News - 11th October 2017

Zombies, parkrun! How a virtual community spawned a new parkrun


Regina Cross, Event Director of the upcoming Moberly parkrun, in Moberly, MO, shares her story of how she stumbled upon parkrun, despite never having taken part in one, to this day. Moberly parkrun starts October 28, and will be Regina’s first. Sure enough, Regina will be volunteering. As Run Director. Welcome, Moberly parkrun, and may you run many parkruns, Regina! 


I have never taken part in a parkrun. Two years ago, I started running again, and I found a community of runners on Facebook who were all fans of an app I use called Zombies, Run! (ZR for short). The app promotes fitness to people of all abilities, telling users, “If you can move above a slow shamble, we can use you!”


The online community was similarly supportive. Members in Australia and Britain kept talking about parkrun like it was a special thing, and I went and checked it out. parkrun had the same sensibility I loved from ZR: it’s here for everyone, with a goal of helping people be not only more active, but more socially connected. I signed up, using Livonia (both the first US parkrun and the closest, at that time) as my home run, purely so I could submit a request for how to start a new event. A year later and a lot of legwork, and Moberly parkrun is set to launch on October 28th.


Moberly, located 35 miles north of the University of Missouri in Columbia, is known as “The Magic City” for its rapid growth as a railroad town just over 150 years ago. We boast of our area’s rich history (Generals John Pershing and Omar Bradley are from the region) and our excellent parks system. Rothwell Park, the site of our parkrun, is the second largest municipal park in the state, behind only Forest Park in St. Louis, and is roughly half the size of Central Park in a city 1/10 the size of New York. With a population of roughly 14,000, I think we’re the smallest US parkrun, and we hope to be a model for how parkrun can flourish in small communities that need ways for their citizens to connect and be active.


If you’re interested in US parkrun tourism, we’re about two hours from either Kansas City or St. Louis. You can easily come run with us and head to an evening event in the city or even an afternoon football game at Mizzou. Come experience the Magic City for yourself!

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