CORK parkrun organisers continue to advocate for the free, weekly, timed event as a positive outlet for mental and physical health as the initiative celebrates eighteen years in operation.
To mark the 18th birthday of the popular exercise scheme, parkrun is emphasizing the existance of parkwalk.
A recent parkrun survey has highlighted that one in five parkrunners don’t ‘feel fit enough’ to return to the weekly initiative after the pandemic and the organisation is hoping their new emphasis in walking will get people back to basics and out and about.
Tramore Valley Park organiser Andrew Burns encouraged people to give the early morning activity a go.
“parkrun is a free, weekly, timed opportunity for you to take part in some exercise and/or volunteering and see what that does for your health.” Another parkrun volunteer Julie O’Leary said there are a lot of benefits from helping out and taking part in the initiative.
“The first time I set foot in Glen River park was to help set up a parkrun in November 2018! I couldn’t believe what a lovely park it is. Since then I’ve taken part in over 60 parkruns, made loads of friends and even went to parkrun while on my honeymoon in Rome. I would recommend to absolutely anyone to give parkrun a go.”
The organisation said parkrun is committed to celebrating and promoting walking, and for the month of October will launch the ‘parkwalk’ campaign.
The campaign will see walking incentives that far outlast the month.
A new, permanent volunteer ‘parkwalker’ has been introduced. An additional role whose job it is to mingle through all of the walkers, whilst also supporting the volunteer tail walkers who are present at every event - ensuring nobody finishes last, and everyone can complete the course in their own time, at their own pace.
parkrun’s global head of health and wellbeing Chrissie Wellington OBE said: “We believe passionately in parkrun’s power to change people’s lives and the communities that they live in.
For 18 years parkrun and junior parkrun events have enabled millions of people to be active, to make friends, to apply and develop their skills, to have fun, to smile and to laugh, together with others: and all for free, every single week.”