weekly newsletter 24th February 2015

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s edition of the newsletter we go face to face with a cyclone, ask you about any privacy concerns and Bunyaville gets a big thumbs up.

I awoke on Friday morning to the sound of thundering rain and a 24 hour weather forecast that didn’t look promising. Cyclone Marcia was baring down on Queensland’s Capricorn Coast and her impact was being felt for some 800km south, as far as the Gold Coast and northern NSW. Clearly this was going to have a big impact on our parkrun events caught in the crossfire so I decided to immediately consult with our Territory Directors who oversee this region.

We quickly decided that due to the nature of the Cyclone (category 5), the predicted weather for the next few days and the obvious threat of having 1000s of parkrunners on the road early on Saturday morning we would take the unprecedented step of cancelling all coastal parkrun events between Gladstone and Kingscliff, 33 events in all. This wasn’t a decision that we took lightly as we are well aware of what an important weekly ritual parkrun is for many of you however we were comfortable in knowing that it was the right decision with regards to putting the safety of our volunteers and runners first. This decision was certainly justified as throughout the day many Event Directors were sharing photos of their courses totally underwater as you can see above.

One of the implications of this blanket cancelation was that my home event, Kirra parkrun, was unable to celebrate its 3rd anniversary so I’d like to thank Pete, Laura and all of the team for being so understanding and flexible. They will instead be celebrating this Saturday which of course means they have had even more time to bake their cake!

Speaking of this Saturday, I’m taking my family across the Tasman to the ‘home of parkrun in New Zealand’, Lower Hutt. Lower Hutt parkrun was New Zealand’s first, launching on 5th May 2012. In the lead up to my visit the hospitality shown by Event Director Mark Malone has been wonderful. Mark has arranged a lift for us from Wellington, including 2 child seats, plus an additional running pram so we can all take part. They also have a tradition of holding a 100m egg and spoon race every 50 events at Lower Hutt and we are lucky enough to be there for this. I assume this will also involve cake!

The following Saturday we will be at Hagley parkrun in Christchurch so I hope to have plenty of good stories for this newsletter in the coming weeks.

Finally this week, many congratulations to Tom Williams and his team at parkrun UK who registered their 1 millionth parkrunner during the week. They are currently sitting on 1,002,849 which is just staggering!

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

Thank you for your donations


Thank you to the following ‘passionistas’ who have donated to parkrun since we opened our online donation portal in October last year. The money they have donated directly supports our existing events and is also used for the development of new events around the country.

Adam Leishman, Adrian Royce, Alison Jones, Andrew Chuter, Bibs N Bubs Embroidery, Brendan Brady, Brendan Peel, Catherine Fung, Colin Fitzgibbon, Colleen Kelly, Deborah Robinson, Elsa Barrand-Lee, Gabriel Kenniff, Gareth Dean, Gavin Barnett, Graeme Pritchard, Gregory Payne, Helen Beatson, Ian Hubbard, Jeremy Silk, Joe Aquilina, Kelly Underwood, Leanne Forrest, Lee Saccuzzo, Lyndon Storey, Lynette Petkov, Mark Kerr, Matt Bennett, Matthew Trent, Mrs V J Neibling, Nay Tun, Paul Perkins, Peter Turner, Phill Driver, Phillipa Greig, Raghu Srighakolapu, Rebecca Raschke, Renier Maritz, Robbie Juod, Rohan Durrant, Rosie Powell, Ross Pentland, Sarah Barnes, Shelley Tinworth, Silpa Parmar, Steve Harris and Vincent Patrick.

Essential Stats for Australia & Singapore – 21/02/2015:


Number of locations – 71
Number of runners – 9,586
Number of PBs – 2,288
Number of first timers – 1,360
Number of volunteers – 650
Numbers of runs (all time) – 919,806
Number of members – 183,021
Number of members (global) – 1,481,764

Your privacy at parkrun


We had an interesting email during the week from a keen parkrunner who has some specific concerns about having photos of them at parkrun uploaded to Facebook. Without going into too much detail, this person has in the past been the victim of a stalker and as such doesn’t want any details regarding their life being made available publicly. This is absolutely fair enough.

I know there may also be people who need to remain private for other reasons. It actually reminds me of the story of former Wallaby rugby player Dan Crowley who couldn’t have his photo printed in any match programs as in his day job he was an undercover police officer. This was in the good old days before rugby was professional.

So I guess we’d just like some feedback on this issue from anyone who may have concerns. And please be assured that if any image is published of you on Facebook (or anywhere else) that you would like removed, all you need to do is ask.

‘Australia Day at Bunyaville parkrun!’ by Tony Jennings


On Australia Day weekend I completed my 70th and 18th different event as a diehard parkrun tourist at Bunyaville.

Driving down from the Sunshine Coast after two days of incessant rain, I was super keen to try out this hilly forest trail style run. I had heard good reports about it being a challenging scenic course! I was not disappointed. Situated in Moreton Bay to the north of Brisbane, I was pleasantly surprised to find such a picturesque regional forest park setting!

Right from when I arrived, meeting the run director, a couple of volunteers and some of the runners, I was amongst kindred spirits and a most welcoming atmosphere.

From the only really flat section of the course, a circuit of a soft sodden grassy paddock at the start, I knew this course was going to be tough! Sixty parkrunners took off at a pace definitely slower than any other event I have done!

Then the course became a series of long descents and ascents through a beautiful forest canopy. Being an out and back course, every downhill became an uphill grind and vice versa! The rough stony downhills, wet from all the rain meant for careful foot placement and a quick lesson in proprioception for those used to smooth paths.

There was even a creek crossing (done twice) calf deep and requiring at least two or three steps into it to cross (for me anyway).

Crossing the finishing line about six minutes slower than my current average time, which I understand is quite usual for this course, (four minutes I'm told on a dry day), I was super satisfied with my decision to try out Bunyaville.

Even though I live over 100km from the course, I will certainly come back, probably several times. It is a course that will take practice to tame! Just the challenging nature, the forest setting, coupled with a really friendly and helpful volunteer group and running contingent, certainly puts it amongst my favourite parkruns.

Although the extremely wet weather added to the challenge this week, under normal conditions it is a tough one. I'd recommend everyone to try it out at least once, forget about your average times, just do it.

Thank you Bunyaville for an enjoyable morning!

The Pointy End


Who are you? Campbelltown parkrun W40 age record holder Sonia McDermott – 19:47.

How the hell do you run so fast? Well I’m not super fast, but I’m still improving & while that is the case I’m still motivated.

How many km do you run in an average training week? Usually about 100 km per week.

What type of training do you typically do? Mostly trail running, I love the unpredictable nature of technical trails, the scenery & the challenging terrain. I try to do hills, speed, stairs and a long run but mix it up depending on what I’m training for.

How long have you been running and have you always been so damn good? I didn’t start running until my late 30s. I was trying to get rid of some post baby weight and found running to be the most enjoyable form of exercise. Well I don’t consider myself to be that fast, I’m built for endurance but still get a buzz out of trying to run fast.

What is your favourite distance? My favourite distance would have to be 100kms.

Do you have a coach and do you train with a squad? Yes I train with Mile 27. I’m a busy Mum with a full time job and it helps not having to think about training, just get my program and get it done. I still fit in a social run each week with some girls I’ve been running with for a few years now.

How much faster would you like to go? I’d like to get much faster! Who doesn’t? But I was born too early, so time is not on my side.

What big events do you want to run? Oh too many to list! I’d love to pick a race in a different country each year, what a great way to see the world. I think the TRANSVULCANIA (Mountain Race on Canary Islands) would have to be right up there.

#showusyourparkrun


As many of you are now proud owners of some of the official parkrun merchandise available from our online store we have started a new photo segment here in the newsletter where you can wear (or hold) the kit in an interesting and exciting location… or perhaps even with a celebrity!

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 Canning River parkrunner Scott Bunny who writes – “Guess where? 5 seconds later, I had my jumper back on! Yes, it was cold!”

parkdog of the week


My name is Oskar and I’m a four-year-old Miniature Schnauzer.

My favourite place to run is New Farm parkrun where my family take me most Saturday mornings since we moved to Brisbane from Perth. Karen and Chris are run directors, and Nick (junior) loves barcode scanning as well as running with me.

I’m not really sure how many parkruns I’ve done, because I just put my nose down and follow the crowd when I’m not stopping to smell something interesting, checking out what's happening at the markets, or saying hello to all the friendly parkrunners along the course.

Karen and Nick keep me going, and make sure that I keep a steady pace, even though my legs are quite short.

New Farm parkrun has a beautiful course along the Brisbane River with lots of water stops and friendly humans every week, but the part I really like is all the rubs and scratches I get as a reward at the end.

I'm totally puffed after parkrun but take it from me, it's absolutely worth it!

FAQ - Who pays for parkrun?


parkrun in Australia is mostly paid for by our national sponsors Suncorp Bank and Stockland. Local Councils have also been great supporters of parkrun over the years as well as some state government departments for which we are extremely grateful.

In Australia we also have a donations system. We are incredibly grateful for whatever amount we receive. Most of the money we receive through donations goes directly to the donor's event, with the remainder going into a 'New Events' fund.

Upcoming Special Events


Launches:
14/03 – Dawesville (WA); 21/03 – Yamba (NSW)

Anniversaries:
28/02 - Tuggeranong (ACT) 2nd; 14/03 – Parramatta (NSW) 2nd, Albury Wodonga (NSW) 1st; 21/03 – Campbelltown (NSW) 1st, Mount Barker (SA) 1st; 28/03 – Riverway (Qld) 2nd, Manjimup (WA) 1st
; 04/04 – Main Beach (Qld) 4th; 11/04 - Fingal Bay (NSW) 2nd; 18/04 - Augustine Heights (Qld) 2nd; 02/05 – Ginninderra (ACT) 3rd, Rockingham (WA) 2nd, Stones Corner (Qld) 1st, Cleveland (Qld) 2nd, Lillydale Lake (1st).

Cancellations:
28 /02 – Mosman (NSW); 07/03 – Pittsworth (Qld), Mt Penang (NSW), Penrith Lakes (NSW); 14/03 – Armidale (NSW), Albert Melbourne (Vic); 28/03 – Launceston (Tas), Penrith Lakes (NSW); 25/04 – Augustine Heights (Qld), Kawana (Qld), Wynnum (Qld); 02/05 – Geographe Bay (WA); 30/05 Mitchelton (Qld)

Feedback from the field


Bright Pink - What???? parkrun is cancelled just about everywhere in SE Queensland tomorrow due to torrential rain. What am I going to do? I feel lost. I guess I am going to have to wade through the streets of my local town and race my own clock.


Kerryn Robson – Thanks from a parkrun first-timer. What a wonderful initiative! Great community activity, provides encouragement and collegiality without the problem of elitism. Volunteers were great and experienced runners/walkers were positive. Very accessible for any stage of life, ability, level of health, interests and family situation. Looking forward to next time!


Chris Newman - This week's newsletter was one of the best I've read. It really demonstrates what an inclusive organisation parkrun is, and I just LOVED the doggy parkrun tips. Keep up the good work.


Gynelle Murray - Fantastic newsletter as usual Tim. I especially loved Bonnie the Border Collie's Top 10 Doggy parkrunning tips (even though I don't own a dog I find myself thinking that there are so many of these tips that I can put into play). Thank you so very much Bonnie and you're such a gorgeous doggy as well!


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:  Matthew Little

Club:  Multisport Gold

Age:  42

Home parkrun:  Coomera

Occupation:  General Manager - Metcash

Number of runs:  60

PB:  21:56

Number of times volunteered:  14

Favourite volunteer role:  Timekeeper

What do like about volunteering at parkrun:  Encouraging others to do better, and seeing all the new faces that join up each week.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Being the photographer on "funny dress" days - and then watching as runners slowly discard bits of their costume as they get hotter and realize the mistake they have made! (yes I'm talking about you Santa!)

How can we improve parkrun:  I don't think it can be improved - the system is great - and the support is awesome.

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 17th February 2015

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s edition of the newsletter we approach yet another magical milestone, Emma-Leigh shows us the true meaning of tough and parkrun makes it to the Pyramids (well sort of).

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of Valentine’s Day parkrunning (in the wet) with the good folk from Inverloch in Victoria, approximately 143 kilometres south east of Melbourne. I was down in that part of the world for a Friday evening wedding on Phillip Island (congrats Rob and Charisse) and one of the many great benefits of my role with parkrun is the ability to mix business with pleasure. So the alarm went off on Saturday morning (a bit later than usual given my normal 7am start time in Queensland) and, although the weather didn’t look promising, I jumped in the rental car for the 45 minute drive along the Bass Highway. I’m glad I did.

The welcome I received from the Inverloch faithful, the support I witnessed out on the course, and the post-run camaraderie I felt over breakfast was parkrun at its absolute best. Tony O’Connell and his team have certainly built a fantastic event so I’m not surprised to see that so many other towns in the region are now knocking on the proverbial parkrun door wishing to start their own little piece of magic. I think 2015 could be the year that parkrun really booms in Victoria!

If you cast your eye below to the ‘Essential Stats’ section you’ll see that I have included a new line this week; Numbers of runs – 910,220. This is the total number of runs that parkrunners have completed in Australia since our launch back in April 2011. The reason I have included it now is that we will soon crack the magical 1 million runs mark… something worth celebrating in my book. Projecting forward, there is a very good chance this will happen on April 4, which completely by coincidence happens to be the 4th anniversary of the launch of parkrun in Australia at Main Beach on the Gold Coast. It’s like we wrote the script isn’t it?

Across the pond in the UK, the home of parkrun, I noticed that (at time of writing) they are currently sitting on 994,352 registered parkrunners. Last week they had 7,562 new registrations which should mean that at some point this week they will register UK parkrunner # 1 million!!!

Finally, I want to give a big birthday shout out to the great Ron Clarke AO MBE, who turns 78 this Saturday. Ron was Mayor of the Gold Coast when we launched Main Beach parkrun back in 2011 and was a great support at the time, and has been ever since as our first Patron. Getting to spend time with Ron and his family is one of the most cherished experiences I have taken from parkrun and certainly something I will never forget. Happy birthday Ron!

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 – 108
Number of runners – 16,544
Number of PBs – 3,762
Number of first timers – 2,412
Number of volunteers – 1,064
Numbers of runs (all time) – 910,220
Number of members – 181,443
Number of members (global) – 1,467,631

‘Emma-Leigh's story’ by Dave Appleby


What do you get when you mix the toughest parkrun course in Australia with the toughest Event Director and a rare nerve disorder? You get one determined woman with a bunch of friends gathering around to help her back on her feet.

Emma-Leigh was diagnosed with a condition called trigeminal neuralgia or TN for short. This is a neurological condition that affects the trigeminal nerve on the left hand side of her face. It is a very rare condition affecting 1 in every 100,000 people and even fewer people under the age of 50. Emma-Leigh refers to her trigeminal nerve as Mr T (it’s shorter than “bloody annoying nerve”). Mr T supplies the sense to the majority of the left hand side of her face via 3 branches. Since it supplies sense and not motor control, Emma-Leigh doesn't look any different, and you can't see what's wrong. “As a result of this the left side of my face is permanently numb, with a sense of compression 24 hours a day which I liken to the feeling of having someone attempting to break all the bones in my face at once. On top of this pain, Mr T will send shooting pain known as attacks which can last for seconds to minutes which either feel like someone pouring boiling water through your nervous system or like an electric shock x 1000”. The pain from these attacks is the reason this condition is thought to be the most painful known to man. These attacks can be triggered by touch, a breeze, air conditioning, a change in temperature, brushing teeth, eating, talking and smiling amongst others.

Trigeminal neuralgia is caused by compression of the nerve usually by a blood vessel but on the odd occasion by a cyst or tumour. In Emma-Leigh’s case it appears to be a blood vessel causing the problem. Treatment at the moment is very strong nerve inhibitors with some wicked side effects. It is likely that she will have this condition for the rest of her life, though her team are looking into different forms of treatment currently.

As a result of the above Emma-Leigh suffered from something called central sensitisation. This basically means the left hand side of her body decided to stop working properly, almost as a protection mechanism as a result of the extensive pain in her face.

Emma-Leigh is on the road to recovery thanks to the support and work of her family, friends, and health professionals.

Not one to sit and moan, Emma-Leigh has decided to complete every parkrun in the #RegionofRunners in a wheelchair whilst she is unable to complete 5km on foot. So far she has completed Lake Mac, Lakeview and Newy parkruns, and even The Beaches parkrun in a specially-designed wheelchair.

Emma-Leigh, the parkrun Australia family salutes you!

The Pointy End


Who are you? Coomera parkrunner Tom Brimelow who has a more than impressive PB of 16:43 after just 1 year of running!

How the hell do you run so fast? I really don't know why some people are faster than others.  I guess part of it is natural ability and build, running regularly, and being able to keep pushing hard while you're already in pain.

How many km do you run in an average training week? Usually 45 to 50kms.

What type of training do you typically do? Currently each week  I run a long slower run, a tempo run, an interval session, and of course, parkrun.

How long have you been running and have you always been so damn good? I hadn't done any running before parkrun and started just over a year ago.  I wasn't any good at sprinting in school and had never attempted longer distances.

What is your favourite distance? I've done one half marathon and really enjoyed it.

Do you have a coach and do you train with a squad? Not at the moment. At some stage I'd love to though. I think it would be great motivation but having young kids it's hard to meet at a regular time so I just run when I get the chance and often later at night. Luckily once a week at parkrun I get to catch up with other runners!

How much faster would you like to go? I'd love to get to under 16:30 for parkrun

What big events do you want to run? I'd like to run a marathon one day but at the moment it seems like a really long way to run!

#showusyourparkrun


As many of you are now proud owners of one of the official parkrun t-shirts available from our online store 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!

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 Warwick parkrunner Judy Gray who has borrowed a parkrun flag from her home event for her trip to see the one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Egyptian Pyramids. From all reports ‘100% authentic’ replica parkrun flags are now available for a great price in Cairo’s Khan al-Khalili market!

parkdog of the week


Hi I’m “Bonnie” the Border Collie and I’m almost one year old. Last week I smashed my parkrun PB down to 22 minutes flat and the dogs at my local event asked me what my secrets were for getting a super-fast time. So here are my “Top 10 Doggy parkrunning Tips” for all the parkdogs out there:

1. Training - take your owner for a run at every opportunity, even if they want to walk!
2. Diet - Load your regular dog food with pasta the night before parkrun.
3. Sleep - Hit the kennel early the night before parkrun as it starts early and you don’t want to be late!
4. Toilet - Make sure you do all your number ones and twos before leaving the back yard.
5. Stretching - Downward dog is a great yoga pose to help you stretch just before the start of parkrun.
6. Fashion - Always wear your best collar as the Puparazzi are at most parkruns. Also never forget to smile for the camera as the pictures could end up on the web for all to see.
7. Socialising - Never stop to sniff butt as it will only slow you down, also keep the humans waiting until after you cross the finish line for much needed pats.
8. Control - Keep your human on a short lead so they don’t get tangled with the other parkrunners.
9. Timing - Don’t worry about wearing a fancy GPS timer, starting them can be an unwanted distraction for eager paws and every parkrun is timed for you anyway.
10. DFYB - Don’t forget your (owner’s) barcode! This is the most important tip! You want all of your hard work to count.

And there you have it. I hope these tips help you smash your PB and I look forward to seeing you all out there!

FAQ – Why do parkrun events start so early on a Saturday?


Primarily because the volunteers who run the events would like to get on with their weekends; by starting early, they can (with luck) have their results sorted by lunchtime.

We also know that many runners also appreciate the opportunity to start their weekend on a social active note before breakfast.

And finally, we also want to avoid clashing with the many club events that happen around the country on Saturday afternoons.

Upcoming Special Events


Launches:
14/03 – Dawesville (WA); 21/03 – Yamba (NSW)

Anniversaries:
21/02 - Kirra (Qld) 3rd; 28/02 - Tuggeranong (ACT) 2nd; 14/03 – Parramatta (NSW) 2nd, Albury Wodonga (NSW) 1st; 21/03 – Campbelltown (NSW) 1st, Mount Barker (SA) 1st; 28/03 – Riverway (Qld) 2nd, Manjimup (WA) 1st
; 04/04 – Main Beach (Qld) 4th; 11/04 - Fingal Bay (NSW) 2nd; 18/04 - Augustine Heights (Qld) 2nd; 02/05 – Ginninderra (ACT) 3rd, Rockingham (WA) 2nd, Stones Corner (Qld) 1st, Cleveland (Qld) 2nd, Lillydale Lake (1st).

Cancellations
21/02 – The Beaches (NSW), Mt Penang (NSW), St Peters (NSW); 07/03 – Mt Penang (NSW); 14/03 – Armidale (NSW), Albert Melbourne (Vic); 28/03 – Launceston (Tas); 25/04 – Augustine Heights (Qld), Kawana (Qld), Wynnum (Qld); 02/05 – Geographe Bay (WA); 30/05 Mitchelton (Qld)

Feedback from the field


Kelley Cowley – Saturday was my very first time as a volunteer at Wynnum parkrun. I was so pleasantly surprised by how lovely all the runners/walkers were! Sure makes it easy to put my hand up again. Thanks everyone.


Alan Wilson - First-timer two weeks ago, personal best (26.30) this week. Quite correct of course, but they make me feel a bit of a fraud. You see, I'm 72 years of age, I ran the first of my near-1000 races 61 years ago in 1954 and have a personal best 5km time of 15.15 (in 1964). Since those early days I've had many wonderful running moments and have represented my county, area and the British Universities before migrating to Canberra in 1968. I went on to make the NSW team for the marathon in 1971 and 1978, with a PB of 2:31.56. More recently I have survived a bout of bowel cancer, which involved chemotherapy, radiotherapy, two bouts of surgery, a temporary colostomy bag and which kept me off work for seven months, a heart attack followed by the insertion of a stent, persistent high blood pressure, diabetes, and now osteo-arthritis in both knees. (Glaucoma and tinnitus too, but they don't affect my running!) Next to my loving wife, it's been the running and the great company and fellowship of other runners which has motivated me and helped me through all this. This feeling of community has continued into my time with masters/veterans athletics. Now the parkrun movement inspires me! I cannot be a parkrun first-timer again, but I hope to be able to achieve a few more parkrun personal bests in coming weeks!


Phil Ackland - New addition to the parkrun policy needed? Dogs, please keep your owners on a short lead!


Anna McNaughton - I am a fitness industry professional and have been running parkrun for about 18 months now and being involved in several different kinds of fitness activities I think parkrun is something different and special. What I love about parkrun is that it encourages everyone and anyone to move. Whether it be the super elite runners that use parkrun as a speed training run, or the ones that use it as more of a ‘parkchat’ with their friends, and everything in between. After ringing my parents almost every Saturday for the last 18 months recounting my parkrun story of the day, a few weeks ago I said "Mum and Dad, why don't you just come with me?" So yesterday, Valentine's Day and my parent’s 26th wedding anniversary, they both came to parkrun with me. I had volunteered to pace 25 minutes so I told them I wouldn't be able to stay with them but that parkwalkers were encouraged too and just to follow the marshals. I was so delighted to see them crossing the finish line almost together (mum just behind dad). But what was really special was what followed. My mother, aged (almost) 68 had massive open heart surgery 7 months ago for the second time. Her heart condition is not lifestyle or diet related, but due to an illness she had as a child, so she has always been fairly active but before her most recent surgery she would be puffed walking to the front door. But not even 7 months later, she was RUNNING her first parkrun. She has told everyone, and she has even sent a letter to her cardiologist. My dear mum has already rung everyone to tell them about it highlighting that she was first in her age category. I didn't have the heart to tell her I think she might have been the only one in her age category. But I think that in itself makes her even more of a super star. Good on you Mum. And thanks parkrun!


Neil Bath - I was chatting to a parkrunner at Ipswich on Saturday who casually mentioned that he had run 97 parkruns, 50 at his home parkrun, and 47 different ones around the country. He was volunteering that day because he had set a target of volunteering 20 times before his 100th parkrun, and that he wanted to volunteer at the events he had previously completed to say thanks for all the hard work put in by the organizers. This person epitomizes everything about parkrun. If ever there is a candidate for Australian parkrunner of the month (or year), he would be my pick.


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:  Keanan O’Toole

Club:  Nil

Age:  13

Home parkrun:  Kalgoorlie-Boulder

Occupation:  Student

Number of runs:  52

PB:  21:01

Number of times volunteered:  7

Favourite volunteer role:  Barcode scanning

What do like about volunteering at parkrun:  The opportunity to meet new people.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Most memorable moment was volunteering for the first time to see how parkrun was organised and then to help people when they volunteer for the first time.

How can we improve parkrun:  Continue to reward regular volunteers and advertise how easy each role is to encourage new volunteers.

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

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weekly newsletter 10th February 2015

welcome to the newsletter


In this week’s edition of the newsletter we remind you of our non-negotiables, a shoe is reunited in WA and we share with you, without a doubt, one of the most inspiring parkrun stories of all time.

My piece in the newsletter last week regarding our requirement for children aged 11 and under to be supervised by their parents during parkrun has caused quite a lot of discussion on social media and at our events last Saturday. I’m glad that this is the case although, as mentioned, it isn’t up for negotiation.

So I think this week is the opportune time for me to remind you about a few of the other non-negotiables at parkrun:

Don’t forget your barcode - Barcodes are how we identify all our runners and get the results sorted out. The barcodes help us to ensure the accuracy of our results and also help to speed up the queues at our bigger events. Every athlete who has registered with us has their own unique barcode, which can be printed out and used at any of our events. We scan the barcode at the finish line to accurately record who you are and what position you finished. Please remember we operate a strict 'No printed barcode, No result' policy at all of our runs.

Be courteous to other park users – Our events are held across a range of venues, from urban parks and beachfront esplanades to nature reserves and open fields. One thing is common however across almost all of these and that is that we share these areas with other users and as such it is imperative that you are courteous at all times. In its most basic form this means always keep left and don’t run more than 1-2 abreast. However this can also mean things like stopping to let people cross, picking up rubbish and helping people who may be in distress.

Dog on short lead – We welcome dogs at parkrun. Many of you will know that I was actually initially attracted to parkrun specifically because it was somewhere I could run with my dog and get a time. We do ask you though to keep your dog on a short lead whilst running with them at parkrun. No long or extended leads please and definitely no dogs running loose without a lead.

No bikes, scooters – This is a tricky one as I know it sounds ok in theory however we have made a firm decision that your children are not allowed to accompany you on a bike, scooter or anything similar during parkrun. The risks to all involved are simply not worth it.

Hand in your finish token – When you cross the line at parkrun you will be handed a small token that shows your finishing position. You will then need to hand this token to the volunteer scanning barcodes before heading on your way. We use these same tokens every week and any that go missing need to be replaced at parkrun’s cost. It might not seem like a big deal but if a couple go missing at every event every week then it really adds up. If you’ve accidentally taken a finish token home please let the event director know as soon as possible and make arrangements with them to return it. The event email address can be found at the bottom of the event's website or in your results email.

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 – 109
Number of runners – 18,052
Number of PBs – 4,146
Number of first timers – 3,148
Number of volunteers – 1,044
Number of members – 179,150
Number of members (global) – 1,453,068

‘My Mother, My Inspiration’ by Donella Taylor


I just wanted to put pen to paper so to speak and share my mother’s parkrun or parkwalk (as she likes to call it) story with all our fellow parkrunners and parkwalkers alike.

My now 71 year old mum, Florence Page has been watching my husband, myself and our children participate at our local parkrun for over 12 months.

She has been witness to big changes in our family, my husband Gerry Taylor was able to achieve a 19:03 Kawana parkrun time back in November 2013 before incurring an injury that would see him sit out for almost 9 months. During those nine months it became my turn to really step up to the parkrun plate, I was able to take off almost 13 minutes from my original time of 39 odd minutes to 27:12, I still aspire to get that time down and I know it will come. It was also the first time I tackled a couple of 10km runs and then two half marathons.

I suppose we as a family inspired my mum, because in early October last year she had me register her name and we attended the inaugural Brightwater parkrun on the 19th of October 2014.

She ‘parkwalked’ in a time of 1 hour and 8 minutes with our very close friend and tail runner for that day Debra Mills. She had a fabulous time and I was so very proud of her. Three days later we received the devastating news that our beautiful mother has advanced lung cancer that has also spread to her bones and her brain. It was a complete shock to everyone in the family, mum looks so well and healthy and apart from one seemingly small symptom we had no warnings at all.

The prognoses at the time was heartbreaking, 2-4 months, well mum has nearly passed that time frame and quite honestly mum and the rest of our family are not paying any heed to it, they are just numbers, and they don’t take into account mums tremendous fighting spirit, her amazing positive attitude and the loving support of our family and friends.

The reason I am telling this story and of course it is with my mums blessing (actually it was her idea) is to provide hope, a belief that even when we are faced with a monumental mountain in front of us and there seems no way that you can possibly beat it or overcome it, you can. My mum has pulled an inner strength from I don’t know where and she just oozes positivity, love, and belief that she will overcome and she will beat this monster mountain. For her there is no doubting, she believes and thus in that belief I believe that she will beat this and come to many, many more parkwalks in the future.

She has just finished two weeks of radiation treatment for her brain cancer, it has made her very tired so she actually missed her parkwalk last week, she woke at the same time and sat thinking about how she is missing out on her walk and talking with all the wonderful new parkrun friends that she has. That really made me smile, parkrun has really become a part of her life now as well, and it is so amazing for our family to surround ourselves with likeminded people that are so supportive, caring and encouraging.

Mum has now completed 12 parkwalks, she has taken off about 5 minutes from her time, in the coming weeks she will volunteer for the first time, we are all so very proud of her achievements.

So my final message to our parkrun community is, believe in yourself, anything is possible, reach out to others, love, support and encourage each other, and I hope this last message isn’t too much for our readers, and I’m not sure who the author is but here goes: ‘Aspire to inspire before you expire.’

parkrun WA's Facebook forum - reuniting shoes since 2015


Simon Johnson | 4 February at 22:30 - Anyone lost a Hoka One One Huaka trail shoe in East Perth? (Or someone else who has found one and needs another one?)

Kelly Underwood - Fell out of a backpack?

Tony Smith - Very random Simon... how do you misplace one shoe... hahaha

Jeremy Savage - Yep that's the one I saw last week! You would think whoever lost it would have noticed that they were going around in circles!

Stella Boo Bella - I suspect someone had what will now be a costly bike commute!

Matty Trent - U.S. 10! That's my size!

Bronwyn Bell - Matty now you just need to find the other shoe (or lose a foot)

Oskar Zalstrovs | 4 February at 23:28 - Oh my gosh, that’s my shoe, I actually never thought I'd see it again... It was slung onto my rear bottle cage!

Ben Harris - Can't believe it has found its owner. parkrun strikes again!

Simon Johnson - Hey Oskar, it's still hanging up on the fence. Was going to bring it with me but I was at the start of a run and thought it would be best to leave it there.

Oskar Zalstrovs - No worries, I recognise the spot, thanks so much!  I'll try get it tomorrow.

Simon Johnson - That's okay, happy to help. Jez mentioned it on the weekend and I've actually gone past it a couple times this week. Good luck with the recovery!

Stella Boo Bella - OMG that's hilarious!

Bronwyn Bell - Oskar, can we get a photo of the happy couple re-united?

Oskar Zalstrovs | 5 February at 18:02 - Once again reunited, thanks Simon Johnson!

Simon Johnson - YAY! Were they happy to see each other?

Oskar Zalstrovs - Certainly were, and my wallet is thankful too!

Bill Irving - Still a better love story than Twilight...

Didi Rosevear - I love this. Actual love.

Cassie Hughes - This is the coolest thread EVER! Well done parkrun WA community! Pats on the back for everyone... Glad you got your shoe back Oskar.

Bronwyn Bell - Someone send that photo to Tim Oberg for this week's newsletter. parkrun WA's Facebook forum - reuniting shoes since 2015. Also kind of getting in the Valentine's Day mood too!

Tim Oberg - DONE!

The Pointy End


Who are you? Adrian Fisher, age category record holder for men 40-44 (18:14 / 75.41%) at Augustine Heights parkrun.

How the hell do you run so fast? Built up a good base over the last 2 yrs.

How many km do you run in an average training week? 80-120km.

What type of training do you typically do? Normally 10k most mornings (tempo, progressive, intervals, hills). Sunday mornings are mostly longer, slower trail runs.

How long have you been running and have you always been so damn good? Only been running for just under two years, no not really I just chip away, building the base, concentrating on good running form, talking to and taking advice from other runners

What is your favourite distance? 10km.

Do you have a coach and do you train with a squad? No, I am good listener and have received lots of advice from my betters though. I run with the Springfield Runners Group and have just joined Intraining

How much faster would you like to go? Sub 3hr Marathon is next year’s goal

What big events do you want to run? Gold Coast Marathon, Ipswich park2park half, Brisbane Marathon.

#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 Tony Abbot 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 Jon Storey who writes – “This photo was taken in KU DÉ TA Singapore… a bar with an amazing view! We were lucky enough to run East Coast Park parkrun during the trip also. Now we just need a parkrun in Hong Kong!”

parkdog of the week


Hi, my name is Jesse I am a mini foxy X chihuahua. I am 7 years old and I love to play fetch with my favourite toy. I am very nervous around people and don't like the car as I get car sick. My owners have to give me medication if there is a storm as I am scared of them. I have been to two parkruns and I think I'm coping very well with all the people. I start off very fast at parkrun, but around the 3k mark I get a little tired as I only have short legs. I even try giving my owner big sad puppy dog eyes so she will carry me the last 2k. It has not worked yet but you can't blame me for trying. See you at the next parkrun.

Upcoming Special Events


Launches:
14/03 – Dawesville (WA)

Anniversaries:
14/02 - Lake Mac (NSW) 2nd, Golden Beach (Qld) 1st, Ipswich (Qld) 1st; 21/02 - Kirra (Qld) 3rd; 28/02 - Tuggeranong (ACT) 2nd; 14/03 – Parramatta (NSW) 2nd, Albury Wodonga (NSW) 1st; 21/03 – Campbelltown (NSW) 1st, Mount Barker (SA) 1st; 28/03 – Riverway (Qld) 2nd, Manjimup (WA) 1st

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

Feedback from the field


Russ Johnson - The steepest parkrun hill on a Victorian course is Westerfolds parkrun in Templestowe. Ran the 3km to 4km HILL section in 4:40 and the last km in 3:20, some 80 faster for a finish time of 20:17. Mt Gambier S.A also has a hill almost as taxing. Consider these' two hill 'courses added 30-35 seconds and 25-30 seconds respectively to my around 20 minute finish times.


Dale Murray - Our under 11 years of age Armidale parkrunners are fantastic! Here they are running with their parent or responsible adult during today's parkrun event, ensuring their safety and care on the course. Thanks also to all the parents and supervising adults for being positive examples to your children.


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:  Phil Courage

Club:  Happy wife, Happy life club. (also Twin Towns Runners and Walkers)

Age:  52

Home parkrun:  Kingscliff

Occupation:  Sheet metal worker.

Number of runs:  2

PB:  27:59

Number of times volunteered:  150+

Favourite volunteer role:  Photographer

What do like about volunteering at parkrun:  It gave me a good excuse to upgrade my camera. Keeps Dawn happy, and I have met some great people whom I would now count as friends.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Lots, including forgetting and leaving the turn flag out for 24 hours and then thinking maybe we should go and get it. Seeing one of our lady runners complete the course just 5 days after having a baby. (she ran 23 something).

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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