Thirteen years ago (on October 2, 2004), 13 people gathered to run the Bushy Park Time Trial – the very first parkrun. parkrun is now the biggest running event in the world, taking place in 17 countries, with more than 200,000 people walking, jogging, running or volunteering every week across over 1,200 events – and it’s still free, for everyone.
“The most important aspect of parkrun are the social connections and friendships that form,” says Tim Oberg, CEO and founder of parkrun Australia, who’s been very open about his own battles with anxiety and how the parkrun network has helped him to cope. “It’s a 5km run or walk, but people come back 50, 100, 200 times, it’s their opportunity during the week to connect with friends, family and the parkrunning community.” Oberg commends parkrun for connecting communities around Australia. “parkrun is a local community event, but a lot of people love travelling around to other parkrun events, because they all have the same positive vibe. The people there want to be changing lives for the better.”
In Australia, Brian Peters from the Gold Coast, whose local parkrun is Main Beach, has been to 324 events. “He has been almost every week since we started,” says Oberg.
“We have been amazed and inspired by the growth of the community involvement in each parkrun and the friendships that it has created between runners, walkers and families that take part week after week,” says Lian and Noel de Charmoy who are the Country Managers of parkrun New Zealand. “We are extremely thankful for our close friendship with Paul Sinton-Hewitt who had the vision to start this incredible, but simple parkrun phenomenon.”
A survey of more than 1500 parkrunners in New Zealand has revealed extensive support for the decision to reopen parkrun events, and overwhelming optimism about returning to parkrun this month. A staggering 97% of respondents signalled their intention to return to parkrun as walkers or runners within the first four weeks, with 65% expressing…
Since the New Zealand Government announced on 8 June that there would be no limits on public gatherings, or social distancing requirements, we have been working with event teams in preparation to reopen parkrun events this Saturday, 4 July. We’d like to thank everyone for their support and patience during this challenging and uncertain…