George Lane Memorial Parkrun held its second birthday last weekend (June 1), treating numerous residents to some fresh air with a 5km stroll.

Paige Valgardson, the event director for George Lane Memorial Parkrun explains where the original idea for the weekly event came from.

"It really came about as a way to bring the community together. Parkrun is a global organization, and I started park running when I lived in Australia and really felt that I wanted to bring it to my community of High River," Valgardson said.

Valgardson came back from Australia back in 2018 and wanted to get the park run rolling right away, due to Covid-19 that put a hold on things, but she was able to bring her idea to fruition in 2022.

"It had already started in Canada when I had moved back from Australia, so the movement had already made its way back into Canada from the UK originally," she said.
"The closest one at the time when I was back home was Nose Hill Park which was just too far of a drive for me to do every weekend. So, I did want something where I could get moving and run around or walk, for people who are walkers and then connect with other members of the community."

While the numbers can fluctuate from week to week for the parkrun, Valgardson explains that they have had a number of reoccurring members that continue to take part in the weekly event.

"We definitely have a lot of people who love to come to join us, we have a very consistent group of regulars who come out almost every single week and that is really what we are trying to build in High River especially, is just getting our name out even more than we already have," Valgardson explained.

"You can come one week and then not come for another month or two months based on whatever other commitments you have going on. The nice thing is it starts early in the morning and then finished usually around 10:00. If you want to come join us for coffee, you join us for coffee and then you have the rest of your weekend and Saturday afternoon."  

The only competition residents face is against themselves as they try and earn a better time from week to week or when they take part in the parkrun. After the one-time registration residents will get a barcode which will be scanned at the end of the run so people can keep track how long it took them to complete the 5km exercise.

If you are any one you know would be interested, they are encouraged to visit to register.