The Netherlands is one of the more recent countries to join the ever-expanding parkrun global family, with the first events taking place in February 2020. With a family holiday booked near Eindhoven during the Easter break 2020, we were very much looking forward to visiting one of these newest events. HOWEVER – we all know what happened next! Both the holiday and parkrun events worldwide were swiftly cancelled, leaving all plans on the back burner, until now! Our long-awaited trip to the De Kempervennen holiday park finally went ahead, a peaceful much-needed break in the pine forested site, with swimming, cycling and fresh air filling our days. On the Saturday of course it was parkrun time, and we made the short drive over to Karpendonske Plas park on the outskirts of Eindhoven city. Continental European parkruns tend to be somewhat smaller in size than the bustling UK events I normally visit, but they are always full of smiles and the familiar parkrun spirit!
It was a crisp sunny morning with frost still covering the grass as we gathered by the side of Karpendonske Plas lake. I had made sure to study the route beforehand in case of any language barriers, but the volunteers very kindly explained the route to me in English as well at the briefing. We set off, and after a couple of loops of the starting area headed out on our main circuit of the lake. The park was completely flat (The Netherlands not being a hilly country after all!), so this would definitely be a course with PB potential! I’m not quite in PB shape at the moment but nevertheless was delighted to get round in 26:11, my fastest time of the year up till then. Even more excitingly I finished in 13th place, by far my highest ever finish position (yes, the fact that there were only 34 runners may have helped somewhat!)
I was so happy to see how parkrun is thriving in it’s new home of the Netherlands, the parkrun ethos seems such a perfect fit for this friendly and welcoming country that we always love visiting. We will definitely be back next year to visit a different venue, perhaps that elusive ‘Z’ at Zuiderpark?
Happy parkrunning all! What has been your favourite country to visit a new parkrun?
It sounds fantastic! I am hoping to get to one in the Netherlands in a few weeks time- like you I was hoping to go Easter 2020 so here’s hoping!
I think all the countries I’ve been to I have always had a good welcoming- Denmark was amazing as I was a bit lost in the park and some runners (not doing the parkrun) helped me to find the start.
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Maria I hope you have a fantastic time at your Netherlands parkrun! Just so gald we are all back and able to travel again