Event #84 – Pacer Week

By Neil Langstaff

What a great morning it was for Koonwarra parkrun No. 84. The Autumn air was filled with anticipation as our pacesetters were onboard to encourage all park runners to enjoy their walk, jog or run at their own pace or to challenge themselves to achieve a P.B today. Or it was just another great morning to be out in the morning air to do it at your own pace, chat with others or enjoy the beauty the rail trail has to offer.

A big and special thanks to all our volunteers who made the morning possible especially those from other parkruns who came to help as pacesetters – Leo Argento, Karen Argento, Bill Barry, Virginia Bolge, Stephanie Collins, Michelle Harris, Simon Harris, Brooke Jones, Rosemary Knox, Lynette McCarthy, Cathy McKnight, Ryan McKnight, Christie Nelson, Joanne Parsons, Jeff Robertson, Michael Tripodi, Cassie Van Hoorn, Simone Walliker and Amy White.

Laurie Beir stepped in to be the voice of our run director Ebony Knox, what a great job she did. With the flags up and ready to go in short time this week a cracking pace was set by some. There were 23 personal bests today – congratulations to all who achieved this and also thank you to those who encouraged and inspired everyone along the way. The run as a great community spirit.

Congratulations to the two runners who achieved their 50th park run today. Kellie Hamilton's friends at Karkarook parkrun sent their regards and Theisa Bolitho's loyalty to Koonwarra with 47 runs was commended. It is a great milestone to achieve and hopefully the first of others to come for you.

Again thank you to all who helped today, thank you to those who visited from other clubs and special thanks to all those who come along each week and make our Koonwarra parkrun to be so special.




Event #83 – Triple-ton-and-a-half week!

Big numbers. When it comes to votes, both politicians and Eurovision contestants love them. For parkrunners, we love celebrating major milestones so Saturday’s event was very special.

Codey Jackson quietly ran her Junior 10, setting a new Personal Best of 33:10. Glenn Smith also reached a milestone of 50 runs, half of these at Koony and the other half as a tourist at other parkruns like Inverloch, Albert Park and Surfers Paradise.

Mark Burns ran his 100th parkrun in 30:51, many of these at Inverloch. Sisters Amy White and Sarah Knox both clocked their 100th parkruns, bringing the total milestone runs for the day to 360! Although their sister Ebony couldn’t be there to help celebrate, she paid homage to them both in a heartfelt message read out by Run Director Sue Ritchie.

Conditions on the day were perfect: cool, dry and no wind, with the Sun lifting the last of the morning mists. First across the line was Scott Morrison in 19:19 (perhaps a good omen for the other ScoMo!) and next was Sarah Lewis (and Raven) in 21:12.

It seems everyone was getting warmed up for next week’s Pacers week, with 22 new personal bests being set.

Eleven first-time parkrunners and some who were new to Koonwarra joined us. Elizabeth Behrendt from Wangaratta completed the local trifecta of Inverloch, Phillip Island and Koonwarra parkruns. While she wouldn’t be pressed on which was her favourite, she did like the tree-lined course and the three bridges. She’ll have to come again on a day when Koalas are out on the course!

Thanks to the volunteers that made this event possible, namely Sue Ritchie, Judy Langstaff, Dylan Baido, Lisa Riley, Helen Lughetto, Georgia Burns, Linda Brown and Steve Fuery.


Event #82 – Celebrating our wonderful Mothers

By Christie Nelson

Today’s parkrun definitely set off on the right foot with the Mother’s Day vibe set early in the piece by the most beautiful gesture of handmade Mother’s day flowers for everyone, kindly donated by the lovely Laurie Bier.

Each week I admire the parents who attend with their children, be they newborn, toddlers, teenagers, fur babies or the combined generations (ie: the inspirational Langstaff family) and marvel at how well some Super-mums can run with prams and slings and little arms and legs bouncing around as extra weight to carry (see inset picture) Fur-babies and I take my hat off to them for making such a great effort.

I am a Mum of two and Step Mum to four more and it’s fair to say that I once took all of them to parkrun with me and it’s sadly never happened again since. When there are six, the ratio of “Can you carry my jumper, I’m thirsty, my tummy hurts, this is boring, I don’t want to carry my drink bottle and can we buy breakfast?” skyrockets dramatically and although makes a funny story, it urges me to return solo the following week to maintain my mindset and therefore be a better Mother when I get home.

Although my tribe of Brady’s don’t all come with me, I love the fact that we can all still set great examples for our children and emphasise the importance of looking after your physical and mental health as well as embracing the spirit of community and volunteering.

This week saw an impressive number of personal bests achieved and we welcomed first timer, Jack Noorbergen to his first parkrun. Jack set himself a time at the Leongatha Fun Run on Good Friday and is hoping to push towards improving on that as he goes.

As always, the atmosphere and community spirit was so humbling and I’d like to give a special shout out to Robert Robinson who is always so encouraging out on the trail each week. If he’s not heckling me, saying things like, “you’re not going to let a seventy something year old beat you are you?” to spur me on, today he complimented my smile (could have possibly been a grimace mistaken for a smile) and that made my day. It costs nothing to pay someone a nice compliment and you just never know when it can turn someone’s day around; try it out this weekend. We are certainly a lucky bunch at Koonwarra.

I wish all the Mothers and Step-Mothers an incredible Mother’s day on Sunday and hope you get spoiled rotten (if not, just an uninterrupted shower.)


Event # 80 – By Neil Langstaff

By Neil Langstaff

Well our nice autumn weather is upon us. A fresh 9 degrees to start the run with a light drizzle of rain after the start to encourage some to go the bit faster. A nice brisk headwind on the way back together with the drizzle of rain chilled our fingers and noses, but what a great morning we had.

Congratulations to Mirboo North on their first run today we hope it went well for you and that everyone had a good parkrun.

We had 75 people today which was good considering the weather. Many regulars some with their prams and children, others with their dogs joined us along with visitors from Parkville and Geelong. There were 9 personal bests today and 6 first timers.

A big thank you goes out to our volunteers today Chris Baillie, Judy Langstaff, Neil Langstaff, Joel Langstaff, Bailey Langstaff, Helen Lughetto, Sue Ritchie, Amy White.

We need to congratulate Helen Lughetto who today volunteered for her 25th time - a great achievement, thanks Helen. As Helen would say if I can do it, anyone can do it!!! Helen has also completed 31 parkruns.

Out on the track today Chris Baillie had the camera poised at the third bridge and his children Blair and Tess encouraging the runners on. Was also good to see young Blake Hawkins on his first parkrun at 4 years of age encouraging his great aunt Jude along the way and to finish the parkrun.

Thank you to all who come along and support the parkrun and who participate. It is a good way to start your Saturday morning, to get a little exercise at whatever pace you choose to do it at and to involve family and friends or meet new friends. Hope to see you all next week.


Event #79 – Running on Friendship

There’s something special about Koonwarra parkrun. In just 18 months since its launch, it has built such a fabulous reputation amongst the parkrun community that parkrun devotees regularly target the event to see for themselves what the hype is all about.

Koony Event 79

So what is it that makes ‘Koony’ so special?

Is it the beautiful tree lined course that meanders through farmland and over bridges along the Great Southern Rail?

Is it the renowned Koonwarra Store whose sunny courtyard provides the perfect post event coffee and chat setting?

Or perhaps it’s parkrun itself, five kilometres of whatever you want it to be - a personal best, a catch up with a friend, a health resolution.

Parkrun tourists Chris Laing and Rachael Fraser pictured below rated Koony ‘as good a parkrun as we’ve ever done’, and they should know. Now living in Melbourne, Chris hails from Cornwall and Rachael’s home event is the Bushy Park event in London, the home of parkrun.

Koony Event 79 2

With 183 runs under Rachael’s belt and 171 for Chris, they found Koony to be ‘noticeably friendly and welcoming’ with lots of encouragement out on the course from the locals. They enjoyed their experience so much that they plan to return to Koony and bring a group of their Melbourne parkrun friends.

First timers Danielle Shaw and Mar Cruz came down to visit Koonwarra locals Sue and Jol Dutton and before they knew it the parkrun regulars had signed them up. ‘We can’t say no to Sue’, they joked, but like Chris and Rachael, they really enjoyed the friendly welcome they received and seeing everyone cheer each other on out on the course.

Roger Lancaster grew up in Leongatha and is now event director at the K.M.Reedy parkrun in Hallam. He came to Koony this weekend for the first time since its launch and enjoyed catching up with locals and reminiscing with Nathan Johnston about their youth cricketing days as they passed the oval that adjoins the rail trail.

Yep, it’s no secret really, it’s the people that make Koony parkrun special and everyone has a story to share. Runners, chatters, shufflers, everyone is welcome at Koonwarra, even super heroes regularly visit!

Harley Langstaff

This weekend it was little Harley Langstaff’s turn to don the super hero cape for achieving his ‘Junior 10’. It perfectly complemented the 4 year old’s Mr Incredible t-shirt which Harley said helped him run ‘really fast’ because it was like ‘bat wings’. Typical of Koony’s friendliness, Harley collected ‘a million’ hi-5’s along the way and his cape helped him fly home with a blistering sprint finish. (Equally super Bailey Langstaff pictured left).

First across the line was Craig Benson with an impressive time of 17:03 minutes. Equally impressive was that Craig and his son travelled all the way from Canberra on a road trip for the weekend!

They were amongst the 136 participants, of whom 24 were first timers and 17 recorded new Personal Bests.

Thanks to the super hero volunteers who ran event #79: Fiona Dalgleish, Ebony Knox, Bret Dalgleish, Kelly Fuery, Cassie Van Hoorn, Scott Morrison, Cindy Smith, Phillip Morrison and Laurie Bier.

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