weekly newsletter 27th January 2015

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s edition of the newsletter we salute the true heroes of parkrun, Doddy gets moving in Kathmandu and we hear from a pointy parkrunning tri-star.

It rained on the Gold Coast last week… a lot! Never one to miss a headline, the Gold Coast Bulletin wrote “Gold Coasters were left clinging to rocks and cars as more than 300mm of rain wreaked havoc across the city…”

Obviously this had a significant impact on the local parkrun events with a number being forced to cancel including Tamborine Mountain parkrun which was due to launch on Saturday morning. This was the first time we have ever had to postpone a launch event but it was absolutely the correct decision.

When we cancel a parkrun event there are two steps we ask our Event Directors to take: 1. They cancel the event in our online event management system which automatically posts the news to their event’s website; and 2. They announce the cancelation on Facebook and any other available social media channels. Whilst we know not everyone will get these messages, most will, so we’re satisfied that these steps are sufficient.

What I witnessed on Saturday really blew me away.

Not only did all of our Event Directors follow the steps as given above, each of them then also went to the normal meeting point for their event… in the rain… to direct anyone who didn’t get the message to the nearest parkrun event that hadn’t been forced to cancel! I didn’t ask them to do this. I certainly didn’t expect them to do this. But they did it. Incredible!

This type of selfless act is typical of the type of people who are Event Directors at each and every one of our parkrun events around Australia. They are the kind of people who put the needs of others before their own needs. They are committed to making a difference in their local communities for little or no reward for themselves. They display the best of the Australian spirit, so it’s no wonder that so many have been recognized this week at a number of different Australia Day celebrations.

So to all of our Event Directors, I salute you. You are the true heroes of parkrun… my heroes... I applaud you for your amazing work. Well done.

Happy running,

Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)

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.

donate to parkrun Australia

Essential Stats for Australia & Singapore


Number of locations – 98
Number of runners – 14,868
Number of PBs – 2,757
Number of first timers – 2,782
Number of volunteers – 911
Number of members – 173,703

‘Kathmandu Valley parkrun’ by Andrew ‘Doddy’ Dodd


The inaugural Kathmandu Valley (popup) parkrun was held this week at an altitude of over 1400m with a course gain of over 100m. The field of two consisted of Region of Runners representatives Phil Tweed and me - both currently in Nepal for various community development projects. Ironically Phil and Andrew first met not 100m from the start line 3 years ago through a set of coincidences - and then discovered each other were keen runners. They kept in touch on returning to Newcastle just before parkrun exploded into the scene.

The out and back course took them through some busy streets before weaving up a steepish hill with spectacular views of the Kathmandu Valley at halfway. They got a lot of strange looks and comments from a population that is yet to be hit by the running boom.

The Pointy End


Who are you? Albury Wodonga parkrun course record holder (15:11) and professional triathlete, Jesse Featonby. Albury local Jesse has competed in and won a number of international triathlon events and is now ranked in the top 45 athletes in the world.

How the hell do you run so fast? Train hard, eat well, recover and repeat. A good strong coffee also helps!

How many km do you run in an average training week? At the moment about 70km per week which is mixed in with my swimming and riding.

How long have you been running and have you always been so damn good? I have been doing triathlon for the last 10 years and only started running when I began tris.

What is your favourite distance? 10km is my favourite. 5km or shorter is so painful but 10km I feel a little more relaxed.

Do you have a coach and do you train with a squad? Lone wolf at the moment but getting some great results this way.

How much faster would you like to go? I can’t wait to go sub 15. I think it is only two weeks away.

What big events do you want to run? World Tri Champs this season. I have the first world cup in Mooloolaba in March and hoping to continue running this quick.

#showusyourparkrun


As many of you are now proud owners of the official parkrun t-shirt we have started a new photo segment here in the newsletter where you can wear (or hold) the shirt in an interesting and exciting location… or perhaps even with a celebrity! Think “standing in front of the Eiffel Tower” or getting Prince Harry wearing it!!! I’m sure you get the drift.

Once you have the photo please email it to us or post it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #showusyourparkrun

This week’s entry is from Hans Juergen Grollius who writes “Well friends... Happy Australia Day to all you great AUSSIES!”

parkdog of the week


Hi, my name is Bert and I’m a bull mastiff cross. I feel like the luckiest dog in the world as last year my Mummy Tammy adopted me from the pound. Better yet, she then started taking me to Berrinba parkrun! How lucky am I? I love going to parkrun and giving out free cuddles and of course slobber! I’ve struggled a bit over this hot summer so haven’t run much but am looking forward to it getting cooler in the months ahead so I get resume my quest for the 50-club red collar!

FAQ – What is the parkrun Research Board?


parkrun supports research. Our database of run records and access to our runners provides researchers with a unique and valuable resource. The projects we support and our research support request form can be found here.

Anniversaries:
14/02 - Lake Mac (NSW) 2nd, Golden Beach (Qld) 1st, Ipswich (Qld) 1st; 21/02 - Kirra (Qld) 3rd; 28/02 - Tuggeranong (ACT) 2nd.

Cancellations
07/02 – Geographe Bay (WA); 25/04 – Augustine Heights (Qld); 02/05 – Geographe Bay (WA); 30/05 Mitchelton (Qld)

Upcoming Special Events


Launches:
31/01 – Cooks River (NSW); 07/02 – Toolern Creek (Vic); 14/03 – Dawesville (WA).

Feedback from the field


Nikki Waterfall - Congrats to Craig and the team at Point Cook parkrun for their first year anniversary. We headed over to help them celebrate and had a great time. Everyone was super friendly and it was awesome to see so much encouragement on the track. It was also great to see so many people dressed up and then stick around afterwards to socialise and eat cake. Well done on the fantastic community you guys have created.


Suzanne Williams - I am so pleased to see the walk/jog/run email addressed in this week's Newsletter. I have completed one run, but hoped to get better at running before trying again to avoid embarrassment. The Newsletter this week has encouraged me to just get out there and give it a go. I'll warm up my shoes for this weekend!


Joe Kuriel - First parkrun for our family. Thanks for an excellent start to the weekend.


Meg Littler - Thank you for highlighting that IT"S OKAY to walk. I really appreciate seeing this in print and looking official. My first parkrun (walk) was in late October, on holiday we joined extended family members for their regular parkrun. Some of them walked, plus I had the company of my 6 year old daughter (definitely not up to long run yet). We had fun and just felt encouraged that we'd finished. A month later at the age of 47 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. A mastectomy followed. Eleven days later I completed my second parkrun, at a park close to home (definitely a WALK that day, and still with 6 year old as company so older members of family could run). But of course us being newbies none of the organisers/volunteers knew this. And as this cancer journey was/is still new not something I was broadcasting to all and sundry. So please THANK and encourage and support those volunteers who act as the "sweeper", remain at the finish line and tables, for us "slowies". I personally am very grateful. As one lovely lady said "At least you are doing more than those people still at home on the couch!" And yes please promote more widely "It's okay to walk" – I'd love some company at the back as I now battle through chemo.


Bede Webster - A follow up story about "walkers" at parkrun. My brother Greg Webster recently ran his 100th parkrun. As he was visiting family in Canberra for Christmas, he wanted as many family members to join him as possible. As you can see from the photo below, we managed to get quite a few family members together. Greg is third from the left. Standing, second from the right, is Greg's niece, Christine. Christine came straight from her Friday night "clubbing" still wearing a tight skirt and her Doc Marten ten hole boots. She walked the Ginninderra course with a few of the more relaxed family members before she went to home to bed. For the record, Greg finished third and Christine finished 141st. But we all finished! So the message is, get out there and walk (but maybe choose footwear a little more suitable that Doc Martens!)


Lana Ricardo - Last weekend was my first parkrun, and yes, I walked the course at Singleton. I walked with a friend from aqua aerobics and we had a great time. My back problem prevents me from running so I will continue walking and hopefully better my time this weekend. My friend, Ros, bettered her time for the walk and she was very excited with that. I hope the lady who was worried about walking gives it go.


Kerry Bray - I was part of a group of Woodstock Runners from Sydney who travelled to Tasmania a fortnight ago. Hobart parkrunners were so welcoming and we thoroughly enjoyed their scenic hilly run around the dam. A week later four of our Club enjoyed a lovely, though flatter course along flood levees at the Launceston parkrun where, once more, we were made most welcome. Thank you Tassie parkrunners.


Deb Thompson - On the 20th December I had the pleasure of having all my children and husband running in the Mount Gambier parkrun in South Australia. It is the first time we have been able to achieve this as one of my daughters has recently returned from overseas and is living in Perth. I am so proud of them all. They all love running, keeping fit and participating in different types of exercise. I am wondering if it is a record to have 5 members of the same family running in parkrun at the same time? I have attached a photo of us, from left: Myles Hopkinson, Rose Thompson, Joshua Thompson, Deb Thompson, Hannah Thompson and Robert Thompson).


Cecilia King - I have successfully competed in my 3rd Pioneer parkrun and yes I am a Walker. I feel comforted to know that the walkers of parkrun are viewed respectfully and are more than welcome. I am in the 60-65 bracket and don't ever intend to run again so this wonderful attitude to walkers spurs me on to attending each and every Saturday morning. Everybody is supportive and helpful with hi fives and a cheering squad as we walkers pass thru the flags. BTW I had a PB last week. Yeah for me :)


Vicki Thornbury - My husband has just run his 40th parkrun and throughout 2014 he used to set his sights on someone he thought would push him along (without them knowing of course), so last week it was very rewarding to have a fellow runner come up and shake his hand and thank him for pushing him along.... dejavu!


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:  Kerry Connolly

Club:  N/A

Age:  49

Home parkrun:  Shepparton parkrun

Occupation:  Case worker

Number of runs:  1

Number of times volunteered:  35

Favourite volunteer role:  Barcode Scanning (but love doing all positions)

What do like about volunteering at parkrun:  When you volunteer as much as me you get to know the parkrunners and their personal achievements. It is great when they come up to me and say that they have improved their PB or ran all the way without walking etc.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  When I volunteer as photographer and the parkrunners try to show off in front of the camera and I always miss the shot.

How can we improve parkrun:  Encourage people to volunteer, remind them that our parkrun is totally volunteer run and without them we would not be able to go ahead each week. Trying to get the better runners to volunteer is so hard. You remind them they love to run each week but without volunteers they wouldn’t be able to.

Reminders

the parkrun store

Barcode reminder

barcode

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.

Our Sponsors

Suncorp Bank investing in parkrun

At Suncorp Bank we value the communities in which we live and work. From helping keep Australians safe from the sun to supporting what matters to the community through our sponsorship of major running events and parkrun Australia, we're dedicated to making a real difference in people's lives. Explore Suncorp Bank


stockland investing in parkrun

building our future

Stockland is Australia’s largest diversified property group. We develop and manage residential communities, retirement living villages and retail centres – the building blocks of thriving communities. Explore Stockland


 

 

weekly newsletter 20th January 2015

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s edition of the newsletter we remind you it’s ok to walk, Danielle shares her blog and we get pointy with Matt.

During the week I received an email from a lady in Brisbane who had recently registered for parkrun. At this time of year we tend to have a big increase in first timers at parkrun as you can see from the Essential Stats below (3,075 on Saturday). Without revealing the identity of the sender, the email went like this –

“I've just registered for parkrun and now I'm getting cold feet (if that's even possible in this current Queensland heat)! I'm 54 and haven't run for several years due to various injuries. I'm hoping it is ok to walk the course, rather than run it? It seems as though the website only really mentions running? I don't want to completely humiliate myself or be in someone's way by walking the course if I'm really supposed to run it! Are there some parkrun sites around Brisbane which ARE ok for me to start by walking? Any information gratefully received!”

As you all know (I hope) the answer to this is of course “YES”! Walkers are totally welcome at parkrun. I’m sure for many of you your parkrun journey has been something like a park-walk, followed by a park-walk-jog, then a park-jog… and finally a parkrun. However the fact that this isn’t crystal clear on our website is certainly something that we need to address. And we will.

Looking again at this week’s Essential Stats, I want to draw your attention to two things: firstly, our number of runners was an all-time record for the second week in a row and secondly, for the first time ever we have cracked 1,000 volunteers on a single parkrunday. I have been waiting for the latter to happen for a few months now. Our volunteer numbers have climbed throughout the summer months and it delights me to see that we have now achieved this amazing milestone.

But when I say “we” I really mean “you”. It is YOU, the Australian parkrun community that continue to make your local events happen week in, week out, with minimal fuss. And it is a credit to all of the Event Directors, Run Directors and other volunteers that parkrun, a simple free timed 5km run or walk, is having such a positive impact across Australia.

Well done everyone.

Lastly, I just have to share with you all this wonderful video put together by Vanessa, Dean, Hope and Jed from Sandgate parkrun. It tells the dos and don’ts of attending Sandgate parkrun however the themes are universal, so watch and enjoy.

Happy running,

Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)

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.

donate to parkrun Australia

Essential Stats for Australia & Singapore


Number of locations – 106
Number of runners – 16,798
Number of PBs – 2,466
Number of first timers – 3,075
Number of volunteers – 1,022
Number of members – 171,401

‘the running event where people don't actually come to run’ by Danielle Stewart


It might surprise you to know that the number 1 reason that more than 200 runners come to Albert Park Lake every week to complete the 5km parkrun course has absolutely nothing to do with running at all.   It also has nothing to do with the stunning location or Melbourne’s eclectic weather system.  No, you see what keeps Melbournians and visitors from near and far, 33 this week from overseas and interstate, coming back to inflict what many see as torture upon themselves at 8am every Saturday, is the people.

The sense of community and camaraderie is what people value from this free weekly jaunt around a picturesque lake with its often-brutal head wind at the 3km mark.  Pleasingly the wind gods smiled upon us on this fair day and blessed us with still conditions, prime for PBs, with no less than 40 parkrunners out doing themselves.

The friendships that have developed are treasured and cherished, many times bringing tears to the eyes when people recount the stories of the support they have received from others towards achieving their best ever times.  Often people unknowingly inspire others to greatness, as they become unofficial pacers being chased down from behind.  Other running angels have knowingly given up their chance at a PB to guide/push/abuse/encourage convincingly their fellow parkrunners to run/walk faster than they ever thought possible.  This encouragement and motivation has seen many parkrunners go from 5km specialists to marathon runners and beyond.  Congratulations to all parkrunners who submitted themselves to the challenge of Two Bays and the Gatorade triathlon this weekend.

A close second reason for parkrun repeat attendance was again nothing to do with the running but all about what the running enables you to enjoy.  Breakfast, bacon and beer were top attractions and, for some, would be ideal to enjoy all at once.

Watching others celebrate significant milestones and trying to reach these heights motivates many to drag themselves out of bed, rain, hail or shine. For some it’s enjoyable to rub shoulders with running elite such as the lovely Sonia O’Sullivan or even Craig Mottram.  For one parkrunner the hope that Mr. Dom Cooley may one day return is reason enough to make the journey to Albert parkrun and for another the goal was to just stay alive, Bee Gees style!  What a committed bunch we are!

But for many it is no longer a decision to parkrun or not to parkrun.  It is just what is done on a Saturday, a ritual, a habit, an enforced exercise regime but above all an addiction.

And what keeps me coming back?  Having volunteered 11 times, completed my 132nd parkrun this weekend and almost as many breakfasts at the Daily Grind, the answer is simple – my friends, old and new.  Thank you one and all for your ongoing friendship and support at parkrun and beyond. Let’s get that 25min PB in 2015.

The Pointy End


Who are you? Toowoomba parkrun record holder, Matt MacDonald, with 79.16 % / 17:07 in the VM35-39 age category.

How the hell do you run so fast? Fast is a relative thing. But the trick for me is to get comfortable with it "hurting" and remember that your body will force you to slow when it has to, so in the meantime, push on and enjoy the hurt.

How many km do you run in an average training week?   80

What type of training do you typically do? A mix of easy runs, threshold work and intervals. Key is to stay very specific. Easy runs I don't even time, threshold runs are right on the edge, and intervals are off the scale of intensity.

How long have you been running and have you always been so damn good?  I ran all of my teens and 20s. Have spent nearly 10 years away from the sport but have returned very recently in a bit to address some mental health issues. Running well is just a bonus really. The fact I'm enjoying life means I'm a winner already.

What is your favourite distance? Used to be 5km, but now more likely half marathon.

Do you have a coach and do you train with a squad? I have a wonderful group that I train which keeps me very honest from a discipline point of view, but coach myself. I have enlisted a friend to run his eye over my programs so I get an objective opinion on what I'm doing.

How much faster would you like to go? As fast as I can! As I have just turned 40, I would like to go sub15 for 5k and maybe 16:15 for our parkrun.

What big events do you want to run? National Cross Country in Open Men’s as a 40 year old (Aiming Big there lol). Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Melbourne Marathon, Boston Marathon, run the Kokoda Track in PNG

#showusyourparkrun


As many of you are now proud owners of the official parkrun t-shirt we have started a new photo segment here in the newsletter where you can wear (or hold) the shirt in an interesting and exciting location… or perhaps even with a celebrity! Think “standing in front of the Eiffel Tower” or getting Prince Harry wearing it!!! I’m sure you get the drift.

Once you have the photo please email it to us or post it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #showusyourparkrun

This week’s entry is from Gen Cumbers who writes – “I recently took the family on a cruise to Noumea, Lifou and Mare in the Pacific. This photo was taken in Mare, with great snorkeling in crystal clear waters alongside white sandy beaches! Happy to be the Event Director out there if the need arises!”

parkdog of the week


Hi, my name is Jack. I'm an Australian Terrier x Silky Terrier. The only running I really do is running down the driveway when mum or dad comes home. You see, I only have short legs and my maximum distance is 2kms. My mum (Nicole Giudes), however, is an avid parkrunner. I tend to sleep approximately 22 hours of a 24 hour day, so if it fits in between my naps I like to come down to parkrun and watch mum get her 5km fix. She keeps threatening that I'll get a brother or sister in the form of a German Shepherd to go running with her. But she's just kidding...I think.

FAQ – Can I walk the course?


Yes that's fine - everyone is welcome at parkrun. We're just here to provide a free, friendly way for anyone to complete 5km on a Saturday morning. You can run, jog or walk the course.

All we would ask is that if you think you will take longer than 50 minutes you should let the organisers know before the start so they can look out for you at the end.

Upcoming Special Events


Launches:
24/01 – Tamborine Mountain (Qld), Bibra Lake (WA); 31/01 – Cooks River (NSW); 07/02 – Toolern Creek (Vic).

Anniversaries:
14/02 - Lake Mac (NSW) 2nd, Golden Beach (Qld) 1st, Ipswich (Qld) 1st; 21/02 - Kirra (Qld) 3rd; 28/02 - Tuggeranong (ACT) 2nd.

Cancellations
07/02 – Geographe Bay (WA); 25/04 – Augustine Heights (Qld); 02/05 – Geographe Bay (WA); 30/05 Mitchelton (Qld)

Feedback from the field


Maree Gibson – On Saturday I was named Point Cook’s Suncorp Bank parkrunner of the month. Nice things were said about me and to me. I however am the lucky one. Lucky because I’ve made so many good friendships and met so many nice people. I go because I enjoy it. I get to watch my husband Kim Gibson and Badger cross the line each week as well as other members of my family including Erin Gibson, Andrew Gibson and my grandchildren as well. I am very proud to be part of parkrun, I can’t praise it enough.


Nikki Waterfall - We headed off for some parkrun tourism last Saturday and drove up to Shepparton parkrun for their first anniversary. The rain didn't put a dampener on the celebrations and we had fun dressing up for their "Summer in the Sun" theme. It's a fast, flat course around the picturesque lake. We want to thank Allan, Kerry and all the volunteers for making us feel so welcome.


Jonathan Giles - On holidays in Brisbane I had the opportunity to do the Sandgate and Mitchelton double on New Year's Day then Bunyaville on Saturday followed by Capalaba the following week. What a great experience. The courses were fantastic, all completely different and yet all shared one thing in common – the parkrun spirit! Friendly people, encouragement, high-fives and passionate volunteers. Just want to give my thanks to all parkrun organisers and volunteers, in particular these four events. I had a great time visiting new courses and can't wait to get to a few more.


Ben Thomas - This is Sarah, Diamond Creek's parkrunner of the month. Not only is she excited about being our pOTM, Sarah is excited that she is back on the track and running after being sidelined for several months with an injury. But she didn't stay away during that time. Already a regular volunteer, Sarah notched up EIGHT volunteer stints while she was injured... how awesome is that! Despite the frustration she felt at not being able to run, Sarah encouraged others each week and we were all very pleased to see her back running last Saturday.


Simon Gick - I just wanted to pass on my thanks for a great experience at my first parkrun at Rocks Riverside. Even though I arrived slightly late (just before 07:00) I remembered my barcode and caught the last part of the course briefing. Even though I didn't hear all of it, the team was so well organised and the course well signed, I had no issue completing it and registering my first parkrun time. A huge thanks to the volunteers involved and I will be continuing my weekly attendance, registering as a volunteer, and spreading the word of these events.


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:  Damian Jennison

Club:  five30 runners

Age:  37ish

Home parkrun:  Lakeview

Occupation:  Train Controller - definitely not the fat one!

Number of runs:  27

PB:  23:50

Number of times volunteered:  7

Favourite volunteer role:  Halfway high fives!! I'm too scared to do the barcodes.

What do like about volunteering at parkrun:  Giving out plenty of encouragement (it's all downhill from here), the positive vibe around parkrun in general, and knowing you helped out.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Funniest would have to be giving out high fives to Batman at Lake Mac. Wish my son was with me that day. Most memorable is every week seeing people getting out and having a go, and the support given out, regardless of your fitness level or how fast you can run.

How can we improve parkrun:  Just keep on reminding people to volunteer. parkrunners, I know it's a pain to miss a run, but you'll be surprised how enjoyable volunteering is. Volunteer as a pacer if you don't want to miss out. No volunteers, no parkrun. Give it a go!!

Reminders

the parkrun store

Barcode reminder

barcode

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.

Our Sponsors

Suncorp Bank investing in parkrun

At Suncorp Bank we value the communities in which we live and work. From helping keep Australians safe from the sun to supporting what matters to the community through our sponsorship of major running events and parkrun Australia, we're dedicated to making a real difference in people's lives. Explore Suncorp Bank


stockland investing in parkrun

building our future

Stockland is Australia’s largest diversified property group. We develop and manage residential communities, retirement living villages and retail centres – the building blocks of thriving communities. Explore Stockland



 

weekly newsletter 13th January 2015

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s edition of the newsletter we receive some literary brilliance from the US of A and Carol recounts her transcontinental parkrun adventures.

In the parkrun USA newsletter last week, Julie Messina wrote a passage so beautiful and so clever about the meaning of ‘parkrun’ that I just had to share it with you all this week. It’s so good that for once I have nothing else to say…

As a lifelong language pedant and a former English-language teacher, this daughter of a linguist knows a thing or two about grammar and syntax. Ask Ms. McKown who the best was at diagramming sentences in eighth-grade English class. Ask my beloved whose editing skills helped the brilliance in his reports to shine like the low, eastern sun early in the morning. Ask my friends on Facebook who won’t quit pointing out when they’ve used “your” instead of “you’re”. Now, ask who has insisted that Microsoft not ignore my spelling of “parkrun” but, rather, add it to the dictionary.

Spelling mistakes from this keyboard are rare as hen’s teeth, so I assure you that “parkrun” really is all one word and all lower case. It is not park run, nor is it Park Run. As a word, and as a concept, parkrun is small, simple, accessible, and uncomplicated. It’s about putting together two little words with gigantic themes into one little space on the page: parkrun.

Still not convinced? Let’s examine this compound noun’s constituent parts. First, we have “park”. To me, parks are about community. They’re about open, shared spaces where the flora and fauna can simply be flora and fauna and where we humans can go to stand amongst the bits and pieces of nature and feel a bit of peace in our otherwise hectic lives.

Next, there’s the “run”. It’s such a little word that escapes with the tiniest of breaths, although it requires quite a lot of gasping and huffing and puffing to actually perform. For some, it’s a goal; others see it as a way to reach a goal. For many of us, it’s a pendulum that swings wildly towards pain and away from pleasure before it goes reeling back in the other direction.

These are the little words that got put together, and now they mean something else. For some folks, this compound noun means no more sleeping in on Saturdays. For others, it means friendships. For some parkrunners I’ve met, it means a path to fitness, a way to stay strong during chemo, or a preemptive excuse for that impending cinnamon bun. But all of that is too much to say when you’re trying to do a 5k, so let’s just call it – and spell it – parkrun.

Thanks Julie!

Happy running,

Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)

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.

donate to parkrun Australia

Essential Stats for Australia & Singapore


Number of locations – 105
Number of runners – 15,747
Number of PBs – 2,243
Number of first timers – 3,122
Number of volunteers – 978
Number of members – 168,458

‘Our Great parkrun Odyssey’ by Carol Cunningham


In October Troy and I left our jobs in Singapore and said a sad farewell to East Coast Park parkrun, our local parkrun for the last 4 months and headed off to travel by land and sea through Asia and Europe to the UK for Christmas. We were looking forward to having a few months just to relax and perhaps as Troy was hoping, to have a break from exercise completely (we are both fitness instructors). But to my delight, and a big sigh from Troy, look what we found along the way.......

After three days sat on the Trans Siberian train, we arrived in Moscow itching to stretch our legs. Excited I saw that parkrun had officially started in Russia earlier that year. Gorky parkrun is the most central Moscow parkrun, perfectly located on the banks of the Moscow River and opposite the Olympic stadium. Arriving early with three layers of clothes, we were taking no chances in minus ten degrees Celsius, quite a shock after living in Singapore for 15 months. Daniel Bobkin and his team of volunteers were extremely hospitable, treating us like minor celebs with Cemeh Cepnkob, Country Manager making a special appearance to escort the 'overseas guests' along the out and back route. The start was a little different - everyone to line up side by side and be regimentally counted. That unfortunately dashed our hopes that we could duck out half way (we had done no exercise in the four weeks prior!). At the finish line, despite the freezing temperatures, a picnic was laid out with flasks of hot drinks and cake to share. How wonderful I thought, they'd done this specially for us.....hahaha it turns out they do this every week, preferring this to the local cafe. And I agree, it was a great way to finish parkrun and a lovely way to meet everyone. We also were presented with a parkrun Russia bag, wrist band and badge before we left. Felt very spoilt.

Our second international parkrun took us to Amager Faelled parkrun in Copenhagen, Denmark. Claim to fame here is this was the first ever parkrun outside the UK sat smack in the sprawling Amager Faelled park to the south of the city. It was run by the most lovely Anne who you cannot miss wearing a massive pointy red hat and supported by a very enthusiastic band of volunteers. This was a tough parkrun, a little windy and exposed but definitely worth making the visit.

Kraków parkrun was a late decision. We decided to make a slight detour in our plans to visit Auschwitz and then found out Kraków parkrun was close to where we were staying. Two loops of a deceptively big park and another tough one in the cold. However we timed our arrival date at this one just right. As it was the last one before Christmas, Agnieszka (run director) and the rest of the volunteers had laid out cake, hot tea and cake and more cake. I am sure we spent more time eating than running.

In the UK we ticked off three parkruns. Hull parkrun is one of the largest in the UK and still run with superb efficiency by the founders Gill and Paul Tremere. On New Year’s Day we made it to Peterpan parkrun, three laps of a particularly muddy rugby field, and The Humber Bridge parkrun, not along the bridge but around the beautiful country park at its base.

Prior to this trip I'd only ever run 12 parkruns over 4 years. In the last 3 months I've completed 9 parkruns (did Hull parkrun four times during the trip) and seen some amazing places. Next week it's back to Australia to continue parkrun and hopefully in the next few weeks run in my first ever Australian parkrun!!!

The Pointy End


Who are you? Balyang Sanctuary parkrun Age Graded record holder, Darren Riviere, with 83.97 % / 17:30 in the VM50-54 age category.

How the hell do you run so fast? I guess it is just a matter of consistent training and a belief in your own ability. It's like anything in life if you want to be good at it you have to put in!

How many km do you run in an average training week? Well there are 2 answers to that! When I was at my peak I was running about 150 KMs per week, now I am running 70-80 per week and concentrating more on the coaching side of things.

What type of training do you typically do? My typical week went something like this: "Mona" Fartlek 2x 90 seconds fast, same recovery 4x60, 4x30, 4x15 so it was you run for 20 minutes, 10 hard 10 recovery that's on a Tuesday night, Thursday was 8x400m with 200 float recovery, Saturday was a hill session, Sunday was 2-2.30hrs run and the other runs were between 8-15km 'easy' runs.

How long have you been running and have you always been so damn good? I first started running in 1986 in triathlons until I nearly drowned in a few of the ocean swims! So I thought running was the way to go! I quickly improved and local coach Bob Fowler started coaching me, my first 10,000mts on track was the 'D' grade Zatopek in 1987 where I lapped the entire field including my coach!!, which looking back on it is quite funny. I went on to run 31.16 on track for 10,000mts and a 2.29 marathon, so with the consistency of training I suppose I had about 15 years where I could run around those times.

What is your favourite distance? My favourite distance is 10km, however I like half marathons at the moment, because I can still rely on my stamina to run a competitive time!

Do you have a coach and do you train with a squad? Early on in my running career I did have a coach, however now I am one! I am a level 2 accredited coach through Athletics Australia and currently coach at Geelong Little Athletics Centre and are really enjoying passing on my experiences as a distance runner. I am also about to take up a role as coaching coordinator at Saint Ignius college in Drysdale which I am looking forward to.

How much faster would you like to go? That's an easy one! I am 50 now so am just hoping to run sub 4 minute kms for as long as I can!!!

What big events do you want to run? I have done most big events I wanted to, however I do want to do the world masters in Perth in 2016, this year I run a 76.39 for the half marathon and the world record for the 50-54 age group is about 72 so you never know, I will be out their having a crack anyway!

#showusyourparkrun


As many of you are now proud owners of the official parkrun t-shirt we have started a new photo segment here in the newsletter where you can wear (or hold) the shirt in an interesting and exciting location… or perhaps even with a celebrity! Think “standing in front of the Pyramids” or getting Mick Jagger wearing it!!! I’m sure you get the drift.

Once you have the photo please email it to us and post it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #showusyourparkrun

This week’s entry is from Grace Murray who writes “My Dad is the poster boy for parkrun!” Nice work Dale.

parkdog of the week


Say hello to Wilson, our ‘parkdog of the week’. Wilson is a regular at South Bank parkrun in Brisbane.

This is Wilson who runs at South Bank with his family, Ross and Louise Forbes. They affectionately describe him as “a mongrel who gets his good looks from his maltese x shitzu Mum and his energy for 5km walk from the fox terrier in his Dad.” He's done 15-20 parkruns and volunteered with a tail runner several times. He likes checking out the other dogs who walk at South Bank but his favourite part of parkrun Saturdays is latte froth.

FAQ – What does the Run Director do?


The Run Director is in charge of a particular run on a specific day. They have ultimate responsibility for deciding whether or not the conditions are suitable for the event and with advice from the other volunteers may decide to modify the course (because of new hazards, for example), delay the start, or even in exceptional circumstances cancel the event that day (very poor weather being the most common reason for this). They are also responsible for organising the team of volunteers, along with the volunteer coordinator.

Upcoming Special Events


Launches:
24/01 – Tamborine Mountain (Qld), Bibra Lake (WA); 31/01 – Cooks River (NSW); 07/02 – Toolern Creek (Vic).

Anniversaries:
17/01 – St Peters (NSW) 3rd, Point Cook (Vic) 1st; 14/02 - Lake Mac (NSW) 2nd, Golden Beach (Qld) 1st, Ipswich (Qld) 1st; 21/02 - Kirra (Qld) 3rd; 28/02 - Tuggeranong (ACT) 2nd.

Cancellations
07/02 – Geographe Bay (WA); 25/04 – Augustine Heights (Qld); 02/05 – Geographe Bay (WA); 30/05 Mitchelton (Qld)

Feedback from the field


Katharine Jones - parkrun and a spot of carp busting? Michael sets up the lines and does a spot of fishing during the run. These carp are a pest and best out of our river. parkrun fish of the week? Is that a first?


Doo Lee Fisher - I did the Coomera parkrun on New Year's Day. Seriously can't believe a nonprofit organisation to be that awesome. Everyone was so nice! Knowing that this event can only happen if there's volunteers, I would like to volunteer to help out. It was only my first time today so I don't really know all rules and regulations yet but I'm willing to learn and listen towards any role that I will be given just so I could do my best at it. Thank you for such great event. If there's help needed I'm prepared to volunteer for this Saturday or next Saturday.


Elvia Maschke - Just wanted to say how I love the newsletter and particularly the photo of the super tutti wearing family. Keep you the fantastic work and I will see parkrun in the new year once I get back to my running schedule. Keep smiling : )


Alan Burrell - Is this the dance of a demented spider, or maybe someone totally lost? No it's the steps that a Run Director takes between the parkrun starting and finishing! According to Strava that was 0.9km all around the start/finish area in 1 hour and 1 minute not including course setup - pretty good going


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:  Trevor Ross

Club:  This year it is Run for Hummingbird House

Age:  55

Home parkrun:  Kingscliff or Varsity Lakes. I claim both as home. We are really lucky on the Gold Coast to have some great parkruns so close to home.

Occupation:  I am employed by the QLD government.

Number of runs:  60

PB:  24:48

Number of times volunteered:  About 40… I don’t really count.

Favourite volunteer role:  I am happiest just taking photos.

What do like about volunteering at parkrun:  Primarily, being part of the TEAM..... But I have a lot of fun cheering people on. Also volunteering keeps me involved if I am resting an injury.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  My most memorable moment was recently doing my 50th run as it was a goal from the start just to do 50, now I am chasing 100.

How can we improve parkrun:  You can only improve it by making it easier.. but 5k will always be 5k and it hurts at times. But the best thing about parkrun is its simplicity.

Reminders

the parkrun store

Barcode reminder

barcode

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.

Our Sponsors

Suncorp Bank investing in parkrun

At Suncorp Bank we value the communities in which we live and work. From helping keep Australians safe from the sun to supporting what matters to the community through our sponsorship of major running events and parkrun Australia, we're dedicated to making a real difference in people's lives. Explore Suncorp Bank


stockland investing in parkrun

building our future

Stockland is Australia’s largest diversified property group. We develop and manage residential communities, retirement living villages and retail centres – the building blocks of thriving communities. Explore Stockland



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