What an incredible run this has been. Since you last heard from us, a lot has happened in this country and in the wider parkrun. In this newsletter, you will hear from parkrun Founder (yes, that is his job title), Paul Sinton-Hewitt, taking stock on the development of parkrun USA, and emphasizing the community-building aspect of our runs. You will meet Andrea Zukowski, the newest Event Director in the US. You get highlights from our events across the country, and learn about some of the developments behind the scenes to make parkrun available to more people in this land.
In the past few weeks two new parkruns started in the US: Roosevelt Island, in Washington DC (August 27) and College Park, Md (October 15). We broke all previous records over the summer months – including attendance, number of runs, number of registered athletes. There are now seven parkruns across the US, with a number of new events in the works. This month you led us to achieved the mark of 10,000 registered runners in parkrun USA. There have been 25,000 runs (i.e. unique runs or walks by individuals) since our start in 2012, with more than 10,000 of these in 2016 alone!
There’s plenty going on under the hood (or the ‘bonnet’, if you prefer) in parkrun USA. Most significantly, we’ve just incorporated as a not-for profit organization, a key hurdle to support existing events, and to secure funding for future growth. As with our events, parkrun USA has always relied on committed volunteers to develop the movement.
And now we are no longer alone in the Americas: parkrun Canada started in August, with three events in the West: Okanagan (Kelowna), Nose Hill (Calgary) and Richmond Olympic (Vancouver, starts Oct. 29th). Meanwhile in the parkrun world, 837 events – at last count, and growing at a ratio of about 3-5 new parkruns a week – now regularly attract over 160,000 runners and volunteers. You can parkrun in 14 countries and always find the same welcoming warm atmosphere.
If you’re a new parkrunner – welcome! Don’t hesitate to reach out to anyone on the course to ask what this is all about. If you’re a lapsed runner and haven’t attended a parkrun for a while: we want to see you back! To all parkrunners: we want to hear your stories. And please, Don’t Forget Your Barcode!
After a big life move, Naomi Dawson found herself in a brand new country, knowing nobody. Local parkruns helped her integrate into new communities, and make many long-lasting friendships along the way. I wasn’t a runner, never had been. Then, in 2013, someone told me about parkrun. I completed the Couch to 5k programme, after…
The first parkrun in Poland took place on 15 October 2011. As the country celebrates its ten year parkrun anniversary, Poland’s Country Manager Jakub Fedorowicz takes us for a look back at some special moments. Back in the autumn of 2011, when five participants arrived at the very first Polish location, parkrun Gdynia, no one…