2019: A year with 52 chances to parkrun (or perhaps a few more if you took part in a New Year’s Day event and attend one on Thanksgiving morning).
Did you make a new year’s resolution? Some people love them, some people…not so much. Well, if you’re on the fence or haven’t thought of one yet, we’ve got a few suggestions for you. They all have to do with parkrun, of course.
Consider this a menu of parkrun resolutions. You’re welcome to just have a taste or try one of everything, and we’re sure you’ll be happier and healthier for it.
• Volunteer. There are so many benefits to volunteering (as explained here,) the most obvious being that parkrun can continue to take place. Since parkrun is put on by volunteers each week, we’re always in need of people to help. All of the jobs are straightforward and it’s important to note that there are no mistakes that we can’t overcome. Don’t let the thought of pushing the wrong button on the stopwatch dissuade you from stepping up to help. The time commitment? Just a few hours on a Saturday morning, as training is provided on the spot just a half-hour before the event start by the Event Director.
• Thank a Run Director or Event Director. These folks help with the behind the scenes work of parkrun in addition to their Saturday morning duties. Your acknowledgment of their role in keeping parkrun going will surely be appreciated. Better yet, have a chat about the work they do and maybe you’ll be inspired to try out the Run Director role.
• Walk a parkrun. If you’re one of our regular walkers, then this one will be easy for you! For those who usually run, we encourage you to try out walking sometime. It’s a completely different parkrun experience and one that will likely give you the opportunity to get to know some of your fellow parkrunners who are regular walkers.
• Try for a PB. We often say that parkrun isn’t a race, rather it’s a run (or walk). However, we do encourage those who wish to race against themselves to go for it! Since parkrun keeps track of all of your participation (as long as you bring your barcode,) you have a nice record of your past times and your PB, or “personal best”. If it is meaningful to you to shave a few seconds off your time, why not try?
• Introduce yourself to someone you don’t know. If you haven’t figured it out yet, parkrun is as much of a social event as it is a running/walking event. We build community through our events and we pride ourselves on providing a welcoming, inclusive environment. You’re an important part of that! Most events have an after-parkrun coffee or breakfast spot, which provides a great opportunity to connect and chat with fellow parkrunners. Check your event’s home page or talk to the Run Director to find out where your parkrun crew meets after the tail walker has finished.
• Bring a friend. We could have said “tell all of your friends about parkrun” (and please do that, too) but we would love for you to share the experience with someone who could also benefit from the community, the physical activity, your companionship, or being around some cute barkrunners.
• Pet a barkrunner. Ask the owner first, of course, but we’re sure this will put a smile on your face.
• Give high-fives at every parkrun you attend. Who doesn’t love a high-five? Well, maybe there a few people out there who prefer fist bumps or a thumbs up, so those will do, too. Whichever you choose, providing encouragement along the course or at the finish line is one way we create a welcoming environment for people of all abilities.
• Carpool, bike, walk, run or take public transportation to parkrun. You can minimize your environmental impact, enjoy more time outdoors and free up some parking spaces in the lot for others.
• Stash copies of your personal barcode in various places so you always have one with you at parkrun. Keep one in the car, another in your bike bag, one in your phone case, one in your wallet, one in the baby stroller…you get the point. If you so wish, you can also purchase a wristband and/or plastic key ring versions of your barcode if those strike your fancy. The key here is #DFYB (don’t forget your barcode) so you can get credit for every parkrun you do.
Do you think you can adopt one of these resolutions? Do you have parkrun-related resolutions that aren’t on this list? Let us know in the comments!
Viveka from Sweden is a self-proclaimed non-runner, but she shared the story of how she became a parkrunner. She volunteers more than she participates and more often walks than runs, which is true for many parkrunners around the world. No matter how you participate, if you do, you’re a parkrunner and you’re always welcome. …
If you’ve arrived at parkrun during event set-up or have volunteered for your local event, you’ve likely watched a Run Director pull all of the parkrun gear out of a Mary Poppins-esque bundle. It’s true that parkruns happen with minimal equipment and intentionally have a small footprint. Each event has the same tokens, stopwatches, scanners,…