Second birthday celebration for Castlemaine Parkrun
On Saturday 27 May 2017, Castlemaine Parkrun celebrated its second anniversary with a dress up day, annual awards, cakes and, unsurprisingly, a 5km jog/walk around the botanic gardens. Richard ‘Braveheart’ Mayes, embracing his Scottish roots as Run Director and Emcee for the day, was dressed in full William Wallace regalia and facepaint. There was also a Power Ranger, a hula dancer, Dr Frankenfurter, bumble bees, boxers, convicts, cats, 1950s rockettes and a 1980s glam rocker to name a few. It was a colourful and fun start to the weekend, and the weather was kind.
Richard read out some of the key statistics from the past two years of weekly parkruns in Castlemaine, noting that 923 different runners had completed this course, with 1216 personal bests (PBs) from a total of 6,556 runs. Importantly, he also noted how important this had become as a regular community-based event for people of all ages and abilities to get together in a welcoming setting, with a range of health and social benefits and many new friendships forged. Event director Luke Kneebone also presented the final set of medals to the now-defunct annual points competition, which recognise a mix of regular attendance, performance and volunteering. The female awards were presented to Raewyn Rice, Prue Robertson and Karina Taylor. The male awards were presented to Jason Hull, Shane Renfrey and Glen Taylor.
After the speeches and presentations, sixty-three parkrunners made their way around the course, including a number of visitors from other parkruns (Hamilton, Shepparton, Bendigo), and two people undertaking their first parkrun ever were also welcomed. One of these first-timers was Oja Prelovsek, who was first female finisher in 21 minutes 32 seconds. Oja’s time was also a new fastest time for the 35-39 age category. This broke the oldest age category record for the Castlemaine course by 24 seconds, originally set by Carol Cunningham way back at the very first Castlemaine Parkrun on 23 May 2015. Next female finishers were Karina Taylor (22:16), followed by Caroline Macdonald (23:59). Caroline Bellair had the highest female age-graded result (78.49%). Congratulations to the women who set PBs including Johannah Ashley (her sixth in a row, this time by 1 second), Kym Pointon (by 63s), Simone Healy (by 261s) and Lorella Burns (by 17s).
Bendigo-based parkrunner Rowan Threlfall was the first male finisher (19:04) in his inaugural run on the Castlemaine course. He was followed by Jason Hull (20:21) and Glen Taylor (20:57). Glen also had the highest age-graded result for males (70.41%), and Luke Watt set a new PB by 158s.
Thanks to the volunteers who coordinated the day’s run – Dianne Cox, Mick Evans, Richard Mayes, Robin Murdoch, Nicki Renfrey, Dave Petrusma and Stephen Walls.