group of walkers at parkrun
  • 17 November 2022

parkwalk has arrived!

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Jo Fraser WiseEvent Director Mote Park parkrun and proud parkwalker

For 18 years parkruns have been taking place all over the world on a Saturday morning, with the idea that you can turn up and run, jog or walk 5km or you can offer to volunteer and meet new people and get involved in the community.

For lots of us, running 5km feels like an impossibility and although parkrun has many walkers, the worry is you’ll feel out of place surrounded by all these fit and fast runners. But worry no more! To celebrate their 18th birthday parkwalk has been born.

What does this mean? Well, at your local parkrun, you’ll now find two or more people wearing blue vests that say ‘parkwalker’ and they will keep you company as you walk. Don’t worry, there is still a tailwalker behind you to finish last – no one ever finishes last at parkrun/parkwalk.

With parkwalk you can feel comfortable going at a pace that suits you and you don’t ever need to think about running a parkrun (unless you decide you want to).

I’m one of the Event Directors at the new Mote Park parkrun in Maidstone. We’ve been going since June 2022. I was pleased to put on the parkwalk vest for the first time in October. I have a lot of mental health problems and running feels something very outside of my comfort zone at the moment. I love parkrun, the community and the connection it brings and I love that I can now volunteer as a parkwalker, or just join one of the friendly parkwalkers and take my time. It’s an opportunity to have a fabulous chat as we walk round the 5km route and still get to enjoy the amazing and supportive parkrun atmosphere.

I promise the volunteers and participants cheer the walkers at the finish just as loudly as they cheer the front runners.

You don’t have to tell us in advance that you’re coming along to parkrun/parkwalk, whether to take part as a runner, walker or volunteer. We just ask you to register with parkrun before you arrive and have access to your own barcode either printed or on your phone. parkrun/parkwalk is completely free and although there may be some Saturdays when you may not be able to face coming, we’ll always welcome you back the next time you can.

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