welcome to this week's newsletter
In this week’s newsletter we launch Gladstone parkrun, bid farewell to two of our longest serving Event Directors, and announce the winners of our adidas City2Surf competition.
On Saturday I attended the launch of Gladstone parkrun, another new event supported by our national partners Stockland. I had never been to Gladstone before however have had many friends work in the area due to its prominent port and links to the mining industry, and was warned that I would feel left out if I wasn’t wearing some form of high-vis jacket! None the less I took the punt to only take my black and white adidas jacket and, being a Saturday morning, I didn’t feel too left out! The course chosen by Event Director Terri Hewerdine is made for parkrun, literally a perfect 2.5km out and 2.5km back, with very little set up or marshalling required. And participants were treated to a free goodie bag courtesy of Stockland which included the all important free coffee at Jamaica Blue post-run. Well done to Terri, Amanda and everyone else who has helped get Gladstone parkrun off the ground. I can really see this one flourishing in the weeks and months to come, so watch out!
On Sunday the 2013 edition of the Longest parkrun was held in three regions across the country: Brisbane & South; Western Australia; and the Region of Runners (aka Newcastle & the Hunter). Judging by the regular Facebook updates I can safely safe that a good time was had by all, although the Hunter crew got a little wet... Click here to check out some of the photos and comments or to tag yourself and your friends. For those who wish to have their times added to Professor Alan’s stats analysis in next week’s newsletter please submit by them by Thursday afternoon using this link.
This Saturday is quite an emotional one for me personally as we bid farewell (sort of) to two of our longest serving Event Directors, Brendan Murray from Main Beach parkrun and Carol Cunningham from Albert Melbourne parkrun. I have written more about this below but I also want to thank them here in my weekly introduction for all that they have done over the last couple of years to make their local events, and thus parkrun Australia, such a success!
Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
GCAM & Suncorp Bank
The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is less than 2 weeks away and we still need desperately volunteers to help give out t-shirts at the finishing line on Saturday morning. Please email me if you can assist.
I’m super excited to announce that our friends from Suncorp Bank are once again making their RunPositive tent available to parkrunners who want to soak up the excitement of the finish line. They have provided me with 50 wristbands for each day, details on how to access these will be in next week’s newsletter.
Suncorp Bank will be visiting Main Beach and Varsity Lakes parkruns this Saturday to give away water bottles and enter parkrunners in their RunPositive competition to win $10K. I would love to hear that a parkrunner wins this prize so get involved. They will also be visiting New Farm and Sandgate parkruns on July 20.
All in for City2Surf
Congrats to the following parkrunners, who have scored themselves at spot at the City2Surf thanks to adidas: Clay Dawson, Lana Do Canto, Gemma Wilson, Michael Tenuyl and Phoebe Penfold. You’ll be representing parkrun at the biggest foot race in the world on August 11.
If you are attending the City2Surf make sure you come past adidas at the expo. adidas also invites all competitors running in adidas footwear into their VIP chillout area at the finish line. Here you can relax after the event, put your feet up and have your photo taken with adidas athletes and ambassadors. Don’t forget to wear adidas on event day for VIP access.
Thanks to Brendan and Carol
As mentioned above, this Saturday we say goodbye to two of our longest serving Event Directors, Brendan Murray from Main Beach parkrun and Carol Cunningham from Albert Melbourne parkrun.
Brendan has been involved at Main Beach parkrun since its launch in April 2011, and took over as Event Director not long afterwards. Being in charge of our inaugural event and as such the ‘home’ of parkrun Australia comes with great responsibility and this is something that Brendan has taken very seriously. As a result he has consistently churned out fantastic events week after week with the statistics speaking for themselves: 113 events, 3279 registered runners, 3469 PBs, average weekly attendance of 128 and a largest attendance of 282. Amazing! Brendan is finishing up so he can experience parkrun as a parkrunner, spend more time working on his personal training business and even start to plan his wedding (go Stacey). Long time Run Director Libby Sargent is stepping up into the Event Director hot seat with new megaphone in hand and we are all excited to see Libby flourish in the role.
Carol has been Event Director at Albert Melbourne parkrun since day one, and was the sole catalyst for getting the event started. Carol’s event has grown to reflect her personality with a core group of passionate volunteers and runners forming a United Nations of parkrun in the heart of Melbourne. The community spirit that has developed amongst the Albert Melbourne parkrunners is second to none and was most evident when I last visited for their 1st anniversary event in November. Carol’s stats are equally as impressive as Brendan’s: 82 events, 2794 registered runners, 1767 PBs, average weekly attendance of 92 and a largest attendance of 170. Carol is leaving Melbourne to set up Virgin Active in Singapore and, drum role please, I’m super excited to announce that she is also going to be setting up our first parkrun in Southeast Asia. This is still a work in progress but for now anyone wanting more information can ‘like’ the parkrun Southeast Asia Facebook page. Carol is also the only parkrun Event Director to have her own doll, as shown above Run Director Troy Mytton will be replacing Carol as Event Director after this Saturday, round of applause for Troy!
So this Saturday I would love all of you who have been impacted by the amazing work of Brendan or Carol over the last couple of years so show your gratitude is a small way, be it flowers, a box of chocolates (yummy), a card, or even just a cuddle. Our Event Directors give up so much to bring you parkrun so please don’t hold back!!!
My Old Man by Dave Robertson
Just over 3 years ago (May 2010), a fella by the name of Ian was getting on with his life when he found out, following an incident where his legs were no longer functioning properly, that he had advanced prostate cancer and a very serious secondary tumour growing around his spine.
This led to a stint in the Wesley Hospital, Brisbane where an operation was undertaken to remove the majority of the tumour from the spine (along with a chunk of the spine itself), followed by a course of radiotherapy and then hormone therapy to combat the growing prostate cancer cells. Thankfully, Ian responded well to the medical treatment & then went about making some significant changes to diet, lifestyle and exercise habits. At that stage, doing a lap of the ward was an achievement!
The day after being discharged he would be a spectator at the Gold Coast Marathon to watch his 3 children taking part. Something must have clicked because 1 year later he stood at the start line of the Gold Coast 10K, and went on to complete the run, and in doing so, announced himself as a 'runner'!
The next challenge Ian found was a thing called parkrun. After debuting at Main Beach parkrun on Christmas Eve 2011 with 35:26, he went on to lower his PB by large chunks in each of his next 5 runs, getting his time down to 29:18 at the inaugural Kirra parkrun, in Feb 2012.
It is safe to say Ian proceeded to get the parkrun bug, traveling to a total of 9 different Aussie parkruns, 6 of them inaugural events, while becoming a regular at his home parkrun at Kirra, where he has managed to get the PB down to 26:36. He also came back to run the Gold Coast 10K in 2012, wiping a whopping 14mins off his previous time, to smash through the 1 hour mark.
With all this running, the prostate cancer hasn't been getting much of a look in and Ian's doctors have been amazed at how he has turned his condition around so quickly. Just last week, Ian ran at Kirra, completing his 50th parkrun and is sure to be filled with deserved pride when he is presented with his red 50-Club shirt. End result, Ian is now fitter and healthier than he has been in decades and parkrun has played a big part in this.
This is just one story out of many. Never under-estimate just how much this simple, free, weekly 5K, can and does change lives.
Vive la parkrun!
Dave from Newy parkrun
Show Your Colours at Albert Melbourne parkrun
The Wallabies (or is that wannabes?) are playing the mighty Lions at Rugby this Saturday in Melbourne. The Wallabies displayed their secret weapon last Saturday night, Izzy For Real, and nearly pinched a win. So anything is possible. At Albert Melbourne parkrun we want to see who the most passionate parkrunners are – Wallaby or Lion supporters? And if you don’t have gear for either team, then wear a beany in support of any team (e.g. Richmond Tigers) in any football code or any other pursuit you like! If it's as cold this Saturday as last, it might be wise to wear two beanies!!
Carol from Albert Melbourne parkrun
Bridge to Brisbane
In 2013 parkrun is an official training partner for Bridge to Brisbane. This is an amazing partnership as it guarantees us exposure to thousands of new runners who will hopefully become part of the parkrun family!
If you are planning on running B2B this year then we invite you to join the parkrun team, details are as follows: 5km | Team Name - parkrun 5k Team | Team No. – 72338; 10km | Team Name – parkrun | Team No. – 58568.
Upcoming Event Launches, Anniversaries & Cancellations
Our 16th launch for the year is coming up this Saturday, June 29, at Logan River south of Brisbane. Other confirmed launch dates include: July 6 for Aveley in Perth; July 13 for Gatton in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley; and September 28 for Merimbula in southern NSW.
Kirra, Coomera & Main Beach will be cancelled on July 6 due to the staging of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon. Note that Varsity Lakes will run as per normal.
Coomera & Claisebrook Cove celebrate their 1st anniversaries on Saturday, August 3.
Feedback from the field
Nic Barber - I want to honour and acknowledge an amazing woman - Karen McDougal. I work as a dietitian and 12 months ago I met Karen following a doctor’s referral for weight loss. In 3 weeks time it will be 12 months since I meet Karen and in true Karen style she looks set to achieve her goal of a 50kgs weight loss. I last saw Karen on 12th June and she had 3.1kg to lose in the next 4 weeks to reach her goal of 50kgs off in 12 months and I have no doubt this will be achieved. Karen is now a Newy parkrun addict, and since introducing her brother to parkrun they now participate each week across two states, as Karen's brother does a Queensland parkrun. Thank you to parkrun for hosting these events that every day people can do and feel welcome.
Megan Halliwell - What a place to live & play! Awesome way to end the Longest parkrun. Such a fantastic day. Some pretty inspiring people out there today:-) Thanks everyone - can't wait until next time!
Daniel Chaff - Thanks to everyone for an awesome Longest parkrun. I’m pretty sure it is one of the days I will never forget. 7 parkruns in one day, what a journey
Tony Jennings - Had a great Longest parkrun today. Not so much the challenge (yes it was tough) but meeting and being welcomed by the people meeting the challenge. I’m totally shattered but in a good way.
Jaci Richards - An awesome Longest parkrun despite the rain! Next time we will have more parkruns in the Region of Runners to save doubling up :o)
Amanda Attard - Well, the Longest parkrun was fun! I'm glad I've got today off work. A sleep in and a lazy day (and an 8km recovery run). Thanks to everyone for the organization, the smiles and the encouragement!
Ryan Stoddart - Thanks heaps for an amazing Longest parkrun. Met a whole bunch of awesome people, heard some great inspiring stories and had a blast! Thanks for all the support, high fives and encouragement. It pushed me that little bit more and I managed to achieve an average of under 20mins for the 7 parkruns (not bad when my PB was over 22mins at the beginning of the year). And a few of you are probably wondering "did he end up doing another 1.44 parkruns to equal a marathon distance?"....Yes I did... I went back to Kirra parkrun and ran another 7.2km I'll see you all next time, Ryan aka Running Guy
Paul Ivey - Thanks to Dave Appleby for all the organizing the Longest and most likely wettest parkrun day. Great fun, great company. Got me off ass for a 35km parkrun. Could have quite easily stayed at home but couldn’t live with the fact I said I would do it! Missed the first five so went solo at Newy. Loved the company for a couple of laps! Will be back next year to put the theory to the test that having a break between each is actually harder!! ;0)
Rosie Bugg - I really enjoyed Gatton parkrun this morning. It is wonderful that the course is pram friendly. Thank you
Cameron Baillie - Sensational effort with the photos at Albert Melbourne parkrun. They are far superior to any I've seen featured at big fee-paying feature events! How your fingers kept working whilst being near frozen is another miracle?
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: Greg Payne
Club: South Melbourne A.C, The Crosbie Crew & Nab with Vic Business Runners
Home parkrun: Albert Melbourne parkrun
Occupation: Dispute Resolutions Associate, NAB Collections
Number of runs: 37
PB: 21m 25s
Number of times volunteered: 5
Favourite volunteer role: Whatever Carol tells me to do
What do like about volunteering at parkrun: It is as little as 3 times a year, for no more than an hour at a time, and whilst I`m not racing on those days I`m helping the runners to enjoy their run and doing what I can to keep them safe.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: Being scheduled to volunteer on the safety bike on the day Craig Mottram turned out at Albert Park. He had held the global parkrun record and I had the privilege of being at the MCG to see him medal in the 5000m at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006. So I was errr...stressing as to whether I would be able to pedal fast enough to keep out of his way let alone ahead of him. Well Craig had to scratch due to a rolled ankle. Phew!!
How can we improve parkrun: A tough question (see above 'what do you like’). Without doubt all of the parkrunners who regularly support the event are most inclusive of their co-volunteers, making sure we know our role and giving support, positive feedback and appreciation. Being a regular runner at parkrun to help out provides heaps of fulfillment being at the finish for all the runners achieving their PBs and giving their best over the 5km. And then you get to run around the lake again in 7 days, except if you are like me at the moment, enduring achilles tendonitis.