Koonwarra parkrun turns 2!

Koonwarra parkrun 2nd Birthday Celebration Event #106 2nd November 2019
By Etsuko Yasunaga

What a celebration! We officially turned two. Brightly coloured fluro was everywhereoutfitswigs, tutus and an impressive 200 fluro cupcakes baked by Amy White. Participants included pooch friends dressed up to celebrate the occasion in style. Everyone had a smile on their face, and as always Koony had a great vibe. The collective spirit was high, and we even managed to hold off the predicted heavy down pour. 

Our Run Director Ebony thanked every volunteer who had donned the fluro vest at Koonwarra parkrun, and other RDs – Amy White, Steven Fuery, Kelly Fuery, Sue Ritchie, Joel Langstaff, Lynette McCarthy, Felicity Castellan, Cindy Borg, Lani Cropley, Julian Walker, Lisa Riley, Rosemary Knox and Ethan Langstaff. She also thanked behind the scenes support of Event Ambassador Kate Lew Ton and Regional Ambassador Tony O’Connell

This week 120 parkrunners ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 6 were first timers and 13 recorded new Personal BestsCongratulations Clint, Raidyn, Cohen, Liam, Kevin, Karen, Julie, Chris, Michael, Sue, Emily, Kirri, Cameron. It was also our own Scomo, Scott Morrison’s 100th milestone parkrun. A whole team of family and friends made sure that it was indeed a very special run for him. Scott finished as the first runner for the 15th time. Congratulations on your 100th, Scott

It’s hard to believe Koonwarra parkrun turned two. Looking back, we have grown so much to build such a close-knit parkrun community in short two years. A community that invites and nurtures connection, createswellbeing and sense of belonging. The cold days are nearly over (fingers crossed) and summer will be here soon. We’ve been through the toughest time of year together and have come out the other side shining. Everyone couldn’t be more proud of the whole community. Whether it’s been running a half marathon or achieving PBseverybody has grown together to build a stronger family here at Koonwarra parkrun. Let’s continue to take extravagant pleasure in being alive (NUANNAARPOQ, Sue Richie’s favourite word) everydayespecially on Saturday mornings when we can spend quality time together at parkrun. Let’s continue to support each other as we move forward as the Koonwarra parkrun family

Thank you to this week’s volunteerwho made the event possible: Ebony Knox, Cassie Van Hoorn, Laurie Bier, Caitlin CastellanBrooke Jones, Tate Borg, Shane O’loughlin, Helen Lughetto and Etsuko Yasunaga.


Event 103 – Run in the Sun

Run Report for Event #103

By Etsuko Yasunaga

The first parkrun since the daylight saving has started. There was still a chill in the air at the start, but conditions were superb. A total of 92 people took to the beautiful rail trail today, including 2 first timers together with another 10 parkrunners completing the Koonwarra trail for the first time. We welcomed tourists from Mullum Mullum, Lilydale, Chelsea, Sale, Traralgon and Inverloch respectively.

There were many happy faces of seniors, children, toddlers, youngies, mums and dads who pushed prams, people with their dogs, lone runners, walkers with friends – all enjoying themselves out in the fresh air on the Saturday morning (parkrun day). It surely can’t get any better than this. Today’s perfect conditions yielded 13 new PB’s – well done to Todd, Nigel, Glenn, Narelle, Lesley, Paul, Chris, Teresa, Carla, Christine, Tarnya, Susan and Kelly.

It was Joel Langstaff’s official debut day as a Run Director. The last time he was meant to be a Run Director the tunnel was flooded. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled and so was Joel’s first RD role. What a great job today, Joel! Everything ran without a hitch including organising beautiful weather for us all. Many thanks to our volunteers this week – Joel, Neil and Judy Langstaff, Lisa Riley, Casandra Barker, Helen Lughetto and Etsuko Yasunaga. We simply can’t run parkrun without our volunteers. If you haven’t volunteered for a while, please check out the roster and pop your name down. Your time and effort will be appreciated and rewarded with a free coffee at the General Store.

A reminder that next Saturday October 19th is ‘Juniors Take Over parkrun’, so bring the kids. Koonwarra parkrun is also taking part in ‘Restart a Heart Day 2019’ on the same day. Come along to parkrun next Saturday and learn CPR, practise using an AED to help save a life. November 2nd we will celebrate our 2nd birthday at Koonwarra. It’s a ‘fluro’ theme, so get your bright outfits organised and come and join in the birthday celebrations. Bring family members or friends who are new to parkrun. You can always bribe them with a piece of cake! I will be back again for the special celebration run report in three weeks’ time.

This week 92 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 15 were first timers and 13 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 3 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 7 volunteers:


The male record is held by Sam QUIRK who recorded a time of 15:54 on 7th April 2018 (event number 24).
The female record is held by Sarah LEWIS who recorded a time of 18:44 on 25th August 2018 (event number 44).
The Age Grade course record is held by Craig BENSON who recorded 85.14% (17:03) on 20th April 2019 (event number 79).

Koonwarra parkrun started on 4th November 2017. Since then 1,550 participants have completed 9,746 parkruns covering a total distance of 48,730 km, including 1,701 new Personal Bests. A total of 193 individuals have volunteered 870 times



Event # 102 – Seniors Week

Run Report for Event #102

By Allyson Opray

Today was ‘Seniors Take Over parkrun’, and what a great job they did. We were very fortunate at Koonwarra parkrun to also have a large number of seniors running or walking the 5km, so well done to you all.  Also happy 75th birthday to Peter Rose.

Spring was certainly in the air this morning, especially with the warning “eyes down for snakes”, “heads up for magpies”!

A total of 121 people took to the beautiful rail trail today, including 8 first timers together with another 6 park runners completing the Koonwarra trail for the first time.  We also welcomed tourists Ray, Kim, Chloe and their dog from Hastings parkrun.  Ray is the race director there and he told me he had to write their race report today so hopefully our beautiful parkrun will get a mention!

Congratulations to Laura McIlwaine who completed her 50th parkrun today and also ran a new PB.  Laura has now done 37 parkruns at Koonwarra, 13 at various other events as well as volunteering twice.

The perfect conditions today produced 22 new PB’s – well done to Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Simon, Ashley, Clint, Bess, Matt, Linda, Chris, Lachie, Laura, Carla, Emily, Harley, Susan, Marnie, Joy, Marilyn, Jaxon, Nicole, Cheryl.

This weekend marks the 15 year anniversary of parkrun history with the first ever parkrun held at Bushy Park in London on October 2nd 2004.  What a huge event this must be, as each week they require over 60 volunteers!!  I wonder if  they all get a coffee voucher from the local café?  Many thanks to our volunteers this week – Rosemary, Ebony, Caitlin, Nathan, Robert, Jenny, Jethro, Kathy, Trish and Allyson.

A reminder that October 19th is ‘Juniors Take Over parkrun’ and November 2nd we will celebrate our 2nd birthday at Koonwarra. This day will have a ‘fluro’ theme, so get your bright outfits organised and come and join in the birthday celebrations.










Event # 98 07/09/19

A very wet and windy night had me wondering if we would be washed out but no, the course was in great condition. Cool air to begin and a light mist of rain before the start.

While waiting for the start I was sitting at the table and there was a strange noise
coming from the trees. It could have been a koala but I could not see one.  Then a kookaburra started laughing and the sun broke through the trees. A rainbow appeared and it looked like it was going to be a nice day after all.

We had a visitor from Wonthaggi doing her first Koonwarra parkrun and another 86 dedicated runners with Scomo first across the line and PB's to Paul Tregoweth, Raidyn Harrison, Chris Scholz,Teresa Jans, Carla Witherow, Lacey White, Matt Whiteside, Nigel G, and Marnie Whiteside.

The run started and the skies sent down a bit of rain interspersed with some sun coming through making it quite pleasant at times if the wind was not there. The kookaburras continued to laugh at us but was
nice to hear the laughter from them and the runners. There were plenty of smiles and and lots of well done's and encouragement along the way.

Thank you to all the volunteers and for those people who walked with me and were so patient with me while I just plodded along ever so slowly but make it I did.



Event # 96

By Sarah Lewis & Neil Forth

Parkrun event number 96 was held on Saturday 24th August 2019. Although there were no milestones to celebrate this week run director Ebony Knox kindly reminded Sarah Lewis she hadn’t run a PB for 12 months by announcing that it was a year to the day since Sarah set the Koonwarra female course record.

The 79 parkrunners who got out of bed early and showed up were rewarded with a nice sunny morning for a run, jog, walk or chat.

First runner home was Mathieu Dube in a another new PB of 19:11. Others to claim new PB’s were Sarah Price, Amanda Browne, Chris Scholz, Teresa Jans and Georgia

We had two first timers this week, welcome Brent Sinclair and Carla
Witherow! Taking advantage of a lovely day for some parkrun tourism, we also
had visitors from Diamond Creek and Point Cook join us.

Although the day might have lacked the excitement of milestones, flooded tunnels etc., we have many exciting dates coming up to put in your diaries, starting with Inverloch
parkrun’s 5th birthday on September 14th, followed by Koonwarra parkrun event
100 on September 21st , Grand final day September 28th, as well as Senior
takeover week on October 5th and Junior takover on the 19th October.And of course, 2nd November is our 2nd Birthday!

Thank you to this weeks volunteer team who made the event possible: Ebony Knox, Laurie Bier, Cindy Borg, Wendy Green, Neil Green, Neil Forth, Shane O’Loughlin, Paul Tregoweth and Kerry Tregoweth.


Event #95 – The real deal!

By Paige Barry 

Parkrunners were happy to be back and out on the course today after last weeks cancellation due to flooding. We didn’t have any milestones this week although we did have a couple tourists from Sale and Newborough. We were glad to have the South Coast Athletes running their annual club cross country with parkrun. We had lots of beautiful dogs on the track today that received a lot of love and attention from parkrunners and volunteers. Our volunteers did an amazing job out there today with our 85 runners and walkers. Sarah Lewis was our first runner over the line with a time of 19:20 and that was her 29th time placing as the first female at Koonwarra.Their were an outstanding number of 18 PBs and we congratulate all of them.We hope to see everyone back out at parkrun next Saturday at 7:45 am.


The day Event #95 went down the drain!

The day Event #95 went down the drain

By Allyson Opray

Our race director Joel, accompanied by Cindy and Nathan set off on a 7am course check and was returning full of enthusiasm. He was ready to tell the 30+ brave souls who adhered to the instructions earlier in the week that parkrun would go ahead, rain, hail or shine (and boy did we get all those things).  The course was spongy but not sticky, the roar of the raging flood water, akin to Niagara Falls was inspiring, the wet gum trees illuminated against the broody black sky was empowering – perfect  conditions for our run today.  That was until he descended the last hill, taking the left turn into the tunnel - there was the road block – water ….. ankle deep water! The tunnel had become a fast running drain. He reported back to the gathering group that it seemed the water was running into the tunnel faster than it was running out.  Would it clear in the next 10 minutes? Could we run the other way?  Could we drive to the Koonwarra Rec Reserve and start there, running a little further to a turnaround point then run back? Or maybe we could just go to the Koonwarra Store for coffee?  With the safety of our parkrun competitors the number one concern, the decision was made to cancel the official parkrun today.  A big thank you to the volunteers who arrived early to take up their positions and to the rest of our parkrun family who decided to come along regardless of what Mother Nature had in store – you’re all Champions!!


Event #93 – Langstaff Day at Koonwarra parkrun!

IT WAS ‘Langstaff Day’ at Koonwarra parkrun last Saturday with six family members among the day’s volunteers; Alanna, Bailey, Harley, Ethan, Judy and Joel Langstaff.

While in the 5km run or walk Zac Langstaff finished seventh in a time of 24.42 and Neil Langstaff participated as well. It was quite the turnout but not the first time they’ve figured so prominently.

The weather was cool but fine and a total of 74 turned out for the 93rd running of the Koonwarra parkrun over the three bridges across Blackspur Creek and the mighty Tarwin River.

Saluting the place token stewards first was Daniel Vogelpoel of the Melbourne Midday Milers in a time of 20:35. His personal best over the course remains at 20:01.

There were nine first timers at Koonwarra including two visitors from Lillydale.

Robert Robinson and his dog Billy celebrated their 50th run, with Rob wearing the cape. It was actually his 51st parkrun but there were already a number of celebrations the previous week. Robert is on the comeback trail after injury so it was good to see him out and about.

Koony parkrun will soon be celebrating its own milestone, the 100th mark on Saturday, September 14 so any previous runners please don’t forget to save the date!

In other news, a representative of Leongatha Rotary provided some preliminary information about plans to erect a rotunda near the start of the parkrun for rail-trailers, parkrunners and others who enjoy the area, complete with running water – watch this space.

And a special thanks to the day’s volunteers without whom the event couldn’t run. They were Janice Bouquet, Kelly Fuery, Michael Giles, Joel Langstaff, Ethan Langstaff, Bailey Langstaff, Alana Langstaff and Judy Langstaff.


Event # 90 – By Sue Ritchie

By Sue Ritchie

What a way to start a weekend. Apologies everyone for my delayed parkrun report. As many of us know one of the benefits of doing parkrun is that you are up, out the door and doing something at the most beautiful part of the day and that usually sets you up for the start of a wonderful weekend. Well this week didn’t disappoint and hence the delayed report, the garden beckoned, sorry.
Event #90 started with a invigorating Julian Walker, sharing the spirit of Parkrun and quoting the famous Winston Churchill “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” I hope I got the right one Julian, which lead into very nicely expressing the importance of our parkrun volunteers who make every week at park run possible. This week’s special people include; Julian Walker himself, Helen Patterson (the birthday girl), Steve Fuery, Laurie Bier, Karen Hannon, Jan Leslie, Sharon Reid and yours truly Sue Ritchie. Julian also reminded us that as park runners, we not only below to Koonwarra parkrun, but that we belong to a national and international park running community, which is a pretty amazing phenomenon.

So, this week we hosted visitors from Westerfolds, Pakenham, Warragul, Wonthaggi, Albury – Wodonga and Grenfell in NSW as well as 18 first timers to Koonwarra parkrun. When is arrived at the picnic table and there were about 20 people present I thought golly it’s going to be a quiet one today, however as the clock ticked closer to the start the crowd started to swell and our total runners amounted to 109, with 16 new PB’s. Congrats to those achieving their PB’s.

It was a wonderful day had by all meeting over at the Koonwarra store for a coffee after the run and then venturing up the hill to the Koonwarra farmers market, which is a most pleasant way to start the day. Hopefully all our fellow park runners had an amazing weekend, enjoying the sun as well and we’ll see you all next week, same time same place.

Take care, Sue

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