weekly newsletter 1st July 2014

welcome to the newsletter

In this week’s edition of the newsletter Tim is reminded who the boss really is, the results of our first aid survey are published and we rock on at Rockingham!

One of the key elements of the parkrun ethos is that when a new event starts up the local Event Team make a commitment to hold the event at the same time in the same place every Saturday. From a parkrunner's perspective this is great on a number of levels, especially knowing that if your run doesn’t go according to plan there is always next week to have another go. This was something I had to remind myself on Saturday when my visit to the inaugural Mornington Peninsula parkrun was cut short by a very unhappy (almost) 2 year old.

My little boy Jack and I arrived at the Hastings Foreshore Reserve around 15 minutes early on what was a pretty miserable morning weather wise. None the less we were greeted by around 70 eager parkrunners including new Event Director Sean Sweetser. Jack didn’t seem all that keen to get into the running pram which was somewhat understandable given the conditions so I held off trying to put him in until the group had moved across to the start line. By this stage Jack had decided that he wanted to push the pram rather than be pushed and all of my attempts to get him to play ball failed miserably.

When I did finally get him into the pram with the straps done up (well after the group had started) he screamed so loudly that I must have looked like the epitome of a pushy parent, forcing my child to join me for exercise. I decided that the only option I could handle would be to turn 180 degrees and head straight back to the warmth of our car and Jack certainly didn’t object this time! So my visit to Mornington Peninsula parkrun lasted all of about 15 minutes, something I’m sure many parkrun parents out there can probably relate to.

At least there is always next week!

Happy running,

Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)

p.s. Only 95 days until International parkrun Day 2014

Were you a first timer last weekend, or did you run a personal best? We would love to hear about your experience on email, @parkrun_au or on Facebook.

Professor Alan’s Essential Stats

Number of runners – 8,894
Number of volunteers – 662
Number of new registrations – 1,332
Total number of registered parkrunners – 118,377

First Aid intentions survey

We recently ran a survey through Facebook regarding first aid asking for people to respond to the following – “We are planning on creating a new volunteer role at parkrun, the 'running first aider'. You will receive volunteer points and will be expected to run with an identifying arm band and your mobile phone. Please now select the response below that applies to you:”

A total of 1,211 of you responded as follows:

‘Rocking On at Rockingham’ by Claudia Wells

About two years ago, I emailed parkrun Australia HQ about starting a parkrun in my community. I’d never been to a parkrun, I’d never even heard of parkrun, and I certainly wasn’t “a runner”; but I’d seen a very dear friend of mine constantly being tagged on Facebook at a parkrun event in Brisbane.

So I wondered what this parkrun thing was all about? And so as any good researcher does when faced with an unknown……… I asked Dr Google, knower of all things. What I discovered inspired me to ask about starting an event in my area, not because I like to run (hell NO!), but because I love my community. I love being a part of it, and I love being involved and giving back to it. And let’s face it; I live in an award-winning, beautiful beachside town that I thought would be an outstanding location for a parkrun event, and whose residents would completely embrace the concept. (I also thought it would be a great self-motivational way to get my butt out to get fit, on the downside of 40 and all, not getting any younger!)

And so it was that in late April 2013, Rockingham parkrun was launched with 111 runners. As the second parkrun event launched in WA, many of these runners were ‘parkrun tourists’ having a change of scenery from the only other parkrun in WA, but the greater majority were locals who had heard about the event generally through word of mouth and word of Facebook (gotta love the power of social media when it is used on the side of good!). In the lead up to the launch, I personally had only ever run at parkrun once, and volunteered at parkrun (the same one) once, so as the duly self-appointed Event Director, I didn’t advertise the pending launch, because I was a liiiiiitle bit scared that there would be hundreds of people turn up when I had NO IDEA what I was doing!

But my usual attitude is “just wing it”, which is what I did and it all turned out OK!! (Well, the barcode scanner died because it hadn’t been charged, and the timekeeper accidentally hit ‘STOP’ and cut about 5 minutes out the of the times so we had to do a bit of mathematical magic to salvage the results but, hey…it was all good!)

Since then, Rockingham parkrun has gone from strength to strength. I got the hang of it quite quickly, people kept coming back (must’ve done something right), I trained up some more RDs, and I got out to run more (remember? That was part of the plan). Not only that, I have actually begun to enjoy running, and maybe now don’t feel like such a fraud to call myself a “runner”.

At our first anniversary a couple of months back, we unveiled some awesome permanent signage that the City of Rockingham had had installed for us. These incorporated a start/finish line, distance, and other course markers along our parkrun course. As ED, I was also recently invited to host an information booth and present a brief talk at a healthy living expo, co-sponsored by both Rockingham and the neighbouring local council. The City of Rockingham is very pro-active in providing programs and equipment for residents, and so have been a great supporter of our parkrun since inception. Several council staff members are part of our parkrun family. After hearing of some of the struggles other parkruns have had to get approval, and then to get up and running (pun intended); having not only council approval to hold the event, but also their continued support, encouragement and participation is really fantastic.

We have now just wrapped up Event # 61, on a fine but cold Perth winter’s day, with 208 runners (not far off of our course attendance record of 242 achieved close to the peak of summer). We have a fantastic bunch of regulars that wouldn’t let wild horses keep them away, even if they’re injured and can’t run; and still every week there are more first-timers (I’m talking real never-been-to-a-parkrun first-timers, not just been-running-parkun-for-ages-but-gonna-check-out-Rockingham-this-week first-timers).

So to the City of Rockingham I’d like to say a big thank you, for backing this little idea to bring a parkrun down to the beach, and for continuing to support us. To anyone else wanting a parkrun in their area, I say GO FOR IT – SET ONE UP!! You have nothing to lose and so much to gain. The fun, the fitness, the laughs, the friends, the pride in your community; parkrun brings so much to so many people in so many different ways. It is truly a community event, and the icing on the parkrun cake is the smiles, the laughter, the friendships and the camaraderie that are evident every week (even amongst the sweaty red-faces that are struggling to draw breath…..:)). This is what I love most about parkrun, the way that something so simple can bring so many people together in such a positive way.

But mostly, I’d like to say to the Rockingham parkrun peeps, YOU GUYS ROCK! Many of you come up to me and say thank you, that I do a great job. Some of the personal stories that have been shared with me about how Rockingham parkrun has made such a massive difference in your lives have brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye. But while it might be myself that gets the recognition and the glory for our parkrun, it is all of us – the rest of the event team, the volunteers, the runners, the walkers – that make it what it is; an awesome way to start the weekend! And for that, it is I that thank you, for getting behind this thing, for staying the distance (that pun was also intended!), and most of all, for keeping left and not forgetting your barcodes.

Upcoming Special Events

5 - Main Beach (Qld) cancelled, Coomera (Qld) cancelled, Kirra (Qld) cancelled, Roma (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

5 - Main Beach (Qld) cancelled, Coomera (Qld) cancelled, Kirra (Qld) cancelled, Roma (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

Feedback from the field

Stacey Kilburn - Our little daughter Montanah is 5 years old and did her first
parkrun at Kawana last October. She ran most of the way with occasional walks and finished in 30:20. Since then she has continually improved and can now run the entire way without stopping. We have done Kawana parkrun 6 times with her new PB being 26:31. She has also done Golden Beach parkrun twice and her PB on that course is 26:23 as it has no hills! Since soccer season, Saturday mornings aren't as easy to fit parkrun in but she always loves to do it and shock all the adults at how quick she is! These last few months she has also done the Sunshine Coast Cross Country series and won it overall for under 8 girls (she is 6 now)! The photo below is of Moni at Golden Beach parkrun.

Laura Murphy - Last weekend at Kawana parkrun I ran my first timed event ever. I started to train in December for an event coming up in August. At the first training session at Point Cartwright, I wanted to throw my personal trainer in the river, as I struggled to breathe for less than a 100m! To me parkrun was for those crazy athletes to do together and then meet up for a juice afterwards to talk about their amazing times and personal bests and sometimes even dragged their kids into it! Well 6 months later, I ran. To my amazement I finished and my time wasn't that bad either! The scariest thing is a few of us logged in only hours afterwards to check our time over a coffee lol! I will definitely be back in a few weeks after I give Run Sunshine Coast a try next Sunday. And I plan on beating my PB! Thank you parkrun. What a well organised, happy group of people. I feel lucky something like this has been introduced in my own neighbourhood.

Paul Hewish - Do you know why it’s still dark in Singapore at 7am? History! Mainland Malaysia is an hour out of its correct time zone. They decided to run the country on a single zone and settled on the one in which the sun first rises, Borneo Island. Singapore separated years ago but maintains the same time as Malaysia for obvious reasons. It basically has daylight saving all year round! Now you know! Keep up the good work.

Silpa Parmar - A big congratulations to Bob Prentice and his team for putting on such a great run at Campbelltown parkrun last Saturday morning. Sharon, Kieran and myself headed over from our home parkrun at St Peters and had a fabulous time on a (very!) chilly morning. The event is fantastically well organised, the course is quick, the people are super friendly and you even get to see the sunrise! Thanks for the hospitality; we shall return!

Drop me an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.

Volunteer Profile

Name:  Carly Steggles

Club:  OzSquad

Age:  34

Home parkrun:  Curl Curl

Number of runs:  6

PB:  22.04

Number of times volunteered:  6

Favourite volunteer role:  Anything at the finish line where I can cheer, whoop and clap the sprint finishes. I love a sprint finish!

What do like about volunteering at parkrun:  The chance to feel part of a local running community, seeing runners of all abilities up early and on the go and encouraging people to sprint to the finish line!

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  I think you do a fabulous job already – it is now down to us, the local community, to support parkrun by volunteering, running the 5k rain or shine and spreading the word about such a great free initiative. Or I would never say no to complimentary post-run cakes! J


Barcode reminder


Printed barcodes are used at all our events to record your result. Please click here to collect and print your barcode. No barcode = No result = No exceptions. To order your barcode on a durable plastic key tag as shown above please click here. #dfyb (don't forget your barcode).
No printed barcode, no result.

All questions answered

Do you have a question about parkrun? How do I collect my club T-shirt? How do I get my barcode? All your questions are answered on our brand new support site

Volunteering at parkrun

We ask every parkrunner to volunteer 3 times a year. When volunteering you receive the maximum number of points towards the yearly competition.

Children at parkrun

All children under 11 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Guardians must ensure that children place themselves appropriately so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken at the start. This is to ensure the safety of your child.

The parkrun Show AU

The parkrun show Australia

You can download your copy of the parkrun show Australia here. The parkrun show Australia is the free, weekly, timed podcast celebrating parkrun Down Under, hosted by Dave Robbo and Russ Jefferys

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