Weekly newsletter – 19th December 2012

Welcome to this week's newsletter

Tim Oberg

In this week’s newsletter we announce a new partnership with Run For Your Life magazine, review our inaugural Longest parkrun and, as always, crack a big smile when reading your wonderful feedback.

As per usual, the stats are in for last Saturday, December 15:

Albert Melbourne - 90 runners | 14 first timers | 18 PBs;
Balyang Sanctuary - 62 runners | 13 first timers | 12 PBs;
Claisebrook Cove - 87 runners | 14 first timers | 21 PBs;
Coomera - 45 runners | 3 first timers | 10 PBs;
Ginninderra - 73 runners | 9 first timers | 14 PBs;
Kawana - 52 runners | 19 first timers | 15 PBs;
Kingscliff - 16 runners | 4 first timers | 7 PBs;
Kirra - 58 runners | 16 first timers | 13 PBs;
Launceston - 21 runners | 7 first timers | 4 PBs;
Main Beach - 130 runners | 13 first timers | 24 PBs;
New Farm - 153 runners | 16 first timers | 31 PBs;
Newy - 288 runners | 60 first timers | 81 PBs;
North Lakes - 46 runners | 15 first timers | 16 PBs;
Sandgate - 76 runners | 24 first timers | 31 PBs;
South Bank - 89 runners | 28 first timers | 32 PBs;
St Peters - 109 runners | 20 first timers | 20 PBs;
Torrens - 50 runners | 19 first timers | 20 PBs;
Wynnum - 61 runners | 14 first timers | 11 PBs.

Were you a first timer last weekend, or did you run a personal best? We would love to hear about your experience on email, @parkrun_au or on Facebook.

Thanks to our amazing Event Directors, Run Directors, volunteers and sponsors for your continued support!

We are well into December now and Christmas is fast approaching. I’m yet to start my Christmas shopping (I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not) as I have had very important issues to attend to like, for example, a certain Longest parkrun that was held in Australia for the first time on Sunday. Just between you and me I didn’t actually make it to the first 3 runs, the logistics of getting from Currumbin (southern Gold Coast) to North Lakes (northern Brisbane) were just too great for me with a 5 month old baby and only one car, so I made the tough decision to catch the first train up to Brisbane and meet the crew at South Bank (run number 4). Coomera parkrun Event Director Renee Gimbert has provided us a full run report below but just to get my two cents worth in, it was HOOOOOOOTTTTTTT!!!!!

Just a reminder, Professor Alan has also generously offered to capture the statistics from the Longest parkrun and come up with a few graphs and tables for his monthly report. So any of you who completed ANY of the 7 longest + 1.44 parkrun courses on Sunday please click here to enter your times. It does not matter if you ran 1, 2, 7, 8 or 8.44 parkruns - we would appreciate capturing your times and getting your feedback by the end of Saturday December 22 so we will be able to get the stats ready for the next newsletter.

In other news… how good is parkrun? Seriously, how good is it???

Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)

Welcome R4YL

We are delighted to announce that our friends from Run For Your Life (R4YL) have agreed to become the official magazine partner of parkrun Australia.

As many of you are probably well aware, R4YL, and its sister publication Women's Running, are Australia's premier running magazines and provide the widest coverage and the most up-to-date information on running in Australia, from recreational to the elite level - they cover it all, including parkrun!

To celebrate this exciting partnership, R4YL would like to offer all parkrunners a massive 55% discount off a 12-month R4YL magazine subscription. That's right, a one-year subscription can be yours for only $20 (normally $45). This would make the perfect Christmas present for your parkrun loving family member, friend, even colleague!

R4YL collaborates with Australia's top athletes, nutritionists and sports providers to compile the most up-to-date and relevant running information available. Each full-colour issue is a valuable source of information for complete beginners and recreational runners through to the elite. By becoming a subscriber, you can ensure R4YL is mailed direct to your door.

To sign up for your subscription, CLICK HERE, select ‘parkrun’ from the dropdown menu and enter your athlete number (the one starting with A on your barcode).

Longest parkrun… what a day!

Sunday 16th December - 37 mad, passionate, fanatical, foolish (take your pick) parkrunners started the morning at North Lakes parkrun at 5am for leg 1 of 7 parkruns throughout South East Queensland. It might have been early – but there was excitement in the air to get the day underway!

The line up included North Lakes, Sandgate, New Farm, South Bank – (Bike up!!), Wynnum (no chance of getting lost here!), Coomera & finishing with a cooling sea breeze at Main Beach. At each course, joined by new runners, we were welcomed by a local parkrunner who explained the course and set us on our way. It was a tough day, each 5km feeling longer than the last with the Coomera course proving particularly challenging in +35c heat, although there were 3 'crazy ones' Alan, Arthur and Hennie that completed an extra 1.44 parkruns just south of the border at Kingscliff making the marathon distance of 42.2km!!!

Well done to everyone that completed any of the parkruns along the way, it was fantastic to see so many like minded runners out in force! What amazing parkrun courses we have in Australia, each unique in its own way – we are all so fortunate to be able to run them every Saturday...

Click here for more photos from the day.

Albert Melbourne parkrun - Course Description

The parkrunfans blog allows parkrunners from the UK and around the world to share their views and experiences with the rest of the parkrun community. Everyone has their own parkrun experiences and stories and this is a fun place to share yours.

Tony Messenger from Albert Melbourne parkrun was recently asked to describe his home course for this blog.

Only a few kilometres from the main Central Business District of Melbourne we have Albert Park Lake. An artificial lake was created in the late 1800's by moving silt from the natural lagoons and using it as landfill around the lake itself. The lake is home to fish and a multitude of birdlife, with the black swans being one of the highlights as you take in your Saturday parkrun. In spring it is quite common to see the swans with signet's close behind traversing the paths and roads.

The running track around the lake is used quite extensively for organised fun runs, casual joggers and walkers and is 4.7 kms in length. For parkrun the start takes us back 300 metres to ensure we run the full 5kms. The track itself is flat throughout with the first 200 metres or so on grass, the reminder being crushed gravel with a few short concrete crossings near cafes and boat sheds.

Temperatures range from 2 degrees Celsius in winter up to 30 degrees in summer, and there can be the occasional puddle water hazard on your journey, but nothing too daunting. A single small road crossing and the occasional row boat being moved from the sheds (the lake is used for sailing and rowing by a number of Melbourne schools) are the greatest hazards you will generally come across. Strong winds can come at you in all directions (but that's more Melbourne than the lake itself) so don't plan on personal best times every week.

Even though the park is used once a year for the Melbourne Formula One Grand Prix, we are able to run at 8am each Saturday for 51 weeks of the year, with a few diversions during the preceding weeks as the track is set up. Our only week off is during the Grand Prix itself.

Albert Melbourne parkrun is home to a large bunch of friendly, helpful and fun runners who welcome all newcomers of all abilities with open arms. If you'd like to run sub 20 mins or even improve to sub 35 mins you'll find someone who will pace or assist you just about every week, with the encouragement and camaraderie kicking on for a while after the run in one of the local cafes where coffee, juice or breakfast is a must. We also have a number of themed events during the year, with the last 12 months seeing fancy dress for the Queen's Jubilee, London Olympics, AFL Grand Final and of course our first birthday.

Feedback from the field

Denise Hollidge - I’ve been running for close to 35 years. I run for the Serenity – The fresh air in the lungs, the connection to nature and the feeling of wellbeing that comes from a beautiful morning. Last Saturday at the 1km point of Main Beach parkrun in front of the Sheraton Mirage, a young lady runner came up behind me. I heard her loud music from her earpieces before I saw her. The static and doof, doof could be heard within a two metre radius. So I put my finger in my right ear, in an attempt to retain my Serenity. I was hoping that she’d pass me and be on her way. But she stayed on my shoulder so I ran faster to get away from the doof, doof. Phew! This happened several more times during the run and at the home straight at the Sheraton, I turned to her and mouthed the words “your music is so loud I can hear it” and she hollered back “I don’t care”. I’m sure she thought I was a cranky old lady worried about her eardrums. I was only thinking of retaining my Serenity. So again I ran faster. Twenty metres from the finish line she overtook me with a cranky glare. I smiled and shouted loudly “Thank you” – because I knew she’d helped me run a fast time that day. Unfortunately, she didn’t hear my thank you. I ran one second slower than my PB – spewing! I love my Saturday morning parkrun – ahhh, the Serenity!

Kathleen Wallington - First time to St Peters parkrun and loved it. Great atmosphere and all round good day.

Jacqui Armstrong - Alison Greenup, my beautiful niece, I can see you in the photo on Torrens parkrun Facebook page! Well done everyone from one side of the world to the other, parkrun rocks!

Paul from Twickenham - Has anyone noticed that there are no f@&£ing capitals in parkrun?

Gavin Mathieson – Renee Gimbert, I hate you (allegedly sent after completing the Longest parkrun).

Chris Osborne – Four crazy people from Coomera parkrun participating in the Longest parkrun. They are all still looking very fit - after completing 6 x 5km runs this morning (the last one in 35°C heat) and about to do their 7th and final run for the day. Well done Renee, Adam, Gavin, Linda and Carmel on a fantastic effort!

Ben Powell - A great day - hot sweat fun with 50 or so old and new friends. Must have been the Longest parkrun!

Ginninderra parkrun - A massive congrats to Gindy parkrun's Marty Dent, Rob Walter and Grant Bluett, 1-2-3 in this morning's Tour de Ridges! Marty smoked the course record by over 13mins to finish in 1.18.58!

Sara Lochrie - Cheers for a smashing Kawana parkrun guys. Well worth the drive from Gympie! Lovely, friendly bunch. Somehow ended up on the road to Brisbane on the way back thou - oops!!!!!

Julie Cox - Thanks for another great Kawana parkrun, looking forward to next week.

Pauline Mclaren - Well done to the people doing the Longest parkrun today, saw them at Wynnum and it was very hot running for them.

Fiona Evans - I really enjoyed my first parkrun today - what a great experience! As well as running with your guys more often, I'd like to give back when I can.

Dave Appleby - If you'll pardon the pun, Newy parkrun is really running away with the participation stats at the moment.

Lisa Tibbits - Lovely Claisebrook Cove parkrun this morning, thank you :)

Sarah Fontana - Loved Claisebrook Cove parkrun this morning. I'll be there next week with 12wbt Perth Crew and hopefully have a better run!

Victoria Gibson - Just want to say a big thank you to everyone at Claisebrook Cove parkrun this morning! This was my first one since I've come to Australia and I absolutely loved it. Great volunteers, great runners!

Georgina Ker - Woohoo, I will be Claisebrook Cove parkrunning next week as the kids have 3 weeks off Little Aths :)

The following comments all relate to the above photo...

Jonathan Storey - What a great family photo!

Peter Conroy - I`ll second that. Great pic!

Janine Holmes - That's my family, love em (shame about Huddies top)

Pippin Holmes - We love spending our Saturday mornings together at Claisebrook Cove parkrun. Thanks to the photographer, I might need to pinch this one.

Heather Connan - I love the family spirit at Claisebrook Cove parkrun too. It is our family thing to do on a Saturday morning. I love that everyone is getting to know our kids too so that they can encourage them along the course each week.

Drop me an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.

parkrunner of the week

parkrunner of the week

Name:  Steve Smith

Age:  34

Home parkrun:  Balyang Sanctuary

Occupation:  Primary School Teacher

Number of runs:  9

Number of times volunteered:  4

What do you do at parkruns:  Run and enjoy the socializing! I'm not a big one to talk whilst I'm running but try my best to make up for it before and after. I also try and lighten the mood with a different outfit every now and then.

How has parkrun changed your running:  All of a sudden every second counts! (Why do we have the need to improve our PB's?)

What do you like about parkrun:  Meeting new parkrunners and introducing others to one of the great Saturday morning activities. Recently joined the five30runners group and hoping to help others achieve their running goals whilst every now and then having a crack at getting under the 20 minute mark.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Wearing a wig for a bit of fun but then getting white line fever and lowering my PB whilst wearing the wig for the whole 5km.

How can we improve parkrun:  Just keep on promoting and supporting our sponsors. parkrun Australia is in a great place and looks to continue to grow.


Barcode reminder


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All questions answered

Do you have a question about parkrun? How do I collect my club T-shirt? How do I get my barcode? All your questions are answered on our brand new support site

Volunteering at parkrun

We ask every parkrunner to volunteer 3 times a year. When volunteering you receive the maximum number of points towards the yearly competition.

Children at parkrun

All children under 11 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Guardians must ensure that children place themselves appropriately so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken at the start. This is to ensure the safety of your child.

the parkrun show

The parkrun show

You can download your copy of the parkrun show here. (iTunes)

The parkrun show is the audible roundup of the "goings on" of everything that caught the teams eye from the weekend in parkrunworld.

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