The history of the countries of Sweden and Norway are closely intertwined, and that’s also true for their parkrun story, as both countries approach their anniversary at the end of August.
parkrun Sweden began in August 2016 with the first event, Haga parkrun, located in the beautiful royal park of Hagaparken in Stockholm. One year later, it was the turn of Norway to join the parkrun family with Tøyen parkrun in Oslo hosting their first event. 132 parkrunners attended the inaugural event – a wonderful start to parkrun’s story in this beautiful country.
Taken together, the two countries have recently reached the landmark of having over 25,000 people registered to take part in parkrun and numbers have continued to grow year on year. The second quarter of 2023 brought the highest ever attendance in the Nordics.
Currently, there are 18 events spread across the two countries, with parkruns in most major cities and towns. Swedes and Norwegians have definitely embraced the concept of a free, weekly Saturday morning walk, jog or run and we’ve built some wonderful parkrun communities in all of our locations.
parkruns here start at 9.30am. This is partly driven by the fact that in the depths of winter, it’s still dark at 9am when teams in the northern parts of the countries are setting up their courses. And there’s other challenges in the winter too, like snow and ice. Who knew that a drill was an essential part of the event kit to put up signs!
parkrunning on snow can be magical though and it’s usually no barrier to putting on our events (although the same can’t be said for ice).
Most Norwegian parkruns share a common theme – they are very hilly! It may be tough on the legs, but there are some spectacular views available from the top of course. For example, here below in Løvstien parkrun, Bergen, or from Vålandstårnet near the end of Stavanger parkrun.
Recently, the launch of two slightly flatter parkruns in the greater Oslo area – Nansenpark parkrun and Ekebergsletta parkrun – have bucked the trend.
In Sweden, there are events in parks, forests and nature reserves, around lakes, alongside rivers and next to the sea. Nature is always close at hand in the Nordics and parkrun really shows off some of the beautiful locations that Sweden has to offer.
With events established in the biggest population centres in the country, we look forward to bringing parkruns to other communities. Who knows, maybe even an Arctic Circle parkrun in the northern city of Tromsø, which would certainly take the crown of being the world’s most northerly parkrun!
Welcome to the weekly photo round-up from around the Nordics on yet another great weekend for parkrun – our second best ever attended regular weekend, just a handful behind the record set a few weeks ago. Here’s some photos that tell the story Celebrating 100 parkruns at Billdalsparken parkrun with a…
First and foremost, we all know that parkrun is about taking part, community, being social together outdoors, and maybe grabbing a coffee afterwards. But sometimes, you want to aim for a personal best (PB)! We share some top tips from long-distance runner and regular Australian parkrunner Steve Moneghetti about how to give yourself the…