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.)