welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s edition of the newsletter Tim reports in from the West, Joondalup finally gets its parkrun and we hear from one of our volunteers in Singapore.
I’m currently in Western Australia on a long overdue trip to catch up with our incredibly passionate and loyal parkrunners. On Saturday I attended the launch of Lake Joondalup parkrun where, despite the threat of heavy rain, 126 runners including a staggering 44 first time parkrunners were in attendance. I was particularly impressed by the number of other Event and Run Directors there to support debutant ED Vince Naylor, they are a very tight team the WA EDs. You can read more about the launch in Vince’s report below.
On Sunday I ran the half marathon at Perth’s 40th annual City to Surf. The parkrun community was out in full force for this one (see image above) with over 120 in the ‘official’ parkrun team and countless others represented in corporate teams (i.e. work paid for their entry). The run itself was a tough one, very undulating, with lots of ups and downs. Definitely not a PB course but very scenic and lots of support from the locals. However the highlight for me actually came on the shuttle bus back into the city after the race. It was full so I was sitting on the floor when I overheard a couple of guys behind me talking about their race. Both had run personal best times for the half marathon and both agreed that it was their participation at parkrun over the past 12 months that they had to thank for their improved performance. One of them had actually volunteered as a marshal the day before, saving his legs for the big race.
But Perth wasn’t the only location where parkrunners ‘stepped up’ to longer races last weekend. I know that parkrunners from our numerous events in the ‘Region of Runners’ were involved at the Lake Macquarie Running Festival, many representing the five30runners.
Likewise the Sunshine Coast Marathon saw many parkrunners testing their limits including Main Beach parkrun Event Director Libby Sargent who broke the magical 4 hour mark for the marathon for the first time. AMAZING!!!!
Down at Balyang Sanctuary parkrun in Geelong the team celebrated their 2nd anniversary in style with a ‘heroes and villains’ themed event. I want to publicly acknowledge and thank retiring Event Directors Adam Hunter and Greig Sutton for their incredible work over the last 2 years in making this great event happen. It seems like only yesterday that we met at the rowing club and presented this dream to City of Geelong and Parks Victoria! Welcome to the ED team Dale Atwell.
Finally, congratulations to parkrun UK Managing Director Tom Williams and wife Helen on the arrival of their 2nd child, Aston Tiger Williams, on Sunday morning. No doubt another little parkrunner in the making… chasing after big sister Rosie!
Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
p.s. Only 38 days until International parkrun Day 2014.
Essential Stats for Australia & Singapore
Number of locations – 88
Number of runners – 9,721
Number of PBs – 2,011
Number of first timers – 1,860
Number of volunteers – 771
‘Lake Joondalup parkrun’ by Vince Naylor
After possibly the longest gestation period for any parkrun, everything was finally lined up to launch parkrun in the City of Joondalup, at Neil Hawkins Park on the banks of Lake Joondalup. Launching the day before the annual City to Surf meant we were likely to see fewer runners than we might have, but it also meant we had no trouble filling the volunteer slots! Mother Nature had her own ideas about letting us have a free ride, and Friday gave us high winds and very heavy rain, and I spent a day nervously keeping an eye on the forecasts and weather warnings.
Luckily on Friday evening, the weather warning was lifted, so there was nothing to stop us going ahead as planned – and at 7.15 I arrived at the park, and volunteers and runners suddenly started appearing from nowhere! Having been a Run Director at Claisebrook Cove parkrun for the last year, I have a pretty good idea what I should be doing, but knowing that I was the one responsible for everything before I shouted “Go!” made for a nervous 20 minutes or so once the course was set up.
Our start line means that the Run Director can stand in the elevated playground to give the run briefing, and it was great to see loads of faces that I didn’t know looking back up at me – while we had a lot of tourists making up our 125 inaugural runners, there were plenty of first-timers as well – so we should see our own parkrun community grow in the future. During the run we had a few showers, probably nice if you were running, but not so much for those of us stood around waiting. There’s a peculiar feeling when your runners are out on the course, and you’re watching the clock ticking by, and hoping that the lead cyclist doesn’t get lost (it’s 17km around the lake!!), but at around 18 minutes we saw the orange bib approaching, and knew we’d be ok…
After everything was done, packed up, and the results done, I was absolutely shattered! I felt more tired than if I’d been out and knocked a minute off my PB, but I was pleased to have seen so many happy faces crossing the finish line, and that we’d finally done it! Writing this, on the train to work on Monday morning, my mind has gone to the coming weeks – do we need to tweak the course, or the start and finish area, how are we going to fill the volunteer list, how do I get my Run Directors trained up so I can run the course as well? Mostly I’m excited about the community we’re going to build, and the people I’m going to see, who, like me a few years ago, will get such a benefit from parkrun and use it to help achieve their running goals.
LJ parkrun, as we’re already being abbreviated to, isn’t the new kid on the block for long – we’re handing over the launch baton to Heirisson Island parkrun in the City of Perth this weekend – good luck to our friends running that event, I can promise it’s a great feeling once it’s all done and you have a minute to breathe!
‘Running Mums Australia’ by Nicole Bunyon
Running Mums Australia is an Australia-wide running network for running women. I founded RMA in late 2013 as a place where women, particularly mums, can share and celebrate their running achievements, gain valuable advice about running, health, injury prevention and training, inspire each other and connect with other running women across Australia.
Running Mums Australia is free to join and has over 3,900 members to date. We meet up at runs across Australia, including many parkruns, host workshops and events and help mums form a network with other mums that have a passion for running too!
The network is fast growing and members can be found at most parkruns around Australia. parkrun is something that our members are passionate about, bringing together our love of running and community. You can find us online or on Facebook in our closed, secure group environment.
Upcoming Special Events
6 - Warwick (Qld) 1st anniversary, Broadbeach Waters (Qld) launch, Blue Gum Hills (NSW) launch, Heirisson Island (WA) launch
13 - Wynnum (Qld) 2nd anniversary, Inverloch (Vic) launch, Diamond Creek (Vic) cancelled
20 - New Farm (Qld) 3rd anniversary, Pakenham (Vic) launch, Penrith Lakes (NSW) cancelled
27 – Merimbula (NSW) 1st anniversary, Toowoomba (Qld) 1st anniversary, Tamworth (NSW) launch, Bowral (NSW) launch
4 - international parkrun day, Penrith Lakes (NSW) cancelled
11 - Berwick Springs (Vic) 1st anniversary, Kalgoorlie-Boulder (WA) 1st anniversary
18 – Mosman (NSW) 1st anniversary, Gungahlin (ACT) 1st anniversary, Kingscliff (NSW) 2nd anniversary, North Lakes (Qld) 2nd anniversary, Brightwater (QLD) launch, Murray Bridge (SA) launch
25 – Mudgeeraba (Qld) 1st anniversary, Westerfolds (Vic) 1st anniversary, Darwin (NT) 1st anniversary, Bunbury (WA) 1st anniversary, Kawana (Qld) 2nd anniversary
Feedback from the field
Sarah Pearce – Below are some photos from our recent visit to East Coast Park parkrun in Singapore. We recently had two weeks in Malaysia and were sure to incorporate a visit to Singapore just for parkrun! We were there last Saturday and oh my goodness it was hot! Having come from freezing Albury Wodonga this was certainly a test! I would definitely recommend taking a towel. A big thanks to Carol and her team for a lovely morning and making us feel so welcome. Carol definitely brings a fantastic energy to the event.
Milette Borchardt - So nice to read about your story on Bruce Fordyce, my long time hero since the 1980s when we were still in South Africa. Every year we would mark the Comrades day on our calendars, and for us who didn't participate in the race, we were strong supporters glued in front of our televisions, watching from start to finish, all day long. This race was a "One nation race", which brought everybody together and sharing in South Africa's heritage. I had the opportunity to run a parkrun in Whiteriver during my May visit this year to South Africa, and that felt so good. Thank you for sharing your letters, it definitely brought some good memories back.
Mark Robinson - We often refer to parkrun as a community or even family. I experienced this first hand whilst being a parkrun tourist. My home run is South Bank in Brisbane. I am currently holidaying in Europe and I attended Cieszyn parkrun in Poland on the 23rd August. The Cieszyn parkrunners made me feel so welcome it really was quite humbling. Their claim to fame is the only parkrun to span two countries. The course goes either side of the Olza River which is the border between the Czech Republic and Poland. Start in Poland, run to Czech then back to Poland to finish. How neat is that! The course itself is extremely picturesque with nice variety. The paths either side of the river are lined both sides with tall shady trees. The middle part of the course is on gravel tracks through thick woodlands. Running with a local is a good idea as there are quite a few twists and turns just to add to the interest factor. If you are ever in Europe do yourself a favour and make sure you get to the Cieszyn parkrun and say G’Day. I can't recommend it highly enough and the Cieszyn parkrunners are what parkrun is all about.
Lynne Wright - I've just completed my 50th parkrun. I've been at 3 launches – Curl Curl, the ill-fated one and only Mosman @ Balmoral Beach and recently Hobart. I've also done Main Beach in Qld. So all but 3 of my 50 have been at Curl Curl. And in mid-October I'll be joining Torrens in Adelaide. Love my weekly run at Curl Curl, even with the weather we've had in Sydney in August. Thanks to our local community for turning up each and every week. See you Saturday @ 7am!
Nikki Waterfall - We unveiled the ‘Diamond Creek parkrun veil’ this week as we celebrated the wedding of DCp regulars Erin and David, who are getting married on Monday. David was busy picking up the Best Man so Erin was joined by her very proud dad and Run Director Gary. It was a lot of fun and we all wish Erin and David many years of happiness, love and of course parkrunning.
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: Jeremy Lewis
Home parkrun: East Coast parkrun, Singapore
Occupation: Financial Controller
Number of runs: 6
Number of times volunteered: 2
Favourite volunteer role: Timing
What do like about volunteering at parkrun: Being able to help facilitate the run for all the participants and getting to have a good chat to everyone without being tired out!
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: The second time I volunteered I received a message just before getting my taxi to the run that a couple of other volunteers were stranded in the city and could not make it to the run on time. As they had all of the equipment it was important they could make it, so I had my taxi driver take a detour to pick them up. Fortunately we arrived just on time to ensure that week's parkrun still went ahead.
How can we improve parkrun: The role is very straightforward and easy to do different roles, so cannot see many ways to improve it.