welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s edition of the newsletter we celebrate the wonder that is cake, ask you to show us your parkrun and hear from the Gungahlin parkrun team.
It is said that during the French Revolution Queen Marie Antoinette uttered the phrase “Let them eat cake” upon learning that her people were starving and could not even afford a simple loaf of bread. Although her use of the phrase was derogatory, in a modern day parkrun context it could take on a whole new meaning as with each passing week another anniversary event seems to churn out yet another spectacular celebratory cake. Last Saturday was no exception when not one, not two, not three… but six incredible parkrun cakes were on show!
Mudgeeraba parkrun were always going to have a great cake as Wendy Legg, wife of co-Event Director Stuart, has long had a reputation as a baker-extraordinaire harking back to her days supporting Dawn Courage at Kingscliff parkrun. You’ll actually get cake or some other baked goods most weeks at Mudgeeraba!
I was lucky enough to be at Darwin parkrun to see what I’m sure was the first parkrun cake to feature crocodiles. We actually considered having the cake before the run just in case it melted during but sanity prevailed and we decided to wait!
Both Kawana parkrun and Bunbury parkrun had a nautical theme with their cakes. Kawana had a lot to live up to as their cake last year really set the standard for all future parkrun cakes to live up to, and Event Director Mel Erbacher certainly didn’t disappoint. I can only imagine what they will come up with for their 3rd anniversary?
North Lakes parkrun celebrated their Hawaiian themed event with a suitably tropical looking chocolate cake. And Westerfolds parkrun… well, what can I say about their cake other than AMAZING! I think they must have been inspired by Kawana’s 2013 effort and gone all-out to top it by including 3D elevation, km markers, start-finish flags, tress, a river… they even used parkrun wallpaper around the base!
On a serious note, all of these crazy cakes got me thinking about their real significance within parkrun and two key words kept popping up: pride and community.
The reason I think these Event Directors and their teams go to such incredible lengths to present these beautiful cakes is because they are just so proud of their little parkrun events. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to start up a parkrun and the anniversary is the perfect time to ‘let it all out’ and show the world how happy they are with their ‘babies’.
Of course once the cakes have been displayed for all to see the next step is to eat them and I think this shared activity is a metaphor for the sense of community that has been developed within each parkrun event, and more broadly across parkruns the world over. We are a big family that runs together and, occasionally, eats cake together. Some might argue the cake is even more important than the run!
I’ll finish with a quote from Westerfolds parkrunner Michael Miriklis –
“Westerfolds course is tough! But today, most of us ate it up!”
Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
Essential Stats for Australia & Singapore
Number of locations – 97
Number of runners – 13,223
Number of PBs – 2,337
Number of first timers – 2,194
Number of volunteers – 887
Number of members – 149,377
As many of you are now proud owners of the official parkrun t-shirt we think it would be fun to start a new photo segment in the newsletter where you can wear (or hold) the shirt in an exciting location… or perhaps even with a celebrity! Think “standing in front of Uluru” or getting the lads from One Direction wearing it!!! I’m sure you get the drift.
Once you have the photo please email it to us and post it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #showusyourparkrun
‘Gungahlin parkrun first anniversary’ by Brendan Brady
What do you get when you take two Gungahlin parkrunners then double them, double them, double them, double them, double them, double them and double them again? You get 256 Gungahlin parkrunners. That's how many participants we had at our 1st Anniversary event recently. Yes Gungahlin parkrun is growing exponentially!
As well as being our biggest attendance ever it was also an opportunity for us to award our points winners their medals and recognise our big improvers, our organising team and our star volunteers. After one year we can say that we have created a running community in the rapidly growing northern Canberra region of Gungahlin and have introduced many people to the running lifestyle.
parkdog of the week
Say hello to Princess Nala Sarabi, our ‘parkdog of the week’.
"I am Princess Nala Sarabi, a 7mth old Cavoodle (Cavalier King Charles Poodle X). My owner is Miss Kat and her mum is Kaz. This is my first parkrun but the Praminator and Miss Kat have done it many times with a PB of 25:28. Kazs' PB is 22:26. Kaz is hoping Miss Kat and I will be running on our own soon, cause I am the fastest little pooch at New Farm Puppy Park & could definitely take down the Praminator's time."
FAQ - How do I update my email address?
You can update your email address by either:
- Following the 'Update my details' link contained in the weekly newsletter or your results email, which you receive whenever you run.
- Clicking on the link to 'collect and print your barcode' contained in your registration confirmation email.
Once in 'Your Links' please click Update and make your changes.
If you can't find this link, you can request a link to your parkrun profile.
If this does not work, or you don't have access to the email address you used to register with parkrun, then please get in touch.
Upcoming Special Events
1 - South Bank (Qld) 2nd anniversary, Maitland (NSW) 1st anniversary, Armidale (NSW) cancelled
8 - Diamond Creek (Vic) 1st anniversary, Launceston (Tas) 2nd anniversary, Geographe Bay (WA) launch
15 - Albert Melbourne (Vic) 3rd anniversary, Calamvale (Qld) launch, Shepparton (Vic) cancelled, South Bank (Qld) cancelled
22 – Sandgate (Qld) 2nd anniversary
29 – Minnippi (Qld) 1st anniversary, Lillydale Lake (Vic) cancelled, The Beaches (NSW) launch
6 – Torrens (SA) 2nd anniversary, Mt Gambier (SA) 1st anniversary, Bunyaville (Qld) 1st anniversary, Lakeview (NSW) 1st anniversary
13 - Stanthorpe (Qld) Launch
Feedback from the field
Vin Martin - A little trivia for you all. The oldest runner in the Melbourne Marathon was not the Japanese runner referred to in last week’s newsletter, but Antony Martin, VM85-89. Antony is a parkrunner holding age category records at a handful of Victorian events (and maybe nationally as well). Antony has run every Melbourne Marathon except one and is quite famous on the local scene. What is certain though is that Siew Weng Hooi won his age category in the marathon (75+) and that is where the organisers lodged Antony whose time of 6 hrs 46 is still quite respectable for an 86 year old!!!
Jon Trolan - Just writing a quick email to all those involved with New Farm parkrun. I have been a runner for over ten years yet only came across the concept of parkrun over 6 months ago through a friend. I ran my first two in under 21 minutes which made me realise that a lifelong goal of a sub 20 5km outdoor run on record was maybe just possible (had ran 19.39 on a treadmill but as they say "treadmills get you nowhere" and that time counts for nothing). Then just as I was getting fit and ready to try for this goal I incurred not one but four injuries in a row putting me out for the best part of 6 months. Only recently did I start running again despite still not fully recovered from four fractured ribs and bursitis in my shoulder. However, on Saturday past low and behold I ran only my third ever parkrun and got a sub 20 which is not bad for a 31 year old. I could never have done it without the help of parkrun and fantastic spirit amongst all participants. Now that I have reached my goal I hope to become a pace setter to help others achieve their goals. Thanks to everyone involved!!
Rachel Pepper Walsh - In honour of International Children’s Week, the youngsters at Carine Glades parkrun took on all the volunteer roles on Saturday and did a fantastic job! Naturally, the marshals & tail runner were either over the age of 11, or accompanied by a parent while on the course, the others were supervised by myself. The kids all seemed to enjoy themselves, and the runners thought the kids were great!
Nicki Burgess - I am 44 years of age and on dialysis as I have end stage kidney disease. I am now a Saturday morning parkrun addict. My home town is Armidale and the organisers are fantastic. The support I have found has been truly incredible. My husband started us off first and I was nervous on my first ‘parkwalk’ but now nothing will stop me. I have a kidney transplant in 4 weeks and after that will be back into ‘parkwalk’ ASAP. In my few months doing Armidale parkrun I have improved my PB by 7 minutes, have lost 6kg and feel much fitter to go into my transplant. My highlight is having my family all doing it on a Saturday morning and seeing all the runners get much fitter as they improve each week. So to those people who have a chronic illness, parkrun (or walk in my case) is a great way to get fit and stay as well as possible.
Mark Gilbert - Last Saturday my friend Leah Rosevear and I ran at Mudgeeraba parkrun, Event 53. There they were celebrating their 1st Anniversary. We have had the opportunity to run at several different parkrun courses, including the inaugural parkrun Australia event at Main Beach. Having both been involved in the volunteering side of parkrun over the years, we know the work and time that goes into making sure weekly events run smoothly. Can we pass on our congratulations to Mudgeeraba parkrun Event Directors Stuart and Carl and all their magnificent volunteers in organising such a well managed event. Their preparation and communication was outstanding. Happy birthday Mudgeeraba parkrun... job well done!
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: Lauren Stone
Club: Lunchtime escapees! (Not actually associated with a club, but I run every lunchtime at work)
Home parkrun: Tuggeranong
Occupation: Public servant
Number of runs: 16
Number of times volunteered: 5
Favourite volunteer role: I have two: firstly I love marshalling at the halfway mark as it gives me the opportunity to jump around, dance, sing and generally provide other (mostly uninspiring!) encouragement to the runners. This role lets the attention-seeker in me shine! Secondly I love timekeeper, primarily because I love the pressure that comes with it (and seeing people make PBs), but also because I particularly enjoy scaring the run director when they ask me (for the 5th time) "it's definitely working?" by answering "it's supposed to still be on 00:00, right?"!!
What do like about volunteering at parkrun: I love the sense of community and the opportunity to contribute to something that I feel so passionate about, and which has brought so much enjoyment to my life. And I'm a huge fan of orange vests. Just generally.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: Absolutely the most memorable has been literally freezing to death scanning barcodes during the Canberra winter. No feeling in my fingers, toes, nose or tail! (Happy to report that all extremities defrosted quite well).
How can we improve parkrun: I think just advertising it more; e.g. making sure people are following their local parkrun on Facebook where they can see requests for volunteers in their newsfeed.