Central parkrun, Burnaby has only been around since July 2019, but they have already built up a strong base of our regular runners and volunteers, whilst also attracting first timers and overseas visitors. Event Director Debby Fu is always curious to find out how people find out about parkrun, and what makes it special – so she recently interviewed some of them. These are their stories.
How did you hear about us?
“My boyfriend is from the UK so he was trying to find one here. He moved here two years ago and had run parkrun back in the UK. There has been one in Richmond (Richmond Olympic) for a long time but that was too far…so when this one started we decided to come!”
“I Google searched! On some of the Facebook running groups I’m in, people were talking about parkrun and I had no idea what it was about. I started running in Calgary and moved back to Vancouver a few years ago. After I had my son I was running by myself for a while but after my son turned two I looked for groups to run with because I’d actually like to see people when I run. My in-laws live in this area and now we live in this area as well so this location is perfect!”
“I’ve actually been stalking you guys for a while but have just not come out to one (and somehow Richmond is just too far)! My friend told me about parkrun – she and her husband have taken turns doing their local parkrun in Wales every Saturday for the last five years!”
“My friend told me about it! I’ve been looking to start running myself. I’ve been off running for about two months now so I’m just looking to get back into it. This is a good way to socialise and meet people!”
“I came with my Dad for the first time – he heard about parkrun from a colleague. I’m hoping to get better at running and hopefully get a t-shirt!” (One of our regular juniors whose siblings have now joined him!)
What does parkrun mean to you?
“It’s really convenient, it’s easy and it’s timed! The community is great as well!”
“I started in 2011 in England when my daughter wanted to get back into running and I thought I’d get off my couch! I found it really friendly and belonged to the third oldest parkrun in the world (Banstead Woods). I completed more than 100 parkruns there and found that it takes discipline to get out there every Saturday and make it a regular thing. Moving to Vancouver a year and a half ago I was really shocked to find that there weren’t many parkruns here! I should have started one but you started one right here in my backyard! I love it, it’s a gorgeous environment to run in and my wife also got involved in running so that’s made it really special – it’s something we can do together every Saturday (cheers as she runs past us), keep in shape and keep the heart going.”
“I used to run marathons but ended up smashing my knees so 5km is a nice short distance that doesn’t damage my knees. The ethos of parkrun just sits very nicely with me and the way I feel about running and exercising – it’s about getting out there and you don’t have to push yourself beyond your limits – the importance is getting out there and participating. I also enjoy the volunteering part – I make sure I’m a constant and always at parkrun, whether I run or not!”
How did you find the trail?
“Oh it’s fantastic! It seems to be downhill the entire way… We’re locals and we’ll be back next week!”
What brought you out here today?
“We’re from New Zealand and are in Vancouver visiting family. My fun idea was to drag the kids out early on a Saturday morning despite the jetlag! We really enjoy parkrun in New Zealand and it just seemed like a fun way to come and meet some other people and do something we enjoy doing in New Zealand in a different surrounding – it’s really nice to run in a different environment! Our parkrun is through an open field so running through the trees is really special for us! We’ve already met some lovely people here and have had some nice chats and gotten sightseeing tips! Speaking of like-minded people – it doesn’t really matter where you are in the world, there’s always a parkrun somewhere which is really exciting! We call it social flexing (bragging rights)!”
Any advice for first timers?
“Advice for anyone, not just first timers – is to just get out there and do it! It’s always hard to exercise by yourself so the fact that there are other people here to run with is very motivational.”
How does a recent immigrant from England find a community to help him deal with the brutal Canadian winter? By helping to start a parkrun, of course! Tom from Breakwater parkrun, ON tells us his story. IIn February 2018, I moved to Kingston, Ontario, from Telford, England. As I landed at Toronto Pearson Airport…
Comment un immigrant récent d’Angleterre trouve-t-il une communauté pour l’aider à faire face au brutal hiver canadien ? En participant à la création d’un parkrun, évidemment! Tom, du parkrun Breakwater en Ontario, nous raconte son histoire. En février 2018, j’ai quitté Telford, en Angleterre, pour m’installer à Kingston, en Ontario. En atterrissant à l’aéroport…