Parkrun makes its return to Eindhoven this weekend at the Karpendonkse Plas.
Established in London in 2004, parkrun is a weekly event where participants can walk, jog or run a 5 kilometre route in a local park. Participation is free and participants receive a time score via a personalised barcode system.
After expanding to 21 countries worldwide, the Netherlands became parkrun’s 22nd country in February 2020. It launched in Eindhoven as well as Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Nijmegen, Maastricht and Groningen. However, the events were forced to shut down only 2 weeks later as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
Parkrun events are entirely volunteer-led. Eindhoven’s volunteer team consists of several members of the growing international community, as well as local Dutch people.
Volunteer Jesus Gonzalez Tejeria, says, ‘I am very excited to see that parkrun is starting again in the Netherlands. I really think that parkrun can motivate people to exercise more, especially these days where many are still working from home.’
Besides getting people outdoors and exercising, fans of parkrun worldwide often praise its social benefits. Gonzalez Tejeria says, ‘beyond the exercise, I see parkrun as a social event where you can meet all kinds of people’. Likewise, fellow volunteer Sanne Simpson says, ‘parkrun is not only a 5km walk or run. It is a place where different communities come together, make new friends and support each other.’
Parkrun starts at 9:00 a.m. every Saturday. Participants are invited to assemble (at 1.5 metres distance) next to the former Karpendonkse Hoeve restaurant.
In addition to Eindhoven, the parkrun teams in Maastricht, Rotterdam and Utrecht are also ready to restart on Saturday. Plans to reopen in other Dutch cities are in the pipeline for the coming weeks.