Robyn Richards from Blenheim parkrun has just completed her 100th parkrun! Having reached the milestone, Robyn began to reflect on how parkrun, and the journey parkrunners go on, reflects life.
I’m a huge parkrun fan, and recently I realised why. Along with 350 or so others, I was jogging around a 5km course on the island of Jersey. It’s Saturday, even if on the other side of the world, so yes, it was a parkrun!
Put simply, parkrun is a blueprint for life as it should be lived. Let me share this with you…
First, be supportive. Be kind. Be inclusive. parkrunners make a point of cheering each other on.
At the start line, elite runners mingle with the rest of us, who tend to come in a variety of larger shapes and sizes. Volunteer Marshals encourage us as we pass them by. Finishers are applauded whether they’ve raced through in 18 minutes or walked with the baby in a pushchair for over an hour.
We all have our own personal goals because that’s what motivates us, but we love to recognise the achievements of our fellow parkrunners.
Next, be organised and be on time. It takes some effort to reach the start line by 8am on a dark winter’s morning. But the Run Director won’t wait for stragglers. Nor should life.
Sharing your world with animals can be so rewarding. Many lucky dogs get to do parkrun with their humans – and they just LOVE it.
parkrunning dogs are welcomed, so long as they’re under control. They even have their own feature – parkdog of the Week – in the newsletter emailed regularly to their humans. And their enthusiasm is infectious.
Keep scanning the horizon. Understanding how others live their lives leads to acceptance of differences.
Overseas travel isn’t for everyone but parkrun provides the perfect opportunity to explore the world. Visitors are always made welcome at parkrun events. And, no matter where in the world, parkrunners are encouraged to meet up and chat at a cafe afterwards. It’s a rule, and a good one.
Finally, parkrun has pushed me to do more than I thought I could. So far, I’ve run a cumulative 500 kilometres, one Saturday morning at a time. And I’ve been welcomed into a community of people who look out for each other.
Come join us.
parkrun’s reopening in New Zealand on Saturday was a double celebration, not just of the return of our beloved Saturday morning activity, but of the rest of the global parkrun family we all belong to. The occasion was marked by many events ‘adopting’ a parkrun country by dressing up in that nation’s colours, flying flags, making food…
parkrun in New Zealand is back! It was heartwarming, and reassuring, to sit back at the weekend and flick through the smiling photos and uplifting comments on Slack and social media from events across the country, as well as reading several articles in the media celebrating parkrun’s return. It’s been a journey but we’ve got…