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Taking Care of Walking

2/20: Parkrun: getting overweight people walking

2/20: Parkrun: getting overweight people walking

Parkrun is the name of the initiative, but the name misleads. You are not obliged to run, everyone has free choice of just walking or running or jogging. A track is available of five kilometers, sometimes two for children.

Since 2004, volunteers in many countries organize every Saturday morning a Parkrun for everyone. In the Netherlands this 29th February for the first time. It's about participating, each in his or her own way. And not in the first place about winning or obtaining a medal. The advantage is that such activity can become a routine and is easy to fit into everyone's weekly agenda. Offered free of charge. The route ends at a place where you can buy food and drinks. And chat, meet each other.  

Every year one million participants extra

Worldwide Parkrun now has more than 6 million participants and 0,4 million volunteers in 23 countries ( ) . More and more ordinary runners and walkers participate. Not only fanatical athletes, but also leisure enthusiasts who want to become or stay healthy: young and old, poor and rich. As an expert I will add this wonderful example in my 100 Tips & Tools.

For light and overweight

An illustration of the success of getting 'average' citizens on board is the decreased average speed. An insider told me that every year the average participant needs more time to reach the finish line. The explanation: more and more participants are untrained, not experienced, runners. They are novice, overweight or relaxed movers.

Now in the Netherlands

On 29 February 2020 Parkrun starts in Utrecht, Eindhoven, Arnhem, Rotterdam, Nijmegen and Groningen. A week later in Leiden en Amsterdam. Thanks to foreign experience, initiators will benefit from all kinds of tips and examples. A few years ago, Jelle Schoemaker a teacher of the sports academy in the Arnhem/Nijmegen area, and his students, already started their 'Parklopen' on a small scale.
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