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Parkrun brings all-ages fun runs to Surrey

Join in the family-friendly fun Saturdays at 9 a.m. at Tynehead Regional Park
Ahmed, centre, poses for a photo with a group at his what was supposed to be his first parkrun in Canada in Richmond. (Contributed photo)

A free weekly 5-km run is coming to Surrey’s Tynehead Regional Park Saturday (May 11).

The family-friendly “parkrun” event starts at 9 a.m. every Saturday and is led by a team of volunteers.

It’s not a competitive event; you can run, walk, or jog, said event organizer Ahmed Marzouk.

Although the weekly event is centred around the 9 a.m. run, it’s more about the community. “It’s more of a social activity than a sports activity,” Marzouk said.

After each parkrun, many of the runners will go to a nearby coffee shop to hang out. “Some people say the most important thing about the parkrun is the coffee at the end,” Marzouk said.

Parkrun started in October 2004 in Teddington, U.K. It now has free weekly runs in more than 20 countries around the world. There are more than 45 parkrun events around Canada, including ones in Langley, Coquitlam, Burnaby and Richmond, the first in the Lower Mainland.

“The parkrun community is growing all the time – but it’s all still based on the simple, basic principles formed from the start: weekly, free, for everyone, forever,” reads a post on

Marzouk first heard about parkrun in 2012 when he was living in Sydney. When he moved to Canada in 2017, he started looking for a parkrun near him.

He was living in downtown Vancouver and the only parkrun in the area at that time was in Richmond.

The first parkrun event he went to in Richmond was cancelled, but a small group braved the elements on their own and ran in the snow.

“That was my first parkrun in Canada. As someone who is originally from Egypt, coming from Australia, and the first encounter is, you know, is in the middle of the snow, like I was figuring out new muscles in my feet while running,” Marzouk recalled.

As Marzouk and his wife moved further away from Vancouver, he wanted to bring a parkrun to his neck of the woods.

As a Fleetwood resident, he thought Tynehead Regional Park would be the perfect place for it.

It was a bit of a process to get a permit from Metro Vancouver to run the weekly run, but after a bit of persistence and help from staff at parkrun, their permit was approved.

The run starts at the yellow gate that is in front of the pedestrian crossing on 168 Street, and parking is available at the Serpentine Fields parking lot (10065 168 St.).

First-time runners must register at and bring a copy of the scannable barcode they receive. The barcode will be scanned when the individual finishes the race and later posted to the results page.

For more information, follow Tynehead Regional Parkrun on Facebook.

Anna Burns

About the Author: Anna Burns

I cover health care, non-profits and social issues-related topics for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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