Nordic walking and the Eastville parkrun

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Another first for Let’s Walk Bristol was joining last Saturday’s Eastville parkrun. Despite its misleading name you can run, walk, jog or Nordic walk a parkrun. It’s a free, fun, and friendly community 5km event and whilst the 9am start might feel a little early for some there were over 800 participants at Eastville Park on the day we took part. 

Getting involved with the parkrun was the joint initiative of the local Charlotte Keel and East Trees Health Centres. Many of our walkers attend these health hubs so it seemed natural to support them and we decided to turn the occasion into a Nordic walking celebration event offering refreshments and homemade snacks in the Nissen hut (the local community centre within Eastville Park) afterwards. 

Our merry band numbered over 30 and we looked resplendent. Not only were many of us wearing something orange (our LWB colour), but Henrietta and a dedicated team had produced magnificent Let’s Walk Bristol orange armbands to raise our profile even further. 

Any anxieties about possibly tripping people up were quickly allayed. We started at the back and it was easy for participants who lapped us (the Eastville parkrun is a series of loops) to spill out onto the grass either side of the tarmac paths to overtake us. The supportive atmosphere of the parkrun boosted our sense of belonging and we were cheered on by the friendly and encouraging volunteers. 

It was straightforward for those who didn’t want to do the full 5km distance to peel off part way round and conveniently the Nissen hut was on the route. For those who wanted to complete the distance there were plenty of people to cheer them across the finish line. 

The whole morning was a compelling fusion of fitness, nature, and community. The shared experience of Nordic walking within the wider parkrun filled us with a sense of belonging and achievement whilst the post-event refreshments in the Nissen hut provided an opportunity to enjoy the afterglow together.

Thank you to everyone who joined us and for being such amazing ambassadors for both Nordic walking and our club. This was our first event sponsored by the National Lottery Community Fund and it was an absolute cracker.