welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s edition of the newsletter Google saves the day, we get a mention in Parliament and our parkdogs set a new kind of PB.
Many of us can tell a story about how we first found out about parkrun. For me it was when I was living in London and someone mentioned to me that there was a running event in Wimbledon Common that I could do with my dog on the lead. As a keen dog runner I had to see it for myself so off I went the following Saturday and sure enough, I was able to run 5km with my dog and get a time. I was hooked!
In the case of Newcastle’s Wil Gardener, parkrun literally came to him (well almost). I’ll let Newy parkrun’s Andrew ‘Doddy’ Dodd tell the story –
Wil Gardner's story about how he became involved in parkrun is without doubt towards the more interesting end of the spectrum. Wil lives right near the turnaround point of the Newy parkrun course overlooking Throsby Creek. He looked out his window just after 8am one Saturday morning in June 2012 and saw runners going past and raced out to watch. Then he saw runners come back the other way and so now had people running in both directions.
"This must be some kind of fun run - but what?" Wil recalls, “Next comes along this blond, curly haired dude with a head band and a Dalmatian. He sees me, winks and says, “It's parkrun ... Google it” and I yelled back “Alright.”
The following weekend Wil turned up for his first parkrun. And last Saturday he stepped up to the parkrun flag with barcode in hand for the 100th time. And who else to be there to congratulate him but a blond, curly haired dude with a head band and a Dalmation - none other than running evangelist, Dave ‘Robbo’ Robertson. So well done Wil. Well done Robbo. And well done Google for finding parkrun.com.au, even when it is spelled as two words with uppercase Ps and Rs!
Do you have a funny story about how you found out about parkrun? If so, let me know. Sounds a bit like a new newsletter segment!
Speaking of Newy parkrun, the event received parkruns first ever mention in our Federal Parliament on June 15 when MP Sharon Claydon spoke up for the cause in the House of Representatives as recorded in Hansard (the edited transcripts of parliamentary debates) –
And on Saturday 6 June I joined 552 runners and 23 volunteers at the third anniversary of the Newy parkrun. Held in Carrington every week, the Newy parkrun is part of the worldwide parkrun movement of free five-kilometre timed runs. Newy was the seventh parkrun in Australia when it started three years ago, and it is one of more than 100, including 10 in the Newcastle and Hunter region. This fantastic community of runners welcomed me and other first-time runners with open arms. I look forward to improving my personal best over the coming months and sampling other running courses in my electorate.
This weekend is one of the biggest on the running calendar with the staging of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon. As per usual, several of our Gold Coast parkruns will be cancelled, including Main Beach. However as many of you will be on the Gold Coast for this fantastic event, I have put out an open-invitation to join me for a gentle jog on the Main Beach parkrun course at 4pm on Friday July 3, followed by a few drinks at Southport Surf Club Main Beach. Confirmed attendees include Olympian Eloise Wellings, the founder of Running Mums Australia, Nicole Bunyon, and the “blond, curly haired dude with a head band”, Dave Robertson.
Note that this is NOT an official parkrun event. It will not be timed and the course will not be marshaled. This is simply a chance for those who are keen to stretch their legs to get together in a relaxed and informal manner on the home of parkrun in Australia.
Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
Essential Stats for Australia & Singapore – 27/06/2015:
Number of locations – 126
Number of runners – 14,150
Number of PBs – 3,203
Number of first timers – 2,079
Number of volunteers – 1,192
Number of members – 214,827
We’re almost ready to go live with the new milestone t-shirts!
Our first batch of more than 21,000 brand spanking new milestone t-shirts have been designed, manufactured and shipped by Tribesports and are now safely in the warehouse at Wiggle. Final testing is taking place over the next week to iron out any bugs in the ordering system. Once this is complete (we anticipate by Friday 3 July) we will switch on the system first for the 4,500 parkrunners who have been patiently waiting more than a year for their coveted milestone t-shirt. Gradually over the days that follow more profiles will be activated until everyone who is eligible for a milestone t-shirt is able to order it via their parkrunner profile.
Here’s a reminder of how the process will 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 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 to Australia is $8.99 and free if you spend over $80.
Once the order has been placed, your profile page will be updated to show that the t-shirt(s) have been claimed.
What if I’m not sure which size to order?
All milestone t-shirts are a ‘regular fit’, and not a tight performance fit.
On the milestone t-shirt product page a sizing chart will help assist those unsure of what size to order.
What if I already ordered my milestone t-shirt under the old system – will it still be delivered to my home event?
No. All new milestone t-shirts will be processed in the same way. In other words everyone will need to order through the Wiggle store, even if you have previously confirmed your milestone t-shirt size and were expecting it to be delivered to your home event.
Sit back and wait for your profile page to go live with the update! If by Monday the 13th of July you haven’t been notified on your profile page that you are able to claim a milestone t-shirt (but you believe you have qualified), please get in touch with us via this link.
The importance of quality stretches’ by Wendy Trevarthen
You see it all the time, a running event where only the 'elite runners' do a proper warm up and post-run cool down. But how important is it and how important is it to get it right?
Really important! Ok, so let's get a bit technical here. When you stretch you are pulling the muscle fibres to its fullest capacity, like an elastic band, with the connective tissue taking up the extra slack. This helps to re-organize the fibres 'damaged' during exercise, and rehabilitate scarred tissue back to health. OK, so do we 'damage' our muscle fibres each time we exercise, well, yes we do, but it's the context of exercise that is important. You could be training for quick, powerful moves, or endurance activities, it just depends on how hard or long you go.
Anyone who has done a great stretching session knows how GOOD it feels, so it must be doing some good, right??? Some of the advantages of stretching include increasing your range of motion and decreasing resistance resulting in a decreased risk of injury. The side benefits are that it improves your balance, increases blood supply and increases neuromuscular co-ordination.
With any exercise or physical activity, it's well known that you should be warming up with dynamic stretching (i.e. with movement), involving the joints and muscles that you will be using in your session, and cool down with static (stationary) stretches.
So, don't neglect your stretches. Happy running everyone!
QUT Higher Degree Research (HDR) Opportunity
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) will soon be offering a round of scholarships for Research Masters and PhD that are suitable for parkrun-related projects. Possible parkrun-related projects include:
- Investigating the health benefits of participating in parkrun
- Branding and marketing of parkrun
- The motivations and barriers to participating in parkrun
- The effective incentives and ‘nudges’ to increase parkrun membership?
- Assessing the characteristics and demographics of parkrunners
- Global parkrun: an international comparison of parkrun members
The schools, Public Health and Social Work, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences and Biomedical Sciences in the Faculty of Health, have experienced supervisors with capabilities to supervise research students.
If interested, please contact Professor Neil King on email@example.com.
Western Sydney Marathon
The Western Sydney Marathon, now in its third year, has fast become Western Sydney’s premier running event attracting runners from local regions, interstate and internationally. It is one of the most affordable marathon events on the running calendar making it an attractive option for the experienced or entry level athlete.
Situated in Penrith, the marathon is held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre (the location of Penrith Lakes parkrun) which boasts scenic views of Penrith Lakes, Lower Blue Mountains and surrounding parkland. A flat fast course has been designed which navigates the main lake, crosses the island bridges to the Regatta Centre and weaves around roads within and outside of the venue.
The Western Sydney Marathon celebrates healthy lifestyles, active communities and the great outdoors. It is a fun and festive day out for the whole family, with a health and fitness expo, activities for the kids during races, a jumping castle, entertainment, massage, market and food stalls. Whether you push a pram around the Family Fun Run or complete the full marathon, this event is about bringing the community together.
Your donations are now tax deductible
Just in time for the end of financial year, I’m delighted to announce that parkrun has partnered with the Australian Sports Foundation (ASF) to offer tax deductions on all donations over $2 made via the new ‘parkrun 4 everyone’ portal. The ASF was established by the Australian Government in 1986 with the mission to raise money for Australian sport and this new portal, which is now live, will soon replace our previous PayPal donations system.
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 some fella called PSH who writes – “Top of Tabeyasco climb in Lanzarote, Spain.”
parkdog of the week
We are Anton and Penelope and are writing to tell the parkrun Australia community about our recent PB… that’s short for Pug Best! Our humans Jo and Stephen have just started parkrunning at The Ponds and love it so much they thought they would take us along to walk the course last week. Walk? We may have little legs but we’re quite athletic we’ll have you know. I’m pleased to report we made it around the course in a not-too-shabby 24:51. See you all soon for another pugrun… sorry, parkrun!
Upcoming Special Events
11/07 – Dubbo (NSW), Bendigo (Vic), Phillip Island (Vic)
04/07 – Aveley (WA) 2nd
11/07 – Gatton (Qld) 2nd, Pittsworth (Qld) 1st
18/07 – Noosa (Qld) 1st
25/07 – Coomera (Qld) 3rd
01/08 – Blackbutt (NSW) 2nd, Victor Harbor (SA) 1st, Claisebrook Cove (WA) 3rd
08/08 – Wishart (Qld) 1st, Armidale (NSW) 1st
15/08 – Hobart (Tas) 1st
22/08 – Hervey Bay (Qld) 1st, Singleton (NSW) 1st, Balyang Sanctuary (Vic) 3rd, Maribyrnong (Vic) 1st, Mt Clarence (WA) 1st
29/08 – Cairns (Qld) 2nd, Capalaba (Qld) 1st, Lake Joondalup (WA) 1st
04/07 – New Farm (Qld), Main Beach (Qld), Mudgeeraba (Qld), Broadbeach Waters (Qld)
10/10 – Geographe Bay (WA)
03/10 – International parkrun Day
Feedback from the field
Cathy Adams - Had my first parkrun last Saturday... I was very impressed and will be back. Volunteers answered all my little questions and set me on my way. I was surprised how many runners there were... Very popular. PB for me in this event ... Yay!!!
Rodney Law - I would like to thank you for making parkrun a great event. My step-daughter and I started just over 12 months ago at North Lakes and really enjoy our Saturday mornings together running around the lake. We started parkrun as part of our training for the Endeavour 500 Km Challenge run every November through the Scenic Rim. We also stared doing 10km runs to really test ourselves.
David Rae - I was coerced back into running and more importantly parkrun by Craig Boon, the founder of Launceston parkrun. I had been a runner many years ago and always enjoyed moderate success. However now I'm older and slightly heavier I found it difficult to get back into it. Craig changed this by persuading me and introducing parkrun – “Come along its fun and FREE!” So I did. I started in January 2014 and I was hooked straight away. It’s a great organised event that’s free, is so professional and the results are amazing. parkrun then became my one and only weekly run. I improved slightly in time and was just happy to meet awesome people, including some I hadn't seen for years who I used to run against. We had a family holiday in Noosa so my son and I ensured we made it to Noosa parkrun (tough course too). We were warmly welcomed for our two parkruns whilst on holiday, what an amazing experience. Friendliness just seems to be everywhere regarding parkrun. One of my best experiences has been whilst volunteering with one lady apologising for taking so long to complete her parkrun in a very cold and very wet day. We assured her it was fine and to her delight as she crossed the line she had managed a 5 minute PB. She was so happy and it was an awesome feeling to share in her joy. Recently I have decided to actually do some training and look at improving my time (or hope to anyway). Last month I started training with some athletes who I am also coaching. Well in my first parkrun in May I managed a PB nearly a full minute faster than previously. So far in every run I have done since I have ran a PB 6 in a row. However the best thing that happened in the month of May was obtaining ‘parkrunner of the month’. This was the best feeling ever, even after my squad had volunteered in what must have been the coldest frostiest parkrun I have been to. I have to thank my wife who supports me and looks after our children whilst I run, and of course my squad who encourage me to train with them whilst I coach. Mainly I have to thank Craig "Boono" Boon for not relenting and persuading me to finally take the plunge into the world of parkrun. I am now sitting on 49 parkruns, waiting to do my 50th (unfortunately it will not be this weekend as my wife is undergoing knee surgery on Friday, she did say I could but I better be good husband and not attend). I now highly recommend parkrun to anyone who is interested in getting moving, it doesn't matter how long you take all that matters is giving it ago.
Chris Smith - Saturday 6th of June saw not only Newy parkruns 3rd birthday but I along with others celebrated my 100th parkrun. I have done 96 at Newy and other parkruns at Fingal, Lakeview and Stockton. I started doing parkrun on the 1st January 2013 and have evolved from a walker to depending on the day being able to run the entire 5km. I run at the back and always have a great time. As I keep saying to my friends and family I love my parkrun and I can't wait for each Saturday to come around. I am lucky that I live close to the Newy course so that gives me no excuse not to go. Below is a picture of me finishing parkrun surrounded by my fellow Wooters and escorted by the Grandaughter of one of the Purple Flash ladies. The Flash ladies presented me with a trophy after we finished for my 100th parkrun. Thank you parkrun and I look forward to writing to you for my 250th parkrun.
David Watkins - Thanks for your warm and moving words about the passing of Ron Clark. Truly well said.
Bram Cassidy - I'm the Corps Officer at Box Hill (Vic) and also a passionate parkrunner, running out of Westerfolds for the past 16 months. This is to let you know that several weeks ago, following our regular parkrun at Westerfolds, a team of runners assisted The Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal by collecting at an intersection for two hours. I think it's a great example of the community benefits that develop through being part of parkrun. parkrunners who gave their time to help were Rohan Durrant, Robert Vogl, Alan Michell and Heath Mitchell and together they raised just on $860.00!
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: Jess Schwartz
Club: Crazy Cartwheels
Home parkrun: Crazy Cartwheels
Occupation: Primary School Chaplain in Townsville
Favourite volunteer role: Can’t choose between Run Directing and Marshalling.
What do like about volunteering at parkrun: Being an encouragement to others as they finish the 5km and meeting new people who get out of bed on Saturday mornings to be part of it.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: I try and make every parkrun a little different when I am marshalling. This has included: cartwheeling directions, doing superman actions, dressing like a giraffe, decorating a tree with Christmas decorations, making a parkrun birthday song, having a spray bottle in the heat, hula-hooping, giving high 5s, dancing in the rain, walking with our tail runners, bringing my dog (Schumacher) and just being a goof to see others smile.
How can we improve parkrun: Having a volunteer of the month award - without them there would be no parkrunner of the month!