December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 13

Introducing parkrun
By Nancy Desmond, CPRP
T
here's no event quite like parkrun - an international, communitybased
5K that is held each week in countries across the globe.
Always spelled with a small " p, " parkrun is led by volunteers
and always free for every participant. Walkers, joggers, runners
and volunteers of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate. While
the 5K is timed, there are no fees, numbers or awards - just fun, exercise
and encouragement. These events are safe and inclusive, with many people
taking part for the motivational, community and social aspects.
Values of parkrun include building
healthy, strong communities;
promoting social support; encouraging
diversity in age, gender, speed,
appearance, ethnicity, and social and
economic backgrounds; and fostering
stewardship of the land. The mission
of parkrun is to make the world
a healthier and happier place.
These values fit well with Cleveland
(Ohio) Metroparks' mission and
values of health and wellness, equity,
and conservation. The park district
began hosting one of the 45 weekly
parkruns across the United States in
October 2019 at its Ohio and Erie
Canal Reservation (OECR). The
park reservation was selected due
to its central location, trail and road
network, and lower visitation than
other nearby reservations.
The participant experience at
parkrun is very simple and straightforward.
Registrants enter their
information once on the parkrun
website and subsequently receive
a barcode, which they can use to
participate in parkrun anywhere
in the world. This has resulted in
" parkrun tourism, " as people seek
opportunities to participate while
traveling. In its first five months,
the OECR event at Cleveland Metroparks
hosted visitors from seven
states, Canada, Russia, Spain, China,
England, Australia and Poland.
Participants can view their own personal
parkrun webpage to see all the
events they've visited, where they've
volunteered at parkruns, and keep
track of their times and statistics.
The key to the success of a local
parkrun is the post-event social,
where participants and volunteers
mingle while results are processed.
A Cleveland Metroparks visitor
center located in OECR hosts the
social each week, driving attendance
and awareness.
The most challenging part
The mission of parkrun is to make the
world a healthier and happier place.
for
some parkrun events is driving volunteer
support on 52 Saturdays per
year. Park agencies or similar government
institutions can offer an advantage
by allowing parkrun to draw
on its volunteer base. Cleveland
Metroparks volunteers regularly fill
the weekly event roster because they
enjoy the positivity of the event and
enjoy being in the parks. They are
encouraged to cheer for everyone
and get to know the other walkers,
joggers, runners and volunteers over
the weeks and months.
If you're thinking parkrun might
be a good fit for your agency,
parkrun provides equipment, such
as flags, cones, scanners and a laptop
for processing results and uploading
them to the parkrun website.
Perhaps, most importantly, parkrun
offices provide ongoing technical
and webpage support, insurance,
event guidelines and communication
with participants. In Cleveland
Metroparks' case, because the event
was so mission-compatible with the
agency's, the department decided to
assign an employee to help establish
and manage the event. Once
established, the work was minimal
and translated easily to the agency's
volunteer system. Within a couple
months, the event was running every
Saturday without the need for
any employee presence.
The OECR parkrun at Cleveland
Metroparks brings a free, healthy,
social activity to the community
every Saturday morning. The
parkrun model is quite different
than the standard American 5K
model. Participants and volunteers
gain a sense of belonging, ownership
and pride in their event, and
they also can celebrate by visiting
other
parkruns.
Every
parkrun
event has its own culture. It's not
just a run, it's a community.
To find out if there's a parkrun
near you, visit parkrun.us.
Nancy Desmond, CPRP, is Special Projects Administrator for
Cleveland Metroparks (nd@clevelandmetroparks.com).
PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G | DECEMBER 2 0 2 1
| Parks & Recreation
13
PHOTO COURTESY OF KYLE LANZER/CLEVELAND METROPARKS
http://www.parkrun.us

December 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of December 2021 - Parks & Recreation

December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 7
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 8
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 9
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 10
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 11
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 12
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 13
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 14
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 15
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 16
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 17
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 18
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 19
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 20
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 21
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 22
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 23
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 24
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 25
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 26
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 27
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December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 37
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December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com