welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s edition of the newsletter we celebrate two huge milestones, an Aussie legend makes his parkrun debut and Kathy finds her smile, making the rest of us smile in the process.
This weekend our first event, Main Beach parkrun, turns 4. Thus parkrun Australia also turns 4. Happy birthday to us!
I can hardly believe that it has been 4 years since (then) Mayor of the Gold Coast, running legend and (now) Patron of parkrun Australia Ron Clarke yelled “Ready, GO!” and 108 runners made history by being Australia’s first parkrunners. In fact, these were the Southern Hemisphere’s first parkrunners; that sounds impressive!
When I look back at the results from Main Beach parkrun event #1 I take great pride in seeing that many of those parkrun pioneers are still running with us today, with 9 in the illustrious 100-club (Brian Peters, Paul Ewing, Julie Bryant, Adam Gimbert, Chris Docherty, Ethan Nihot, Thomas Hitchen, Karl Nihot & Renee Gimbert) and a further 11 in the 50-club (Karen McLeod, Paula Nihot, Ciarn Nihot, Mike Lalor, Brad Must, Michael Blair, Leah Rosevear, Mark Gilbert, Stephen Showell, Craig Pascoe & Tony Williams). A few points to note:
- Brian Peters now has a massive 193 parkruns to his name, the most of any Australian parkrunner. He is also a regular volunteer proving that you can run often and still do your bit for the community;
- Renee & Adam Gimbert went on to start Coomera parkrun in July 2012. They handed the reigns over last year and now Renee is our Territory Director for the whole Gold Coast; and
- The Nihots must have set some sort of record for most runs by a family unit with 468 between 5 of them. Well down Paula and Karl for being such a positive influence on your children.
So all of this is wonderful and makes me very proud. But it gets better as this weekend one of you is going to complete the 1 millionth parkrun in Australia!!! We are currently sitting in 995,190 runs so the 4,810th person to have their result processed this Saturday will become number 1,000,000… on our 4th birthday.
It couldn’t have worked out better if it was scripted.
Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
Essential Stats for Australia & Singapore – 28/03/2015:
Number of locations – 108
Number of runners – 14,564
Number of PBs – 3,656
Number of first timers – 1,932
Number of volunteers – 1,048
Numbers of runs (all time) – 995,190
Number of members – 191,741
Number of members (global) – 1,550,955
The Results Are In…
Earlier this month we joined forces with our national partner Stockland to produce a survey to try and understand just how healthy and happy our parkrunners are across the country. Well, the results are in and they make for good reading. In summary:
- 875 people completed the survey.
- More than 90% of respondents rated the last parkrun event they attended as very good or excellent. parkrunners in WA and Tasmania are more likely to rate the parkrun better than other events.
- Running was considered the favourite sporting activity irrespective of gender or life stage. While Men rated Reading as their favourite recreational and leisure activity, cooking was the highest for women.
- parkrunners have higher personal well-being than Australians overall.
- parkrunners regardless of age, gender or life stage are equally likely to agree that participating in parkrun increases their well-being.
So thanks to all of you who took the time to complete this survey, and special thanks to our friends from Stockland for their ongoing support.
‘Mona @ Shep’ by Allan Connolly
This week we had a very special first time parkrunner at Shepparton parkrun in Steve Moneghetti.
Steve, who is Australian running royalty, was in Shepparton to speak at a Rotary conference and was invited to parkrun by a member of the local Shepparton Runners Club. Steve not only created a new course record in a time of 16.26 but I am sure his presence also helped break our attendance record from 99 to 123. Everybody loved to have Steve there and it was great that he had photos taken with everyone and had time to sit and have a Q & A session.
It was quite amazing in the many different events that Steve has taken part in that this was his very first parkrun. I was talking to him about a parkrun in his home town of Ballarat and he believes that there has been some interest and some people are looking at it. So let’s hope this isn’t the last time we see Steve Moneghetti at a parkrun.
‘I Found my Smile at parkrun’ by Kathy Rae
I recently participated in The Pinkie Run with just a few running friends. It was great to see my friend Crystal and exciting to watch her daughter finish 4th in her race, both are from Campbelltown parkrun. It was also great to so see Mel and meet Linda, both from Parramatta parkrun. I was also proud to see a friend Rachel finish 2nd in the Triathlon and was happy to congratulate her and to be able to share in her excitement. I was pleased to be able to spend time with them all before and after the run.
It was good to complete my run as in previous weeks I had a randomly, annoying sniffly nose. With big fluctuations in the weather I had also been wheezy on a couple of days.
The run was on the 4th Anniversary of my husband's death and although I spent my time with just a few friends I appreciate that their company, hugs and conversation made a hard day enjoyable, memorable and special.
On Wednesday, three days later, it was the Wedding Anniversary that my husband is no longer alive to celebrate. On a day with sadness in my heart it was a day to try to be happy and to celebrate our son's 16th Birthday. He was born on our 10th Wedding Anniversary.
The following day an incident occurred which at another time I may have reacted differently to. However after being unwell and an emotional week it was the final straw. I felt deflated, angry and upset.
On Saturday I went to Penrith Lakes parkrun. I was volunteering in the carpark so it was good to see the friendly waves and smiles of those parkrunners I did know as well as those I haven't had the pleasure to meet yet.
I started doing my parkrun. There was not going to be much running as I was weighed down by a heavy heart, a mind full of angry thoughts and hurt feelings.
I completed my 1st km in 11.09, times 5 and I would be completing my run in about 56 Minutes.
Close to the 1km Mark I was encouraged by the photographer to smile which I did. I then ran a little and then some more completing my 2nd km in 8.30. It was great to be encouraged by my faster running friends as they lapped me. I was also grateful for the Hi 5s and positive comments from my friends running nearby at similar times to me.
I was amazed to see that I completed my run in 48 Minutes and not the anticipated 56 Minutes. I finished my run and saw that many of my faster friends had left. Again it was conversations and time spent with just a few friends that made my day enjoyable.
I had come to parkrun with a heavy heart but I am pleased that the photographer found and captured my smile. I left parkrun feeling positive, with a happy heart and most importantly with my smile.
Entertainment Books Are Back
The Entertainment Book, and the brand new Entertainment Digital Membership, are your guide to the most popular restaurants, attractions, shopping, travel and more, all with valuable up to 50% off and 2 for 1 offers. Purchasing your entertainment book through parkrun helps us in two ways:
- Approximately 20% from each book sold is donated directly to parkrun Australia.
- If 5 people from the same parkrun event make a purchase the Event Director will be provided with a FREE Entertainment Digital Membership.
Click here for more information or to purchase your Entertainment Book or Entertainment Digital Membership.
The Pointy End
Who are you? Parramatta parkrun VW60-64 age category record holder Rosemary Roediger who runs an incredible 20:07 / 95.11%. To put that in perspective Steve Monaghetti’s 16:26 at Shepparton on Saturday gave him an age graded score of 91.18%
How the hell do you run so fast? Running is in my genes as my 3 adult daughters all parkrun with me, my Dad won the Kalgoorlie Gift in 1943, my grandfather won races in Victoria (I have their trophies too).
How many km do you run in an average training week? Around 50km.
What type of training do you typically do? Weekly I do a track session, easy 10-13 km runs during the week and parkrun on Saturday.
How long have you been running and have you always been so damn good? I am now 60 and started to take running seriously at the young age of 45 when I retired from netball. I surprised myself in being a pretty handy runner!
What is your favourite distance? 5km and 10km.
Do you have a coach and do you train with a squad? I belong to Hills Athletics Club and train with a squad under Steve Whelan.
How much faster would you like to go? I would just like to keep injury free and run close to that 4 minute per km pace.
What big events do you want to run? This year is a big one as I will compete in the State Masters, National Masters and then off to France for World Masters in August.
As many of you are now proud owners of some of the official parkrun merchandise available from our online store we have started a new photo segment here in the newsletter where you can wear (or hold) the kit in an interesting and exciting location… or perhaps even with a celebrity!
Once you have the photo please email it to us or post it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #showusyourparkrun
This week’s entry is from Fingal Bay parkrunner Mel Butler who wore his limited edition t-shirt on the exact point of the equator in Ecuador on 15 March, 2015.
parkdog of the week
My name is Frankie. I am a 4 year old Labradoodle and arrived Down Under from the UK in October where I was a Cani-cross veteran. I love running with my Dad, Mick, at Rockingham parkrun when his shifts allow. After 6 parkruns my personal best is 25:56 and I seem to be getting quicker as the weather cools. People say I’m very friendly so if you see me around please come and say 'Hi' and give me a good pat.
FAQ - Why don't you use SSL?
Actually, we do for the important stuff (i.e. your data). It's just that not enough of the website does for the padlock to appear at the top in most browsers.
For the technically minded, the forms that handle registration are served via iframes to a site that does use SSL. If you inspect (right click, inspect element) the registration web page, you'll see we use an iframe to https://service.parkrun... etc.
We hope to make this far more consistent and fully SSL'd in the coming months as we roll-out a different registration and profile system.
Our profile pages for existing users are fully SSL'd, and you should see a padlock in your browser on all of these pages.
Upcoming Special Events
04/04 – Traralgon (Vic)
11/04 – Warragul (Vic)
18/04 – Sale (Vic)
02/05 – Rhodes (NSW)
09/05 – Altona Beach (Vic)
16/05 – Taree (NSW)
30/05 – Devonport (Tas)
04/04 – Main Beach (Qld) 4th
11/04 – Fingal Bay (NSW) 2nd
18/04 – Augustine Heights (Qld) 2nd
02/05 – Ginninderra (ACT) 3rd, Rockingham (WA) 2nd, Stones Corner (Qld) 1st, Cleveland (Qld) 2nd, Lillydale Lake (Vic) 1st
04/04 – Toowoomba (Qld), Pittsworth (Qld), Heirisson Island (WA)
11/04 – Heirisson Island (WA)
11/04 – Heirisson Island (WA)
25/04 – All events cancelled due to Anzac Day 100
02/05 – Geographe Bay (WA)
30/05 – Mitchelton (Qld)
Heirisson Island parkrun cancelled until after Anzac Day
For some weeks now there has been an ongoing protest by Aboriginal activists on Perth’s Heirisson Island. According to ABC News, “They have set up a have set up what they describe as a refugee camp for displaced Indigenous people as the Western Australian State Government prepares to close some remote Indigenous communities.”
We have been advised by City of Perth that there is no resolution to this issue imminent and that it would be wise to cancel Heirisson Island parkrun until it is resolved. So that’s just what we’ll do.
So as you can see above, Heirisson Island parkrun is now cancelled until after Anzac Day when we will then reassess the situation. Thanks in advance for your understanding.
Feedback from the field
Jennifer Hawkins - Completed my very first parkrun with you guys in Hobart this morning. Loved it and will definitely be back for more. Just waiting for my official time to come through!
Terry Baker - Completed my 100th parkrun today and the great people at Campbelltown parkrun supplied a cake and candles. 100 parkruns covering 16 different courses, 3 states and 1 territory. Highlights would have to be the only two runs where I was able to go under 30 minutes. Too many friends helped along the way but a BIG thanks to Neil Barnett who was on hand to get me those two sub 30s. Also thanks to Robert Prentice for getting Campbelltown parkrun up and well running. A few interesting things on the horizon including a possible parkrun tour in San Francisco later this year.
Matthew Briggs - I've been to three parkrun events and I'm absolutely loving it. I've been attending the Inverloch parkrun in Victoria and the support from everyone has been amazing. I got in touch with parkrun via their posters that were at the starting locations during a day trip to Inverloch. Previously I had never really run with large groups of people but I thoroughly enjoyed the Gippsland Centenary Rotary House run the week before in Traralgon and found it to be good timing that I then found out about parkrun the week after. With all the support from people during my runs I've now managed to break my PB 3 weeks in a row, starting from going 28:00 down to 26:30, then 25:30 and now 24:31. I never would have broken the magical 25 minute barrier if it wasn't for all the friendly people like Tony O’Connell, Sharna, Sarge, Tanya, Kat and many other people that have helped me get to where I am now. After my runs now I've started to run back and help other fellow runners to get to the end and will be doing this again at Inverloch parkrun this weekend. It's great to see someone get motivated and then break their personal bests, not to mention the great conversations you can have with people before during and after the run. I highly recommend Inverloch parkrun to anyone that loves to walk or run and be part of a great community. Will be looking forward to my next run and helping more people cross the finish line.
Jo Black – We had a significant milestone at Augustine Heights parkrun last Saturday; Toni Callioni became our first runner to join the 100-club and 7 year old Alexis Newey became our first junior to join the 50-club. At Toni's first event she ran a 37:30. Her PB is now 30:30. At Alexis’ first event she ran 44:50. Her PB is now 33:08. Well done Toni and Alexis on this great 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: Julie O'Brien
Home parkrun: Varsity Lakes
Number of runs: 73
Number of times volunteered: 15
Favourite volunteer role: Barcode scanning because I get to learn people's name and see the fast people finish - I always miss that when I'm on the course.
What do like about volunteering at parkrun: Varsity is a great course to watch the runners. Volunteers get to watch the runners emerge from the trees and head along the other bank of the lake. It’s good to see who emerges first and to try to estimate their pace and finish time.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: Seeing our runners reach milestones. We've just had runners run their 100th (Andrew) and 150th (Hans) runs at Varsity. They both give a lot to the group, so it’s great to celebrate their achievements. Seeing the kids be recognised for their 10 is great too.
How can we improve parkrun: I really don't know, but the volunteer t-shirt is a nice thought. We have some great volunteers who never run, so it will be nice to recognise them.