welcome to the newsletter
Over 4yrs ago at the first ever Main Beach parkrun, I knew that parkrun would have a massive impact on my life, it turns out it was bigger than I ever expected... Here I am on a flight from Cairns to Brisbane after a quick trip for Cairns parkrun’s 2nd Anniversary celebrations AND I am writing the parkrun newsletter, not to mention that 6 rows back I bump into Mr K, regular Coomera parkrunner - everywhere you turn there is a parkrunner!!
Plans have slightly changed, and for the next few months, you'll hear on a rotating basis from Territory Directors as well as Tim for your weekly news and updates.
I'm Renee, the Territory Director from the Gold Coast and like many of you have a parkrun story of my own. I'll tell you about that another day, but for now, I'll share some great encounters I've witnessed in the parkrun world over the last week.
My husband Adam and I spent parkrun day in Cairns for their 2nd anniversary. This was our first trip to Cairns and it certainly didn't disappoint. The spectacular course runs along the Esplanade with amazing views, a course record of 185 runners was set and Event Director Lorraine Lawson, plus another regular both ran their 100th runs.
Jim, a regular Cairns parkrunner ended with a sprint finish, which proved to be a bit too much and in attempting to sit for rest, he collapsed on the ground with everything spinning around him. Jim was quickly attended to by other regulars with water, jelly snakes and fruit and then while a group of men stood around to keep an eye on him they proceeded to tell him “You know what this means now Jim.. the rule is, once you collapse, you have to volunteer next week”. Absolutely brilliant - I think this rule should be implemented on all courses!
The picture below is Steve's hand painted mug. Steve, a keen parkrunner is kitted out with all merchandise, but when there wasn't a mug to purchase, he made his own. He's painted mugs for his family members and takes his along to the cafe for his post-run coffee each week. Steve's also keen to buy a campervan and travel round Australia to visit each parkrun course... He is just trying to convince his wife!
I don't get to Coomera, my home run, as much as I'd like these days, but while I was away my Dad who normally enjoys a flat course (Curl Curl) soaked up the hills of Coomera for his 51st parkrun - if I can't be there, a family presence is as good as any - Thanks Dad!
Lastly from Stanthorpe parkrun, Kirsten Ellis, our amazing Event Director bravely shared her story last week, and like many parkrun stories, it is extremely inspiring – I have included it below and I'll sign off with a big thanks and congratulations to Kirsten for sharing this - one of the many ways parkrun is changing lives.
Renee from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
Essential Stats for Australia & Singapore – 29/08/2015:
Number of locations – 131
Number of runners – 13,969
Number of PBs – 2,828
Number of first timers – 1,898
Number of volunteers – 1,294
All time registrations – 230,691
‘parkrun STAR’ by Kirsten Ellis
Hi I’m Kirsten. I’m the ED (Event Director) for Stanthorpe parkrun. This whole thing was my crazy idea.
My entire life I have suffered from depression, anxiety, and panic attack disorder. It has been a part of who I am for a very long time, always something that I have needed to ‘fix’. I am constantly on a roller coaster ride, never knowing when the next ‘episode’ will hit me. It impacts my whole life- my ability to hold down a job, care for my children, have meaningful relationships, even tasks like grocery shopping is sometimes something I simply cannot do. I also have the other side- when I’m coming through the other side of an episode I have the opposite- I can write a University medal winning thesis, help write a first year Uni mathematics course, and come up with some pretty novel bug strategies in crops. It’s a balancing act.
I took up running because it helped. It helped my body and it helped my mind. I started parkrun because I had a euphoric moment where I sat down and did all the paperwork to get it up and running (only a couple of hours if you put your mind to it). parkrun is a gift in my life of stability- every Saturday there are people relying on me to be there. And I have been.
What I got in return is something that has helped me more than anyone will ever know. Once you get past the town gossips who call me crazy, there is a beautiful community of people in Stanthorpe who all get together and help each other. I learnt that every person has their own struggle with self worth, and there are no exceptions.
The people who come to parkrun are all facing their own version of what I face, maybe in a less spectacular fashion but no less meaningful to them. I have watched people in grief, people trying to lose weight, people who smoke and drink, people who have depression and anxiety, suffer from domestic violence, and all sorts come along and do a task, run or walk 5km, and give themselves such a sense of achievement that they leave again with self worth. I learnt that our struggles are not something to be ‘fixed’, but are in fact what makes us who we are.
parkrun has also given me access to a worldwide community of people who all started a parkrun in their community. These people are absolutely inspiring. Anyone wanting to join in with this are welcome to become a RD (Run Director) for Stanthorpe, and work behind the scenes with us.
Taking time to care for yourself, being selfish, discovering self worth, nurturing your body through healthy eating and exercise, is in my opinion the greatest gift you can give yourself, and the greatest gift you can give to others. Stanthorpe parkrun is a place where you are welcome to come and achieve something great- completing 5km. It is free, weekly, timed, and you help me to keep my sanity. I promise you will never embarrass yourself more than I do, and even if you do, Karl will high-5 you at the brass monkey loop and Melissa will be there to photograph it, then help you up again.
A massive thank you to everyone who purchased an Entertainment book via parkrun this year – a total of $2,817 has been raised which will go towards replacement equipment for existing events.
Books are still available to purchase here
parkdog of the week
Hi, I’m Missy, I’m a 10 year old Kelpie who loves to run. My Dad and I started parkrun when Mudgeeraba started up and I’ve run 69 of the 91 runs. I am well known at Mudgeeraba for my lightning starts and then my sudden stop to 'do my business' around the 1km mark.... Unfortunately I ruptured my ACL joint in my left hind leg in my most recent parkrun and have been told by the vet there will be no running for a few months. I will be back….. but until then, the start line will be a little quieter....
Upcoming Special Events
05/09 – Warner Lakes (Qld), Lochiel (SA)
12/09 – Bega (NSW)
26/09 – Ashgrove (Qld)
03/10 – Hamilton Island (Qld), Petrie (Qld)
10/10 – Hamilton (Vic)
31/10 – Port Macquarie (NSW)
05/09 – Blue Gum Hills (NSW) 1st, Broadbeach Waters (Qld) 1st, Heirisson Island (WA) 1st, Warwick (Qld) 2nd
12/09 – Inverloch (Vic) 1st, Wynnum (Qld) 3rd
19/09 – New Farm (Qld) 4th, Pakenham (Vic) 1st
26/09 – Bowral (NSW) 1st, Merimbula (NSW) 2nd, Tamworth (NSW) 1st, Toowoomba (Qld) 2nd
11/10 – Berwick Springs parkrun (Vic) 2nd, Kalgoorlie-Boulder parkrun (WA) 2nd
Until further notice – Heirisson Island (WA)
12/09 – Chermside (Qld), Penrith Lakes (NSW), Diamond Creek (Vic)
19/09 – Penrith Lakes (NSW), Murray Bridge (SA)
26/09 – Penrith Lakes (NSW)
03/10 – Penrith Lakes (NSW)
10/10 – Geographe Bay (WA)
24/10 – Chermside (Qld)
31/10 – Wangaratta (Vic), Penrith Lakes (NSW)
14/11 – Tamborine Mountain (Qld)
28/11 – Penrith Lakes (NSW)
13/02 – Geographe Bay (WA)
03/10 – International parkrun Day
Feedback from the field
Michaela Wilson - On Saturday, 29th August, I celebrated my 50th parkrun at my home run of Logan River. I had so many friends come along to join in the fun. Many of us wearing tutus (guys included!), and me running with giant balloons that my best running buddies organised! I also had a few friends attend Logan River for the first time to celebrate with me. One of those was an amazing young runner, 13 year old Kailey Wilton. Kailey set a new age record for our parkrun, finishing in first place overall with a time of 19:52. Her claim to that #1 token almost didn't happen though! As she was a First Timer at our parkrun, she missed the start of the finishing chute - running right past the cones! One of our regulars at Logan River, Garth Klee was right behind Kailey. They'd run the entire 5km within arms reach of each other. Garth could have claimed first place, but as you can see on the photo attached, he showed true sportsmanship and was a fine example of the spirit of parkrun. Garth called out to Kailey, got her to come back to the chute, and waited for her to cross the line first. I'm so glad that our volunteer photographer captured this moment to be able to share with you. This is a great example of what makes parkrun what it is. My family and I say there aren't enough parkruns in a week! We love it, and we love the friendships we've made at Logan River. We're very welcoming to our tourists! Everyone should come and say hello!
Lavinia Petrie - I'm just back from competing at the World Masters Championships in Lyon and read Tim’s flattering comments in the parkrun newsletter. It was a fantastic experience and I would like to thank all my Lillydale Lake parkrunners for their support. Since the newsletter’s publication I also ran the Half Marathon in 1:41.52 and was 14 minutes in front of the second placegetter. parkrun is a great way for people of all ages to come together and run for fun. We all have the same interest and when we run the same course every week we can compare times and check if we're improving or not. It's important also that we encourage each other. We all have to start somewhere. It's also encouraging that so many parkruns are being held all over Victoria now, and the best part is - that it's free! All we have to do is our duty 3 or 4 times a year and we're all helping each other.
Perhaps we'll meet up one day at a parkrun somewhere?
Jools Stammers - I took up jogging again in autumn earlier this year, after revisiting it last year too - having been a fairly regular jogger in my younger years (being in the 45-49 range now!). However I had never really stepped outside of my comfort zone - I always had felt my maximum time (never looked at distance) was 20 minutes, at a nice comfortable pace, and if I achieved that I congratulated myself. A few months ago I somehow heard of parkrun through the internet, and on Googling it I found there was even a parkrun at my local park, Coburg Lake, Melbourne. As soon as I read that I was determined to go, and for my next lunchtime jog at work I decided to go for it and aim for the 5km - just to see if I could do it or how far I could get. And I did it no problem! I was so pleased to have actually run all that distance, and was reminded how much attitude and goal-setting plays a big part in improving and progressing. I have since always been runing about 5km on my weekly (or so) jogs, with the 5km route taking me 35 minutes. Last Saturday was another weekend where I'd been thinking I might do the parkrun - but the thought of that 8am start was some challenge. I'd had a bit of a late night (but no alcohol - sure is a big help!), and didn't set my alarm and thought I'd see how it went - maybe I'd wake up in time & feel like going. Thanks to my reliable live cat alarm (half an hour after normal weekday wake-up time is rather too late for breakfast for my feline friend, who is a good communicator), I was up, breakfasted (lightly - my dilemma on whether it's sensible or not to have any finally ruled that I had to have something) and out on my bike (having seen on Coburg parkrun's website their push for no driving if possible) in just half an hour or so. I joined the group of stretchers with a couple of minutes to spare, having first gone to the wrong end of the park first (still waking up), and was relieved to have made it. I would have run the course anyway but no doubt would have been far slower without the group encouragement and lack of knowing it was being timed by someone else. I'd forgotten there was a hill at the park, and in fact the route though the park and by Merri Creek had a number of rises - and I'm not used to running up anything like hills! The first-timers (there were 4 of us) were warned of this before we ran, which helped. It certainly was challenging, but the last third was much easier than I thought it would be and quite relaxed - room to beat that PB next time I think! With quiet excitement and some trepidation I checked my emails at the post-run café coffees afterwards, and I was surprised and certainly pleased to see my PB is 29:22 - despite the 'hills' and my rushed start to the event! Looking forward to my second parkrun and many more after that.
Vanessa Gibson - Hope (age 5) was celebrating her 10th parkrun, while my training buddy Rebekah was doing her 50th - so a group of us decided it was a tutu morning! Love this pic of the girls encouraging Hope along the course!
Jo Smith (Event Director @ Yarrabilba parkrun) - Regular Yarrabilba parkrunner David chose the finish line of Saturday's parkrun to propose to his girlfriend Victoria. This did add to Victoria's time as David stopped her before she crossed the finish line but so far she hasn't complained! The rest of us are now busily planning
a parkrun wedding, although David and Victoria have not yet agreed to that.
Karen Landry - I believe my friends & I may be able to top Tim’s recent parkrun trip. We… Tigger Bec, Sandra Sully, Jeanette Rabbit & myself (Cheshire Kaz), did a roadtrip from Brisvegas to Sydney for the City2Surf 2015. We departed, in our onesies, midnight Friday night, 1st destination being Taree parkrun. After some 7+ hours of travelling, stopping for a photoshoot at every Big Icon on the way, (the big prawn, the big banana, the big oyster) as you do, we arrived in Taree. The drive was definitely worth it, the location, along the Manning River was picturesque, the country hospitality 2nd to none, & small world, you never know who you'll run into! An old family friend, Mrs T, 79yrs young & still fit as a fiddle, doing her 1st parkrun, Marg, her daughter is one of the Run Directors at Taree parkrun. From here, destination Sydney, again, stopping at MORE Big Icons, who know we had sooo many, (the big Head Phones, the big Ayers Rocks etc), even managing a photoshoot with a Roadside Drug & Alcohol Van. After tackling Heartbreak Hill + the 6km hilly lead up to it, no one EVER mentions that! We hit trails back to Brissy, minus the photoshoots, we were over them, arriving home, not so bright-eyed & bushy-tailed at 2:30am Monday, having had a runtabulous time. Our trip was originally planned to raise awareness for Hummingbird House, QLD's only Children's Hospice, along the way we met some amazing people, made new life-long friends & experienced unforgettable random act of kindness.
Richard Mullaney - This may not sound as exciting as Tim’s recent journey but last year we were on holiday in the UK, staying at Stratford On Avon. I worked out that the best place for a parkrun was about 45 minutes drive north at Brueton parkrun. So we (my wife and two children) hastily packed up our belongings, locked up our little cottage and drove our 'remote keyless ignition' hire car round to drop the key sat the reception which was closed and not due to open for two hours. My wife jumped out the car, posted the keys, and it was at that point I realised she'd taken the hire car 'key' and posted that by accident meaning as soon as we stopped the car we wouldn't be able to restart it. After frantic phone calls we were able to get someone to reception, exchange the keys and get to Brueton parkrun minutes before the start near Solihull. But then I realised I didn't have my barcode but managed to first place in 16:59.
Abbie Grace – Thanks Maribyrnong parkrun for a great trip with Alice to 'One'derland to celebrate our first anniversary parkrun. Many of our 131 runners made their way around the track in costume, we had a 'last parkrunner standing' victory lineup to cheer on each finisher, and an expertly created cake to recover with. Run Director Stuart Hilton has created a fun 'parkrun in 33 seconds' timelapse of the event covering before the briefing right through to our finishers getting their barcodes scanned. Special thanks to Zoe Danaher for the fabulous cake, our five run directors (pictured) who volunteered on the day freeing them up to join the costuming fun, and to everyone for that typical parkrun enthusiasm that makes the run worth getting out of bed for every week. Great work, team!
Melissa Church - I am the newbie. 4 yrs ago a 28min 5km was my daily UK snow run to work. But, starting out after long absence, post baby + 40kg + spine damage I can only walk/run the 5km in 1 min intervals. Yes, I'm that one. I took my 2 year old with me on the weekend, but could only manage to walk with pram (how do they do it). Sorry to all who had to run the return leg past us with him scoffing lamingtons! So when you see us walking at 60 min pace and coming in long way off last know we feel HAPPIER THAN THE FIRST FINISHER. We started, we endured, we finished.
Andy and Karen Turner - Great to hear the dedication to parkrun. We feel more normal now. Having just returned from a night away from Cleveland parkrun in Kirra to do parkrun there we've now booked flights back home to the UK for Christmas. It was to our great delight that we realised the flight would have us land on a Saturday morning just after 6am at Heathrow. We were very keen to do Bushy parkrun and looking at the map we were extremely excited to notice the proximity to Heathrow. If we time it well we can be out of Heathrow and make our way to parkrun number 602 at Bushy Park for a 9am run. After 24 hours of flying I'm sure we will look a bit jaded but we'll keep you posted on how that goes.
April McMillan - parkrun is the most awesome thing ever! Since I heard about it just over a year ago I've wanted to join in. We had just moved to a town where the closest parkrun was 40 minutes away, and I was 8 months pregnant with my 3rd child... It wasn't easy or practical to get there. Here I am, with youngest bub now 13 months old and we happened to plan a short holiday at the beautiful Fingal Bay. At the caravan park which is almost directly across from the parkrun start! Of course my first parkrun was scheduled into our 'to-do's. I loved running with other people! I'm normally a lone runner, but I had people to catch up to so I ran faster and harder. Very happy with my first time. And I kept passing my little cheer squad of my husband, 5 year old, 3 year old and happy bub. Hope to be there again soon.
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: Emma Nicholson
Home parkrun: Kirra
Occupation: Police officer
Number of runs: 36
Number of times volunteered: 7, 3 as RD
What do like about volunteering at parkrun: I volunteer at parkrun because without volunteers, there would be no parkrun and I can’t imagine a Saturday morning without seeing the joy and happiness that parkrun brings. As I get to know more parkrunners, I see the positive impact that parkrun has made on so many people. It’s a great movement to be a part of.