welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s edition of the parkrun Australia newsletter we hear from ultra legend Pat Farmer, bid a fond farewell to our founding sponsor and Claisebrook Cove parkrun turns 2.
From time to time in this role I get to meet some pretty high profile people: A few months back I went for a run with cricket great Adam Gilchrist at the launch of the Suncorp Bank runPositive program; At various events I've met past and present adidas sponsored athletes such as Craig Mottram (running), Cate Campbell (swimming) and Scotty Prince (rugby league); and of course running legends like Ron Clarke (Patron of parkrun Australia), Rob de Castella and Steve Moneghetti are often in the mix when I attend large running events like the Gold Coast Airport Marathon or Sydney Running Festival. I guess as General Manager of parkrun Australia this is just part of the job however I still get a kick out of it, so it was very cool when I answered my phone last week to hear “Hi Tim, this is Pat Farmer” from the other end!
For those of you unfamiliar with Pat's exploits let me fill you in. Pat is a multiple world record holder for endurance running. He has run across Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam and North America. Pat served 8 years as a Member of Australia’s Parliament, with 3 years as Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Science and Training. Between April 2011 and January 2012, Pat successfully completed the world's longest ultra-marathon, a ‘Pole to Pole Run’ from the North Pole to the South Pole, covering some 21,000 km (or 4,200 parkruns) and raising $100,000 for Red Cross International. In fact during his 20 year running career Pat has raised millions of dollars for causes including Lifeline, Cancer Council and Diabetes Australia. The man is a LEGEND!
And best of all, he loves parkrun! Pat has 26 parkruns under his belt, 23 of those at St Peters, with an impressive PB of 19:09. Keeping it in the family Pat’s wife Tania has done 59 parkruns with 47 at St Peters, so the Farmers are certainly advocates for what we do.
So why was Pat calling me?
In May this year Pat completed a 20 day run from Lebanon to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, aptly named the Middle East Peace Run. I will let Pat tell you more below. I find this, and Pat’s other exploits so inspiring (I’m sure many of you do too) and as such Pat has suggested we dedicate parkrun this Saturday to peace. Given the amount of conflict that is evident in the world today I can think of no better concept to dedicate my 5km parkrun to this week. I do want to be clear however that this isn’t a political statement as that is not what parkrun is about. Peace can be anything you want it to be so it’s up to you what it means in your life.
For those of you who are interested Pat and I will be running St Peters parkrun this Saturday and will be attaching a white ribbon (or perhaps a shoelace) to our running singlets as a visual show of peace. We invite all of you, no matter where you are parkrunning this Saturday, to do the same and celebrate the freedom and peace we enjoy here in Australia.
On Sunday I will be running my first City 2 Surf. To say I’m excited would be an understatement and I want to wish all the best to those of you who will also be giving it your all in the sea of 80,000 people.
Lastly, in case you missed it, our very own Dave ‘Robbo’ Robertson became an international media star on Saturday morning when Sally Pearson made a beeline for him in the crowd after winning gold in the hurdles at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, “Having crossed the line, Pearson made for two supporters, known as Mossy and Robbo. One was wearing a kilt and the other was mugging Pearson with an inflatable kangaroo.” I can’t wait to hear the story behind this when Robbo returns from the UK. Robbo = legend!
Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
p.s. Only 59 days until International parkrun Day 2014
Essential Stats for Australia & Singapore
Number of locations – 80
Number of runners – 8,320
Number of PBs – 2,030
Number of first timers – 1,242
Number of volunteers – 699
Thank you adidas
In March 2011 I jumped on a plane to Melbourne for a meeting with adidas that had the potential to shape the future of parkrun in Australia. Upon arrival at adidas' Mulgrave headquarters I was warmly met by their Sports Marketing team and we chatted for a couple of hours about the parkrun concept, the history in the UK and our plans for Australia (Main Beach parkrun was still a month away from launch). adidas liked what they heard and decided to take a punt on me and on parkrun. Life hasn't been the same since!
Over the course of the last 3 years the support of adidas has been integral in our rapid growth from 1 to 81 events and over 130,000 registered runners. adidas have supplied us with event kit, volunteer uniforms, club shirts, shoes, prizes for competitions and, most importantly, the finance that has enabled us to mature into an increasingly successful organisation.
As of August 31 our partnership with adidas will come to an end and I would like to publicly thank adidas for their support over the last 3 years.
From the perspective of you, the parkrunners, it is business as usual. There will however be a restructure in how we supply you with the 50- and 100-club shirts that will be announced in a subsequent newsletter.
‘parkrun for peace’ by Pat Farmer
The purpose of my recent run in the Middle East (a run that took me from the Cedars of Lebanon into Jordan, down through the refugee camps there and on to the secret city of Petra, one of the seven wonders of the world, across the border from Aqaba to Elat in Israel and then on into the Palestinian territories of Jerusalem and Bethlehem) was to show a united front of peace through running. Instead of simply talking about a desire for peace in the world, I decided that people should commit their words to action and show tangible support for peace that couldn't be ignored by the media or governments. Running, like parkrun, is non-discriminatory. It involves women and men, young and old, regardless of nationality or religion. Its language is universal because we all feel the struggle to push on when our body is crying for rest and the elation of finishing and realising our untapped potential. I encourage parkrunners all over Australia to dedicate their parkrun to peace this Saturday. Please wear a white ribbon on your chest to show your support and if you believe as I do in peace, you can click here to see more of my Middle East Peace Run.
‘Claisebrook Cove parkrun is Two!’ by Dutch Holland
Saturday saw the second anniversary of Claisebrook Cove parkrun and indeed of the parkrun phenomenon in Western Australia, conditions were perfect for running (especially in fancy dress) - cool and clear with the sun just coming up when we arrived to set up.
The theme of the anniversary run was ‘Hero’s and Villains’ with plenty of people taking the opportunity to dress as a favourite character which raised plenty of eyebrows and a good few positive comments from the residents and park users of East Perth.
264 runners, 14 volunteers and a number of spectators attended to enjoy both the event and the celebratory cakes, biscuits and BBQ afterwards – a big thank you to all of those who baked and provided us all with an excellent spread.
We had a number of parkrun tourists from around the state and even some international representation from UK and Canada, thanks for coming guys – you picked a great day to visit.
Some personal milestones were also achieved at the event with Amanda Dear, Ash Walker, Steven Grobler and Claire Natalie Wardle joining the 50 club, Claire scored the double as she also managed a PB and Cameron Storey (Jnr) became one of the few runners in WA to qualify for a hundred shirt, also doing it in style with a PB – excellent
achievements all round, look forward to seeing you join the sea of red and trickle of black parkrun shirts on display every Saturday morning.
Thank you to all of the runners, volunteers and sponsors who made this event a great success, hope we see you all regularly throughout our third year.
Sunshine Coast Marathon
The Queensland Government has given us 10 entries to give away for the Sunshine Coast Marathon on Sunday 31 August. The entries can be used for the marathon, half marathon, 10km or 5km events. To enter the draw, you will need to attend one of our Sunshine Coast parkrun events prior to 31 August – so that's either Kawana parkrun, Golden Beach parkrun or Noosa parkrun. Over the next two weekends, each parkrun event will give away a free entry at random, but you have to be there to have a chance to win! Thank you to the Queensland Government and the 7 Sunshine Coast Marathon for this fantastic opportunity. Good luck!
Inaugural parkrun annual lunch
As announced last week, 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.
Upcoming Special Events
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, Pakenham (Vic) launch, Penrith Lakes (NSW) cancelled
27 – Merimbula (NSW) 1st anniversary, Toowoomba (Qld) 1st anniversary, Tamworth (NSW) launch, Bowral (NSW) launch
Feedback from the field
Mick Cassey – Lake Mac parkrun provides an atmosphere that breeds fun. My son Byron (pictured below) loves the encouragement and fun of the morning. This was his 9th run and next week we are volunteering. More than anything I want Byron to experience just how good volunteering is. He's very keen.
Ged Sweeney - Last weekend was a really frustrating one as I knew I had done a PB but had to wait until I got my time of 23.01 whereupon I started cursing that I had not broken the 23 min barrier. This however, is by the by. In just over a week my family and I fly back to the UK for a few weeks visiting family and friends and I plan to run at Oxford and Newbury parkruns.
Liv Coop - Every Wednesday a bunch of parkrunners go for a run along the Cleveland parkrun course and this is what my kids found last week, right near our start line. The baby was the smallest koala I have ever seen, soooo cute! We are so lucky!
Renae Brock – I ran my 50th parkrun on Saturday with another Run Director from Lake Mac parkrun, Karen Barrett. We were very colourful!
Allison Hunter - One of our parkrunners, Louise Miller, just can't stay away from Kalgoorlie Boulder parkrun. Here she is just 4 days after giving birth! Louise didn't run but came to support her family and the rest of the parkrun family.
Rachel Murphy - Do you know that Lavinia Petrie has hardly lost any pace in 39 years? At the 1975 World Cross Country champs, Lavinia ran a time of 15:26 over 3.9km. I like the fact that back then she came 53rd but now she’s a world record holder. Hope for us all and inspiration to keep on running.
Kerry Bray - I have chased (from afar) Lavinia Petrie in many races. She is an amazing athlete and I congratulate her on her brilliant parkrun achievement.
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: John Day
Home parkrun: Cleveland
Number of runs: 55
Number of times volunteered: 4
Favourite volunteer role: Pacer
What do like about volunteering at parkrun: Just a good feeling to be helping in a small way.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: A lovely young lady shaking my hand after I was a Pacer, thanking me for helping with her run.