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The parkrun concept is simple: every Saturday morning, city parks in over 20 countries host a timed 5km walk, jog, or run. But it’s not like the kind of competitive run that you might be thinking of. It’s a casual run, where it doesn’t matter what your goals are or what physical shape you’re in; the only goals are to get fit and have fun doing it! And because of its casual nature, you’ll find yourself running alongside strollers and pets, too.
Parkrun started in London back in 2004, and has since grown into a global phenomenon. It’s a great way to get out and exercise, and at the same time to meet new people in an active community. And this is what makes it such a good choice for expats, too. And, by the way, you don’t even have to run: volunteers that help organize the runs are as much a part of the community as the runners are.
There are now over 20 parkruns in Germany, including ones in Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Leipzig, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Bonn, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. The parkrun nearest me is the Wöhrder See parkrun in Nürnberg, and I’ve run it a few times. So of course, when I wanted to do an episode of my podcast about parkrun, it was only natural that I would meet with organizers there. I went down there on a beautiful Saturday morning, and we met at Tante Noris (most parkruns start and end near a coffee shop) overlooking the lake.
We discussed the parkrun concept, volunteering, and more.
How to sign up: go to https://www.parkrun.com.de/register/. You get a barcode, which you print out and bring to the event. And then you run.
The parkrun website: https://www.parkrun.com/
The parkrun Germany website (in German): https://www.parkrun.com.de/
The Wöhrder See parkrun website (in German): https://www.parkrun.com.de/woehrdersee/