parkrun: a free, weekly 5km walk/jog/run and volunteer event for the whole family
What is parkrun?
parkrun is a global community involvement movement. It started in the UK in 2004 and now has over 2,000 parkrun locations in 22 countries. The concept is simple: a free, weekly 5km walk/jog/run for everyone, forever.
In October 2021 a team of dedicated volunteers launched parkrun in Vienna, the second in Austria after Salzburg. Since then parkrun Vienna continues to grow. Each week it attracts new faces and families who share the same motivation: to get out for some fresh air and exercise, to feel energised and to be part of a larger global movement for good.
Is parkrun family friendly?
Yes! parkrun’s ethos is that it is an event for everyone. Walkers, joggers, runners, volunteers, spectators, prams, wheelchair users, dogs – everyone is welcome. At each parkrun event there is always a ‘tail walker’ meaning you will never be the last person. Another way to take part is to volunteer to help make the events happen or simply turn up, watch and enjoy!
In countries where parkrun is already well established there are ‘parkrun junior’ events. These are 2km events specifically for children aged between 4-14 years of age. parkrun Vienna hopes to one day offer parkrun junior events. Until then, children aged 4 to 11 are able to participate, provided they are accompanied by an adult at all times. Children under 4 can ride in the pram!
How does parkrun work?
Registration is free, forever. Simply register once online and you will receive a barcode to print out. This barcode is your passport to every parkrun – every week – worldwide. parkrun is also a timed event meaning you can follow your progress online, or track your volunteer attendance. parkrun even recognises individual participation and volunteering and awards milestone t-shirts when a certain number of events have been achieved.
The power of parkrun
parkrun is much more than a 5km event. It is a friendly community event where anyone can participate or help out. The atmosphere is always positive and welcoming. Everyone participates for their own enjoyment, no matter their pace. It is about togetherness and the simple opportunity to be active, to feel good and be part of something good.
parkrun takes place every Saturday morning at 09:00 in Donaupark. It is only cancelled in dangerous weather conditions (such as ice or storms) or if the Covid situation dictates.
For more information, to register or volunteer please see the links, below:
Facebook: Donaupark Parkrun, Wien/Vienna
VFN Member Hilary Zehentner-Hodge lives in Vienna with her Austrian husband and their 17 month old son. She was part of the initial launch team for parkrun Vienna. Hilary, Canadian/British, got to know parkrun from her time in London. It was there where she was introduced to this vibrant, uplifting international community. Hilary explains “I cannot express how much parkrun means to me. It is like a supportive friend who is always there. Every week, no matter how busy or challenging your life, you can always count on your friends – old and new – to be waiting for you at parkrun. Every week someone is celebrating a milestone or attending for the first time. It is an event that gives so much back. Just come once, and you will be hooked for life.”