News - 1st March 2020

People who become your parkrun friends


29-year-old Sophie Stokes is a Dunedin parkrunner who was encouraged to attend by her cousin. Sophie in turn introduced her partner to parkrun on their third date!


I got involved with parkrun when I was 24 because my cousin was really keen on it. I couldn’t believe it was free! I ran and volunteered at parkruns  in the UK before moving to New Zealand.


I was a bit worried before I went along for the first time. I looked up the course map beforehand and it seemed so complicated! It was easy to follow the pack though and was invigorating to be part of something huge.


When I’ve done a parkrun I feel like I’ve earned my weekend off. It’s such a good feeling! It has also introduced me to my running club, Caversham Harriers. Needless to say parkrun is no longer the only running I do in a weekend.


If you’re nervous about coming along, try to find a mate to go with and don’t overthink it, just turn up and do whatever feels right for you. There’s always a Tail Walker so have no fear of being last – you’re almost certainly faster than you think!


parkrun is such a friendly event. If you do just a few weeks in a row you start to recognise other regulars – people who walk or run the same speed as you, people who come from the same obscure hometown, or have merchandise from an event you attended… people who become your parkrun friends.


Sophie Stokes

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