weekly newsletter 29th July 2014

welcome to the newsletter

In this week’s edition of the parkrun Australia newsletter we marvel at a world record parkrunner, Bella runs wild and we go back to basics with Kelly.

Last week I received an email about an unusual problem with the result for one of our runners at Lillydale Lake parkrun in Melbourne… a problem the majority of us will never be faced with. Lavina Petrie (pictured above) finished 9th on July 12 in a time of 22:03. This is a pretty great time, approximately 6 minutes ahead of the parkrun average, however what makes this time so special is that Lavina is in the 70-74 age category… which makes it an AMAZING time. Upon further research (i.e. Wikipedia) I then discovered that Lavina is the current world record holder for her age over 3000m, 5000m, 10,000m and half-marathon (1:37.38).

So, where the problem occurred with her result is that it is so good, so fast, that our system flagged it as a possible error and that it should be manually approved before being published. However it doesn’t end there. It was then suggested to me that as soon as a person such as Lavina gets an age grade score of over 100% that they then should automatically become the new 100% barometer for everyone else (i.e. all the slower people) in their age group and so effectively they get immediately downgraded back down to 100%. The above 100% score only lasts for a few fleeting seconds.

It’s sure tough being a world record breaker these days. And by the way… sensational run Lavina!!!

Lastly, you may have read last week’s volunteer profile by John Andrew (pictured below). It was a typically inspirational piece although it was pointed out to me later by Albert Melbourne parkrun Event Director Scott Watkins that John forgot to mention his most famous exploit… he was the first and only runner to fall in Albert Park Lake during parkrun. Great work John!

Happy running,

Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)

p.s. Only 66 days until International parkrun Day 2014

Were you a first timer last weekend, or did you run a personal best? We would love to hear about your experience on email, @parkrun_au or on Facebook.

Essential Stats for Australia & Singapore

Number of locations – 81
Number of runners – 7,916
Number of PBs – 1,820
Number of first timers – 1,217
Number of volunteers – 649

Inaugural parkrun annual lunch

We will be holding our first ever 'parkrun annual lunch' in Perth on August 30. The goal of the 'parkrun annual lunch' is to create an annual focal point for all parkrun communities in the state to gather socially outside of the usual Saturday morning parkrun environment. All proceeds from this event will go towards launching further parkrun events in the state. We aim to hold similar events in key parkrun cities across the country on an annual basis but have chosen Perth as the host city for this inaugural event. And to top things off cricket legend and Suncorp Bank ambassador Adam Gilchrist is confirmed as guest speaker, it is sure to be a day to remember!

Click here for more info.

‘Come back Bella!!!’ by Brenton Clark

On Saturday morning my little Staffy Bella and I went down to watch my wife Nearida run at Gungahlin parkrun. I had been recovering from a minor injury and was in the middle of tapering for next week's marathon in Townsville. Bella is quite the runner and she usually runs with my wife and I on most of our training runs, whether they be tempo runs, interval training or even the dreaded Sunday long runs. So after a week of limited running she was highly irritable seeing all the runners take off to begin their 5km run.

After all the runners had passed I let her off the chain to allow her to walk around the park and harass the local ducks, but Bella decided she didn't want to do that. Instead she took off in hot pursuit of the runners. I tried to chase her down for about a kilometre but I couldn't catch her. So I went back to the start/finish line hoping she might just come back. Well she did come back...crossing the finish line in third place in a respectable 18:58!

I was highly apologetic to the runners who came through with her, however they all commented on her good manners - sticking to the left of the path and clearing the way of ducks (her mortal enemy). She even had time to go for a quick dip in the lake apparently.

Anyway I would like to congratulate Bella on an unaccompanied 5km PB and also to apologise to the organisers, ducks and runners of Gungahlin parkrun for being such an irresponsible dog owner.

Unfortunately Nearida, Bella and I will be relocating soon to the UAE - meaning no more parkruns! Thanks for what has been a lot of fun this year participating at Gungahlin, we have really enjoyed it!

‘What I did next…’ by Kelly Daly

The year that I started Kawana parkrun was also my final year of studying nutrition and dietetics at The University of the Sunshine Coast. I have always been a huge advocate for health and wellbeing, and parkrun was my way of contributing to a healthier community. Near the end of my time as Event Director at Kawana parkrun, I was starting to work on a new, somewhat crazy, cookbook idea. 10 months later and this crazy cookbook is coming to life!

My cookbook is called The Bare Basics, and it is exactly what the name suggests:
Bare - loaded with gorgeous, local, bare guys to make cooking much more appealing;
Basics - to teach all the basics of cooking, from how to boil an egg to how to make your own custard or Sunday Roast.

We have completed all the photography for the book (and even had some parkrunners involved!) and are now moving onto the Graphic Design phase. We have had 5 individuals involved with putting this book together (including Melissa Erbacher, the current Kawana ED!), and we couldn't be more excited to see it on the shelves in December!

Please click here to find out more about The Bare Basics.

Upcoming Special Events

2 - Blackbutt 1st anniversary (NSW), Claisebrook Cove (WA) 2nd anniversary, Victor Harbor (SA) launch
9 - Wishart (Qld) launch
16 - Hobart (Tas) launch
23 - Singleton (NSW) launch, Mt Clarence (WA) launch, Hervey Bay (Qld) launch, Maribyrnong (Vic) launch
30 - Cairns 1st anniversary (Qld), Capalaba (Qld) launch, Lake Joondalup (WA) launch, Balyang Sanctuary (Vic) 2nd anniversary

6 - Warwick (Qld) 1st anniversary, Broadbeach Waters (Qld) launch, Blue Gum Hills (NSW) launch, Heirisson Island (WA) launch
13 - Wynnum (Qld) 2nd anniversary, Inverloch (Vic) launch, Diamond Creek (Vic) cancelled
20 - New Farm (Qld) 3rd anniversary
27 – Merimbula (NSW) 1st anniversary, Toowoomba (Qld) 1st anniversary, Tamworth (NSW) launch, Bowral (NSW) launch

Feedback from the field

John Mayne - Woke up early, had a Coles 80c coffee, $1 Boost chocolate bar and then arrived at Stones Corner parkrun realising I was only wearing slippers, so after quickly thinking on my feet (pun 100% intended), I decided to run barefoot for 5km. I don't know if it was the extra adrenaline that resulted from desiring the experience to be over as quick as possible, or something about the natural momentum that springs from running barefoot on concrete, but the end result was a PB of 22:34, smashing the previous benchmark by about 40 seconds. #barefootrunner

Bede Webster - The below photo is of me (in the red top and loud shorts) on my way to a very pleasing PB of 18:29 and in the process topping the age gradings for Tuggeranong parkrun last weekend. What’s interesting for our sponsor adidas is the top that I’m wearing. My younger brother Greg brought that back for me from the World Cross Country Championships in Switzerland in 1986 where he represented Australia in the Under 20 division. I’ve worn it ever since in the colder months in Canberra (and let’s face it, there are more of them than there are warmer months). 28 years on and still going strong! With 78 parkruns under his belt and a PB of 16:51, Greg hasn’t really slowed down much over the past 28 years either.

Chelsea Hunter - The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder provided a community grant to support the setup of parkrun in the Goldfields. parkrun has proved to be a very popular free weekly community event with a number of important outcomes for the City. parkrun has been extremely well organised and has significantly enhanced recreation opportunities in the City, all the outcomes have been overwhelmingly positive.

Gary Clarke - Despite being involved with Tuggeranong parkrun since its inaugural in Feb 2013, running 6 other events in 3 states with my wife Denise as a parkrun tourist, volunteering 28 times and working for others as a pacer in Superman and Batman disguise - today was all about self-indulgence. Today, on my 44th birthday, I ran my 44th parkrun at Tuggeranong and entered the 50 club (looking forward to the shirt in my favourite colour - "PB Red")!! To top it off, one of my ‘parkrun family’ agreed to pace me to a PB, which has eluded me since April 2013. I'm happy to say that having been pushed beyond any previous pain barriers, I crossed the line in 21:58 - finally cracking the 22 minute barrier and breaking that elusive PB by 5 seconds!! What made it even more enjoyable, was the number of people who celebrated with me and congratulated me either at the park or over breakfast (and CAKE!) at our local cafe. Denise and I love parkrun, we love our Tuggeranong parkrun family and will always believe that there is never ever a better way to start the weekend. #loveparkrun

Solita H - Every year we run an inter-office 4km fun run between our three Brisbane offices. I took up parkrun to get some consistent running in my exercise roster and to try and improve my time and speed over the shorter distances just for this event. We just had our run for 2014 and at the ripe old age of 42 I was not only the fastest female from my office but 2nd fastest female of all the female competitors and 26th out of 118 participants. For the first time in as long as anyone can remember, our office moved from third (last) to second position. Overall a great team effort and I felt I was able to contribute because of parkrun. Being able to participate in parkrun has really helped me achieve my goals and has made my office very happy to achieve a 2nd place. Thank you.

Andrew Dodson - After over 20 parkruns at North Lakes I was still struggling to get under 29 minutes. My problem is that I do not push myself hard enough and needed a helping hand to bring the best out of me. Then along came Mike who was a pacer at Saturday’s run doing a run at 29 minutes. I could not have achieved by best effort without Mike's encouragement and help, he was great.

Drop me an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.

Volunteer Profile

Name:  Jo Cootes

Age:  40

Home parkrun:  Mitchelton

Occupation:  Self Employed Mum!

Number of runs:  64 + 1, my husband stole one from me!

PB:  24:46 and now living in retirement somewhere up around the 58:06 ish!

Number of times volunteered:  12

Favourite volunteer role:  Finish tokens and Run Director

What do like about volunteering at parkrun:  Pretty much everything, I love the community and can fully appreciate the importance of the systems that are in place, it really is just too easy! I like that I feel equally joyous after volunteering at parkrun as I do when participating in a parkrun.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Many funny and some awesome memorable moments as a participant, however as a volunteer, the memorable moments are always on the finish line for me. I love to see the guts and determination of our runners and share in the highs from the PBs. I’m a relatively new runner so I’m always interested in the stories of how and when parkrunners got into running and how they achieve training around family, work etc. But the most memorable moment by far was celebrating the 1st Anniversary of Mitchelton parkrun. It was a pleasure to be on the ground and volunteer at this event, it was a resounding success. There was a sense of pride from many at what had been achieved over the year and a feeling that the community was coming together to celebrate. I do cherish that my own kids have grown up around the parkrun spirit and I’m hoping they can follow on from me and volunteer in the next couple of years.

How can we improve parkrun:  As above-mentioned, your systems in place really do make it that easy just to turn up and volunteer, any parkrun, anytime, but recently I’ve been walking parkrun and had more time to be the eyes and ears of the course and maybe tail runners should carry walkie talkies! Or just simply check in with a RD on the day and sync phones if this is not already happening!


Barcode reminder


Printed barcodes are used at all our events to record your result. Please click here to collect and print your barcode. No barcode = No result = No exceptions. To order your barcode on a durable plastic key tag as shown above please click here. #dfyb (don't forget your barcode).
No printed barcode, no result.

All questions answered

Do you have a question about parkrun? How do I collect my club T-shirt? How do I get my barcode? All your questions are answered on our brand new support site

Volunteering at parkrun

We ask every parkrunner to volunteer 3 times a year. When volunteering you receive the maximum number of points towards the yearly competition.

Children at parkrun

All children under 11 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Guardians must ensure that children place themselves appropriately so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken at the start. This is to ensure the safety of your child.

Our Sponsors

adidas investing in parkrun

all out performance

adidas has been focused on athlete's performance since the first running spikes were made in the 1920's earning the first Olympic gold medal in adidas shoes. Today, adidas is proud to be supporting parkrunners everywhere. Explore adidas running

stockland investing in parkrun

building our future

Stockland is Australia’s largest diversified property group. We develop and manage residential communities, retirement living villages and retail centres – the building blocks of thriving communities. Explore Stockland