Of the 99 events that have been held so far at Skatås, I have participated in more than half, just over 60. However, I have only run 8 times because I am usually a volunteer in some form. One would think that a person who loves to run and likes to run races thinks it is sad to participate so rarely. But I think it is so much fun to be a volunteer so when it comes to parkrun it doesn’t matter to me. When I run, I miss most of the social aspect of parkrun, which I think is so important. But when I’m a volunteer, I miss nothing! I have time to meet our regulars and exchange a few words, I have time to talk to tourists who have been to Skatås and I have time to cheer every runner in to the finish.
We say it again and again, but parkrun is not really about performance, it’s about physical and social activity. How fast you run is not relevant to anyone other than yourself (and maybe your competitive friend!). parkrun is about giving everyone a chance to be physically active and to be part of a community. You don’t have to come every Saturday, there are no requirements for your performance, but we are always there when you want to be there. If you want to meet new people you have the opportunity to do so, but if you don’t, then there’s no obligation either to stick around for a fika afterwards. Since parkrun does not require pre-registration or any form of payment, it is easy to decide at the last minute to participate (or stay at home for that matter), and anyone can participate regardless of their financial situation. This makes parkrunners a very mixed group of people and you meet people they you might not otherwise come into contact with.
Through parkrun I have got to know a lot of new people and now often meet parkrunners at other running events, which is super fun! I, who used to run alone, am now part of a community, a loosely connected group of people who look forward to getting together on Saturdays, in Skatås.
Tampere parkrun #109 was approaching and we had a problem, we had no Run Director. It could be that we might have to cancel an event because of this. But as luck would have it, this wasn’t going to happen because I was about to get a very special birthday present! My mother had…
Last weekend at parkrun in the Nordics there were: 23 events! 740 finishers! 142 fantastic volunteers! 53 brilliant PBs! 34 amazing first-time parkrunners! 81 newly registered parkrunners!