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 there.
Thinking back to 17 March when the public health guidance in New Zealand led to the closure of events, none of us had any idea how long parkrun would be closed and how people would be impacted by this constant in our lives being taken away. There is no doubt that this uncertainty coupled with the lockdown had a significant effect on many parkrunners, as we learned from the nationwide survey we conducted last month in the lead up to parkrun re-opening in New Zealand.
What was also clear however was the overwhelming desire for people to get back to parkrun, and we were thrilled to see more than 4,000 parkrunners walk, jog, run and volunteer across 29 events on Saturday. This included 292 people who were taking part for the very first time, along with an inaugural event with the launch of Whanganui Riverbank parkrun. Welcome to the parkrun family.
With the rest of the parkrun world looking on, the show of solidarity shown by all New Zealand events who ‘adopted’ a parkrun country was particularly moving and inspiring. We are putting together a collection of words and photos from this fantastic initiative to showcase in the newsletter later this week so please keep an eye out for that.
Lastly, as this will be our final weekly Covid-19 communication in New Zealand, I’d personally like to thank all of you for placing your faith and trust in our staff and volunteers. We thank you for your support, patience and understanding.
parkrun Asia Pacific
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