welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s edition of the newsletter we take our first strides in Asia, B2B is back and Perth gets another pretty perfect parkrun.
Last Saturday was a momentous one for parkrun with the launch of our first event in Asia at Singapore’s East Coast Park parkrun. I was fortunate enough to be able to make the trip up on Friday to be there to support Event Director Carol Cunningham, formerly ED at Albert Melbourne parkrun.
In Singapore, like Queensland, our start time is 7am to beat the heat however unlike Queensland the sun doesn’t come up until just before 7am all year round. Thus, when I met Carol and her team at East Coast Park at 6am to get set up it was pitch black… but already starting to get hot! As the start time approached the sun began to peep through and we were in business, although I must say I did like the thought of Singapore being a ‘darkrun’. In the lead up I had predicted 30 runners at this inaugural event and I was pretty close, with 29 in attendance. What I didn’t predict however was the number of first time parkrunners. I assumed many would be expats who had experienced parkrun in their home country but this wasn’t the case with 21 of the 29 brand newbies. I think this really bodes well for the future success of this event.
Of the 8 people who had parkrun before, I want to give special mention to Nneka Oknota who had traveled from New Zealand especially for the launch. Nneka is a self-confessed parkrun fanatic who has traveled to every country parkrun is currently in for her free, timed, weekly 5km run. She loves parkrun so much she is in the process of setting up her own event in Hawkes Bay. It was great to meet you Nneka, see you in New Zealand at your launch!
So, a couple of tips for any of you parkrun tourists looking to make the trip up:
- It costs approximately $10 to get to East Coast Park in a taxi from Singapore city centre. If you hop in the cab before 6am they charge an additional 50% service charge so make sure you get in at 6:01am!
- Singapore is hot. Wear minimal running kit and take plenty of water. You may like to bring a change of shirt if you plan on going to the nearby Starbucks for coffee as we all left a bit of a sweat puddle on Saturday.
Lastly, a quick shot out to Rachel and her team at Carine Glades parkrun who, from all reports (see article below), had a wonderful launch in Perth. In fact, it was the largest ever parkrun event in Western Australia. What will they come up with this week?
Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
p.s. Only 102 days until International parkrun Day 2014
Professor Alan’s Essential Stats
Number of runners – 8,948
Number of volunteers – 654
Number of new registrations – 1,295
Total number of registered parkrunners – 116,970
Bridge to Brisbane Launch
For the 2nd year in a row parkrun is the event training partner of Bridge to Brisbane, the largest single-day running event in Queensland. To celebrate we are holding an official launch across a number of our Brisbane based events this Saturday where participants will receive the new B2B water bottle and other spot prizes.
Since its inception 16 years ago, Bridge to Brisbane has welcomed more than 357,000 people and raised more than $5 million for charities. Entries are now open for the 10km and 5km events and race day this year is Sunday September 7. Click here for more information.
‘Launching Carine Glades parkrun’ by Rachel Walsh
I wish I could say that the day dawned bright and clear, but it didn’t – fortunately, by the time we’d finished setting up for our inaugural event on Saturday 21st June, the clouds and drizzle had passed, and we had a beautiful sunny morning, just perfect for smashing records – which we did, far surpassing the previous WA launch record of 111 runners, and just sneaking past Claisebrook Cove’s largest attendance record to date of 296. We had parkrun tourists from the other five Perth parkruns, and a group from Kalgoorlie Boulder as well, which was great to see – and a large number of first timers that look set to make Carine Glades their home. All up, 301 runners, which was just amazing to see.
After an official welcome from parkrun Australia representative Jon Storey, and the usual pre-run briefing, City of Stirling Councilor Andrew Guilfoyle started the runners off, and a sea of people headed off for a fast start down the grassy hill to meet up with the path and two laps of the lake. First runner over the line was Nic Harman in 16:58, with Barbara Hosack the first female over the line in 19:28. It didn’t take long for the sea of people to all be congregated near the finish area, cheering on the slower runners and chatting as they waited for their barcodes to be scanned, grabbing a coffee from the coffee van and enjoying the home baked goodies that resulted in a recipe swap on our Facebook page! A few people headed across the road to Marmalade Café for breakfast, while I took my #1 volunteer (my 14 year old daughter) to her tennis lesson and headed home to process the results – which went very smoothly thanks to the excellent work by all the volunteers involved! All-in-all, it was a very successful morning – and the perfect weather lasted just long enough, with the heavens opening up just before lunch, with a severe weather warning in place for the afternoon!
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful team that helped me get Carine Glades parkrun off the ground – Pip Holmes, Michael Lee, Randy van Poecke, Andrew Highfield, Kae Lim Choo, Bronwyn Bell and Jon Storey – without you, it wouldn’t have happened! I can’t wait for next Saturday morning now!
Upcoming Special Events
28 - Logan River (Qld) 1st anniversary, Mornington Peninsula (Vic) launch
5 - Main Beach (Qld) cancelled, Coomera (Qld) cancelled, Kirra (Qld) cancelled, Aveley (WA) 1st anniversary
12 - Pittsworth (Qld) launch, Noosa (Qld) launch, Gatton (Qld) 1st anniversary
19 - Armidale (NSW) launch
26 - Maribyrnong (Vic) launch, Coomera (Qld) 2nd anniversary
2 - Victor Harbor (SA) launch, Blackbutt (NSW) 1st anniversary, Claisebrook Cove (WA) 2nd anniversary
9 - Wishart (Qld) launch, Pakenham (Vic) launch
16 - Hobart (Tas) launch
23 - Singleton (NSW) launch, Mt Clarence (WA) launch, Balyang Sanctuary (Vic) 2nd anniversary
30 - Capalaba (Qld) launch, Cairns 1st anniversary (Qld)
Feedback from the field
Jennifer Hetherington - I can't run at the moment as I am awaiting ankle surgery and Lachlan's soccer games have clashed with parkrun but we had a 9am game this week so he got to his first parkrun in 8 weeks. He took another 10 seconds off his PB (37:32). Kids make it seem easy!! I think I will struggle to keep up when I am able to run again! Such a great feeling for him and me to see him bettering himself.
Barbara Absolon - In 1977, I returned from a 12 month adventure in Europe weighing three stone (nearly 20 kilos!) more than I had when I left. A workmate introduced me to 'jogging' - part of a relatively new concept of aerobic exercise espoused by American Kenneth Cooper. I lost the weight but never the love of running. Thirty-seven years, thousands of kilometres and millions of laughs later, running has kept me fit, active and sane. I've met friends for life 'on the streets', both here and in other countries. I now hope to do the same in parkruns around the world. It's great to see so many motivated people making the most of their Saturday mornings, doing what comes naturally - moving, competing, chatting and laughing. Congratulations to those who organise, sponsor and fund parkrun and to the tens of thousands of people sensible enough to get involved.
Bronwyn Bell - Trying to find the start line for the Carine Glades parkrun? Follow the rainbow! #DFYB
Vicki Wright - I just completed my very first North Lakes parkrun last Saturday and at 64 finished at the back of the field. There were 2 other people in my age category and although I finished third it has given me so much inspiration to improve and learn to jog 5km one day. I have never been a runner but being at parkrun on Saturday was inspirational, seeing so many people enjoying the crisp morning running around the lake. I made a new friend and hope to make many more in the coming months. Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity to regain my fitness.
Dawn Courage - Janthea Andersen ran the 1st Kingscliff parkrun in October 2012. Her baby was about 3 months old and she pushed him round. She was very fast! As the months went by bubs got bigger and her times got faster. Then 9 months ago she fell pregnant again. She continued running until 8 months and for the last month she volunteered. Last Monday she gave birth to a son. On Saturday she turned up at parkrun with both boys in the buggy. She said she was running after she had fed bubs. Knowing how fit she is we thought she would go under 30 minutes. We were totally amazed when she came in at 22:30. She is Supermum!
Charles Nicoll - I initially dragged the family along to Ginninderra parkrun a year and a
half or so ago. The lack of enthusiasm on the trip there had me thinking that I’d be doing the trip solo more times than not, especially with the kids already committed to a full morning of Saturday sport. So it is with great pride that I now see my wife and 2 children (9 and 10 years old) all join the 50-club at Tuggeranong parkrun in recent weeks… whilst I flounder on 45 runs! The consistent string of PBs, terrific results at school cross country, and friendly rivalry with cousins in Sydney (St Peters parkrun) provide additional motivation, not that any is needed. So, thanks to parkrun and to the terrific event team at Tuggeranong parkrun.
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: Mark Huth
Home parkrun: Mitchelton ... and Sandgate. Mitchelton is slightly closer to my house, but Sandgate is special because it was my first time.
Occupation: Software Maintenance Engineer
Number of runs: 37
PB: 19.52 (finally beat 20 minutes recently!)
Number of times volunteered: 7
Favourite volunteer role: I've only done 3 different roles so far and they were all fun. Timekeeper is good because you can cheer people on those last few steps and let people know their time as they cross the finish line.
What do like about volunteering at parkrun: Giving back to parkrun and knowing that you are helping make the parkrun happen that morning. The camaraderie you build with the other volunteers is lovely too.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: A couple come to mind. I've done pacing a few times and it’s a great role because you still get to go for a run and you can encourage people along the way (especially towards the end). And the feedback you get afterwards about how you helped someone get a PB is always nice to hear. Another one ... Driving to Mitchelton parkrun one morning in the pouring rain and all the while thinking about just turning around and going back home to bed... but then getting close to parkrun and seeing the other runners (albeit not many) and the volunteers out there in the rain made me realize that if they can put in the effort to be here in this weather, then so can I! And I did and it's still my favourite parkrun ... although running when it’s not pouring down rain is also very nice too
How can we improve parkrun: An idea for improving volunteering participation ... If someone hasn't volunteered for a while, for example they haven't volunteered in their last 15 runs, then perhaps send them a reminder email along with their results email asking if they would like to volunteer soon. (I realize the results email already includes info about volunteering - but perhaps a separate reminder email might help as well). But don't badger them too much either, if they still haven't volunteered then perhaps send the reminder email after every 5 runs after the initial reminder email. Another idea ... in the volunteering section of the results email (or on parkrun Facebook pages or in the announcements before the start of a parkrun), a reminder to people that if they are injured or in a recovery period and can't/don't want to run, then this could be a good opportunity to consider volunteering so they can still be involved with parkrun.