welcome to the newsletter
In the newsletter last week we celebrated the amazing growth of parkrun over the past few months but also highlighted the fact that such growth does put increasing pressure on our volunteers to be able to deliver high quality events to you every Saturday. On the whole, it’s a nice ‘problem’ to have!
This led to some interesting discussions amongst our Event Directors during the week, specifically around the ability to predict an event’s average attendance as a percentage of a town’s population. Stanthorpe parkrun Event Director Kirsten Ellis started the discussion –
“Stanthorpe parkrun has shown that reaching 1% attendance of your local population is a high probability. For us that's 50 runners which our course handles no trouble at all. Port Macquarie could be reasonably expected to reach 1% or 440 runners. How many runners does 1% represent for your event, have you reached it yet, and if not would you cope if it happened?”
Great chat Kirsten! Although we quickly realised that the 1% theory doesn’t always fit the bill.
Tony O’Connell from Inverloch – “Our population is 4,970 so our 1% is 49. Our average attendance is 85 with a record of 212.”
Miriam Tan from Dubbo – “We have 350 people or 0.8% of the town attending each week (population 40,000).”
Christine Timms from Launceston – “Our population is 75,000. If 1% all turn up at once I think I’ll cry!”
As is often the case I’ll give the last word to Alan ‘The Professor’ Burrell from Wynnum who wisely said – “It is great to see so many smaller regional events starting and my advice to them is not judge success by numbers or percentages but by the fun, friendship and difference it makes in their communities.”
Well said Prof!
Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
Locations – 148
Runners – 22,670
PBs – 4,263
First Timers – 3,143
Volunteers – 1,440
Members – 289,417
Suncorp Bank employees take a parkrun #selfie and win!
As a proud partner of parkrun Australia, Suncorp Bank are offering their staff the opportunity to win weekly prizes including $100 gift vouchers for the parkrun online store.
Just take a selfie at your local parkrun and upload it to the Suncorp Bank Yammer group for your chance to win.
You'll receive one entry each time you submit a parkrun selfie over the 12 week competition period. Plus, you'll also go in the running to win a 2016 Gold Coast Marathon adventure for you and a colleague.
Double your chances: download the 'I Love parkrun' poster at the link below, fill in the name of your local parkrun, then upload a selfie of you holding the poster at your parkrun event to the Yammer group.
Ready, set... go and encourage your Suncorp Bank colleagues to get involved, take lots of selfies and keep an eye on the Suncorp Bank Yammer group for all the parkrun action.
Upcoming Special Events
27/02 – Panania (NSW)
27/02 – Studley (Vic)
12/03 – Bairnsdale (Vic)
19/03 – Rockhampton (Qld)
02/04 – Lismore (NSW), Kedron (Qld)
27/02 – Tuggeranong (ACT) 3rd
12/03 – Albury Wodonga (NSW/Vic) 2nd, Dawesville (WA) 1st, Parramatta (NSW) 3rd
19/03 – Campbelltown (NSW) 2nd, Yamba (NSW) 1st
26/03 – Manjimup (WA) 2nd, Mount Barker (SA) 2nd, Riverway (QLD) 3rd
12/03 – Penrith Lakes (NSW)
19/03 – Launceston (Tas), Penrith Lakes (NSW), Albert Melbourne (Vic), Armidale (NSW)
02/04 – Dubbo (NSW)
23/04 – Penrith Lakes (NSW)
Donate your KMs this month!
For the first quarter of 2016 we have partnered with the Australian Paralympic Foundation (APF) to support our elite para-athletes in the lead up to the Rio Olympic Games. For this month only parkrunners across the country will be able to make a donation to the APF for every kilometre completed. A link will be provided in your results email this Saturday that will enable you to choose an amount to donate per parkrun kilometre. For example $5 / km will be a $25 donation. And of course this is completely optional; parkrun always has been and always will be completely free of charge!
Our ‘donate your km’ campaign will coincide with a national appeal being launched by Australia's official Paralympic broadcaster Channel 7. On Saturday 5 March, Channel 7's Weekend Sunrise program will be taken over by the Australian Paralympic movement with a show that will not only entertain but also showcase Australia's Paralympic hopefuls and why it is so important for all Australians to get behind them. This TV event will be the first of its kind anywhere in the world for a Paralympic team and I’m thrilled that parkrun will be part of it.
parkdog of the week
Hi, my name is Moose, I'm a Labrador and I turned 2 in November, which means I'm only 2 weeks older than my home parkrun, Minnippi!
I've been going to parkrun since I was a puppy because my mum is a run director. Unfortunately however I'm not a very good volunteer because parkrun has lots of my second favourite thing... people (behind food of course), and I get very over excited when my humans take me along.
I love running at parkrun so much, I bark the whole way through the briefing and warm-up before taking off so fast at the start that my Mum can't run fast enough to keep up with me. My Dad takes me, but I get tired after all that excitement and slow down after 2kms. When I can finally pace myself I think I'll make an excellent pacer for them.
The best thing of all though is the cafe we go to afterwards where I can just wait under the table for someone to recognise I'm starving after all the exercise!
Feedback from the field
Anne Grant - I've been wanting to join parkrun for quite a while but the events were always too far away. Last week I read in the local paper about the newly-started (November 2015) Nambour parkrun. I registered straight away and this morning I participated in my first one. I'm quite used to running about 10km, so I thought 5km would be a bit of a cinch… well, I was in for a shock! Nambour parkrun is no walk in the park! It seemed to me to be all very steeply uphill or very steeply downhill the entire way! The other participants were all very welcoming, friendly and encouraging, with more than one telling me that Nambour parkrun is rumoured to be the most challenging in Australia. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed running on trails and I think it was worth about 10km to my fitness! Thanks parkrun!
John Ralph - One of our regular Mount Gambier parkrun couples were absent this week, for a very good reason... and checkout the wedding cake.
Mike Selby - My son and daughter in law (Carl and Niki Selby) have just started the Cleveland parkrun and are really enjoying it. They have told me about how organised and friendly it is and have sent me a copy of your newsletter, which I find interesting. I especially enjoyed the article on Riley the Jack Russell and his Barkrun. Being an ex-runner (now slow jogger) I understand what benefits and joy you can get from running in a group, and beating your best time feels like winning the Lotto. Although living in Yorkshire England, next time I visit Australia I will make a point of joining my son, daughter in law and the rest of the Cleveland group on a parkrun.
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: Chloe Tookey
Home parkrun: Berrinba, Qld
Occupation: Grade 5 student @ Groves Christian College
Disability: Cerebral Palsy (Spastic Diplegia)
How Acquired: From birth
Athletic career achievements: I have completed 3 triathlons; represented Logan Districts for Discus, Shot Put and 100m; and competed in Townsville for MET East in Discus.
My favourite things about parkrun: It invites the community to come and do parkrun at the Berrinba Wetlands and I love it because I get to do it with my Dad (former professional rugby league player Mark Tookey). Everyone at parkrun is always so friendly.
Plans and goals for the future: I would love to be a primary school teacher and this year I would like to compete and hopefully make the Queensland team for athletics. I am a 10 year old girl with Cerebral Palsy I spend most of my life in a wheelchair but I don’t let that stop me from participating in sport. I can do most things everyone else can, just in a different way. I love getting involved and having fun and parkrun lets me do that.