welcome to the newsletter
In this week’s edition of the newsletter Tim rounds off his NZ adventure, we update you on the club shirts and new friends lend a helping hand at Kawana.
On Saturday I attended the beautiful Hagley parkrun in Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand. I was really looking forward to this event as I have a personal connection to the Event Director Jo Taylor and Run Director Brad Henderson.
Brad was one of the original Run Directors at Albert parkrun in Melbourne, our 3rd event, so was really one of the parkrun pioneers in Australia. Brad moved back to his native New Zealand about a year ago and of course jumped at the chance of joining the Event Team at Hagley parkrun.
Jo is the elder sister of one of my best friends (and North Shore parkrunner) Mark Rugg. At Mark and his now-wife Lana’s wedding about a year and half ago Jo and I got talking about parkrun and somewhere along the line I suggested she should look at setting one up in Christchurch. The next thing I knew Brad and Jo were in cahoots and Hagley parkrun was born!
I have watched with joy from across the Tasman as this event has flourished and it really was fantastic to get a taste of it for myself on Saturday. And Christchurch, wow, what a fascinating city, still very obviously rebuilding after the devastation of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, yet still buzzing with optimism and the promise of a brighter future. Incredible.
Finally, this week I just want to draw your attention to Ben Chinnock’s ‘feedback from the field’ at the bottom of the newsletter… It’s awesome. Read it now!
Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
Essential Stats for Australia & Singapore – 07/03/2015:
Number of locations – 106
Number of runners – 15,724
Number of PBs – 3,901
Number of first timers – 2,111
Number of volunteers – 1,004
Numbers of runs (all time) – 935,828
Number of members – 186,830
Number of members (global) – 1,507,745
Club shirt update
There seems to still be some confusion around the status of club shirt orders past and present. That’s fair enough, we haven’t been great in communicating the current state of play. So, as it stands right now:
- If you have qualified for a club shirt AND submitted your shirt size before we closed off the old ordering system then you should receive these at your event in June;
- If you have qualified for a club shirt but missed the cut off for submitting your shirt size through the old ordering system then you will be asked to order through the new system (i.e. our online store) once this is operational; and
- If you are yet to qualify for a club shirt then you will simply be asked to order through the new system once this is operational and you have in fact qualified.
Hope this all makes sense.
‘With a little help from my friends’ by Deanne Stock
At Kawana parkrun recently I learned a very valuable lesson about friendship.
I had a goal to break my 5km PB and in general conversation pre-run with the gentlemanly, Des Rountree, whom I had only met once before, we discussed the time I would like to achieve. Also present was another beautiful soul Lee Mills, whom I have only known for a couple of months through training.
When I lined up at the start, Des came and stood beside me and said he would run with me, knowing what I wanted to achieve. After we began to run, it was only moments before Lee joined us. Throughout the whole 5km, these guys stayed with me encouraging me every step of the way. Even when there was silence between us, their presence was all the inspiration I needed to stay strong. When I did start to faulter and tire, they were both straight in with their encouragement and advice on how to keep going to achieve my goal. They were teaching me how to breathe to stay strong and fluent, how to mentally talk to myself and most importantly kept telling me I could do it!!
Not only did I achieve my goal, they had pushed my so hard, I nudged another 20 seconds off what I wanted to achieve. So to Des and Lee, thank you so much for believing in me, giving me constant support and encouragement, but most importantly for giving up your run to make it about helping me. I feel very grateful for having these two beautiful gentlemen I hardly know step in to help me see my goal through to the end. Now there is a bond that can't be broken.
After posting this story on Facebook, I soon realised this is an ongoing culture that Kawana parkrunners have adopted. After many comments, apparently this occurs all the time and many other runners have experienced the same kindness from other fellow participants. This is lifechanging stuff and I for one am so grateful to have parkrun touch my soul in such a positive way.
‘My first parkrun’ by Sally Manson
On Saturday 28th February 2015, I attended my first parkrun!
After months of urging from my daughter Elyse, I finally got up early on Saturday, threw on my old tracky pants, tied my hair back, brushed the teeth, and off I went down to Frog Hollow Endeavour Hills.
When I got out of the car and started walking towards the meeting point I could see about 100 people all limbering up, stretching, preparing themselves and looking pretty professional. I admit, I felt very intimidated and said to my daughter, "Oh Elyse I feel a bit silly being here". She replied, “Mum don't be, remember I am the volunteer that will be at the back, so just stay with me".
So off we go, and we begin at the back with a few other walkers, whilst all the runners set off up front. After about 5 minutes I said to Elyse, "I think I might jog a little bit". And that is what I did, jogging for about 100metres, then walking, then jogging and so on until I finished. I felt exhilarated that I had actually completed the 5km and still felt ok at the end.
The organisers of this event were so friendly and encouraging and I can’t wait now until I attend another Saturday morning down at Frog Hollow parkrun.
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.
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 Pittsworth parkrun team who write – “Our Pittsworth parkrun team proudly modelling their incredibly stylish new 'parkrun attire'. If you too, want to look this cool and wear something as comfortable and well-made as these shirts whilst supporting parkrun Australia, follow the link in the newsletter.”
parkdog of the week
Hi, I'm Stanley. I go to Berrinba parkrun with my humans Alpha and Lady. Alpha and Lady are just two of the wonderful Run Directors we have at Berrinba. Sometimes I run with Alpha and sometimes I walk and run with Lady-I help her when she is tail runner. When I'm running with Alpha, I drag him for the first 2km, we're about even for the next 2km and then I let him think he's doing well in the last 1km before I try to beat him over the line. I love going to parkrun and seeing my parkdog friends. I enjoy tagging myself in the photos so my Facebook friends can see me run! I sometimes get so excited at the start of the run I forget my manners and bark (must be my Border Collie part coming out). I think the responsible humans who clean up after their parkdogs (sorry, call of nature can happen at any time when you're a dog -usually 100m past the bin!) should get a time bonus!
FAQ - When did parkrun start?
Our first event was Bushy Park, which started in October 2004 with 13 runners (at the time we called it Bushy Park Time Trial or BPTT).
In January 2007 a group of volunteers decided to start a second event in Wimbledon Common, followed in June 2007 by our third event in Banstead Woods. We realised soon after this, that we had a great idea on our hands and we created the umbrella organisation called parkrun (the events changed name shortly after to follow suit - though you occasionally hear the odd 'old-timer' still referring to the original runs as 'time trials').
We now have 579 parkruns in 11 countries, and have just cracked 1.5 million registered parkrunners!
Upcoming Special Events
14/03 – Dawesville (WA); 21/03 – Yamba (NSW), 04/04 – Traralgon (Vic), 11/04 – Warragul (Vic), 18/04 – Sale (Vic)
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).
14/03 – Armidale (NSW), Albert Melbourne (Vic); 21/03 – Menai (NSW); 28/03 – Launceston (Tas), Penrith Lakes (NSW); 11/04 – Pittsworth (Qld); 25/04 – Augustine Heights (Qld), Kawana (Qld), Wynnum (Qld); 02/05 – Geographe Bay (WA); 30/05 Mitchelton (Qld)
Feedback from the field
Peter Moore - Looking sharp there Tim in front of Parliament House. I'm thinking we could do a lot worse than you as Prime Minister of this Country, maybe give it some thought, ha ha!
Ben Chinnock - Josiah Bamber is a keen parkrunner. He attends Lawson parkrun each week in preparation for the City 2 Surf. Josiah is going to be the first person with Down syndrome to run the 14kms. He is a fit, active and engaged teenager with tremendous potential ahead for him. To find out more about Josiah’s story or to support him through his journey please click here.
Sarah Choyce - My heart was well and truly warmed a few weeks ago at my home parkrun in Toowoomba. One of the event's regular fast runners was right beside a lady with an obvious physical impairment and he didn't stop encouraging her. A lovely reminder of how inclusive parkrun is and how supportive the community is!
Sandra Crawford – Love checking out the photographs after parkrun every week and seeing all those smiling faces as people cross the finish line. Remember, Confucius said "It does not matter how slow (fast) you go -- so long as you do not stop". parkrun is the best start for the weekend. Enjoy.
Ged Banfield - Thanks to the run directors, volunteers and photographer for another great Wynnum parkrun. Didn't the bay look beautiful this morning?
Drop me an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.
Name: Judy Ross
Home parkrun: Penrith Lakes
Number of runs: 16
Number of times volunteered: 8
Favourite volunteer role: Bar code scanning / marshalling
What do like about volunteering at parkrun: Love being able to encourage the runners, especially the ones towards the end like I usually am. The looks on their faces when you tell them what a great job they have done is priceless!
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: A family with four young children came to have their barcodes scanned and I congratulated the little ones on a fantastic job done. They were so chuffed at being told how good they were and their parents so appreciative of the encouragement.
How can we improve parkrun: Can't think of anything that needs improving, don't change a thing.