You’ll forgive me for the title, which I couldn’t resist! On Sunday, the Budakeszi Keszegek Running Club (a keszeg is a kind of fish, so it’s rather amusing, we think) held the first annual Forest Run here in Budakeszi, which is a town just over János-hegy (János Hill) from Budapest.
Why? Because my husband and his running pals wanted to share the joy of a jog in the woods, to share the beauty of the forests that abound on the outskirts of Budapest, enjoy fresh air and good company, and encourage people to take advantage of this wonderful resource, for a run, a walk, or a picnic. Kindergarteners ran 800 meters, and older kids and adults could run just 2km (that was perfect for me) or repeat it three times for a total of 6km. It wasn’t a race, just a run for fun.
Volunteers brought and served tea and that wonderful Hungarian delicacy called zsiros kenyér – lard on bread with onions. We raffled off prizes donated by local businesses – salami from the local butcher, a voucher for 10 scoops of ice cream at the patisserie, liqueur from the specialty liquor shop, pizza, tanning salon sessions, and much more. The mayor of Budakeszi ran the full 6km and didn’t make a speech – she was one of us.
“This is what our community needs!” said one participant. “Thanks for putting this together, bringing us together!” said another. And we were thrilled that such an idea could come to fruition, providing an enjoyable day for so many people (over 120) from the neighborhood. I’m not writing this to toot my own horn, I’m writing this to show that there are easy ways to get your community together, share your passion with friends, family and neighbors, and make a difference. In Budakeszi, Budapest, or any other place you call home.
If you’re interested in discovering the forest around Budakeszi, there are lots of ways to do it. Go up to Normafa and walk downhill. Or take Bus 22 from Széll Kálmán tér to the center of Budakeszi (the stop is called Patika), cross the street and walk 3 blocks on Kossuth Lajos utca to the entrance to the forest. There are also lots of trails near the Budakeszi Vadaspark Wild Animal Park, and near the Children’s Railway at Szépjuhászné, the name of a stop on Bus 22. There is parking at all three locations. Here’s a map of the neighborhood: http://g.co/maps/wqj8g and a full trail map (look for Budai hegység) is available at larger bookstores.
To read the local newspaper (Hirmondó) article about the event (in Hungarian), see http://hirmondo.budakeszi.hu/budakeszi-hirek/termeszet/1185-mienk-az-erdo. Thank you to Hirmondó for the photos and article!