11th annual parkour festival takes over Rosslyn park

A parkour athlete jumps off an obstacle at the “Beast Coast” parkour festival in Rosslyn, Virginia, on Saturday. The festival is one of the largest in the world, said Mark Toorock, founder of D.C.-based American Parkour. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart) (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
A parkour athlete jumps off an obstacle at the "Beast Coast" parkour festival in Rosslyn, Va., on Saturday. The festival is one of the largest in the world, said Mark Toorock, founder of D.C.-based American Parkour. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
Another parkour athlete jumps off an obstacle at the “Beast Coast” parkour festival in Rosslyn, Virginia. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart) (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
Defying gravity at American Parkour Festival in Rosslyn at Gateway Park. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
Defying gravity at American Parkour Festival in Rosslyn at Gateway Park. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart) (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
Founder of American Parkour,  Mark Toorock, kicked off 11th annual #Parkour Festival. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
Founder of American Parkour, Mark Toorock, kicked off 11th annual #Parkour Festival. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart) (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
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A parkour athlete jumps off an obstacle at the "Beast Coast" parkour festival in Rosslyn, Va., on Saturday. The festival is one of the largest in the world, said Mark Toorock, founder of D.C.-based American Parkour. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
Defying gravity at American Parkour Festival in Rosslyn at Gateway Park. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
Founder of American Parkour,  Mark Toorock, kicked off 11th annual #Parkour Festival. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

ROSSLYN, Va. — Gateway Park in Rosslyn, Virginia, temporarily turned into a giant playground for adults Saturday.

This weekend’s parkour festival, called “Beast Coast,” is one of the largest in the world, said Mark Toorock, founder of D.C.-based American Parkour.

“What we have done with ‘Beast Coast’ is build a 20,000-square-foot jungle gym for adults,” Toorock said.

It is the 11th year for the festival, which runs through Monday. Events offered include a beginner’s course at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Parkour athletes move quickly through an area, negotiating obstacles by going over or under them — running, jumping, vaulting, swinging and or climbing. Parkour movements originally developed from military obstacle course training.

Lizzie Fournet of Midlothian, Virginia, was at the festival Saturday with her 15-year-old son, who is a parkour athlete. This was his third year participating in the festival.

“I love watching all the people,” she said. “The skills they have are amazing.”

Fournet explained how she describes parkour to her friends.

“I tell them [parkour is] like in the movies, the bad guys running away from the good guys, and they’re running over railings and jumping across rooftops,” she said. “That’s what this is.”

Isaiah Rios of Buffalo, New York, was at Saturday’s event too. He has been doing parkour for 4 1/2 years.

“I think it’s the greatest thing that’s been created ever,” Rios said.

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