welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s newsletter we celebrate more statistical achievements, hear from our Antarctic Explorer and running royalty visits Main Beach.
It’s getting closer!
For the 3rd week in a row we had an all-time total attendance record of 9,660 parkrunners across our 59 events, creeping ever closer to the magical 10K! All we need to do is add 6 runners per event this weekend and we will get there however I think the most likely outcome is that we will crack it the following Saturday when we launch events 60 and 61. I will happily be proven wrong though!
Last Saturday was of course all about Australia Day and many events had Aussie themed dress ups with sausage sizzles and all the trimmings that you would expect. Streuth! On a serious note special congratulations must go to Kelly Daly and her team at Kawana parkrun who were honoured in their local 2014 Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards! Much deserved recognition.
Statistics and data really have become a big thing within the parkrun community, nothing more so than the most events table. As the name suggests, this table shows the runners who have attended the most different events across Australia, with a minimum of at least 20 different events or at least 5 inaugural events. For some time there has been a battle at the top of this table between Michael Schultz, Brent Stowers and the Burrells (Roisin and Alan aka The Professor) and it brought a smile to my face when I saw on my Facebook feed on Saturday morning that Brent had jumped on a plane to Sydney to sneakily visit Parramatta parkrun. Well done mate, only one more and you will be equal with Schultzy, Alan and Roisin!
Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
p.s. Only 262 days until International parkrun Day 2014
Number of runners – 9,660
Number of volunteers – 522
Number of new registrations – 1,817
Total number of registered parkrunners – 81,823
Antarctica 'pop up' parkrun update
Blackbutt and Newy parkrun Run Director Jodie Tersteeg is currently in Antarctica as part of her studies and is organizing a ‘pop-up parkrun’ while she is there. We have created a Facebook event page for Jodie so make sure you check it out for more info! Here is the latest update from Jodie –
I'm here!! And it's awesome!!!
Boarded the Herc at about midday on Wednesday. We took off, flew for about 20 minutes then turned around and landed back in Christchurch... Apparently the plane was making a strange noise. So waited an hour or so then boarded another Herc. Luckily this one went all the way!
If you think I traveled to Antarctica in style and comfort, you are quite mistaken. Please see photo below, however the views out of the back windows (once you weaved your way around all the cargo to get to the back) were extraordinary!!
We arrived at about 11.30 that night and it is incredibly bizarre to see the sun shining at that time. Half an hour later I was thrilled to see the midnight sun for the first time.
It has been a crazy few days. Scott Base is really full at the moment (they can fit about 80 people) so 6 of us girls are sleeping in a shipping container outside. A little chilly in there but we have very cosy sleeping bags. Meanwhile the guys are sleeping inside the base where it is a constant pleasant 18 degrees.
Directly in front of Scott Base is the sea. Usually it is totally covered in sea ice, but at this time of the year, late in the season, the ice is breaking up. There have been minke whales out amongst the sea ice the whole time we have been here. Plus Weddell seals frolicking!
P.S. Antarctica is pretty darn awesome... in case you're wondering!
Color Me Rad 10% Discount!
The inaugural Color Me Rad 5k hits Sydney on 23 February. Come and get drenched in all the colours of the rainbow at this festival for your feet. The colours will fly but you don’t have to in this laid back fun run. Visit their website and enter the promo code PARKRUN10 to receive 10% discount.
Pole to Pole by The Voyager
I went to Main Beach parkrun this morning and before we went off I saw a familiar face in the crowd. I thought, this is amazing, this guy looks just like Pat Farmer (if the name doesn’t ring the bell – Pat Farmer is an Australian ultra-marathoner who last year ran from North Pole to South Pole nonstop covering the distance of about 2 marathons a day for over 10 months!). Anyway… as we walked to the start line I introduced myself and asked if he wasn’t by any chance Pat Farmer? Yes he was! He asked how fast I could run the 5k and I said – probably 24 min today. “OK, we can run it together and talk” he said. What I forgot to mention, was that when I run parkrun in 24 min I can’t talk… We went off and I could barely keep up for a minute or two and said: “Pat, please go, I feel bad slowing you down”. For the rest of the distance I felt like walking and had a hard time breathing from going too fast at the beginning. I learned later that he could do 5k in 17 min. At the age of 51!!!
We caught up after the run and talked about his book ‘Pole to Pole’ which I read few months ago. Pat asked for my address to send me his signed book, we took an obligatory picture and shook hands.
What a humble guy running a 5k parkrun totally unrecognised and not seeking any attention! I still can’t believe it.
Btw, couple of hours later he drove to my place to drop off his signed book!!! I am speechless.
Click here to read more.
Upcoming Special Events
8 - Ipswich (Qld) launch, Golden Beach (Qld) launch, Lake Mac (NSW) 1st anniversary, St Peters (NSW) cancelled
15 - Kirra (Qld) 2nd anniversary
22 - Tuggeranong (ACT) 1st anniversary
8 - Parramatta (NSW) 1st anniversary
29 - Riverway (Qld) 1st anniversary
Feedback from the field
Penny Geraghty – Well last week was my first ever parkrun. Work mates have constantly talked it up so a friend and I decided to give Rocks Riverside parkrun a go. Everyone was very friendly and the briefing was very clear for the newbies. Thanks for the special newbie chat as well. I wish it was Saturday already and am counting down the days. There was no push to go faster than the pace I had set. Most people on their way back were very friendly and gave a smile or a Hi. Some even in between strides gave encouragement. The cheer squad at the finish line yelling encouragement to complete strangers to keep going and how well we were doing really lifted us. It was great to see a mix of ages including adults with children. Getting kids involved in exercise is great and I think it’s great seeing kids having fun with their parents. Your website is fantastic. I am about to go on a family holiday and I was able to locate a parkrun right near where we are holidaying. Even better is that I have been able to point this out to all of my in-laws that we will be holidaying with, and have been able to convince even my mother in law to have a go. parkrun is fantastic. You have me hooked already at just one event.
Irene Reid - This coming Saturday I will be running with my brothers Greg (from Brisbane with 50+ parkruns) and Bede (Tuggeranong parkrunner) at Tuggeranong parkrun. Greg has been the family ‘runner’ for years but he introduced me to parkrun about 6 months when I wasn't running at all. Since then I have taken up running and fallen in love with parkrun. I am very excited to be running with my 2 big brothers; hopefully they will spur me on to another PB!
Cathy Lawrence - Below is a photo of two of our Run Directors down here in Launceston, Tasmania. Christine Timms and Daniel O'Shea were getting married later that day but couldn't possibly miss the morning parkrun just for a wedding! Amazing commitment!
Solita Lightfoot – It may have been a difficult subject but thank you for the reminder about courteousness on the shared pathways in the latest newsletter. On my 2nd parkrun 2 weeks ago I was clipped by a fellow runner who really didn’t have enough space to pass me safely while dodging oncoming foot traffic. I regained my footing and was okay but thank you for raising the topic so publicly.
Steve Powel - I travel a fair bit for work and am new to running so I’ve started looking at parkrun courses to help guide me on my run location and course when travelling. I was in Launceston last week and used the parkrun course at Inveresk. I got slightly ‘geographically misplaced’ as I was running along and then I noticed the stone signs that had been placed around the park with the parkrun logo on them. It made the run a delight. So much so I managed my first ever 10km run that day. I’m a new member to the parkrun movement and a new recruit to the sport of running and am loving it. Great work.
David Wells - Not very interesting but my 15 year old son and I (42years young) competed in our first Maitland parkrun and I was surprised at how well it was organised and how well the event ran with over 300 people from all walks of life participating. At the start of the event I said to my son that I will meet him back at the finish line as I thought that I would have no chance on keeping up with my fit 15 year old son and I have only be doing a little bit of running over the last couple of months and I would have been happy just to make it around the course. Well we started off together and within the first 500metre he was quiet a distance in front of me with all of the competitors being polite and considerate to all the other runners and people using the park . Well it was a bit like the tortoise and the hare as at about the 2km make I passed my son with a slight remark “come on you can’t let your old fella beat you”. Well that was the last time I seen him until he finish the run as I finished a lot better than I ever thought I would by coming in 32nd and then I got to wait for my son to finish . So to all of the organisers and volunteers I would like to thank you for a great event and look forward to next weekend to compete again with my wife entering in her first park run.
Eion Williamson - Signed up the family late Friday night for Mount Gambier parkrun, had them eargerly on course the following day. Thought this was park RUN (emphasis on run), as get a lovely reaction each time I remind my wife of this fact! Useful suggestion: you could add a walkers division called park chat!
Scott Rutland - I am only new to the whole parkrun experience, having taken it on to support my friend and personal trainer Brodi Reid and the rest of the GET LOW FITNESS group. It is good to have some friendly internal competition as well as personal challenges. Unfortunately I have been running injured, carrying bilateral ingrual hernias (sports hernias) for the last 12 months … time to do something about it! So I get my last run in on the Saturday before Monday’s surgery and there is a call for volunteers. I think, “Well I won’t be back running for a while, I’m up for this.” I have had to miss one week completely but I am on the books for Barcode Duties for the next two weeks and then I think I’ll try my hand at Tail Runner until I can get moving quickly again. I am very happy to be able to give back, and to be able to contribute while being unable to run is a perfect distraction. I know people generally want to run, but if you can’t then volunteering is a great alternative, and you still get points!! Bring on more supporting until I can run, then I might schedule myself in for a relax week every alternate month and volunteer that weekend instead.
Clare Wardle - Today marks my 1 year anniversary as a parkrunner! Huge thanks to Jennifer Louise Ierace for inviting me along a year ago for moral support on her first 5km (she has since gone on to amazing things with her health and fitness). In 1 year I have done 30 runs in 6 locations, volunteered at 4 locations and improved my time from 28.34 to 22.28. Best of all I have met some amazing, wonderful and inspiring people who I now call friends. Thanks to all the organisers and volunteers who make it possible
Jon Barry - Got to love listeners touting parkrun on JJJ in the morning - they were from Victoria, managed to get in all the details "free timed 5km run every Saturday at 8am, just register your details - great community feel" before the DJ moved her on. Great to see how many people are enthusiastic about parkrun!
Andrew Dodd - Newy parkrun's cloning experiment to boost numbers is working! This is Geoff Hayes on left making his parkrun debut parkrun and Newy regular Chris Hayes on the right.
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: Joanna MacCarthy
Home parkrun: Balyang Sanctuary
Occupation: Radiation Therapist
Number of runs: 55
Number of times volunteered: 19
Favourite volunteer role: Run Director
What do like about volunteering at parkrun: Getting to know the people who attend each week, and to have their encouragement when I run.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: The time when the laptop refused to match runners’ names to their times, so I had to enter everyone’s details manually.
How can we improve parkrun: Perhaps encourage a 10:1 ratio – run 10 times, volunteer once. If everyone did this we could fill our roster for the year in no time!