Parks in Italy are often abandoned and people tends not to take advantage of them even though there are many. Seldom parks are promoted as welfare asset for the citizenry’s life. Beautiful places are totally neglected and, in some cases, are stuck with shady people hanging out.

That’s why Giorgio Cambiano, an Italian teacher and engineer from Palermo, fell in love with the parkrun formula when he bumped in it in 2014. Without thinking too much, Giorgio met the parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt in London and was charged of bringing the event to Italy.

parkrun is a free running event, organized by volunteers each Saturday in the same locations around the world. You just register once and then turn up on Saturday to run 5km. It doesn’t matter how fast you are: it’s all about taking part.

The events are organized in parks, beaches or promenades and are always 5km long, because it’s a distance anyone can complete. The founding concepts are inclusiveness and well-being. parkrun aims to form communities and families around a unifying passion for running at any level. An informatic infrastructure processes parkrunners times and number of participations, so that classifications are regularly updated on the website.

parkrun started in 2004 in UK and is increasingly growing up since then. As of December 2017, 3 million people are registered worldwide and more than 1.000 weekly events are organized in 14 countries. That makes any parkrun event really international, because parkrunners all around the globe always show up to local events when abroad.

Giorgio is a passionate runner, he took part to more than 100 marathons and several ultratrails including the 330km long Tor des Geants. With his enthralling attitude, Giorgio brought parkrun to his own city, Palermo where now two events take place at Parco della Favorita and at Parco Uditore. parkrun has become a case of success for the Palermo population: the power of people dramatically increased in value two parks.

After the Palermo experience, parkrun went a sort of viral in Italy, opening up in Rimini at Parco Marecchia and in Milan at Parco Nord. Soon there will be new events in Treviso and in Rome. It’s no news Italy is beautiful and people is welcoming, so this formula is certainly bound to success!

Register to: https://www.parkrun.it/register/ and go running next Saturday! Information on Italian events can be also found on Movimentore App.

Still no events in your city? Get in touch with Giorgio or propose your own parkrun event here (http://www.parkrun.com/about/start-your-own-event/) and spread your running passion!

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