Members of the Foster parkrun join together weekly at the community event

Runners achieving together

by Ann van Engelen

The Foster parkrun participants marked the 50th event as part of the weekly worldwide parkruns established some 15 years ago in London.

The volunteer-run, not-for-profit weekly run, is now available in 29 different parks across New Zealand and 22 different countries across the world.

“My wife Suzy and I signed up five years ago at the Hagley parkrun. We moved to the Selwyn district two years ago and decided it would be nice for the community to have access to one here,” says event director Greg Peteren.

“There are more than six million registered park runners worldwide. It is about getting the community out and active. We celebrated with 102 runners and walkers at our 50th run and have recorded 3,597 people participating since we began. This run we had two international runners with us, from Ireland and London.”

The event is attracting approximately 72 people weekly with the average time for runners and walkers is 20 minutes to an hour. “It is a community iniative to help combat obesity and inactivity. The runs are five kilometres, completely free, and people use it as a measure week after week. Our youngest member is four years old, with our oldest 90 years old. We join together at 8am every Saturday at Foster Park.

“The community have really embraced the idea, and are stepping up to help. Members can follow the 2,500 circuits around the world. Upon registration you are given a barcode and keeps records of your finishing positions, notes which courses you have used and your statics are captured on your profile.”

For more information go to parkrun.co.nz