welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s edition of the parkrun Australia newsletter we welcome a legend to St Peters, reflect on a huge weekend of racing across the country and offer you another chance to runPositive.
I normally spend most of Monday compiling and writing this newsletter, making sure everything is 100% and entertaining enough to keep you all interested. Unfortunately for me the time is now 9pm on Monday night and I have only just plonked myself down in front of the computer after spending a long weekend in Sydney. So here goes…
And what a weekend it was. On Saturday we were honoured to have ultra-running legend Pat Farmer ‘parkrunning for peace’ at our event in St Peters. In May Pat spent 20 days in the Middle East to show a united front of peace through running and since his return he has been continuing to spread this message here in Australia. I had never met Pat or his wife Tania before however they felt like old friends when I found them in the big crowd that had gathered in Sydney Park. Pat was then good enough to get up and say a few words prior to the start of the run and then we were off… although there was no way I was keeping up with Pat as I was pushing my daughter Evie in the pram. I was also saving myself for a little fun run the next day…
After the run I was able to have a good chat with Pat at the little café in Sydney Park. Pat had organised for Jackie Lauff, co-founder and CEO of Sport Matters, to join us. Without going into too much detail, Sport Matters is dedicated to making a difference in people's lives using the power of sport as a tool for development in Australia, the Pacific, Asia and Africa. Watch this space as we are hoping to get involved with Sport Matters in the future.
So, that ‘little fun run’ I mentioned above was obviously Sydney’s iconic City2Surf. It was my first time taking part in the largest fun run on the planet and it didn’t disappoint. As I’m currently training for the Sydney Marathon in September I hadn’t tapered for the race and as such didn’t have a clear race plan or goal time. I really just wanted to feel good and enjoy the run and, other than all of the dodging and weaving through the crowd over the first couple of kilometers, I had a brilliant time. The atmosphere was like nothing I had ever experienced and it was such a thrill to come running down onto Bondi Beach after a solid 14km. I saw quite a few parkrunners out and about pounding the pavement however I’m sure there were hundreds, if not thousands, of you who took part. I hope you all achieved whatever it was that you wanted to and, most importantly, had fun.
But the City2Surf wasn’t the only big event happening on Sunday as many of our parkrunners in Western Australia took part in the Perth Half Marathon (see report by Clinton Bishop below). I know plenty of you ran personal best times on what was reportedly a flat and very fast course so well done to everyone who had a run.
Lastly, you may remember a few weeks back I highlighted the incredible time posted by Lavinia Petrie at Lillydale Lake parkrun in Victoria. Well I’m not sure what it is specifically about that event that is attracting elite runners but on Saturday Whaddon Niewoudt was first across the line in 16:44. Whaddon represented his native South Africa for many years and has a 5000m PB of 13:32. Better tell the paparazzi that Lillydale Lake parkrun is the place to be!
Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
p.s. Only 52 days until International parkrun Day 2014.
Essential Stats for Australia & Singapore
Number of locations – 83
Number of runners – 8,855
Number of PBs – 2,170
Number of first timers – 1,480
Number of volunteers – 719
‘Something in the water’ by Clinton Bishop
So parkrun is a free weekly timed 5km run at a park near you and that’s all there is to it? Well not really, there’s a lot more to it. Something else is happening within the parkrun community in WA. While 5km is great fun, plenty of parkrunners are challenging themselves to up their distance and they are bringing the same supportive vibe from 8am Saturday to other events.
The latest example of this was the WAMC Perth half marathon on Sunday the 10th of August, over 30 parkrunners completed the event, many completing a half marathon for the first time. Whole groups of people who have been introduced to running by parkrun, and who had previously never considered themselves runners are completing longer and longer events. And of course it’s impossible to bring that many parkrunners to an event without bringing some of the famous parkrun spirit, high 5s on the course, runners who had already finished heading out to pace others in, finished runners cheering people as they ran past the “parkrun base camp” and in one of the true acts of heroism, injured runner Wade Davis setting up the base camp and organizing a sausage sizzle for finishers, ably assisted by my sausage chef daughter Abbey Bishop. Is there anything better than a snag in a bun after 21.1 km? Well if there is I haven’t tried it (Some may say a beer to wash it down, but I couldn’t possibly comment).
There’s no sign of it stopping either, parkrun WA is the 3rd largest team registered for the City to Surf later this month, with runners registered in the 12, 21.1 & 42.2 distances. The Kalgoorlie pipeline marathon ran this Sunday as well included many parkrunners and was won by our own Tony Smith. There is also a contingent currently training for the 6 inch trail ultra-marathon on the 21st of December.
We all know parkrun is the best place to get your weekend started, it’s also fast becoming the best runners support network around.
parkrunners registered to run B2B can still runPositive
If you’ve signed up to run alongside 40,000 other runners at The Sunday Mail Suncorp Bank Bridge to Brisbane on 7 September, will you be wearing your free personalised runPositive singlet or blending in to the crowd?
Celebrate your participation in Queensland’s largest fun run with the Suncorp Bank runPositive program and you could secure your very own runPositive singlet, with your reason to run printed across the front*.
Whether you’re taking part on behalf of a loved one; raising funds for a charity; or just showing your kids you can do it, runPositive is a program designed to support your run.
While the parkrun Australia singlets have been fully exhausted, you can still join runPositive via the Bridge to Brisbane bespoke entry form to gain a personalised singlet to wear on event day. Hurry though as once all singlets are gone, that’s all folks!
Click here to find out more and join the passionate runPositive crew at Bridge to Brisbane.
*Terms and conditions apply. The opportunity to receive a runPositive singlet for Bridge to Brisbane closes Friday 22 August 2014.
The Promoter is Suncorp-Metway Ltd ABN 66 010 831 722 ("Suncorp Bank"). Terms and conditions apply to the runPositive promotion. NSW Permit Number 14/03612, LTPS/14/03625.
Inaugural parkrun annual lunch
As announced recently, 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
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, Riverway (Qld) cancelled
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
Andy Turner & Hayley Regan - We just wanted to drop you a quick email following our visit to South Bank parkrun on Saturday 2nd August. As we are currently visiting friends and sightseeing in Australia we took the opportunity to try a run in nicer winter weather than we are used to in the winter in the UK. Firstly I would like to say what a warm welcome we received on Saturday morning from the organisers, volunteers and runners. It was a great atmosphere before and after the event and we were made to feel completely at home. Secondly we loved the course. South Bank is a fantastic location for parkrun and even caused me to lose time stopping and taking a few photos on the way round. We have run at various events before in the UK but we both agreed that this was the best location ever!!! When we next visit this wonderful city we will certainly be joining you again to gain new personal bests. Thanks again for your hospitality.
Kitty Drok - Just wanted to do a huge shout out to Dan Baldwin today. As Run Director at Canning River parkrun, he did an excellent job of touching base with all the volunteers beforehand, handing out his number to all the marshals and keeping everyone in the loop. Then an excellent pre-run briefing - enough trivia and stats to keep everyone listening, while still delivering the core messages, enormous acknowledgement for the volunteers, which I'm sure was appreciated, and also helped raise awareness and fill the roster for the coming weeks. One of the best briefings I've heard. The run itself went without a hitch, even with a large amount of first-timers and non-registered runners. And then he processed the results and got them all out before he'd even ordered his own breakfast! Yay Dan - love Canning River parkrun!
Kathy Rae – The lady in the photo below is Barbara Fox in the 70-74 Age Group who has completed 11 parkruns at Penrith Lakes and also does Dragon Boat Racing. The Pendragons are Penrith Lake's biggest parkrun group, many are Mature Aged and walk or run the course before then training on the Lake for their Dragon Boat Racing. On Saturday Barbara finished her parkrun and then went back to find her husband who finished 13 Minutes later and was doing his first parkrun. He is Ronald Fox, in the 75 to 79 Age Group and completed his parkrun using a walking stick. This photo is Barbara and her husband holding hands as Ronald was heading to the finish line. Amazing!
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: Blair Habberjam
Home parkrun: Cleveland
Number of runs: 74
Favourite volunteer role: I can't decide: Pacer - I still get to run and hopefully help someone else push themselves to achieve their goal; Timekeeper - such a simple but feared job and you get to see everyone's sense of relief as they cross the line and the pain is over.
What do like about volunteering at parkrun: I like that all the jobs are easy and it's such a simple contribution that you can make to enable parkrun to survive! ...plus it gives you an opportunity to see that regardless of ability, everyone goes through the same amount of suffering that you do whether they're sub-20 or a sub-40.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: From a personal perspective, having a pacer drag me to complete a PB by around 30 seconds will stick with me for a long time. Secondly, it's always funny to see our Event Director try and restrain herself when something is done that is not to her exact specifications...let it go Olivia you control freak