Weekly newsletter – 21st May 2013

welcome to this week's newsletter

In this week’s newsletter we launch a new event at Varsity Lakes, celebrate National Volunteer Week, and help a friend in need.

The past week has been both triumphant and tragic for the parkrun family. Let’s start with the triumph…

On Saturday I attended the launch of Varsity Lakes parkrun on the Gold Coast, only 15 minutes drive from my house in Currumbin. Varsity Lakes is situated in the dead centre of the Gold Coast and is almost equidistant from Main Beach and Kirra parkruns. The event was initiated by Varsity Lakes Community Limited, a not for profit organization established to bring events and other services to their local community, and is based at Sports House, already a hub of activity with personal trainers, rowers, dragon boaters and yoga already on site. It is one of these personal trainers, Chris Channells, who has taken the reigns as inaugural Event Director at VLp and he has designed an absolutely fabulous course that hugs the banks of Lake Orr. The morning itself was a great success (I must be starting to sound like a broken record) with 73 runners, including 28 brand new to parkrun, taking part. Well done Chris and thanks to VLCL for organizing the coffee and sausage sizzle.

Elsewhere on Saturday our events were celebrating National Volunteer Week, Australia’s largest celebration of volunteers and volunteerism, with our first national 'Last parkrunner Standing' day. It was awesome to watch the photos stream in on Saturday morning of parkrunners lining up along the last 100 metres of their courses and cheering on their fellow runners. My vision is that it will make those at the back of the pack feel like rock stars, for a few minutes at least. If you received some cheers on Saturday I would love to hear how it made you feel ;-)

Now for the tragedy.

On Wednesday I met up with Brendan Hopp, the General Manager of adidas School Fun-Run, an official supporter of parkrun Australia who do a great job encouraging schools across the country to get their students raising money through fun runs instead of chocolate drives. After a bit of banter re work, life, the weather etc Brendan cut to the chase – “My girlfriend is dying and I need your help…” To say I was shocked would be an understatement and, as Brendan began to tell me more, the full tragedy of this situation was revealed. Brendan’s girlfriend is Elisha Neave who has a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Her name may be familiar to you as, in the wake of Angelina Jolie’s revelations last week, her family were on the front page of every paper in the country. I won’t go into the full details here as you can read them for yourself but needless to say I would like to think that the parkrun family around Australia will support Elisha through her website. Gold Coast based parkrunners can participate in a special fun run called Creek to Creek on June 16 whilst the rest of you can donate money to help Elisha cover the costs of her ongoing treatment. Every little bit helps so please do what you can.

When I get up and speak at launch events, as I did at Varsity Lakes on Saturday, I always ask for new runners to raise their hands so we can give them a round of applause and welcome them to the parkrun family. And it is during the tough times, as Elisha and Brendan are going through now, that family matters the most. So thanks for your ongoing support of parkrun and for looking out for each other week in week out. It means a lot.

Happy running,

Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)

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.


You now have only 1 day until team registrations for the Gold Coast Airport Marathon close (Wednesday 22 May). For those of you who still want to join the parkrun Australia team at this year’s GCAM the password you need is 'park2013'. For those of you on the GC who have already signed up all friends from the Gold Coast Running Centre are hosting a GCRC Long Run this Sunday at 6:15am in Burleigh Heads. See you there.

Bridge To Brisbane

Entries to the Sunday Mail Suncorp Bank Bridge to Brisbane have now opened and we have set up a parkrun team for you to join. In order to join the team you will need to enter our Team Name (parkrun) and Team Number (58568).

Early bird entries close midnight 8 June 2013.

Entertainment Book

The Entertainment Book has arrived so please support parkrun by ordering yours online now. The Entertainment Book is filled with hundreds of valuable 2-for-1 and up to 50% offers from many of the best restaurants, arts, attractions, hotel accommodation, travel and much more! 20% of the cost will go directly to helping your home parkrun event purchase new equipment and also help us launch new events across the country. Books can be collected on the first Saturday of the month at parkrun events across the country or you can have it delivered to your door for a small fee. Thanks in advance for your support! Visit their website to learn more and order yours.

Upcoming Event Launches, Anniversaries & Cancellations

Our 10th launch for the year is coming up this Saturday, May 25, at Highlands in Melbourne. Other confirmed launch dates include: June 1 for Sandon Point in Wollongong & Canning River in Perth; June 8 for Mitchelton in Brisbane; June 15 for North Shore in Townsville; June 22 for Gladstone; June 29 in Logan River south of Brisbane; and July 6 for Aveley in Perth.

Newy parkrun celebrates its 1st anniversary on June 8 whilst Coomera & Claisebrook Cove turn 1 on August 3.

The Pointy End

Who are you? Tom Do Canto, male course record holder at St Peters (15:30), Parramatta (14:49) and Albert Melbourne (15:32).
How the hell do you run so fast? Being smart with my training. I run up to 6 days a week at the moment and ensure I have a mix of easier runs and runs at a higher intensity. Having a coach for the past 8 or so years really helps to make you a better runner and target all areas of your running such as speed, endurance, core stability and technique.
How many km do you run in an average training week? For the last few years I would say between 60-80km per week although in the past I have run up to 140km per week.
What type of training do you typically do? An average week at the moment would look like this: Mon - Easy 8km; Tue - Interval training e.g. 6x1km efforts at my 5km race pace with 90secs to 2mins walk recovery between 1km reps. I would do a 3km warm up and 3km warm down either side of this session and probably do some drills and a few 100m strides (around 80% of sprinting speed) to develop speed and coordination. Don't underestimate the benefits of 1-2 x weekly 100m strides for distance running; Wed - Easy 14-16km; Thur - Easy 10km; Fri – Rest; Sat – parkrun or other event; Sun - 22km run at a moderate intensity.
How long have you been running and have you always been so damn good? I started running on a regular basis when I was about 15 and no I certainly have not always been that great at it! I still have a place card form an inter-school cross country race when I was 12, I came something like 116th.
What is you favourite distance? 10km to half marathon.
Do you have a coach and do you train with a squad? I have a coach and squad that I train with at Barton park grass track in Parramatta. It’s a great bunch of runners we have there and training can be a lot of fun on these days.
How much faster would you like to go? I would love to eventually dip under 14mins for 5km and 29mins for 10km. Although I should probably work on breaking 30mins for 10km first! Sub 15mins at St Peters parkrun soon would be nice.
What big events do you want to run? I would love to run the Zatopek 10km in Melbourne which is the Annual National 10km Championships and eventually qualify for an Australian cross country or marathon team in the coming years.

Feedback from the field

Leoni Ross - I did my 1st parkrun last weekend at Main Beach......it was fabulous! I actually don’t run, I walk. I’m 68 years old and I haven’t done any competition walks for many years. 1996 would have been the last time I entered a “fun run” or anything else like that… I had to have a hip replacement which over the next 5 years turned into 3 hip replacements and 2 operations on my ankle. Over the years I lost motivation for competing in fun runs etc. I then suffered a head aneurysm, which took awhile to recover from. I was one of the lucky ones, I recovered without any effects at all. Then, lo and behold, I got a rare form of cancer in my foot. After having approx 9 cms removed from my foot and during my recuperation after radiation etc, I decided to set myself a challenge each year, and never to take life for granted ever again. Last year I climbed Mt. Fuji with my son and 2 grandchildren, it was the 1st time that 3 generations had completed this climb. This year I have entered the Weekend to End Women’s Cancer, it is a 2 day event which covers 60 kms, I then discovered parkrun which I will use as a part of my training for this walk. I completed my 5 km walk last weekend in a time which I had forgotten I could do, then on Sunday I completed the 8km Mothers Day Classic in 1.12.38... I will be at Main Beach parkrun again this Saturday, very excited to try and get another PB. Thanks for providing a great Saturday morning...

Gareth Saunders - I just wanted to say a massive thanks to all who helped me celebrate my 50th parkrun today. I am truly honoured to be surrounded by such high quality peeps and seeing you all each Saturday is definitely a highlight in my week. I also want to give a big shout out to the South Bank parkrun Event Team who went to so much trouble to organise everything today. I can't remember the last time I ate so many cupcakes! Love your work team!

Gabrielle Edmonds - The South Bank parkrun team did a great job getting Kevin Rudd down there yesterday to watch Gareth Saunders run his 50th parkrun!!

Tom James - Great volunteers at New Farm parkrun last week as per usual! Was particularly impressed with the volunteers lining the path beside the park at the start. The Event and Run Directors are so generous giving up so much of their time. Much appreciated!

Liz Savage - Thanks to everyone who has volunteered at New Farm parkrun and, in particular, to the Event and Run Directors who make this event a success every Saturday morning!

Simon Mackley - Every week, after reading the newsletter, I plan to drop you a line to say thanks for keeping us up to date with the goings on of parkrun Australia. Even though I only go to a parkrun once month, it spurs me on for my regular morning runs. Now that there are so many Aussie parkruns I'm sure it's getting harder and harder as there would be so much weekly content to plough through. Your hard work is not going unnoticed. I've had the opportunity to go to 3 different parkruns in the past year with my last being Curl Curl last weekend and my first being St Peters inaugural in Jan 2012. What I love about parkrun is that each one has it's physical and mental challenges and a fantastic sense of community.

Jane Luke - 6 months ago today, at the age of 35, having never been a runner in my life, I did my first competitive 5k run, a week after a friend mentioned it and wondered if I'd be interested. My time was 26:29, which I was happy with, my modest goals being to finish, and to do under 30 minutes. A few weeks after that, Torrens parkrun launched, and I have been to all but one run since its inception. I find running on my own boring, and even though it involves losing my Saturday sleep in, parkrun has been a great fit for me. It's a great bunch of runners and volunteers and I'm pleased to say today, 6 months after that first run, I managed another PB today, 22:14! My next goal is to break the 22 minute barrier and eventually go sub-20. Thanks Torrens parkrun!

Brooke Sturtevant - Did my first parkrun this morning! Was blown away by how many people were there. Awesome, just awesome! Almost killed me though! haha

Mitchell Ellis - AWESOME MORNING AY? How good is this sun? Kicked off volunteering at Varsity Lakes parkrun first official run with Phil Stagg making the number to beat @ just under 18 min. Well done mate. Heaps of new faces there. Looking forward to it being one of the biggest parkruns yet.

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

Volunteer Profile

Name:  Kevin & Jane

Age:  50 & 55

Home parkrun:  Albert Melbourne parkrun

Occupation:  Truck Driver & Care Giver

Number of runs:  51 & 11

Number of times volunteered:  5 & 5

What do you do at parkruns:  Kevin runs, Jane walks or volunteers.

How has parkrun changed your running:  Kevin – It encouraged me to look at and enter other races which I enjoy a lot. Jane - I don't run really, I mostly walk, but parkrun has encouraged me to get fitter over all, helped me to lose weight and helped in all other areas of my health.

What do you like about parkrun:  Kevin - I love the social side of it but more so the community atmosphere. Jane - I love the encouragement and the people, I've made some lovely mates since joining and every single one of them inspires me to do more, and do it better.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Kevin - When they kicked the football into the lake on a freezing windy day, not once but twice. Jane - The day George told me to get in the car if I wasn't going to walk, and shamed me into walking even though I didn't want to. He walked with me all the way and together we achieved a PB for me. And I didn't even want to start.


Barcode reminder


Printed barcodes are used at all our events to record your result. Please click here to collect and print your barcode.
No printed barcode, No result.

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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