16 November 2019
Disclaimer - Written by a parkrun addict
parkrun is a big part of my weekend and I can’t quite imagine a weekend not starting with one; I like in particular the community aspect and have met lots of new people, struck up countless conversations including over coffee post run and made new friends through parkrun.
So, when my husband and I booked a weekend trip back home to visit family and friends (we live in London) we were of course keen to incorporate a parkrun into our trip. The “only” challenges we had were that ‘home’ is The Netherlands and that we were hoping to also catch up with our friend Anne...who lives in Belgium...and that neither The Netherlands nor Belgium currently have parkrun....
A solution was quickly found. We would fly to Düsseldorf rather than to Amsterdam, adding “only” a few hundred kilometres to our trip, and Anne would plan a weekend away in Düsseldorf so we’d get a chance to meet up. That's all perfectly normal to do to get to a parkrun, right?!
On the Saturday we woke up to a cold but sunny morning. Our hotel was strategically chosen and only a short jog away from Volksgarten park.
When we messaged Anne we were about to head out, she replied she was already exploring the park but couldn’t find a parkrun sign or flag or any volunteers! We assured her this was nothing to worry about as after all it was only a quarter past eight...
Volksgarten, part of Düsseldorf’s Südpark is just beautiful; it’s very spacious and offers some great scenery, winding paths, ponds and artworks. A perfect setting for a parkrun.
parkrun volunteers had meanwhile also appeared and we were warmly welcomed by the team. There was also a large group visiting from The Netherlands, as they wanted to get a feel for how the event is operated, in preparation for parkrun launching in The Netherlands in 2020.
A total of 35 brave souls weathered the cold this morning for a run, jog or walk around the two loop course and 11 volunteers made the magic happen. There were 18 first timers of which 8 completed their first ever parkrun (welcome to the parkrun family!) and there 4 new personal bests. Well done to everyone!
A large group went to the cafe post run for a coffee, breakfast and a chat and we had a chance to catch up with our friend Anne. Plans were hatched for a next get together, quite likely at the beginning of next year when parkrun launches in The Netherlands.
parkrun wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for the volunteers, so a special shout out to this week’s team of hi vis heroes. Volunteering is another great way to be involved in parkrun and I can’t recommend it enough; it’s fun and easy with a variety of roles to choose from (training is provided) and it provides a great sense of accomplishment. And of course it helps keep parkrun free, forever, for everyone.
We hope to be back at Volksgarten parkrun soon, and therefore would like to conclude with “Vielen Dank and hoffentlich sehen wir uns bald wieder!”
Happy parkrunning everyone!