welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s newsletter we finally announce the winners of ‘boost your parkrun’, blast off at Sandgate’s 1st anniversary and answer the age old question “why does parkrun start at the same time every week?”
On Saturday I attended the 1st anniversary celebrations at Sandgate parkrun and man was it a ‘blast’. Sandgate is a coastal suburb in Brisbane, located roughly 16km north of the Brisbane CBD, and only a parkrun away from where I grew up in Boondall. In fact my Dad was born and raised in Sandgate in the 1940s and I learned to swim in the Sandgate Pool, situated adjacent to what is now the Sandgate parkrun start-finish area. All of this makes Sandgate parkrun a home-away-from-home event for me and I couldn’t be more delighted with the community it has developed over the last 12 months.
The anniversary event was about as perfect as one could want with a record attendance, suitably impressive adidas themed cake (see image above), gaggle of visiting parkrun Event Directors and, for what I’m sure must be the first time ever at parkrun, a rocket launch! Yes that’s right, a rocket launch!!! Local mad scientist for hire Steve from Liddell Education built a parkrun rocket that was launched amid much fanfare and gasps from the crowd, matched only by the relief from the organisers when it landed without damaging any houses, parked cars, or unaware locals!
Below is some feedback from Sandgate’s amazing Event Director’s Vanessa and Dean Gibson that sum up the day nicely -
WOW! What a morning and what an incredible year of Sandgate parkrun! Thanks to everyone who turned out to celebrate this morning. We had 365 runners and a wonderful volunteer team of Peter, Oscar, Stuart, Jeanette, Janette, Lisa, Tony, Shaun, Ross, Tracy & Glenn. A huge thanks also to our pace runners - Pat, Chris, Keith, Sally & Sue! Special mention to Tim Oberg for making the effort to be there, Victoria Newton for all of her support, Steve for the rocket (how cool was that?!?), Janelle for making the cake (SO talented!), Glenn for funding the cake, Daragh for the drinks & sausages, Jess for the massages & Rob for the warm up. Congratulations to all of the award winners (we'll name them in a separate post) and a heartfelt thank you for our beautiful gifts. You have all helped to make Sandgate parkrun a wonderful part of our community and we wouldn't want to be anywhere else on our Saturday mornings! Love to you all!
Well done Vanessa, Dean, Hope, Jed and everyone from Sandgate parkrun. Here’s to the next 12 months!
Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
p.s. Only 318 days until International parkrun Day 2014
Boost your parkrun winners
Drum roll please… The results are now in and were announced by Robbo and Russ on last week’s edition of the parkrun show Australia podcast. Congratulations to the following events (highlighted in yellow) that were our most boosted during the 3 week promotion:
Same start time every Saturday
We are often asked "Why do parkrun events have the same start time every Saturday? Can’t we start earlier in the summer and later in the winter?" While it is true that having the same start time all year round may be off-putting for some, it does have several important benefits:
- Some people say they would prefer a later start in the winter however the reality is that most people, including our volunteers, have other things to do on a Saturday, and in practice we would probably get a smaller crowd.
- Others say they would prefer an earlier start in the summer and I agree that this would appeal to ‘runners’, however as we all know many parkrunners are beginners and would view an earlier start time as a bridge too far. Also, an earlier start time may result in noise complaints from local residents and may impact on existing contractual arrangements with local councils and parks authorities. Even more importantly, our wonderful volunteers arrive at their events up to an hour before the start so asking them to get up any earlier just isn’t fair.
- Having the same start time and the same location every week means you don’t regularly have to check the website to confirm when and where it is happening.
- Most of our regular runners report that their whole weekend has improved because they get out of bed early on a Saturday; they still have most of the day free, and tend to get more benefit from their Sundays.
Event start times vary across each state in Australia. As a general rule these are: Qld & NT – 7am; NSW, Vic, ACT, SA & WA – 8am; Tas – 9am. Please note that there are some exceptions to this at the request of local council (e.g. Curl Curl & Mosman) so always check each event’s website before visiting for the first time.
Time to get Naked
This Saturday marks the second annual 'International Day of Running Naked' (IDRN), a day to celebrate the pleasures of running naked (while keeping your clothes on)! You see, the 'naked' referred to here is more about gadgets than clothing, and runners are encouraged to strip-back, leaving the devices (watch, GPS, HRM, headphones etc) at home.
Why? Firstly to prove that even in this modern age of rapidly advancing technology, it can still be done, and secondly with the hope of uncovering (or rediscovering) the pure joy and freedom which can be found when we unplug the artificial additives and reconnect with the world around us. Even parkrun HQ is on board with the 'naked' approach to running.
To help you on your journey to nakedness, this Saturday at many parkruns around Australia you can spice up your running experience by predicting your finish time, then running gadget-free to see how close you get to your prediction. There is even talk at some events of prizes for the closest predictions, including the much sought after performance-enhancing running garment, a Naked Runners headband! Check with your local parkrun to see if they are holding a Naked parkrun Challenge this weekend. If there is nothing planned, you can get involved by submitting your predicted finish time via the online form, as mentioned in this week's episode of the parkrun show.
To enter, you just need to:
Dave Robbo from Newy parkrun
Upcoming Event Launches, Anniversaries & Cancellations
Our 35th launch for the year is coming up this Saturday, November 30, at Minnippi. Other confirmed launch dates include: 7/12 – Bunyaville, Belmont & Mt Gambier; 4/01 – Rocks Riverside; 11/01 – Shepparton & Pioneer; 18/01 – Point Cook.
Upcoming anniversaries include: 7/12 – Torrens (1st).
Upcoming cancellations: 30/11 – Kingscliff.
Feedback from the field
Katanya Shanzy - Thank you for parkrun – Just wanted to send you some positive feedback for your policy on children. My son is 9 and I am a solo Mum, and in a blessed position to be able to run for myself some weekends and with my son the other weekends. When I first started bring my son along to South Bank parkrun I wrote to my Event Director and asked if I could bring a scooter, and was told unfortunately - no. Initially I was upset wondering how we’d enjoy the event together as my son usually rides his bike or scooter when I run. So I decided to find other ways to get him involved, - we have come to watch, cheer and have a coffee (he has hot chocolate and pancakes), we’ve volunteered together a few times (his favourite is barcode scanning), we’ve walked with friend’s dogs, we’ve run / walked with friends... and now I have a few other mums who bring their kids who have invited us to run with them. Despite the fact that as a runner I have a sub-25 goal for parkrun (still 1 minute 40 secs off!) – I have found so many other amazing things about parkrun because of this policy - number one the community of positive people. Your policy on scooters / bikes has given us the opportunity to get more involved together in the amazing event that is parkrun. Thank you!
Andrew Dodd - Not sure if you knew JFK's only crime was that he did his best work before barcodes were invented. While he didn't say a lot about parkrun, what he did say was pure gold.
Rhod McKensey - My family of 5 all did their first parkrun last Saturday at Lake Mac. All of us enjoyed it immensely. I can proudly report that my two oldest daughters - Jemima (7) and Annabel (5) ran the whole way... supervised closely by me of course (I just read your newsletter :)) All of my kids were buzzing for days afterwards. Annabel used the run as her ‘news’ and Jemima wrote it up in her school journal first thing on Monday. We are already talking about beating our PBs. Anyway, thanks so much for making these events happen. Our family, for one, got a whole lot of enjoyment and satisfaction thanks to you and your team's efforts.
Melanie Penna - I completed my third Berwick Springs parkrun last Saturday and love crossing the finish line at this beautiful course. I came prepared this time, with the aim of belting out a PB. I had some tunes that I had downloaded the night before pumping through my earphones, I set a good comfortable pace , I pushed through the urge walk when it arose and was very proud to run the WHOLE 5 km. When I crossed the finish line I felt very good about myself and my run, but later I discovered that I had added 4 seconds to my WORST time (uugghhh!!). I would love to hear from others who have advice on helpful warm-ups, ways to improve technique and tips to improve run times (possibly through your newsletters, so that others may get the benefit?).
Andrew Chuter - I just ran my 50th parkrun which has capped off, for me, a fantastic year of personal achievements. I started parkrun a year ago with a time just under 30mins and last week just broke my PB to go under 20mins. In that time I've lost about 12kgs and am fitter than I have ever been and feel great. Until parkrun came along I was never able to motivate myself to go jogging regularly or had any point of comparison, but the regular weekly event is a top start to the weekend and running with others feels great and pulls you along. Over the course of the year I started to get faster and added extra training sessions in each week. At some point running and exercise ceased to be a pain and became something to look forward to. Then I got into longer fun runs and finally achieved a long term goal to run in the City2Surf, and also did a half marathon. Maybe sometime I will try the full. parkrun is a success because it combines the simplest elements – running and community spirit - with the internet and social media to create something new and worthwhile. Huge thanks must go to the St Peters parkrun team including Paul, Aaron, Silpa, Athene and many others who make it all happen.
Sharon Armstrong - Phil Rorke, the World Recorder Holder for Egg and Spoon Race taking on the Sandgate parkrun this morning!
Sally Mitchell - Why is there next to no parkruns on the NSW north and south coasts? Come on southerners, get with the program, how am I supposed to parkrun my way down the coast?
Terry Baker - This probably happens a lot in Brisbane and the Gold Coast but has anyone done 3 different parkrun courses on 3 consecutive Saturdays? I have done St Peters, Parramatta and Sandon Point in the past 3 weeks and really should have worked out in advance how I could do Newy or Blackbutt next week and make it a memorable Movember.
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: Leonie Norris
Home parkrun: North Shore parkrun
Occupation: Customer Care Representative
Number of runs: 5
Number of times volunteered: 12
Favourite volunteer role: Anything that needs done but most of all I do LOVE cheering people on.
What do like about volunteering at parkrun: Volunteering gives me the opportunity to help & assist with something that I love doing. I LOVE that parkrun caters for whole family and all running levels. I get to meet new people & evolved in my local community. My husband and our 4 children (17, 6, 4 & 2) parkrun & parkrun gives us the opportunity to help out together.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: My most memorable would be my 1st ever parkrun here in Townsville at Riverway, it was their first ever run. I was unable to run that day due to an ankle injury but I helped out taking pictures. I was so jealous of everyone out there having so much fun & was amazed that parkrun was something that all levels & families could participate in. Everyone had a ball. I was hooked and I hadn’t even run yet.