Weekly newsletter – 28th May 2013

welcome to this week's newsletter

In this week’s newsletter we launch Melbourne’s second event at Highlands, get our monthly statistical analysis from Professor Alan, and welcome a new national sponsor into the parkrun family.

It’s been a big week. Let’s get started.

Last Tuesday I bit the bullet and signed up for the half marathon at the upcoming Gold Coast Airport Marathon. I had been planning on running the full marathon but a niggley calf muscle put an end to that idea! I’m delighted to say that the parkrun Australia team for this year’s GCAM is a massive 111 runners, so well done to all of you who have stepped up from parkrun into this more competitive environment. As per usual we will have a parkrun marquee for you to meet in, leave your gear etc, more details will be announced closer to the time. We will also be volunteering at GCAM on the Saturday morning giving out t-shirts to finishers in the recovery area, so if you are able to assist (we need 20 people) please let me know. Also a reminder for all those running to enter the Suncorp Bank runPositive $10k Competition for your chance to win, as the name suggests, $10,000!

On Saturday I attended the launch of Highlands parkrun in the Melbourne suburb of Craigieburn. This event came about due to our new national partnership with property developer Stockland (see below) and local personal training group Krunchies Health & Fitness. As with most of Stockland’s residential developments the setting was picturesque with runners completing 2 laps of a lake circuit before finishing next to the all important coffee shop where fruit and coffee was provided free of charge. Well done to everyone who joined us for the inaugural run and special thanks to Kate from Stockland and Matthew, Mel & Greg from Krunchies who made it all happen like clockwork!

Finally for those of you interested in following the progress of Elisha Neave who I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, her family was featured on Sixty Minutes on Sunday night.

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.

Welcome Stockland

As mentioned above parkrun Australia has recently entered into a new national partnership with property developer Stockland. As I’m sure you can all appreciate the only way we are able to provide parkrun to you week after week free of charge is due to the hard work of our incredible volunteers and the financial support of our sponsors. So I would like to officially welcome Stockland into the family alongside existing national partners adidas and Suncorp Bank.

I originally opened discussions with Stockland almost 12 months ago when we established Coomera parkrun at Stockland’s Highland Reserve development and since then we have gone on to launch events at North Lakes, Augustine Heights and now Highlands. In the coming weeks we will be launching Sandon Point, North Shore, Gladstone and Aveley parkruns, all with the direct support of Stockland, and it is safe to say this is only the beginning of what will be a huge national roll out.

Special thanks must go to Stockland’s National Community Development Manager Lauren Cassar who has worked tirelessly with me to make this partnership happen, Gold Coast Development Manager Dave Franklin who was my original point of contact and introduced me to Lauren, and Coomera parkrun Event Directors Renee & Adam Gimbert who first made contact with Dave and got the ball rolling all those months ago.

Visit the parkrun website for further information on our partnership with Stockland.

By The Numbers…

The figures show an amazing 14,371 runs during May, a 13.7% increase over April. The graph below shows the trend in weekly attendances. Also for the first time I have overlaid the number of parkrun events with the total weekly attendance - and you can see they do tend to follow each other onwards and mostly upwards.

Click the image to enlarge

Last month Darragh Murray asked the Professor to look at which was the fastest parkrun course in Australia. I initially started by looking at the fastest male + fastest female time for all parkruns in May. On that basis Tuggeranong was fastest with 33:46 (14:46 from Martin Dent on 11 May and 19:00 from Dominique Ferguson on 18 May). But to make it a bit fairer I then took the average of all the male and female first finisher times and came up with this pretty stacked bar chart...

Click the image to enlarge

Kirra takes top spot with a combined average of 36:30 (male average 17:07 and female average 19:23), Albert were just behind on 36:36, with Newy third on 36:39.

So there you have it, in May Kirra had the ‘fastest’ average of First Finishers. But the Professor will have another look at this in future months, using a few different criteria - watch this space!

Finally don’t forget the Longest parkruns are happening again on Sunday 23 June. So far we have a Brisbane & South Longest parkrun and for the first time a Western Australian Longest parkrun. For those who do not know the Longest parkruns are fun social events where you can run anything from 1 to 7 parkruns in a day. You can join in at whatever point you wish and do one or more parkruns (as you are able). None of the events are timed (you are encouraged to time and record yourself), and they do not count towards club t-shirts. But if you want to explore some of other beautiful parkruns in good company then why not join in? After the events the Professor will be collecting times from anyone who submits them through an online form that will be available on the Longest parkrun Australia Facebook site and we will produce some graphs and stats for next month’s article. We might even do a West Coast VS East Coast comparison :-)

Professor Alan & Róisín from Wynnum parkrun.

Winery Running Festival

For those of you looking for something a bit different, a large group of parkrun Event Directors and families will be converging on the beautiful Hunter Valley for the Coal & Allied Winery Running Festival on Sunday, July 21. The organizers of this event have been kind enough to give the Event Directors complimentary admission into the race of their choice in recognition of the hard work they put in bringing you parkrun every week, and we encourage as many of you from the broader parkrun family to come and run with us in what will no doubt be an amazing event. And then there is the small matter of the wine…

Get Inspired

Main Beach parkrun Run Director Libby Sargent is holding an event this Thursday called ‘Inspiring Gold Coast Runners’ as part of the nationwide Inspiring Australia Day celebrations. It is shaping up to be a great night with a host of inspiring guest speakers and yours truly as MC. All proceeds go to the Kokoda Challenge Youth Program. Visit the Facebook page for more information.

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.

Upcoming Event Launches, Anniversaries & Cancellations

Our 11th and 12th launches for the year are coming up this Saturday, June 1, at Sandon Point in Wollongong & Canning River in Perth. Other confirmed launch dates include: June 8 for Mitchelton in Brisbane; June 15 for North Shore in Townsville; June 22 for Gladstone; June 29 for 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? Australian marathon representative at the 2012 London Olympic Games (2:16.29) and parkrun Australia national course record holder (14:42), Marty Dent.
How the hell do you run so fast? Training consistently in volume, frequency and effort over a long time. It’s hard work but very rewarding. I wouldn’t mind running a bit faster though.
How many km do you run in an average training week? A typical training week is 160km but varies from 100km to 200km.
What type of training do you typically do? All running but of vary distances and speeds. This includes two long runs, three interval sessions or races and other recovery runs.
How long have you been running and have you always been so damn good? I have been training for over twenty years and always found that I did pretty well from a young age.
What is your favourite distance? Half marathons have been a good distance for me when I have been in good shape.
Do you have a coach and do you train with a squad? I coach myself and train with a very supportive and entertaining group in Canberra.
How much faster would you like to go? If someone comes out and breaks my course or Australian record I would love to have a crack at whatever they do.
What big events do you want to run? I am hoping to be selected to run the marathon at world championships in Moscow in August.

Feedback from the field

Maria Roberts - Just read your newsletter and in particular the extremely tragic news for Brendan and Elisha. I am a fairly new Newy parkrunner. Will be sure to get on and donate some money. Thanks for the heads up – great to be able to support in a very small way J. This could happen to any of us.

Claire De Plume – Hi, I just wanted to give you some feedback about my experience at my first parkrun at Main Beach last Saturday. When my friend Adele first asked me, I jumped at the chance and took a few friends hostage for moral support. Well, the week before, I felt sick. I honestly couldn't sleep due to my nervousness. I know I can finish 5km, but I am so slow that I was anxious that the organisers didn't get too impatient with me. I had visions of people huffing and puffing as I made my way over the finish line. Well what a different experience I had! I felt like Sally Pearson as I made my way over the line. Everyone cheered and clapped! I will do anything for a clap! Everyone was so friendly, and I cannot wait to do this Saturday and improve my time every week!

Moray Skilling - Thanks to Wynnum parkrun for hosting the refugees from South Bank! The event was very well organised, well done event team and huge thanks to the volunteers.

Kelly Lea - This was my 2nd Wynnum parkrun & I managed to bring the 18year old along for his 1st run, though only found him once I finished - a little bit behind him.

Kathie Edwards - 5km, Saturday morning, officially timed, for free.... Visits by a coffee van and amazingly supportive people. What's not to love?

Kelly Bravey - I love parkrun! I managed to do my first one today, I can't get over how community friendly it is! I have to admit was a bit nervous beforehand as didn't know what to expect but the Cleveland one blew me away. All the volunteers and the rest of the participants cheered each other on and it didn't matter if you came first or last, everyone was made to feel equal! Love love love!!!

Joe Killian - Another great Coomera parkrun this morning, thanks guys.

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:  Johnny 'Archie' Archibald

Age:  My mother taught me it was rude to ask people their age......... I'll remain silent!

Home parkrun:  Albert parkrun

Occupation:  Project Manager for a Construction Consultancy

Number of runs:  I think about 7, and I have run a PB for 6 of those runs which I am pretty chuffed about

PB:  20.07, I know that off by heart. Very proud of that result, and can't wait for my first sub-twenty!

Number of times volunteered:  5 I think, nearly more times than I have run, darn injury!

Favourite volunteer role:  Hmmmm, well I loved scanning the tokens, breathing in the sweet aroma of sweat and BO as my fellow parkrunners pant and drip on me!! But maybe the ultimate responsibility is the stop watch. And can I ask, what is with slowing down towards the finish line?? I will not stop the clock until you're over the line, so get a move on!

What do like about volunteering at parkrun:  The fact that I still have a reason to get up on a Saturday morning. If I can't run, then at least I can still enjoy the buzz of it.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  It was through volunteering that I got to meet people at parkrun; until then I was just a lonely runner...... I should say thank you to Julie for bringing me in to the parkrun gang!

How can we improve volunteering at parkrun:  By providing mittens and bobble hats in winter, my hands nearly froze a few weeks ago!!


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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

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The parkrun show

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