parkrun has not only become a national fitness obsession, with nearly 700 events across the U.K., but it’s become a global movement that gets millions of people walking, jogging and running every Saturday morning across 21 countries. It is such a friendly, welcoming event that it attracts people to running from all walks of life. It is also a great place to build your fitness levels for some of our Exodus trips. Here, we follow two avid parkrun members of our team who have done exactly that. We spoke to them to find out more about their passion for parkrun and their favourite Exodus adventure.
Fun for all the family
As well as the main Saturday morning parkrun, there are junior parkruns held for children aged 4-14 years. These are 2km events and are normally held on Sundays at 9.00am (although different local timings can vary). Tom Wilkinson, Senior Product and Commercial Manager for Exodus, enjoys this event in Surbiton every week with his daughter. Parents can run with their children, making this a great family event. Tom agrees, commenting, ‘I love anything active and will take any opportunity to help my kids be active too. It’s also nice to do things just between father and daughter.’
Tom has been on many Exodus adventures; his favourite being the Iceland, Northern Lights experience. He describes how amazing the landscape is with its black volcanic sand, roaring waterfalls and exploding geysers. Tom commented that the glacier walking was a real highlight of the trip; an awe-inspiring walk amongst walls of brilliant blue ice, created over thousands of years. He also loved Reykjavik; a vibrant capital city with beautiful architecture and a real buzz around its world-class restaurants, bars, galleries and museums. It is also known for being one of the cleanest and safest cities in the world! If you’re looking for active family adventures that are suitable for younger travellers, we’ve got a range of trips available that are specifically tailored to children and families!
Caroline Pryer, our Marketing Manager, loves her weekly parkrun. She runs at Hilly Fields, near Brockley and also at Dulwich Park. Finding it a great way to start her weekend, Caroline enjoys the friendly, encouraging atmosphere. parkrun is not a race, but there is still a healthy bit of competition, and Caroline explains how this is conveyed in a supportive way – with everyone collectively cheering the team on. All fitness levels are welcome at parkrun and no one ever finishes last because a volunteer Tail Walker is behind you every step of the way to ensure everyone is safe, so they’re always the final finisher.
Taking part in parkrun each week helped to prepare Caroline for her favourite Exodus adventure, Walking the Picos de Europa. On this trip, she climbed three of Spain’s most iconic peaks in just two days. Having good fitness levels is a definite advantage on our more active trips. It allows you to fully appreciate and enjoy the breath-taking scenery which in this case, was the dramatic limestone peaks of Picos de Europa with its beautiful valleys, carpeted in spring wildflowers. Exodus tours are perfect for solo travellers who are looking to share experiences with like-minded travellers. One of Caroline’s favourite things about the trip was the amazing women she met travelling in her group and how they’ve stayed in contact long after her trip was over.
The main ethos behind parkrun and Exodus Travels are one and the same. With both offering warm and welcoming communities where everyone can join in with the possibility of starting new friendships, why not combine the two and tick off your bucket list this year. Whether that’s summitting snow-capped peaks, or indulging in an immersive cultural experience along the way, it’s time get those running and hiking shoes on. Start your 2020 off right and get fit in a supportive environment, with your ultimate Guide to the World in tow.