Saturday 29 February will see the launch of global running event, parkrun, in the Netherlands.
parkrun will launch in Eindhoven, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Nijmegen, Maastricht and Groningen this Saturday. It will then launch in Amsterdam and Leiden one week later, on 7 March 2020. There are also plans for events in The Hague, Harlem and Arnhem in the near future.
parkrun was founded by Paul Sinton-Hewitt, a South African doctor living in London, in 2004. It involves walking, jogging or running a five kilometre route in a local park. Participants register online to receive a personalised barcode, through which they receive an online result after every event. Participation is completely free of charge.
After launching in Bushy Park, London almost 16 years ago, parkrun is now active in 2000 locations across 21 countries. This includes Japan, Australia, Germany and South Africa. The Netherlands will be the 22nd country to host the event.
Behind the launch is a team of volunteers that has been busy designing the route and promoting parkrun to companies, employers, schools, shops and government representatives throughout Eindhoven.
‘We are so excited to finally host parkrun in Eindhoven,’ the team of volunteers say. ‘parkrun is for everyone, no matter your ability. Everyone is welcome and there is no judgement no matter how fast or slow you complete the 5km.’
Many of the volunteers are themselves part of Eindhoven’s growing expat community, coming from Spain, the UK and South Africa. The group says that they hope parkrun will have a positive impact on Eindhoven’s international community, helping participants to connect with others and form friendships.
parkrun will take place at Karpendonkse Plas, close to TU/e, at 9:00am every Saturday. New participants are advised to meet 10 minutes prior to the start for briefing. The event is followed by refreshments at Eindhoven Athletics
Written by: Rachael Vickerman