Naturally, we share quite a bit on our blog about new parkrun USA events, but let’s take step back and look at the full continent for a moment. Our neighbors to the north in Canada are also regularly launching new events, too!
For some of us stateside, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump (okay maybe a car, train or bus ride) to experience a bit of international parkrun tourism. For some US residents, the closest parkrun from home may actually be IN Canada at the moment.
Take a look at the parkrun North America map. For those in the Pacific Northwest, Michigan, northern New York or Vermont, it’s quite feasible to make the trip if a passport, transportation and the funds for a day or weekend trip are available.
Canadian parkruns span across 5 timezones, and total 27 in number at the moment, with 3 more launching this month. As Canada’s most Easterly parkrun (so far), newcomer Chain of Lakes is the first to kick off parkrun on the contient every week. For reference, they’re 8 degrees longitude (or approximately 370 miles) east of Jamaica Pond parkrun, our most Easterly US parkrun. Their course is out-and-back along a paved trail that runs alongside several beautiful lakes just outside the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
You’ve probably heard that parkrun events around the globe share certain characteristics that allow a person to feel at home at any one. Less than 10 weeks old, Chain of Lakes parkrun is already exhibiting a lot of the elements of a strong community event. Their core team includes a non-runner and they talk about their aspirations to recruit more walkers and runners (in that order) to their event. One of their regular parkrunners is a local athletics business owner who carries a bag and kitchen tongs to pick up litter along the trail as he goes.
They welcome several new first-timers each week and have already seen tourists from the UK and Australia. There are families with strollers, an 84 year old parkrunner and everything in between.
They ham it up for the camera and describe their event as “social, fun and encouraging”.
Sound familiar? Yup, those are all things we see at parkrun USA events, too!
Crossing country borders isn’t the most practical thing to do every Saturday, but we enjoy hearing from those who make the trip on occasion, in either direction. Let us know if you’ve made the trip or if you plan on visiting a parkrun Canada event in the future. We’ll reach out to our friends up north for their input and we’ll write a follow-up story about border-crossing parkrunning experiences!
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