I would love to share my parkrun story with you, including my international parkrun tourism.
I first started parkrun in 2013, after my sister, Kylie, had come across Torrens parkrun in Adelaide. It took a couple of weeks for her to convince me to go, but like many others, once you start you can’t stop! I got right into it and loved getting faster and better with my running, until my first ACL tear changed everything. Over the next few years and 3 more serious knee injuries, it became clear as to what parkrun was truly about. Community. For Kylie and I, it became about the weekly catch up and a brisk walk (Kylie helped to make sure I didn’t run during my rehabs) in a beautiful location. As parkrun grew in South Australia, we moved our ‘home’ parkrun to West Beach. The walks continued to the West Beach Surf Lifesaving Club for breakfast with the incredible volunteers who have become friends.
In those few years we managed to get a few friends and family involved. Our parents regularly travel 3 hours to visit us for a weekend, and now find themselves walking and talking with us on parkrun day. I have also been able to get my partner Brad to come along; bribing him with the ‘Big Westie’ breakfast at the surf club is the clincher.
In mid-2018 Brad and I set off on an incredible 7-month adventure around Europe which involved a lot of planning! And like any parkrun tragic, the global parkrun page was permanently open to see where our parkrun tourism could take us. It was a little easier to convince Brad to join as it started an hour later than in Australia, but with usually only public transport as our way to get there it was usually an early start anyway. For some parkruns we were in the right place at the right time, whilst the location of other parkruns influenced where we travelled and where we stayed on a Friday night.
We visited 15 parkruns in 5 different countries and the best thing was, it felt like home. The community feel is evident and makes it easy to roll up having no idea where you’re about to run! I could almost write a short book about our parkrun tourism alone, but instead I’ll give you a snapshot of where we went.
We did some incredible things on our 7 month adventure, and parkrun definitely holds a special place in the highlight reel. We visited some beautiful courses but there nothing quite like West Beach, South Australia!
Thank you parkrun for the global sense of community and for making ‘strangers’, friends you just haven’t met yet.
We’re recruiting! From quiet beginnings, parkrun has grown into a worldwide social movement with community at its beating heart. Committed to breaking down barriers to participation in regular physical activity and bringing communities together, we deliver free, weekly, timed events that people of all ages and backgrounds can take part in – as…
Global Running Day is a worldwide celebration of the transformative power of running. On this special day, runners of all levels, from beginners to seasoned athletes, connect to embrace the joy and benefits of running. It’s an opportunity to celebrate your personal running journey, set new goals, and foster a sense of friendship with fellow…