Do you want to run 5K and meet new people? Join a Parkrun!
Parkrun is a collection of 5-kilometer running events that take place every Saturday morning at over 1,400 locations in twenty-three countries across five continents. The goal of the international organization is a healthier, happier planet.
Looking for a 5K in Warsaw? Do you want to run, jog, walk, or crawl in a park close to you? Maybe you don’t want to run, but you want to go cheered or help support a great sporting event?
There are Parkrun in every corner of Warsaw!
Parkrun Park Pole Mokotowski
The newest of the Parkrun locations (they just started December 15th), the run begins and ends at the big lake in the center of the park. There is a very enthusiastic group of volunteers at this location and chances are you will see me there on weekends I’m in town since the park is in my backyard. The course is completely flat and volunteers helped direct at tricky curves.
Centered in Park Brodnowski, look for the big reflective cube in the center of the park. Some of the friendliest runners in Warsaw, we all had a good laugh after I missed the turnoff for the finish line and everybody was yelling at me to come back and finish!
Based in Park Skaryszewski, this was the first Parkrun in Warsaw and the attendance shows it. Within a short walk from the National Stadium, it seems to be the most accessible for out of towners – there were running tourists each time I went. A very pretty park with lots of gardens and water views, you get a strong whiff of the Wedel Chocolate Factory on days where the wind blows towards the river.
This was the first Parkrun event I attended in Warsaw and by far I had the most help here as an English speaker. Runners went out of their way to make sure that I understood the route and what the Event Director was saying. However, this is my least favorite course, as most of it is run on the sidewalks outside Park Przy Bazantarni, whereas most of the other courses run through the park they are based in. There is a very pretty church in the center of the park and an amazing children’s playground in the trees.
Park Kepa Potocka is notable for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is the only Parkrun in Warsaw that is a single loop course – all the others include a second loop or more. There is also a very pretty river running through it (particularly picture-worthy when frozen). Although they didn’t have volunteers at every turn, the course is very well marked out with official looking signposts along the trail.
Parkrun is more than just running
I originally thought of Parkruns as races – because they time you – but it is actually so much more than that. You can use it as a race, a speed training, a weekly run or even just a walk in the park.
Moreover, Parkrun is a community. Many participants stay and chat after the race in informal coffee clutches or around pots of hot, sweet tea. Recently, two runners got engaged during the Pole Mokotowski Parkrun!
Although the race is organized in Polish, let some of the volunteers know that you are an English speaker and they’ll find someone to at least get the pertinent information to you (for example, that the finish line has changed from the officially marked position).
I recommend you go to the main Parkrun website (in English), sign up and print out a free membership barcode. You must have a printed version in order for your run to be counted.
Thanks to Derek for writing this post! Check out Derek’s GloboRun, an organization dedicated to helping people run long distances around the globe.