholt and Katie Benson (Danish contingent)
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