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


Event #91 – Brief break in the storms for a windy run!

Koonwarra parkrun # 91 – Brief Break in the Storms for a Windy Run.

By Simone Walliker

Driving to Koonwarra parkrun this stormy morning was a wet affair but, amazingly, the rain ceased while parking. Very quick announcements were conducted by Run Director, Lynette McCarthy: first timers?  … no?; tourists? … yes, one: Michael Walker from Newborough; rules for dogs, looking, looking, no dogs? … rules for under 11s … none of those either! Okay then, let’s line up at the start line.

The small crowd all fitted nicely into a group photo prior to the sound of the horn and we were off. The worst of the weather held off nicely for us with only a few sprinkle in the first half hour so we were free to ENJOY the invigorating icy wind, getting half way and turning at the bollard, only to remember, that’s right, you get the head wind in the homeward direction! Hold on to your hats! For those who were quick to finish, a marquee tent was much needed shelter for the showers that passed and to keep the gear dry.

Track conditions were great despite several days of rain and with a cosy 27 runners there was no need to take to the flooded gutters for any overtaking manoeuvres. Photographer, Bob Hickman, didn’t need to dodge too many raindrops.

Well done to all runners who braved the mid-winter weather for a bit of warming exercise amongst the rolling hills. First finisher was Tim Stephens, first female Katharina Harper-Schmid. Congratulations also to Linda Brown who achieved her 50th run milestone and also Judy Langstaff and Neil Langstaff clocking PBs despite the headwind. We found an official first timer, in Max Fowles who ran an impressive time and a special mention goes to his super mum Kim for driving him to parkrun this morning. A dog appeared on the course too, probably staying warm in the car during the pre-run briefing!

Our Newborough visitor must have enjoyed the course, as after completing his run, hunted down young Max drying off in his car to shake hands and congratulate him on his unwavering effort. He also went back to walk with Tail Walker, Jenny Kerville, helping bring in the signs and stayed back for coffee at the Koonwarra Store. Thanks for visiting Micheal.

Kellie and Kieron’s motivation for coming to parkrun was to see who the hard core parkrunners are!!

Best wishes to Bob, recovering from broken ribs. We can’t wait to celebrate your 50th when you return in a few weeks - but please take it easy in the meantime.

Huge thanks to the volunteers who made the day possible, especially in conditions like today when they’ve committed in advance and followed through. In addition to those already mentioned were Jolyon Dutton, Sarah Lewis, Linda Brown and Sue Ritchie.


Event #89 – Kicking off the weekend with post parkrun chats and junior volunteer assistants!

By Jolyon Dutton

As we wondered down, shuffling through the fallen leaves, to the picnic table for the start  of the 89th Koonwarra parkrun, the sun was coming up in a magnificent crimson sky. Run director Amy was already getting things ready for the event with assistance from her beautiful children. The famous Judy Langstaff was as usual an early arrival, with Neil in tow. A wonderful photo of Judy and grandchild was posted on the national parkrun website/facebook page this week.
Amy commented “I think we might be here on our own today” with a foreboding weather forecast for the morning. She underestimated the conviction of the great parkrun family, as the volunteers, 77 parkrunners, plus dogs, plus babies and kids, all turned up with eager anticipation and smiling faces. Everyone ready for the weekly personal challenge of the 5km journey along the Great Southern Rail Trail, at whatever pace they choose to go this week.

Amongst the parkrunners this week were 1 first timer and parkrun tourists from Hastings, Newcastle and Parkville. A PB is always great to achieve, but everyone who gets out on the rail trail is a winner for the week. Talking of which there were 6 PBs achieved this week, including first to arrive back through the flags, Mathieu Dube in an impressive 19:28.
As the participants arrived back at the picnic table to register their times, volunteer barcode scanner Sarah Knox was ably assisted by junior volunteers Mackenzie and Indie who were very diligent in making sure that no bar codes were missed. This is also the time when the wonderful post run chats start as everyone catches their breath, cools back down and relaxes with a great sense of achievement to kick off the weekend.
Brigette from Fish Creek commented how much easier it is to get up early, the more runs that she gets under her belt, even in the dark winter mornings. Alison and Cathy were chatting about how enjoyable parkrun is as a sport (comparing it to Netball), there is no fund raising or money to worry about, all helpers are volunteers. A great mix of age, gender, ability and species (humans and dogs) all participating together as one supportive team. The only competition is with yourself and the clock.
It was great to see parkdog Raven back out on the course following recent major surgery. He was welcomed back withs lots of sniffs from the other parkdogs.
A big thankyou to all this week’s volunteers who make the great weekly event such a popular success:
 Run Director: Amy Knox
 Timekeepers: Leo and Karen Argento
 Barcode Scanning: Sarah Knox (with help from Mackenzie and Indie)
 Finish Token: Joy Morrison
 Photographer: Mary Adams
 Tail Walker: Cindy Smith
 Run report writer: Me (Jolyon Dutton)
As usual, the event culminated with a large contingent of parkrunners gathering in the friendly Koonwarra Store for post run refreshment – and more chatter of course.


Event # 88
 – Winter Solstice Wonderland

With the mercury barely rising above one degree celsius, Koonwarra had a fantastic turn out of 97 participants.

Having the will power to throw off cosy doonas, layer up and get moving rewarded everyone with stunning winter scenery viewed through puffs of steamy breath.

Feet stamped and hands vigorously rubbed together as first time Run Director Cassie Van Hoorn congratulated Mary Adams on celebrating her 50th milestone.

Sarah Lewis got off to a cracking start and maintained a solid pace to collect the first finish token in a time of 19.16.

Thanks to parkrun tourists Sharon Madeley, David Newberry, Lianne Smith, Julie Fenech and Caz Liao, for making the early trip over from Newborough.

Congratulations to the 7 parkrunners who recorded new Personal Bests. Will Campbell, Alana Langstaff, Gerhard Labuschagne, Samson Bryant, Julie Cato, Sarah Beck and Helen Paterson.

The event was made possible by 9 volunteers: Ebony Knox, Sarah Knox, Kelly Fuery, Cassie Van Hoorn, Scott Morrison, Helen Lughetto, Janice Bouquet, Judy Langstaff and Phillip Morrison.


Event #87 – parkrun: Life-changing stuff!

This week’s Run Director Felicity Castellan, asked the 90 Koonwarra parkrunners at her briefing “has parkrun changed your life?”

Many hands went up, with comments that it was the nudge they needed for regular exercise, and it’s a great social meet up. But for Leo and Karen Argento, parkrun had another profound impact.

parkrun was the preparation they needed to tackle the 45-kilometre, 3-day Inca Trail hike. They did it pretty comfortably too, so instead of struggling physically they were able to really enjoy the sights and sounds. They did get a rest every now and then, when they had to wait for others who found the going much harder.

If you’ve got a challenge you’d like to take on, or even just a way to stay active, maybe parkrun could be your nudge?

We had three milestones to celebrate this week. Clocking up their 50th parkrun were Sharon Reid and Helen Patterson, while Jordyn Browne donned the white cape as she joined the Junior 10 club. Well done!!

This week we welcomed 9 first timers and congratulated 11 Personal Bests set by Alana Langstaff, Ebony Knox, Jack Noorbergen, Naomi Cantwell, Kerry Tregoweth, Jacob Browne, Laura McIlwaine, Alkira Riley, Helen Patterson, Thomas Williams and Jodie Marke.

The first female to cross the line was Koonwarra regular Cassie Van Hoorn in 24:29, and first male was first time visitor from Melbourne Daniel Vogelpoel who finished one second over the twenty-minute mark.

A huge thanks to our volunteers who made this week’s event possible: Cathy McKnight, Felicity Castellan, Kaila Hutchinson, Steve Fuery, Kelly Fuery, Patricia Miller, Linda Jefferis and Helen Lughetto.

Full results and information on how you can join in and run, jog or walk the 5-kilometre course can be found on the Koonwarra parkrun website - visit parkrun.com/koonwarra.


Event # 86 – Rain, reign and reins at Koonwarra parkrun

By Rosemary Knox

Rain, reign and reins at Koonwarra parkrun

All parkruns....and parkrun reports start with a discussion about the weather and luckily at Koonwarra on Saturday morning there was no rain. It was cold though, very cold! Nearly a frost on the flats and foggy over the swamps but 99 parkrunners turned out of warm beds for the 7.45am briefing.

All breathing steam, rubbing hands together and shivering while Run Director Lynnette McCarthy welcomed tourists (from Inverloch parkrun) and first timers to the Queen's Birthday long weekend 86th event. Happy birthday Queen Lizzie and as the Royalists would say or sing...."long may she reign over us!"

A brisk morning for a brisk run, jog, walk or wander over the 5kms, out and back course along the rail trail towards Meeniyan.

First over the line was Scott Morrison with a time of 19.53 and close behind was Mathieu Dube with his time of 20.05. (a PB)

With the thought of coffee and  warmth back at the Koonwarra Store there were 16 PB's on Saturday so congratulations go to Mathieu, Fraser, Lisa, Glenn, Ebony, Alana, Keiron, Lauren, Chris, Jason, Harley, Thomas, Shelle, Michelle, Jenny and Daphne.

The arrival of the all important post-run email and the checking of times is an important part of parkrun. The elusive PB is the holy grail so to get PB's consecutively is exciting!

Coffee conversation was about the 2019 Longest Run-Gippsland the next day. Starting at 6.30am parkrunners could complete on all or some of the local courses. Warragul, Newborough, Traralgon, Churchill, Grand Ridge, Koonwarra and finishing at 4pm at Inverloch.

Chatting with newcomers Giulia and Barbara from Leongatha at their first ever parkrun and it is interesting to see parkrun with fresh eyes. How it works, who does what, how fast some of the runners are, how keen are the kids, how many prams and dogs there are, the bridges, the ducks and scenery, the tokens and barcodes and how friendly everyone is.... the whole new sights on the picturesque rail trail.

Too cold and too many layers of clothing meant the new apricot tee sported by Judy didn't get much air- time. Personalised with "Koonwarra" the apricot tee helps spread the parkrun message.

For more information about Koonwarra parkrun Google it! And for photos have a look at the Koonwarra parkrun Facebook page.

Many thanks to the volunteers who made this event happen.... Lyn McCarthy, Steve Fuery, Helen Lughetto, Julian Walker, Rosemary Knox, Neil Langstaff and Brooke Jones

The pack-up after parkrun is always smooth and easy with volunteers pulling down signs, packing away vests and tokens and handing the equipment on to the next RD.

Felicity Castellen takes the reins for Koonwarra parkrun next Saturday, at the picnic table, at the start of the Great Southern Rail Trail in Koonwarra with run briefing at 7.45am and the hooter at 8.


Event #85

Event #85

By Ebony Knox

It wasn't as cold this morning as everyone was expecting, a good thing and a bad thing. Some wore too many layers and heated up too quick. For myself and seven others, it was the perfect conditions for a PB. The conditions well and truly suited our second place finisher, Brian Jefferis, who took 16 seconds off last weeks time. Who needs pacers right?

Lisa having already introduced the team of volly's was grateful to see the freshly washed volly vests stroll in, just in time - Laurie summed it up well.. "if running late to parkrun is the worst thing that happens, then I think we're all doing okay." Thanks Laurie - although I am concerned we are getting a little bit of a reputation for our tardiness.

Brooke and Cindy had a ball out on the course this morning as Tail Walker and Photographer. Together they kept the super positive Laurie entertained.. or rather.. I think they all kept each other entertained! (Check out the Facebook photos for a hint of the shenanigans they got up to!)

Jol and Joel were on the Stopwatches and did a super job successfully clicking 76 people over the line. Two of these were First Timers -  Chris and Jodie. Congratulations on completing your first parkrun and we hope to see you back soon. Joel later helped Lisa process the results at The Koonwarra Store, picking up tips ready for when we welcome him to the picnic table as Run Director on August 10.

Judy also did a super job handing out Finish Tokens. We know how much Judy loves parkrun and later in the morning after we finished our coffees, we discussed our plans for next Sunday's Longest Run. Starting at the Warragul parkrun course at 6.30am and finishing at the Inverloch parkrun course at 4pm, participants can choose to do however many of the seven un-official parkruns they want at set times throughout the day. More information can be found on the Longest Run - Gippsland 2019 Facebook page.

Cindy was efficient on the barcode scanner today and explained to people that we will no longer be using the green folder to store the barcodes in. While other events may still use similar, parkrun policy discourages the use of them due to the following:

  • we believe it should be the parkrunner’s responsibility to bring their barcode
  • if a barcode goes missing, the parkrunner is likely to be upset (our no barcode, no time, no exception policy applies)
  • if the folder/box with barcodes if accidentally left home, this will be a big problem
  • parkrunners may expect other events to provide this service
  • And in Koonwarra's case, mistakes were happening when more than one barcode was scanning at once causing problems with the results.

Before packing up for the day, we managed to fill a few spots on our volly board. Don't forget, volunteering is fun, friendly and should be done as often as possible! It would be great to see those regulars who have not yet volunteered to put their names down.

And to finish, we had only 4 unknowns in our results today, proving everyone is remembering to register or bring their barcodes. Congrats to the parkrunner and his partner who recently welcomed their second child into the world. And safe travels to those parkrunners heading north in search for some sunnier conditions.

I'm sure the lovely Lynette is looking forward to seeing you all next week as she takes the Run Director reigns for event # 86. See you then. x







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.)

⇐ Newer Posts in Category