welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s newsletter we announce a Guinness World Record Attempt, hear from an avid parkrun tourist and provide details on parkrun’s involvement with the new Gold Coast Marathon Retreat.
It’s been another big week for parkrun with over 10 thousand runners on Saturday and over 90 thousand of you now part of the parkrun family in Australia. I predicted several months back that we would crack the 100 thousand mark at the end of April and the way things are tracking it looks like it may even be a little bit sooner.
It has recently come to my attention that leading global resources company BHP Billiton has a fantastic Matched Giving Program through which they support their employees who volunteer their time with community organizations such as parkrun. What this means is that for every hour the employee volunteers, BHP Billiton will match it with a monetary donation. We already have several volunteers, including Bunbury parkrun Event Director Steve Chilcott, who are BHP Billiton employees and have registered for this program and it is making a significant contribution to parkrun. If there are any more of you out there please sign up today [https://www.easymatch.com/bhpbillitongive/] or contact Steve on firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
On Thursday the family and I are off to Cape Town for 3 weeks and I have a plan to try 3 different parkruns over the next 3 Saturdays. From all reports parkrun is absolutely booming in South Africa so I’m sure I will have plenty of great content to share in the upcoming newsletters.
Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
p.s. Only 234 days until International parkrun Day 2014
Number of runners – 10,052
Number of volunteers – 568
Number of new registrations – 1,854
Total number of registered parkrunners – 90,127
Fastest 5km Egg and Spoon Run
On Easter Saturday, April 19, selected parkrun events across Australia will be taking part in a Guinness World Record Attempt for the ‘Fastest 5km Egg and Spoon Run’. The current record is exactly 25 minutes and a number of guidelines have been put forward by Guinness World Records as details below:
1. A loud start signal recognized by all participants must be used.
2. The clock stops when the claimant crosses the line marking the end of the five kilometer distance.
3. The eggs used must be raw fresh hen’s eggs and be completely untreated.
4. The spoon used must be a dessert spoon.
5. The spoon should be held in the hand with the egg placed on top of it. No adhesive of any kind may be used.
6. Once the runner crosses the start line, they may not touch the egg in any way.
7. The egg must not be touched or dropped during the attempt.
This Guinness World Record Attempt will take place alongside your regular parkrun event and all participants must bring their own egg and spoon. We will have more details to follow in the coming weeks and months but for the time being please save the date if you wish to join in this egg-cellent event.
The Accidental Tourist by Brent Stowers
One of these blokes has run 20 Gold Coast Marathons, has driven to every parkrun event that he’s done, is a legend in local running circles and just like a Brazilian footballer is instantly recognisable with just one name: “Schultzy”. The other bloke is me, and I feel privileged to have become associated with this man. For that I have to thank the parkrun ‘most events table’.
Yeah ok it looks like I’m about to deck Schultzy, but that’s only because he surprised me by turning up in Cairns where we both did our 14th or 15th or 16th event (I always get the numbers mixed up, but it’s really not that important). In reality this photo encapsulates the spirit of the particular little ‘competition’ we’ve had over the last 12 months or so. It’s been about friendly rivalry, a lot of fun being tourists, meeting some amazing people, seeing fantastic new places and recognising that leading the table was just a means to an end and not really that significant in the grand scheme of things.
I don’t know about Schultzy, but I certainly never set out to lead the table. In fact I’d probably only done half a dozen different events when a girl I’d recently met told me she was going to miss her Sandgate parkrun because she was going camping near Kingscliff. Thinking quickly – ok, a day or 2 later – I told her I needed to get to the Kingscliff parkrun so that I could chase the lead and somehow talked her into coming along. That was our 3rd date and I’ve been talking Fran into parkrun tourism ever since (she’s now only 1 event behind me, however I’ve promised next time we’re in Sydney we can do St Peters so she’ll catch up)!
Anyway, I caught up with Schultzy last weekend. As some of you know he has a hernia at the moment. If you think that’s slowed him down then you don’t know the guy, but it might be a while before he does any new events outside of south-east Queensland. As for Fran and I, well today at Albert Park was our last tourist event for a while. And while we’ve got a few new events lined up later in the year, now seems like a good time to give the parkrun tourism a rest for a while and get back to the fantastic crew and course at South Bank parkrun. In the meantime I’m looking forward to seeing Rebecca finally catch up to me, Neil run every event in Australia, Mr and Mrs Prof increase their medal collection and – most of all – Schultzy giving me a big cheesy grin at the next new event in our part of the world.
Good luck everyone and DFYB.
Boost your run!
Check it out! The new Energy Boost from adidas will be available from tomorrow 26th Feb in-stores and online. Inject some life into your run with bright new colours, of course all featuring adidas’ revolutionary Boost technology. By combining thousands of micro energy capsules into one midsole, BOOST provides significantly more energy return than any other material available on the market. For you, this means less energy exertion required during strenuous training periods and during your Saturday morning parkrun. To celebrate this launch, adidas is offering 20% off running apparel to complete the look when you purchase any Boost footwear. Boost your run at www.adidas.com.au
Gold Coast Marathon Retreat
As mentioned last week, parkrun Australia GM has been asked to be a guest speaker alongside running legend Ron Clarke at the Run Around The World running retreat on the Gold Coast during the Gold Coast Airport Marathon in July. The team from RATW would like to offer all parkrunners an exclusive discount for the 6 day / 5 night package (staying at the Hilton Surfers Paradise) and for every parkrunner that books parkrun Australia will receive a donation of $250. That sounds like a win, win, win. Please click on the link above for more info.
Upcoming Special Events
8 – Albury Wodonga (NSW / Vic) launch, Parramatta (NSW) 1st anniversary
15 – Cambelltown (NSW) launch, Albert Melbourne (Vic) cancelled
22 – Mount Barker (SA) launch
29 – Riverway (Qld) 1st anniversary / Manjimup (WA) launch
5 - Main Beach (Qld) 3rd Anniversary
12 - Fingal Bay (NSW) 1st anniversary, Augustine Heights (Qld) 1st anniversary
19 - Guinness World Record attempt – “Fastest 5km Egg and Spoon Race”
26 - Rockingham (WA) 1st anniversary, Ginninderra (ACT) 2nd Anniversary
Feedback from the field
Mel Alderton – My first parkrun was the very first Parramatta parkrun on 9 March 2013. I was training for sprint distance triathlons, so 5km was the perfect distance for me, as well as the Canberra half marathon. I knew no-one else there. Shortly after starting I suffered a knee injury which put me out of the half. This on top of other things happening in my life sent me into a bit of a decline. I decided to volunteer until I could run again, acting as Marshall, photographer and timekeeper. At one point I'd volunteered more than I'd run! What this did though was gave me a reason to get out of bed on a Saturday morning and helped me stay connected with parkrun and the running community. Eventually the Event Director, Jonathan Arthur convinced me to be a Run Director! Must have been a weak moment! Guess I'm committed now! In July 2013 I set a PB of 32:20. The closest I got to that time was 32:50, after more time off from another injury! I was despairing of ever cracking it, I felt like I was just getting slower! On 6 February I managed to equal this time. Finally I felt like I was getting somewhere! On 15 February I wasn't really too hopeful of a PB as I'd had an hour bike session before. However, I 'just ran' didn't look at the time and finally broke the hoodoo with a 31:53! Over the year with all the volunteering, holidays and competing, I've only managed 20 parkruns, but I'm happy to say I've meet some great people along the way. parkrun is a fabulous organisation, and I'm eternally grateful I found them.
Rachel Lind - This morning I rocked up to Cairns parkrun, not knowing a soul, and was given an incredibly warm welcome. Didn't leave the post-run coffee until after 10am! Just another example of why parkrun is so awesome, all you need is a barcode and a nearby event and you'll never be too far from friends! Remember, it's free and you only need ever register once. If you're in the UK or Australia why don't you check and see if there's one near you, I guarantee you won't regret it.
Katharine Jones - Congratulations to 12 year old Soph Follett who, as well as being first finisher at Warwick parkrun, cracked the magic 20 minute mark for a new PB of 19:47 only 12 seconds slower than our female course record. Well done Soph!
Fiona McMullen - I did my first Coomera parkrun On Saturday and just want to say thanks for such a well organised and supportive event. I am new to running and that was the first time I had attempted 5km, it was a great environment.
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: Terry Baker
Home parkrun: St Peters
Occupation: System Analyst
Number of runs: 46
Number of times volunteered: 5
Favourite volunteer role: Photographer
What do like about volunteering at parkrun: Taking pictures that become running memories for all our runners.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: Standing on a park bench taking photos of the initial charge from the start I almost forgot I was also supposed to be the tail runner as well for the day.
How can we improve parkrun: Maybe a buddy system where a newbie volunteer can stand with a more experienced vollie and see how the job is done. PLUS parkrun needs some merchandise so people can display the parkrun name everywhere.