welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s royal edition of the newsletter we hear from an inspired volunteer, the runPositive campaign rolls on and our WA parkrunners step up to the marathon.
We all love a bit of a pat on the back from time to time and this week parkrun, or more precisely the founder of parkrun Paul Sinton-Hewitt, received just that when he was awarded the title Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen's birthday honours. This is fantastic recognition for PSH (aka Sir Paul) and is incredibly timely with parkrun’s 10th birthday only a matter of months away. parkrun means so much to so many people now and I think parkrunner Peter Speechly summed it up nicely in this Facebook post I read yesterday –
“This guy is the reason we all get up early on a Saturday morning to run around some amazing places with some wonderful people, to share our running stories & ultimately to support & encourage one another. Without that light going on one day in his head none of us would be enjoying what we have every parkrunday morning and I for one wouldn't have met such amazing people, or probably still be running. So pleased that his vision & passion have been recognised.”
Well said Peter.
Speaking of parkrun’s 10th birthday, some of you will be aware that a book is currently being written about our short history by Debra Bourne, Event Director of Lloyd parkrun in the UK. I met with Debra whilst in London recently and she requested some specific content such as examples of elite athletes who use parkrun as a training tool. So on Friday last week I tweeted Hockeyroos coach Adam Commens asking for the story of how he had many of his team attending parkruns earlier this year. We were chatting back and forth and then he went quiet for a few hours before finishing off our chat. I realized later the reason he went quiet was the Hockeyroos were playing (and winning) their World Cup semi-final against the USA! The team then went on to take the silver medal in a hard fought final against The Netherlands the following day so on behalf of everyone at parkrun I want to congratulate these amazing ladies (and Adam) on such a great achievement. Now all we need is a parkrun logo on their shirts…
Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
p.s. Only 109 days until International parkrun Day 2014
Professor Alan’s Essential Stats
Number of runners – 7,654
Number of volunteers – 673
Number of new registrations – 1,209
Total number of registered parkrunners – 115,396
parkrunners are proud to runPositive
More than 1600 parkrunners across Australia have already joined the Suncorp Bank runPositive program this year to celebrate their reason to run. It’s great to see you all wearing these unique runPositive singlets at events as it appears many of you are embracing this inspiring initiative from Suncorp Bank.
If you’re interested in joining the growing online community, please remember all parkrun members who sign up will receive an exclusive Suncorp Bank runPositive parkrun Australia singlet. Note that the message across the front will read “I runPositive with parkrun Australia’. Your personal reason to runPositive will not be printed across the front however will still be visible on your unique profile page on the runPositive website.
We also ask you to please read and note the terms and conditions of entry as this program is only open to Australian residents who are 18 years of age or over. We acknowledge that there are a number of young parkrunners who don’t meet this age requirement, and would like to receive a singlet, however as cash is awarded to entrants at random; Suncorp Bank is unable to award money to a minor and will therefore not be able to accept the entry.
We appreciate your understanding on this matter.
Don’t miss your chance to get on board this great opportunity as there is a limited number of runPositive singlets still available and they are going fast. Once they’re gone, that’s all folks!
Click here to join the runPositive crew and don’t forget to follow on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
‘The best things in life are free!!!’ by Madiko Kamocha
I joined Albert Melbourne parkrun after my sister in the UK spoke highly of the event that she wakes up to every Saturday morning.
Being of commerce background (professionally) - I often find it true that there is no such thing as a free lunch and kept telling my sister to be careful as she might receive a bill from parkrun for these timed runs. However I was delighted to find that parkrun is indeed a free, timed, weekly 5km run – and it is the volunteers that make it such a success.
Seven parkruns later I was itching to have my first volunteer experience. I figured it is the least I could do for such a fun and inspiring event. I was however slightly worried how I would cope with volunteering given the long work hours I had been putting in due to the end of financial year fast approaching.
Guess what??? Volunteering at parkrun is so simple! You get an email reminder, a pre-event briefing on day... and the rest I history! The communication via email is amazing so all the questions I had with regards to volunteering were asked and answered electronically. You do not have to attend numerous lengthy meetings in person so that was a big tick from me.
If you have considered volunteering go for it! The satisfaction thereafter feels just as good as crossing the finish line after a 5km run.
‘Word from the West’ by Jeremy Savage
Last Saturday a handful of runners were presented with their red adidas 50-club shirts at Claisebrook Cove parkrun. As Claisebrook Cove was the first WA parkrun, this was my home parkrun for some time and I have run alongside most, if not all of the people pictured below.
Sunday 15th of June was the Perth Marathon and Marathon Relay, organised by the WA Marathon Club, and the WA parkrun family were very active in entering loads of teams (I have lost count of how many!) of 3 or 4 runners, pairs of runners and of course, individual runners. There were entrants from the 6 Perth metro parkruns and also a group from Kalgoorlie Boulder parkrun.
The event was just amazing and the parkrun family made everything such a pleasure to be around. There was even chalk writing on the path to encourage the parkrunners and in true parkrun style, we sat on the side of course to cheer the last of the runners home while we celebrated the achievements of everyone.
Lastly, congratulations to the City of Gosnells, the Local Government that supports Pioneer parkrun, as it was recently announced that they have been awarded the Parks and Leisure Australia (WA) 2014 Award of Excellence for their efforts in redeveloping the Centennial Pioneer parklands. Anyone who has been along to Pioneer parkrun will be able to vouch for the hard work that the City of Gosnells put into the park area; it really is a very beautiful part of the world to run around.
Upcoming Special Events
21 - East Coast Park parkrun (Singapore) launch, North Shore (Qld) 1st anniversary, Gladstone (Qld) 1st anniversary, Carine Glades (WA) launch, Mosman (NSW) cancelled
28 - Logan River (Qld) 1st anniversary, Mornington Peninsula (Vic) launch
5 - Aveley (WA) 1st anniversary
12 - Pittsworth (Qld) launch, Gatton (Qld) 1st anniversary, Noosa (Qld) launch
19 - Armidale (NSW) launch
26 – Coomera (Qld) 2nd anniversary, Maribyrnong (Vic) launch
Feedback from the field
Alan Harris - parkrun is an inspirational concept where all levels of runners can get together and enjoy each other’s company in an environment where the only competition is yourself. I had been in a past life a competitive runner but various injuries and the normal day-to-day family involvements meant that my running days, and certainly Fun Runs, were a distant memory. Until, my eldest son Ken introduced me to St Peters parkrun late in 2013. And now, we have had as a family on Saturday 7th June 2014 eight (8) family members running (is this a record??) There were myself, my three sons, – Ken, Darren and Nathan, Darren and Nathan’s children Luke, Charlie and Jack, and my Daughter-in-law Michelle. Five were First Timers being Darren, Luke, Charlie, Nathan and Michelle and there is no doubt that they will all be back again to experience the camaraderie of parkrun. Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity as a family to join in this worldwide phenomenon.
Anthea Miner - Just want to thank you all for the amazing job you do each and every week. In the last year parkrun has become the normal way we start out weekends. My sister and I did our first ever run in July last year and since then our husbands and children have joined in. There is a healthy rivalry going with the boys as they try to better each other and themselves, and my eight year old daughter Nadia has taken to running like a duck to water. She has done a few PBs in the last couple of runs but last week was the best with her first sub 30 run. I couldn't be prouder of her. Keep up the great work! We couldn't think of a better way to start our weekends and have some quality family time as well.
Paul Matuschka – Albury Wodonga parkrun is an absolutely amazing event and global initiative that we should all be proud to participate in. They say that participation in community events gives a sense of belonging and a sense of belonging is 1 of the 5 key areas of happiness... So this event is contributing to the happiness of each and every person involved in and connected too. Further if you have a happy friend, then you will most likely be happier! Which builds a strong happy community.
Barbara Bosley - I am 61 years old and attended my first Sandon Point parkrun o on June 7. A friend, Anne Clarke, introduced me to this run and was there to motivate, cheer me on and celebrate my crossing the finish line. My result was better than I expected and I hope to run again, even though walking for the two days after was a challenge!!! I was so impressed with the organisation and attendance on the day. Well done Sandon Point parkrun!
Lachie Miners - I'd like to share this photo from Gatton parkrun. This is my nephew and I finishing our 37th and 35th runs with only 1 second separating us. My nephew smashing out a new PB of 23:18. Such a great time for a boy his age! I started doing parkrun to try and keep up with him and now most of our family does parkrun every week too!
Ana Santos - I'm a devoted parkrunner since I found out about it. My weekend starts in the best possible form, getting up early, to meet friends and go for a 5km run in the hope of getting a PB but mainly to keep fit and have fun . I'm amazed of the concept and how well organised parkrun is. I'm about to go overseas for a two month holiday so I have to wait a bit longer to achieve the 50 runs milestone .
Jeanette Grima - Just letting you know that last weekend was the first time I had done a parkrun and I totally enjoyed my experience. I attended the Point Cook parkrun and it was a really well run morning. Hats off to all and I will definitely be back. Have not stopped spruiking!!
Greg Selkirk - Me and my 9 year old son Benjamin were first timers at Albert Melbourne parkrun on Saturday. We heard about parkrun through the Jetts Fitness/Ultrafit magazine, also a good friend runs at New Farm parkrun in Brisbane and told us to try it out. We both ran sub-30 minutes (just) at our first outing and upon finishing my son immediately resolved to be back next week to do better! As for me, I might keep an eye on the weather forecast before leaping out of bed and reaching for the joggers.....
Drop me an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.
Name: Greg Beerling
Club: The Run Inn
Home parkrun: Mitchelton parkrun
Occupation: Acupuncturist / Witchdoctor
Number of runs: 32
Number of times volunteered: 8
Favourite volunteer role: Pacing
What do like about volunteering at parkrun: I appreciate that running for your goals is a worthy challenge and like to help people to achieve these even if it is below my current ability level and get a kick out of it when they reach that PB.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: I liked interacting with the finishers when I performed barcode entries one day.
How can we improve parkrun: As a business owner in the natural therapies industry, I have taken the initiative to offer a monthly volunteer prize, it seems to be working well.