The uplifting magic of #parkwalk has spread across the world, from the beautiful parks in South Africa to the north of Scandinavia and everywhere in between.
Let’s take a #parkwalk tour across continents and have a look at what parkwalk means to parkrunners across the globe.
I love tail walking for the nature, the scenery, and the sense of community from volunteering.
I’ve been walking at parkrun since the beginning because I tore two cruciate ligaments and can’t jog anymore. My boyfriend took me to parkrun because it doesn’t matter how fast you are there. I’ve loved parkrun ever since, the concept is great, our community is outstanding and it’s a great way to start the weekend.
Walking at parkrun has a community feel and I love the way we encourage each other to keep going. Walking also helps me clear my head and take in the scenery – the course at my home parkrun, Tøyen parkrun has some steep hills!
I love the vibe – it’s friendly, fun, and everyone is made to feel part of the group straight away. Walking is fab as you can actually take time and have a bit of a gossip whilst getting your steps in for the day!
Maria Carmela Alfano
Around three years ago one of my friends invited me to parkrun Kalisz for the first time. I remember feeling a little bit shy at first. I never quite saw myself as a runner however, I quickly realised that running is not what it was all about. The fantastic atmosphere at the event made me want to come back for more.
Being active every Saturday has been vital to keeping up with my health, and improving my quality of life especially following my journey with cancer.
The energy of parkrun is plentiful and worth spreading!
After an injury, I had to wear a boot and crutches, so I started to volunteer on a Saturday morning and then eventually started to walk parkrun. This was such a different experience, giving me time to chat, make new friends and speak properly to the marshalls rather than a rather out of breath ‘thank you’ as I go by!
My first parkrun was in 2018 at the Witney parkrun inaugural event. I had the honour of being their first tail walker and soon discovered a new purpose in my life.
Over the last four years I have developed so many new friendships. Being 72 years of age hasn’t stopped me from mixing with like minded people of all ages and abilities.
Martin Crabb (Crabby)
I started parkrun back in 2013, jogging round the course to try to lose weight. I then got a knee injury which resulted in surgery, and it changed my outlook on parkrun. Following my consultant’s advice, walking became my go to exercise.
I love walking at parkrun and often volunteer as tail walker as I appreciate that some people mistakenly feel they would be holding the volunteer team up which really isn’t the case at all. I encourage friends to join me walking and have a combination of friends that I join for a good gossip!
I am an event director at Invercargill parkrun and I have learnt so much about strength, resilience and tenacity from some of the walkers. Some of them join us after cancer battles, heart attacks or other illnesses and we can easily see that based on where they are on their current journey, their parkwalk is a true celebration at the finish line.
That person who has never walked a 5k before and just reached their goal to complete it for the first time or even the third time can be a tear jerking experience.
Kim and Bruce (in the photo below) enjoy their walk at parkrun, taking it as an opportunity to connect with each other and with their new friends that they have made since coming to parkrun.
After walking at parkrun I basically feel very happy, more energetic, open minded with lots of ideas and it gives me a couple of hours in the park to meet lots of lovely people!
Stephanie To Soo Sim
When I’m walking I can enjoy the natural beauty of our course. Depot Park is a new park that was reclaimed from polluted industrial wetlands. Walking gives me time to appreciate foggy sunrises, herons and turtles, and occasional appearances by our unofficial mascot, Wally the Gator.
At parkrun, everybody’s welcome, and everybody’s in.
Anne Ray, Florida
There are multiple reasons to love parkrun, however the reason I enjoy walking at parkrun is mostly due to the social aspect and how this form of exercise can be for everyone and bring everyone together every Saturday. The one thing every event across the world has in common is the spirit of community which is at the core of parkrun. By walking at parkrun I’m able to take in the beautiful parks in which parkruns are hosted. I love that parkrun is not a race.
After my first walk, I was hooked on its positive atmosphere! For me, parkrun is not about beating my personal best. I participate for the social aspect as well as the exercise. It’s also a great way to start off my weekend. I would encourage anyone to try out a parkrun event!
Walking at parkrun is so enjoyable: you are not alone or the only one walking.
The camaraderie amongst the walkers is incredible. You are mixing and chatting with others old and young, regardless of fitness or reason for just being out there.
As parkruns are generally undertaken in beautiful parks – the environment adds to the enjoyment. You are walking through tree-lined paths and across lawns, plus, the sense of achievement that you have completed 5k is great!
I enjoy walking because I like feeling each passing season at parkrun!
Going to parkrun was non-negotiable for Tess, but over time she fell out of love and “felt like a burden”. After hearing about the parkwalk initiative she returned to parkrun, feeling welcome and accepted within the community. I got involved relatively early on with parkrun. I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit…
Izzy has anxiety and often finds going out and about on her own scary and difficult. She has been a parkrunner since 2014 and finds her local parkrun community offers her a safe space where she feels comfortable and not judged. My first parkrun was in 2014. My mum had been a few times and…