By Etsuko Yasunaga
After a few days of a rollercoaster ride with temperatures, 23 participants and 11 dedicated volunteers were present at the picnic table on a cool, drizzly Saturday morning. It was our last event before Christmas and some were dressed in their festive gear to spread the Christmas cheer.
In Katrina’s run briefing, visitors from Parkville, Inverloch, Koonwarra and Adelaide were warmly welcomed.
It was my first official, but second visit, to this parkrun. Ever since I visited the trail in late March before the launch on April 27 this year, I was dreaming of today. In a different way from my homerun in Inverloch, the course is intimate and peaceful with an abundance of nature. Even though the last 2.5 km involves famous ‘gentle incline’, I also like the out-and-back course very much.
Towering trees on either side of the gravel track create a magical passageway to everyone who treads the path. Whether we are walking, jogging or running, the beautiful surroundings provides us a quiet space to reflect. With the sound of gravel under the feet, the smell of trees and nearby bushes, birdsongs and vivid verdant scenery in the eyes, our senses are fully awakened. Soaring trees protect participants from misty rains, strong wind in winter and scorching heat in summer.
The Grand Ridge Rail Trail parkrun was certainly not just another parkrun for me. I felt as if I were being hugged by those mighty trees while I was running. I could not help but look up! I felt as if I were running right into the heart of the forest and I didn’t want it to end. Even the gentle incline was somewhat manageable because of the trees. Under the canopy of the magnificent trees I was protected, secure. I felt immense closeness with nature and people.
People whom I met today were all welcoming and friendly, and I formed parkrun friendships with some of them straight away. It’s so true that parkrun brings out the best in people and its community, and my belief was strongly affirmed again at Mirboo North today.
Congratulations to Dani who ran a new PB with Jacob as her trusty pacer.
Today’s event was made possible by eleven volunteers. Katrina Palmer as Run Director, Geoff Martin and Pam Pincini as Timekeepers, John Radcliffe handled Finish tokens with his steady hand, Paula Calafiore as Barcode scanner, Claire Banks was Tail walker, Barbara Radcliffe as Photographer, Stacey Harriage as Communications Coordinator, Danielle Hilliar and Jessie Holland as Event Day Course Check and myself, Etsuko Yasunagaas a Event Report Writer.
This week’s full results and a complete event history can be found at: https://www.parkrun.com.au/grandridgerailtrail/results/latestresults/
Neighbouring Inverloch parkrun is staging an extra event on Christmas Day at 8am and Koonwarra parkrun will hold a New Year’s Day event at 9am. The festive season is the time when people come together to spend time with loved ones, so why not spend your Christmas and New Year’s Day with your parkrun family and friends?
The founder of parkrun, Paul Sinton-Hewitt, is inviting you to join us at parkrun on Christmas Day.