welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s edition of the newsletter we provide another update on our milestone t-shirts, a parkrun centurion discovers the hidden value of volunteering and we preview the Australian Running Convention.
On Saturday I had a RDOp… that’s a Rostered Day Off parkrun! These are rare and only happen in extreme circumstances. In this case it was because my wife and I were attending a wedding in Melbourne on Friday evening and having our first night away from our kids together since we became parents in July 2012. As such, we thought it might be nice to try and have a sleep in on Saturday morning!
However even though we didn’t make it to a parkrun I still had a lovely parkrun-related experience when I met Judy (pictured above) and Sean O’Donahoo from Cairns parkrun at the wedding (my mate Greg, the groom, is their nephew). They both told me how much they enjoy Cairns parkrun and about the fantastic community that Event Director Lorraine Lawson and her team have created. I’ll be getting up to Cairns for their 2nd anniversary in late-August and we hope to be launching in Atherton this year also so it could well be that I get to see Judy and Sean at a parkrun, rather than a wedding, in the not-too-distant future.
I often discuss in this newsletter our ‘Children at parkrun’ policy. It is also provided as a reminder for you all each and every week in the column on the right hand side of this page. This policy states – “Children under the age of eleven must be accompanied at all times by a parent, guardian or other designated adult of the parent's choice. It must also be ensured that children place themselves appropriately at the start so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken. This is to ensure the safety of your child.” It’s a pretty clear policy and, as stated, is only in place to ensure the safety of all children at parkrun. Despite this, week after week, many parents continue to ignore it. Just this week we had a 7 year old alone on the course who, when questioned, stated “Dad left me with Mum, but Mum’s too slow so I had run off to try and catch Dad.” This sort of thing may be ok elsewhere but it’s not ok at parkrun and it’s up to the parents to ensure that this policy is respected. If it continues to be ignored and abused we may end up having to deregister the parents involved and ask them not to return to parkrun. This would be an extreme measure but certainly something that is within our power. So please keep this in mind if you are running with your under 11 at parkrun this weekend and thanks to all of the wonderful parkrun parents who already follow this rule to the hilt.
This weekend we have our 2nd ‘parkrun powwow’ for 2015 in Merimbula. “What’s a parkrun powwow?” you ask. In a nutshell, it is a get-together of parkrun Event Directors and their teams in a designated location for a bit of fun and frivolity parkrun style. The format is generally the same with a dinner, a parkrun, some touristy stuff and another running event. This is exactly what we have planned for Merimbula with a dinner on Friday evening, Merimbula parkrun on Saturday morning, and the Merimbula Fun Run on Sunday morning. Our local Event Director Donella Roberts is also the Race Director of the Merimbula Fun Run and I’m really excited to be able to travel to her stunning town to support her endeavors. More to follow next week.
Speaking of supporting local events, parkrunners from all over South-East QLD and NSW joined Warwick parkrun Event Director Linda Coombes and many local Warwick parkrunners in a 5km road race which was the third of the Warwick Pentath events over the weekend. 1 Territory Director, 3 Event Directors, Run Directors, 50 clubbers, 100 clubbers and parkrunners in all sorts of dress were visible among the participants, some of whom managed to get into the group photo below. Well done everyone!
Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
Essential Stats for Australia & Singapore – 23/05/2015:
Number of locations – 118
Number of runners – 13,005
Number of PBs – 2,991
Number of first timers – 1,716
Number of volunteers – 1,085
Number of members – 205,928
Milestone T-shirts are Nearly Here
It's not long to go until we receive the brand-new milestone t-shirts from Tribesports. We know there is tremendous excitement and anticipation for these hard-earned t-shirts, so we hope the following update answers as many of your questions as possible.
Where are the new milestone t-shirts?
The Tribesports factory is finishing off the first run of 21,000 milestone t-shirts and preparing them to be boxed-up and shipped to the UK. They're scheduled to arrive in Southampton on the 23rd of June. Subject to clearing customs, the t-shirts will then be sent to Wiggle's warehouse ready for fulfillment.
So when will I get my shirt?
Since this is a very large consignment we will be carefully managing the fulfillment process. We expect to go live with the new system the week commencing Monday the 29th of June. When Tribesports stepped in to save the future of the parkrun milestone t-shirt in December, some people had unfortunately already been waiting for their t-shirt for several months. Our priority is that those who have been waiting longest will receive their shirts first. Therefore we will gradually allow access to the new system based on when a parkrunner qualified for their milestone t-shirt.
How will the process work?
For those working towards a milestone, your profile page will show how many events you've completed and how many more you need to complete before you reach the next milestone. If you are a parkrunner due a milestone t-shirt (or more than one if you have qualified for a combination of 10 (juniors only), 50, 100, 250, 500 or volunteer t-shirts), you will get a message in your profile (accessible through the link in your weekly newsletter email or results email) informing you that you are now entitled to claim your milestone t-shirt. A personalised link will then take you to the appropriate product page on our Wiggle-powered online store where you'll be able to order your t-shirt(s). The shirt itself will appear as free, but you will be required to pay postage unless additional items are added to your basket where you may then qualify for free postage. Standard tracked delivery is £1.99 in the UK and free if you spend over £10. For those outside the UK, check the Wiggle website for the equivalent in your country and currency. Once the order has been placed, your profile page will be updated to show that the t-shirt(s) have been claimed.
Click here for further information.
‘The Hidden Value of VOLUNTEERING’ by Gary Nisbet
I was getting close to my 100th parkrun when I asked my 6 year old grand-daughter, Sienna when she was going to do a parkrun with me. I was hoping she would say on my 100th run, which was a few months away. Unfortunately her response was NEVER, Pa! Very disappointed, I accepted her decision.
Sienna had previously volunteered as a marshal with me at South Bank parkrun on Christmas Day so when Capalaba had The Kids in Charge parkrun, I asked Sienna if she would like to participate. I was very taken back when she said she would help with the Barcode Scanning.
Shortly after that my son, David informed me that Sienna would like to accompany me at Tamborine Mountain for my 100th run and, with Vince's help, it was arranged that Sienna and I would jointly perform the Tail Runners duty.
My 100th run consisted of:
50 – Home at Sandgate
50 – Away
26 – Volunteering
I was hoping that Sienna would be able complete her very first parkrun, however Tambourine Mountain is quite a rigorous course at the best of times, let alone for a 6 year old girl. Also being a 2 lap course, I had my reservations that, after the 1st lap, Sienna might tire and be happy to bail out. Both Mum and Nanna were at the halfway mark as a precaution, but to their surprise Sienna was enjoying every step!
Prior to us completing the run, a very proud Dad ran to join us and watched as his now not so young little girl ran through the flags to receive her first parkrun token (Sienna No. 52 and Pa No. 53).
Never a prouder grand-father crossed a parkrun finish line! It was the best way to complete an amazing 2.5 year journey culminating in my 100th run, accompanied by my grand-daughter, Sienna.
Sienna informed me that the next time she participates she doesn't want to have to stay at the back! She wants to pass people!
I feel like King of the Mountain, well for now anyway.
So maybe having their children volunteer with them is something parents might want to consider as a way of introducing them to parkrun. For Sienna it was a real confidence booster. She has now gone from NEVER to can't wait to do her next parkrun. The smile on her face says it all.
ARC15 is coming!
The Australian Running Convention - is being held on Saturday 5th September at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne and parkrun will be there!
Whether you're brand new to parkrun or you're a seasoned 100-clubber, ARC15 has so much to offer you! And us! As for every Full Access ticket sold ($49) ARC will donate $10 to parkrun and for every General Admin ticket ($25) parkrun receives $5.
All we ask is that you enter 'parkrun' as your Partner Code during checkout (note, this is a different to the coupon code box). And then come and say hello on Sep 5!
Entertainment Books support parkrun
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.
This week’s entry is from Helen Lewsam who writes – “So many photos to choose from for our trip to the USA & Canada. This is my favourite though. Unfortunately we weren't at Chrissy Field for a Saturday parkrun, but we as a family enjoyed the walk around the course. It was lovely.”
parkdog of the week
My name is Buddy Mitchell and I’m a 3 year old Cavoodle… actually I’m more of a human than a dog but that’s another story. My great Merimbula parkrun adventure started 6 months ago when my human, Liz, decided to take up running. I’m so glad she did as we love the camaraderie and support of parkrun! Last Saturday I made my debut as a volunteer tailrunner with Liz who normally refuses to let me run… something about falling off the boardwalk into the lake! Anyway, I absolutely loved it, the atmosphere was so much fun, so many runners gave me a wave or a pat, I’m sure I smiled for the whole 5km.
Upcoming Special Events
30/05 – The Ponds (NSW), Devonport (Tas)
06/06 – Ballarat (Vic)
20/06 – Town of Seaside (Qld), Wangaratta (Vic)
27/06 – Jells (Vic)
11/07 – Dubbo (NSW)
30/05 – Mt Penang (NSW) 1st
06/06 – Berrinba (Qld) 1st, Canning River (WA) 2nd, Sandon Point (NSW) 2nd
13/06 – Frog Hollow (Vic) 1st, Mitchelton (Qld) 2nd, Shellharbour (NSW) 1st, Newy (NSW) 3rd
20/06 – Carine Glades (WA) 1st, East Coast Park (Singapore) 1st, North Shore (Qld) 2nd
27/06 – Gladstone (Qld) 2nd, Logan River (Qld) 2nd, Mornington Peninsula (Vic) 1st
04/07 – Aveley (WA) 2nd
11/07 – Gatton (Qld) 2nd, Pittsworth (Qld) 1st
18/07 – Noosa (Qld) 1st, Armidale (NSW) 1st
25/07 – Coomera (Qld) 3rd
30/05 – Mitchelton (Qld)
06/06 – Penrith Lakes (NSW)
04/07 – New Farm (Qld)
10/10 – Geographe Bay (WA)
03/10 – International parkrun Day
Feedback from the field
Tracy Leiper - It was a closely fought battle between the parkrun Orange and parkrun Green teams at the Ipswich Hospital Foundation's Trivia Night as we showed our support for one of the great local supporters of parkrun. And don't we all look different without our running gear on!
Joy Owen-Jones - I just thought I'd write to you as it was my first parkrun last weekend in Sandgate. Uplifting and energising! I loved every minute, (maybe not the 3rd km) but it was a fabulous experience seeing crowds of people of all ages coming together to better themselves in health and happiness and just joining in! It was an incredible feeling for me to walk into this mass of people that immediately have a common interest with each other. Being new to the area, 4 months, I thought this would be a great idea to help me see the 'real people of Sandgate'. This is definitely one of many more to come for me. I started running about 4 months ago so I am a beginner at this. It usually takes me approx 33-34 minutes for 5km but when I got my time through for the parkrun, I was shocked to see under 30 minutes! This has definitely boosted my confidence and from a person that couldn't even walk down the road without wheezing, I can't wait to get out there and just run! You all do an amazing job and without volunteers and contributors like yourself, we wouldn't have these fantastic family friendly events.
Nikki Waterfall - On Sunday 17th May, eighteen Diamond Creek parkrunners headed down to take part in the Great Ocean Road Half and Full Marathons. Many of us had only ever run 5kms before discovering a love of running longer distances through the encouragement, support and friendships developed through parkrun. You just never know where a casual jog around the park on a Saturday morning will take you.... or what you're capable of when you are surrounded by amazing people! We asked everyone to take some photos or video before, during and after their Great Ocean Road half or full Marathons. Remember, there were no scripts or no makeup artists. There were no rehearsals. What you see is real and raw, and captures that moment in time for each of us. Click here to take a look.
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: Dean Millett and Ian Penney, together for 12 years, married for 7
Age: (an average of) 44
Home parkrun: New Farm
Occupation: Nurse and Travel
Number of runs: 54 and 53 (Yay just made 50+!)
PB: 26.53 and 25.22 (we weren’t going to average these!)
Number of times volunteered: 4 each
Favourite volunteer role: Marshals
What do like about volunteering at parkrun: It’s great to get to know other parkrunners better, and the coffee is pretty great at New Farm too.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: Dean - early in my parkrun days, I was running with my headphones in when a marshal was trying to direct me. I gave her a great high five and then ran the wrong way.
How can we improve parkrun: Volunteering is great, it’s a great way to give back to parkrun. If you haven’t volunteered yet, we strongly encourage you to give it a go.