Welcome to this week's newsletter
In this week’s newsletter we launch Tuggeranong parkrun, get our monthly stats fix and wish happy birthday to an Aussie running legend.
As per usual, the stats are in for last Saturday, February 23:
|*Course attendance record|
Thanks to our amazing Event Directors, Run Directors, volunteers and sponsors for your continued support!
Last weekend I was in Canberra for the launch of Tuggeranong parkrun, our second event in the nation’s capital city. On the Friday night I dined with Ginninderra parkrun Event Directors Russ & Jess Jefferys and Tuggeranong parkrun EDs Gareth & Kelly Candy in the inner south suburb of Manuka where last minute preparations were discussed for our launch the following day. Unfortunately however all the planning in the world couldn’t prepare us for the icy cold (and wet) Canberra weather that greeted us the following morning when we arrived in Tuggeranong for the launch. Luckily as 8am grew ever so closer the rain stopped and the wind died down (a bit) and the enthusiastic crowd of 89 runners who braved the conditions was treated to near perfect running conditions.
Watch a short video from the morning.
Well done to Gareth and Kelly for putting on such a great launch event and special mention to Russ and Jess for mentoring them through the process. Canberra’s parkrun events are certainly in safe hands.
When I returned home to the Gold Coast I was delighted to find a large package had been delivered containing my very own BOB Ironman running pram. BOB prams are distributed in Australia by a company called Britax and, after one of their staff read one of our recent pram running pieces in the newsletter, they offered me a pram to run with and review. Not only that, but in the coming weeks we are going to have a BOB Ironman running pram to giveaway to one lucky parkrunner, so watch this space in the newsletter next week.
Lastly, a big shout out must go to Jon Storey and his team at Claisebrook Cove parkrun who, in their 30th event last Saturday, achieved a clean sweep of event records:
- New attendance record of 127;
- New male course record, Mark Lee in 16:13;
- New female course record, Sandra Stockman in 19.25; and
- New age graded course record, Sandra Stockman with 83.43%.
Amazing!!! Jon tells me this can be put down to a much cooler summer's morning and a sudden increase in performance enhancing headbands (15 counted).
Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
Red Cross QLD Flood Appeal This Saturday
Wynnum parkrun is teaming up with the folks from Jetts Fitness in Wynnum to raise money for the Red Cross QLD Flood Appeal. Our parkrun was submerged on 26 January and with a lot of work from the Council and from us parkrunners we managed to parkrun the following week. We are fortunate but lots of people have lost everything and need our help. So this Saturday, alongside our normal parkrun, we are expecting an Olympic Gold Medalist to visit, lots of fabulous prizes in a raffle and some giveaways for participants in the parkrun. We hope people will turn up (with some money) and donate to a worthy cause.
Professor Alan & Róisín from Wynnum parkrun
By The Numbers...
This last parkrun marked the 100th week of parkrun in Australia! Our oldest parkrun, Main Beach, has not hit 100 runs yet (due to a few cancellations over the years) but this week was exactly 100 weeks since it all started happening in Australia! So what has been happening over that last 100 weeks in the Australian parkrun world? Where here are the Weekly Totals....
So our total parkrunners are still on a massive upward trend, but a bit up and down over the last few months. Behind the wiggles there is usually a reason and that is normally weather based! If it is too wet or too windy numbers usually halve at any effected event, but I will let you into a secret it is really rather good to run in the rain and many a PB have been recorded in wet conditions, and you usually get extra points in the parkrun tables if you are not one of the faster runners! So next time bad weather is forecast on parkrun day, check your parkrun is still running (the Event Directors will cancel events if they feel they are unsafe) and head on down and try and grab yourself a new PB!
So where have people been running in February? Well as predicted last month New Farm seems to have reclaimed the title as largest parkrun back to QLD, let’s see what our friends in NSW can manage in March? Game on Robbo!
So as we March onto towards Easter (excuse the pun), we may enjoy the start of some cooler runs and more PBs? We will look at PBs again next time so let’s see which event will top the PB table in 4 weeks times!
BTW if you happen to be near Wynnum parkrun on 2nd March pay us a visit as we have lots going on to try and raise some money for the QLD Flood Relief Appeal
Professor Alan & Róisín from Wynnum parkrun
Upcoming Launch Events
Happy Birthday Ron Clarke
parkrun Australia Patron and true running legend, Ron Clarke MBE, turned 76 years young last Thursday. A few interesting facts about Ron:
- As a 19-year-old Ron lit the flame inside the MCG at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and during his running career set an incredible 17 world records!!!
- Ron's 5km PB is 13:16.6 set in Stockholm on July 5, 1966!
- Ron's youngest son Nicolas has now completed an amazing 58 Main Beach parkruns!
Many of you were kind enough to wish Ron happy birthday on Facebook and here is Ron’s response...
A big thank you for your birthday greetings and also to those who so kindly added their comments. As I have always said, distance running brings out the best in people. I know I have never met, nor competed against, a distance runner that I didn't like... even those who beat me (Kip Keino was one of my closest friends on the circuit, and still is).
Regards, Ron Clarke.
What a legend.
Newcastle Running Forum
Don't miss this fantastic local running event coming up in Newcastle on Friday 5th April.
It promises to be great evening and an opportunity to hear from a select panel of running experts, featuring some notable members of the parkrun community.
The theme of the forum is 'Running & Longevity - the secrets to running for life!' Panelists include:
- Olympic 5000m Silver Medalist (Sydney 2000) and 3x World Champion, Sonia O'Sullivan. Sonia is one of Ireland's greatest ever athletes. She now lives in Melbourne & has run Albert parkrun a number of times. Her parkrun PB is 16:22 set at Bushy parkrun in 2005.
- Current National Marathon & Half Marathon Champion, Scott Westcott. Scott finished 4th in the marathon at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and has also run at the World Championships. He is the current course record holder at Newy parkrun (14:51).
- Multiple Masters World Record Holder, Keith Bateman. Keith can claim to be the oldest person ever to break 32 minutes for 10 km. Keith's running has got better with age and at 57 he is showing no signs of slowing up.
- The Godfather of Distance Running in Newcastle, Jim Beisty. Having been a runner for over 60 years and a coach as well, Jim has a wealth of running experience. His Marathon PB is 2:33:09. A Newy parkrun regular these days, Jim boasts a parkrun PB of 34:23 & is tough to beat in the VM75-79 category.
Click here for full details and ticket booking.
Bruce Fordyce in Australia
parkrun South Africa Country Manager Bruce Fordyce and wife Gill will be visiting Australia in March. The plan at the moment is for Bruce and Gill to attend Parramatta on March 9, South Bank on March 16 and Claisebrook Cove on March 23, although I will confirm all of this in the coming weeks.
Feedback from the field
Alexandra Sabastian - You didn't mention in your last newsletter the interview St Peters parkrun Event Director Paul Wilcock did on Radio National. Here it is
Jason Spaull - Did my first parkrun last Saturday at Main Beach loved it. Well organised, and very impressed with the Run Director as she tracked me down after the run to see how I went. I actually did my fastest 5km ever and can't wait for next weekend.
Tony Smith - Another great Claisebrook Cove parkrun. Big thank you to all the volunteers who make it happen. Looking forward to flicking through the great photos too... Well done to everyone who took part and even more well done to those who PBed... The numbers are growing... soon be 150 I reckon. Big thanks to Jonathan and his team....
Vince Naylor - Was a great morning, took 73 seconds off my Claisebrook Cove parkrun PB... Just 20 seconds off my all time PB now... Hopefully the cooler weather will reappear for a full assault on it next week... bit disappointed to only move up 2 places on last week though, where did all the fast people come from? Thanks to all the organisers and volunteers again.
Frieda Orr - I told myself I would volunteer at Claisebrook Cove parkrun as soon as I managed to get under 30 mins. Today I did 27.58!
Nick Fudge - Perfect weather for PB's at Claisebrook Cove parkrun...took 30 seconds off mine with the pram...kind of think the new chariot was most of that though
Reagan Seldon – My first Wynnum parkrun and I loved it. Thanks for your support. See you again in 2 weeks.
Matt Archer - Well done everyone at Wynnum parkrun, 146 runners, that is amazing. Congrats to James on his maiden 1st finish. Great run in those conditions this morning. Keep running like that there will plenty more of those.
Neil Wood - Another great morning at Wynnum parkrun. Good job James on your first place and a new Wynnum PB as well. Thanks Run Director Karlee and all the other volunteers.
Trish Wood - Well done everyone at Wynnum parkrun!!! Thanks to Alan for giving me a burst of inspiration at the end and to our beautiful boys for getting out of bed this morning without complaint, even when 'someone' set the alarm an hour early!! Thanks also to all the volunteers. You Rock!
Tom Lowe - Just a quick note to say thank you for the e-newsletter that I received today. I’m doing my first parkrun at Tuggeranong this weekend and reading your e-newsletter has got me feeling very excited about being part of this great group of people. I look forward to the next edition.
Leah Rosevear - I just read News at parkrun dated 19.02.13 written by Tim Oberg. I just want to let him know that his news compilations are so enjoyable to read - so positive and informative. It is great to read about what is happening at other parkruns and the personal touch obtained from interviews with parkrunners / volunteers. Of note in this newsletter in particular - the 'Newy parkrun's response to ACC Report' response by Dave "Robbo" Robertson was so funny. What a character he must be and would be an extremely popular Run Director. All the Run Directors that I have met so far are really good people. Anyway thanks Tim for our weekly news and for being a great representative for parkrun Australia. You are doing an amazing job with all that you do including the launching of new parkruns and having a positive presence at our local sites; as well as being so cheerful (pretty good runner too). All being done whilst a relatively new Dad - am sure Mrs Oberg has a lot to do with your success and happiness!
Drop me an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.
Name: Matt Raschke
Club: five30 runners
Home parkrun: Newy parkrun
Occupation: Quality Manager
Number of runs: 13
Number of times volunteered: 6
Favourite volunteer role: Any and all.
What do like about volunteering at parkrun: The feeling of giving back.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: All the comments that I received on Australia Day wearing an Aussie hat that looked a lot more Austrian than Australian because several runners told me that it was much easier to keep up with the pacer who had a funny hat on.
How can we improve parkrun: That's tough. It's well organised. About all I can suggest is to provide a half to one page instruction sheet that explains all of the responsibilities of the specific volunteer role. It could be emailed before the day to speed up the learning process and minimise errors. It touches on the "quality" phase that you mentioned where parkrun UK is at (on Naked Runners podcast), so we may not be quite ready for this yet.