parkrun, bringing people together

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I’ve heard, or read a number of stories this week about parkrunning bringing people together, whether it is neighbors or long lost friends, I love these stories & I hope you do too. 

Michaela Wilson – Before launching Meadowbrook parkrun, I was a regular at Logan River which is about 10km away. I have so many friends there that I was really torn to start my own event but I jumped on board. A few weeks ago I was approached by a parkrunner who was new to parkrun when Meadowbrook launched. She had met her neighbours at parkrun that morning! She introduced me as "Here's Michaela, the reason we're here! She's the wonderful person who started all of this". She then thanked me over and over, telling me what a wonderful thing it is that I've done, bringing neighbours together. At that moment, I realised, while yes I do miss my former home parkrun, starting this has brought so many new people to parkrun, people who wouldn't have started coming if we hadn't started Meadowbrook. It is all worth it!

Jenni Fitch - I was a parkrun tourist recently. My regular parkrun is Yarrabilba but I ran in Darwin. Imagine my sheer delight when the the RD was a friend who we'd lost contact with. Her husband and my husband worked together in North QLD and she came to my baby shower. That baby is now 13 and he ran as well. It was wonderful to catch up.

Our family recently gathered in Taree NSW to celebrate my dad’s 80th birthday – being regular parkrunners at our home events (Rocks Riverside Brisbane, Cooks River Sydney and Newy in Newcastle parkrun) we were all keen to have a go at Taree parkrun. There were 16 of us across the three families on Saturday morning – and lots of fun (and a bit of competition!!) between uncles, aunties, cousins and brothers-in-law!! And a few surprising PB’s too. The volunteers at Taree parkrun were very friendly and welcoming, and we really enjoyed running along the beautiful riverbank – a great start to a special weekend, and thanks to parkrun for providing fun family memories.

I love that fact that not only does parkrun give you a free, timed, 5km weekly event, it also allows you to start new friendships and rekindle old ones.  Lastly, the lucky winner of the Medibank Melbourne Marathon Festival competition winning flights, accommodation and entry for two into the Melbourne Marathon event of their choice is Gail Severino. Well Done Gail – We’d love to hear an update from you after the event. 

Happy parkrunning,

Renee Gimbert
National Operations Manager
parkrun Australia

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pink parkrun bands


physical activity and health research

The beneficial effects of physical activity on health are well known. As one of the most popular pastimes, the benefits of running are well established. Anecdotally, many believe that running is bad for their knees and can lead to pain and osteoarthritis despite the limited evidence suggesting that this is not the case.

We are experienced sports medicine clinicians and academics based at the University of Nottingham (UK). We seek to understand the relationship between physical activity, such as running and chronic diseases, such as osteoarthritis.

All parkrunners are invited to get involved in our research, plus your friends and family. One aim will evaluate individuals who participate regularly in recreational running and the development of knee osteoarthritis over time. We hope to help guide healthcare professionals in the care of athletes and ensure runners participate in confidence and safety.

Following the launch of our UK-based project last year, we are now progressing our research with the assistance of the University of Sydney.

If you are aged 18 or over, we encourage you to sign up, whether or not you have any health or knee problems. Also please sign up regardless of how often you run (or even if you never run!). We want to recruit people who are very active, those who are inactive, and everyone in-between!

To enrol in the study, please follow this link and complete the questionnaire.

Richard Leech

PhD Researcher Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis
University of Nottingham, UK


essential stats

Essential Stats 17-09-16


upcoming special events

launches:
24/09 – You Yangs (Vic), Moree (NSW)  
8/10 - Galston (NSW)
22/10 - Orange (NSW)

anniversaries:
24/09 – Ashgrove (Qld) 1st, Bowral (NSW) 2nd, Merimbula (NSW) 3rd, Tamworth (NSW) 2nd, Toowoomba (Qld) 3rd, 
01/10 - Champion Lakes (WA) 1st, Hamilton Island (Qld) 1st, Petrie (Qld) 1st,
08/10 – Berwick Springs (Vic) 3rd, Hamilton (Vic) 1st, Kalgoorlie-Boulder (WA) 3rd, 
15/10 - Brightwater (Qld) 2nd, Grafton (NSW) 1st, Gungahlin (ACT) 3rd, Kingscliff (NSW) 4th, North Lakes (Qld) 4th, Paradise Point (Qld) 1st, 
22/10 - Mosman (NSW) 3rd, 

cancellations:
01/10 – Penrith Lakes (NSW) 
15/10 – Launceston (Tas), Clare Valley (SA)
12/11 – Mt Penang (NSW)
19/11 – Tamborine Mountain (Qld)


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feedback from the field

2016_09_20_04  

4 parkruns, 4 different countries across 4 consecutive weeks

While on holidays recently, my son and I took up the challenge of completing 4 parkruns in 4 different countries across 4 consecutive weeks.

We completed the Elgin parkrun in the highlands of Scotland, followed the next week by the Knocknacarra parkrun, near Galway in Ireland, then the Fulham Palace parkrun in London England and then finished off with our local Ashgrove, Queensland parkrun while suffering from jetlag, having only flown back in Brisbane the day before.

Our parkrun cousins in the UK and Ireland enthusiastically welcomed us at each of our runs and were excited to have overseas participants from Australia.

Peter and Chris Lamont

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Event #163 of Krakow parkrun included 47 locals, one visitor from England and two World Youth Day pilgrims from Brisbane, Australia.

Due to the World Youth Day celebrations which saw over 1.5 million young Catholics (and Pope Francis) visiting Krakow, the normal parkrun course could not be used.

Instead, we headed for the hills, specifically Kosciusko Mound which overlooks the stunning cityscape of Krakow. Of interesting note, Australia’s highest mountain is also named Kosciusko, after the same historical Polish figure. Our “Aussie’ pronunciation of ‘Kozzi-okso’ is a little different to the correct Polish pronunciation though!

As Wishart and Chermside regulars, the trail running aspect and hills were daunting, and we focused on finishing and enjoying the experience of an international parkrun. Upon closer inspection of the all important post event stats, it turns out that the elevation change was over 300m, with maximum heart rate a feature for most of the run.

Fabulous features of Krakow parkrun are that all participants shake hands with everyone else when arriving, and everyone remains until the tail runner finishes. This means lots of clapping and celebrating for each person when they cross the finish line. A group photo is taken after each run, and our Australian flag, souvenir gifts and some of the World Youth Day merchandise featured in the photo.

It is hard to describe the feelings of happiness and belonging that we felt despite being at a parkrun where we didn’t understand the language. The overwhelming sense of global community that parkrun provides cannot be understated, and we highly recommend parkrun adventuring or voluntouring as part of any good pilgrimage or holiday!

Monique Brennan & Alana McDonald

(Wishart run director & Chermside parkrunner)


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parkdog of the week

I am HRH Jay (I have heard my human’s husband call her a princess so I figure that makes me a prince!).

My home run is Shepparton  parkrun, it is a lovely flat course that we need to run around twice and there are 3 BBQ areas we pass – sometimes a careless human has dropped a sausage which I tidy up!

My human walks me around the course before the parkrun so I get all my er, business out of the way, but I always keep some in reserve for the official run!

We pass the finish chute twice before we actually run up it – I try to drag my human up each time we go past – that is the place where you get all the adulation and pats – what is wrong with her???

We also go past the fence of the local outdoor swimming pool and sometimes wascally wabbits are in there – lucky there is a good fence or I would be all over them like sauce on a sausage……mmmm sausage. . . .drool ... I always enjoy the adoration of my parkrun subjects and with such vigorous activity on a Saturday morning, my human and I have really earned our Saturday afternoon nap. 

PS – it is not a bib – it is a bandanna!


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volunteer profile

Name - Michaela Wilson

Age - 41

Occupation - Accounts Clerk

Home parkrun - Meadowbrook (Qld)

Number of parkruns (runner) - 89

PB time - 24:17

Number of parkruns (volunteer) - 32

Favourite volunteer role - Timekeeper because I love encouraging parkrunners to finish strong!

I volunteer at parkrun because - I love the community spirit and I enjoy helping people come together, make new friendships, and improve their health and well-being, because that is exactly what parkrun has given me.

One thing I love about parkrun is - The number one is the friendships I've made - runners are beautiful people!

My most memorable parkrun moment was - Meadowbrook launch - the amazing turnout, and thinking how far I've come. From a non-runner less than 3 years ago, to now never missing a parkun, and Event Directing a new event.