This week marks our seventh year of parkrun Canada, and while that story is worth sharing, it is the backdrop for an abundance of stories in the parkrun world. From incredible personal achievements to heartwarming community connections, Canadian parkruns have witnessed many tales that deserve to be celebrated.
Stories can be found everywhere. They can be found on our blog, social media pages, or word of mouth, but you will find them easily if you go looking. At parkrun, people will love to talk to you whether you’re in line for the barcode scanner, having a coffee, with other volunteers, or amongst the runners and walkers during the 5k. There’s rarely a bad time, and on a Saturday morning it’s an ideal opportunity to discover some of those stories, or even share your own.
The depth and breadth are impressive. For example, we recently heard from the event directors of Moussette parkrun and about how they were inspired to bring parkrun to Gatineau after their volunteering experience at Orleans parkrun.
Then there is Laurie, who didn’t consider herself a sporty person originally back in 2017, but wanted to get involved in a ‘fun run’. parkrun’s tail walker role ensured there was no fear of being last and it was a fantastic place to meet new people. Laurie has now completed both 100 run/walks and 100 volunteers and is a regular at Richmond Olympic parkrun.
Suzanne at Nose Hill in Calgary knew that what she experienced in the UK would benefit those living in her new city of Calgary. She found a course, a team, and got the backing of the City to enable her to launch Nose Hill parkrun, the first Canadian parkrun.
At North Bay parkrun, we heard from Angela in 2019 on how running helped her become more physically active, combat the fatigue of her regular routine, and give her time to just be herself.
These stories barely scratch the surface of what’s out there. This summer, in Canada, around 2,000 people have taken part in parkrun each week. That’s a lot of stories! Too many to share here but they are out there, waiting to be discovered by you.
Debby Fu, the event director at Central parkrun, is all too aware that there are swathes of stories, and all you need to do to hear them is to ask. So one week in February 2020, she decided to do just that and learned what parkrun means to people.
We encourage you to do the same. You never know who you will meet, the stories you will hear, or perhaps what will inspire your next adventure.
When you come along to parkrun, remember that as well as the opportunity to be physically active outdoors and to meet new people, there’s also the chance to hear and share each other’s stories.
We’ve been parkrunning in Canada for seven years and we love hearing them! We are excited about the ones we’ve heard and even more about the ones waiting for us. When you visit parkrun next time, remember that each person carries a unique story worth sharing, so grab a coffee and ask to hear it.
Don’t want to wait? Share your story here.
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