I don’t like to run, not even to jog so why do I like parkrun? My very good friend Maria, when she was chairwoman of IF Start and who was involved starting up Örebro parkrun, started talking about parkrun already in the autumn of 2016. I didn’t understand anything. But she nagged and because my husband Anders likes to run, we promised to come to the first event in April 2017. Oh no! What had I promised? Me – who had not taken a running step in the last 10 years and had a bad knee was going to run together with a lot of crazy elite runners. I was surely going to be absolutely last, so I forced Anders and Maria’s husband to jog with me. Judge my surprise when I realized that:
1. I was able to jog 5 km without stopping
2. I wasn’t last
3. It wasn’t just elite runners but instead all sorts of runners, joggers and walkers
4. I thought it was really fun.
Yes, my poor body suffered for several days afterwards with, but it was worth it. We were there already the next time, and the next and…….yes, you get it.
I even started jogging outside of parkrun. I must admit that I shocked both myself and above all my husband. I took the initiative to visit a chiropractor and managed to sort out the pain in my knee. In the autumn of 2017, I felt that I wanted to rest my knee and see if it got better. Maria then persuaded me to become Run Director. Sure, I responded happily, even though I had no idea what I said yes to! I could just as easily hang out in the finish or cheer on the runners out on the course when Anders ran. And as a reward, I got to have a coffee afterwards without having to do any hard training. Talk about win-win!
Again, I surprised myself. Now I would organise some Saturdays with a lot of runners, joggers and walkers and I thought it was amazing fun and absolutely magical. Basically, I am a ‘club’ person man and love to work together with other people who are also real ‘super volunteers’. Since the children finished playing football and we finished being coaches, I have missed that life. I have also missed meeting new people and now parkrun gives me all this. Where in life would you meet so many new people: from little Luna (then a little baby and now 2.5 years) to Börje who has passed 75, “crazy” Micke, Sara from Australia, people from New Zealand, South Africa and Canada, sparkling Nicklas, the dog Maggan and her lovely owner Lotta, old acquaintances / colleagues, children of all ages – well, at parkrun! I love to come down, hello here, hello there, a hug, chatting and cheering everyone who comes to the goal and not least – coffee afterwards. Hear the buzz, the laughter, congratulations to PBs, the clink of coffee cups and happy children’s voices. It fills my heart with joy and pride.
That one can then participate in all the parkruns in the world is of course a bonus and that we have used on some occasions – London, Dublin, Uppsala and most recently in Malmö. In the spring it will also be Haga in Stockholm, and then Malmö once more. We look forward to the inauguration of parkrun in Växjö, for my son lives there, so then we don’t have to miss parkrun when we go to visit him and his girlfriend.
Now it was a long time since I ran the whole way around the course, but the fact that I get to walk around our lovely course in Rynningeviken from time to time is a bonus. Maybe I will start by jogging slowly again, see if the knee holds up and maybe I will feel that I get a little better every time, or maybe I am just content with going around together with the other walkers in addition to being Run Director and volunteer. Regardless, I am happy to be part of a lovely parkrun gang.
Run Director in Örebro
20 parkruns and 43 times as a volunteer – and a PROUD parkrunner
Pictured above, Nadine Evans from South Africa, who was registered parkrunner number 4 million It’s that time of year when we celebrate an amazing milestone with yet another million people signed up to take part in parkrun. Later in July (probably sometime around when you are reading this newsletter) parkrunner number A6000000 will register…
If there’s one young life to have seen more than a multitude of adults, it’s Joseph Oosterhoff from Quinns Rocks parkrun in Australia. Looking at his youthful physique whenever he attends parkrun, one would be hesitant to think the 15-year-old has undergone numerous procedures for health conditions which have plagued him since birth –…