welcome to this week's newsletter
In this week’s newsletter we review a double-header launch weekend, remind you of our policies on junior runners and ‘cheating’ and prepare to #loveparkrun at International parkrun Day.
On Saturday I ventured 2-hours west for the launch of Toowoomba parkrun and, as expected, it was a highly enjoyable and memorable event! Toowoomba had been crying out for parkrun for some time and it showed, with an incredible 219 attendees who were not scared off by the huge electrical storm that swept the city at around 4am. It was also very pleasing to see a good number of ‘parkrun tourists’ from nearby Gatton and Warwick, as well as Brisbane, the Gold Coast and beyond. The course is a 2-lapper around the ever beautiful Queens Park with a lovely little incline (i.e. a nasty hill) along one side. I certainly felt it pushing Jack in the pram! Special thanks must go to Toowoomba Regional Council who have adopted parkrun as a part of its CHANGE Project and pulled out all of the bells and whistles, and of course Event Directors Margaret and Tressa, without who the event quite simply wouldn’t exist! I fully expect Toowoomba parkrun to grow into one of our largest regional events… Newy watch out!
Meanwhile down south, we had spectacular launch event in Merimbula on the Far South Coast of New South Wales. From all reports Merimbula parkrun can argue a strong case as being the most scenic in the country with a stunning out-and-back course along boat ramps, bridges and boardwalks. The photos I have seen certainly look incredible and I look forward to getting down there for a run in the near future. Well done to Event Director Donella Roberts and her team for hosting a successful launch and special shout out to Russ & Jess Jefferys who travelled from Canberra to represent parkrun and support Donella.
We’ve had an interesting situation develop at one of our events over the last few months where it is suspected that a particular person has been cutting the course in order to set new PBs. Many would say this is cheating however, as parkrun is a timed run and not a race, I’d argue that it isn’t really and that they are only doing a disservice to themselves. Human nature being what it is though I fully understand the cheating argument and have advised the local Event Director to simply wipe the suspect times from the record (they are over 20 minutes faster than this person’s ‘normal’ times) so it will be interesting to see if the person in question wishes to argue the case (the Event Director also has photos of the person cutting the course). So if you see this happening at your parkrun please don’t get too hung up about it. If people want to run too far, or not far enough, it shouldn’t impact on your enjoyment. Just give them a high 5 and a knowing stare!
Lastly, I’m delighted to announce that we have just been nominated for the 'Encouraging Participation' Award at the Queensland Outdoor Recreation Awards 2013. Winners will be announced next month but, as they say, just being nominated is an honour so well done everybody!
Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
International parkrun Day 2013
This Saturday is International parkrun Day, the day we commemorate the launch of Bushy parkrun on 2 October 2004. Basically, it’s parkrun’s birthday! We are really hoping to break the magical 50,000 global parkrunners milestone so pretty please spread the word and make an effort to bring someone new to your local event.
The theme for IpD2013 is #loveparkrun. What does this mean? Well we want you, the parkrunners, to tell us exactly what it is that you love about parkrun, and we want you to share it with us and the world via social media using the hashtag #loveparkrun. This will enable us to collate all of your messages from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. and use them to show the rest of the world just how great parkrun really is. And better still, our favourite video clips will be used to make the first global parkrun promotional film, so if you’re a budding Spielberg or Tarantino this is your chance to take centre stage!
So what are you waiting for? Please go to your favourite social media platform and type a message, share a photo or upload a video that shows the world how much you love parkrun. Just make sure you also type #loveparkrun somewhere in your message.
It is really that simple.
Also, if you’re coming to IpD2013 on October 5 please join our Facebook event page and keep an eye out for further announcements during the week.
all in for IpD2013
adidas is all in for International parkrun Day this weekend and proud to support all parkrunners across Australia. To celebrate, adidas is offering parkrunners 20% off until 14 October, 2013. Simply use code PARKRUN on adidas.com.au or show your parkrun card in store to redeem the offer. Click here for terms and conditions.
adidas #loveparkrun because it provides a healthy way for communities to come together and celebrate sport.
A word about expectations
parkruns are free, weekly, 5km timed runs. Even if there's a technical disaster, and all the results are lost, well, everybody hopefully enjoyed a fantastic run in a beautiful location. On that theme please remember our volunteers already do a huge amount, without the increased pressure to publish your results quickly. parkrun HQ has always advised our event teams not to rush, or feel like their weekends have to be put on hold because of parkrun, i.e. until results are submitted. If the shopping needs doing, or the kids need a lift somewhere, or you're involved with parkrun at the end of a night shift, do all that first. Results can (and should) wait. As our volume of events increases too, minor hiccups can have bigger consequences to results processing time. In short, expect results when you see them. Hopefully before you've finished your post-run coffee, but it might not be until you are settling down to watch X-Factor on Sunday night.
Junior runners left to run on their own
We received this worrying feedback during the week -
"This morning at parkrun I was limping home with shin soreness when I came upon a young girl, who could not have been more than 6 years old, running on her own. While she was running well, there was no adult supervising her. The nearest runner was over 100 meters ahead and moving away and there was no one behind me until close to the finish. A lot of cyclists use the track at our parkrun and often at unsafe speeds for the numbers of people out there. Also dense bush lines the track so she could have easily been knocked down or dragged off the course and by the time anyone was aware she had not finished, well I hate to think of what might have happened."
Please remember that at parkrun children under 11 MUST be accompanied at all times by a parent or guardian.
Active Outdoors Expo
The Active Outdoors Expo is happening in Brisbane this Saturday at Northshore Riverside Park, Hamilton. It is a celebration of all things outdoors and promises to be a great day out and will give you a chance to try something new. There will be climbing, paddling, games, cycling, canoeing, orienteering, horizontal bungee… and much more! Don’t forget to bring your swimmers and sense of adventure. There will also be a parkrun stand at the expo so why not drop in as part of your International parkrun Day celebrations and say hi.
See the Active Outdoors Expo website for all the details.
Walk For Awareness
The Walk for Awareness has been established to raise awareness of depression and mental illness. This year's event is being held at 8am on Sunday 13th October 2013 in Captain Bourke Park, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane. Click here for further details and please spread the word to anyone who you think would like to support this worthy event.
Upcoming Event Launches, Anniversaries & Cancellations
Our 24th and 25th launches for the year are coming up on Saturday October 12 at Berwick Springs & Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Other confirmed launch dates include: 19/10 –Mosman & Gungahlin; 26/10 – Mudgeeraba, Darwin, Westerfolds & Bunbury; 02/11 – Maitland; and 16/11 – Diamond Creek.
Upcoming anniversaries include: 19/10 – Kingscliff (1st) & North Lakes (1st); 26/10 – Kawana (1st); 02/11 – South Bank (1st); 09/11 – Launceston (1st); 16/11 – Albert Melbourne (2nd); 23/11 – Sandgate (1st); and 07/12 – Torrens (1st).
Feedback from the field
Joel Cunning - I just wanted to say a quick thanks to Suncorp and parkrun. I ran the Blackmores Half Marathon recently and after I recovered (which was a bit longer than I want to admit) I went to the Suncorp runPositive tent and showed my parkrun barcode and was treated to a sausage roll, drinks, lollies and a nice place to sit and watch the marathon runners on the big screen while I waited for the rest of family to finish the Family Fun Run. Thanks guys, really enjoyed the hospitality.
Maria Baker – It was great to catch up at the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival with parkrun Australia GM Tim Oberg. Here is a photo of Tim with our group, The Caboose (some of Southbank parkrun event crew)!
Pete Gray - I was a first-timer at South Bank parkrun on Saturday. Just wanted to congratulate you on what I thought was an extremely well organised run and fun to get along to.
Donna Marchiori - Last weekend a group of Gatton parkrunners attended the Wynnum Twilight Bay Run. Thank you to whoever set up the parkrun tent which we took great advantage of during the event!
Katharine Jones - Hearty congrats to Warwick parkrunner Karen who ran parkrun on Saturday to kickstart her wedding day! The perfect way to start married life.
Belinda Smith - Just read your newsletter and totally agree with what you have written. You explained the reason for volunteering perfectly and when I have volunteered I thoroughly enjoyed it too. Everyone at parkrun does a brilliant job and congratulations to everyone involved.
Stephanie de Sousa - Today I ran my 20th parkrun at Lake Mac with my youngest son Noah (5 yrs) who ran his 10th. Today he smashed his PB by 42 seconds. His motivation to keep on coming back is fueled by high fives from people who were strangers but are now friends. Thank you for helping me raise a healthy, active, considerate, friendly and motivated young man (runner).
Larissa Nicholson - Just under a year ago when I joined Kingscliff parkrun I struggled to even make the 5km run. Today I ran the 6km Highland Hurry at the Tomewin Mountain Challenge and, even though I wasn't successful in getting a place, I felt I had conquered a great achievement! I could never imagine being confident nor strong enough take on such a challenge. I am very thankful to have had the encouragement of fellow parkrun friends. Thank you so much for bringing parkrun to Kingscliff.
Jo Holles – Hi Tim, I just wanted to thank you for coming all the way up to Toowoomba this morning for parkrun. I had a great time and am hoping to involve the rest of the family when it's not wet. Well done!
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: Michael Balch
Home parkrun: Kirra
Number of times volunteered: Over 50
Favourite volunteer role: Timekeeper
What do like about volunteering at parkrun: Seeing runners improve their PBs and, for those that do not, seeing their determination to improve.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: The most memorable has been meeting three different people who knew people I knew in the UK.
How can we improve parkrun: No need. Runners just turn up and run. No signing in, no numbers, no fees. It's great exercise too.