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


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.