“parkrun makes my heart happy…I was thinking of doing it forever,‘’ said Alvin Yau’s five-year-old daughter when he told her he was going to write about parkrun. Here, Alvin writes about what else parkrun gives his family, beyond happy hearts!
parkrun – or Wascana parkrun to be more specific – has given my family so many opportunities. To name a few:
An opportunity to set a personal best
On September 21, 2019, my wife toed the start line in Wascana Centre. Nine-and-a-half months prior, at the start of the year, she was not a runner. She was compelled to start training after registering for her first trail race and half marathon.
It was difficult for her to establish a new fitness regime, but her drive to succeed outweighed the awfulness of a 5:00 a.m. alarm clock. On that day, at the Wascana parkrun, the results of her nine months of training was on full display as she clocked a new personal best, beating her old personal best that she had set many years ago by over a minute.
It was a very proud moment for her, and she was glad to be given a chance to see tangible results of her hard work.
An opportunity to bond
Most of our runs at Wascana parkruns are not record setters, but, rather, opportunities to be together as a family. Not unusually, the four of us have very busy lives, with many activities outside of work, school, and daycare.
Most of our runs at Wascana parkruns are spent trotting at a leisurely pace, chatting about whatever is on our mind, while the kids enjoy a snack in the stroller. On occasion, our kids request to get out of the stroller and run one or two kilometres. We are almost always happy to let them do so.
An opportunity to volunteer
“I want to volunteer,” my daughter told me one evening when we were planning the weekend’s activities. I was happy to let her volunteer at parkrun because it has given us an opportunity to talk about the selflessness of volunteering and the importance of serving our community.
My daughter takes great pride in having helped put on the weekly event in the heart of the Queen City. She has dutifully cleaned up the course after the event, and has also helped to ensure that everybody gets their finish tokens. What is even more gratifying about volunteering with my daughter is that her two-year-old brother looks up to her.
Our family loves parkrun. Craig Herrington, one of the Co-Event Directors at Wascana parkrun, made a promise to us that entices us to return week after week: “if you don’t like it, we’ll give you your money back.” Now there’s an offer that we, truly, can’t refuse.