weekly newsletter 29th September 2015

welcome to the newsletter


Do you remember your first parkrun experience? Did you get your time? Were you surprised that it really was free of charge? Did you feel welcome, no matter your speed, shape or fitness? Most importantly, was it fun?

Last week I spent 3 days in Cork, Ireland with my colleagues from the 11 other parkrun countries, founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt and new CEO Nick Pearson (as shown in the above photo taken at the launch of Tramore Valley parkrun). As you can guess we had plenty of topics to cover however one common theme that ran across the 3 days was that as we grow (which is inevitable) the standard Saturday parkrun experience must not change; it must always be free; you will always get your time; we must be fully inclusive; and we must all always remember that at its core parkrun is about having fun.

This is our commitment to you, the parkrun family, and we expect you to hold us to account!

On the topic of inclusiveness, today is World Heart Day so it's fitting that I can announce a new partnership with Heart Foundation Walking that enables their members to participate at any of our events and earn points towards their Walker Recognition Scheme (a little bit like our 10, 50 and 100-clubs). The key message for parkrunners from this is to reiterate that the slowest of the slow walkers are just as welcome (and arguably far more important) as the fastest of the fast runners at every single one of our events.

Finally, this Saturday is International parkrun Day on which we commemorate the launch of Bushy parkrun on October 2, 2004 and celebrate the fact that one man's little idea has now become the largest running event on the planet. Many events are having themed runs / fancy dress so please check the Facebook page of your home event to ensure you don't miss out on the fun!

Happy running,

Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)

Were you a first timer last weekend, did you run a personal best or do you have any other feedback? We would love to hear from you on email, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

donate to parkrun Australia

Essential Stats for Australia & Singapore – 26/09/2015:


Number of locations – 134
Number of runners – 16,147
Number of PBs – 2,878
Number of first timers – 2,948
Number of volunteers – 1,260
All time registrations – 239,653

‘An Expat back home – From St Peters to Bushy parkrun’ by Shaun Rainford


A somewhat inconsistent and occasional runner I did my first ever parkrun last December in Sydney after printing out my barcode 12 months previously. Nothing like easing in gently.

After heading down to my nearest parkrun – St Peters in Sydney, I joined the start line one very hot and sweaty Saturday morning and puffed my way around the course. It was a struggle first time (second time, third…) around but I enjoyed the challenge. I’ve improved a bit since then, the run is a great motivator and I look forward to it kicking off the weekend.

Since then I have done nearly 20 parkruns here in Sydney, and whilst organising a recent trip back home to UK to see friends and family in July I realised that a planned re-union with two of my oldest mates and their families in Teddington, UK was just minutes from the home of parkrun in Bushy Park. A few phonecalls and we had organised to do the run together on the Saturday morning. A splendid idea apart from the inevitable drinks on the Friday night.

According to close sources (Google) Bushy parkrun started on 2 October 2004 with just 13 runners taking part in the inaugural event. It was the first ever parkrun and had over 1700 people run it last year as part of the 10th Anniversary celebrations. Bushy Park is the second largest of London's Royal Parks, and was created by Henry VIII, whom being a keen hunter, had established the park as deer-hunting grounds. And so we headed off along the 5km course in a figure of 8 through Henry’s backyard, complete with fountains, hundreds of ancient oak trees and the descendants of Henry’s furry friends.

The run was fantastic, it was a sunny day more typical of my own backyard, and whilst the 3 of us felt the effects of the previous night’s beers and the unseasonably hot temperature, it was a great feeling for three old mates to run together. The run was packed, there were hundreds of people but it was all managed by Volunteers and ran like clockwork.

A great highlight of our trip back home, I can highly recommend a parkrun when overseas – you never know where you might run or who you might meet.

parkdog of the week


My name's Ruby the Bwgcolman dog. I'm an 8 month-old crossbreed rescue dog originally from Palm Island in North Queensland, now living in Townsville, and I love to go to Riverway parkrun with my human Rachel, who is co-Event Director there. "Bwgcolman" is an aboriginal word used to describe the people who live on Palm Island and means "many tribes". I am still learning to pace myself when we run, I tend to get a little over-excited when they say "GO!", but I'm learning to settle into a steady pace without pulling after the first Km and I've already helped my human run some fast runs this year: today I pulled her along to finish in 24:10 which is a parkdog PB for me and a very good time for her! I also like to volunteer when Rachel is Run Directing, and my favourite role is "Race Start Cheer Squad", I cheer so loudly I think I embarrass my human sometimes! I don't think she appreciates it when I practise my cheering during her run briefs though. I love all the attention I get from other parkrunners and parkdogs, I wish it could be parkrun every day!

Upcoming Special Events


Launches:
03/10 – Hamilton Island (Qld), Petrie (Qld)
10/10 – Hamilton (Vic)
17/10 – Grafton (NSW), Paradise Point (Qld)
31/10 – Port Macquarie (NSW)

Anniversaries:
10/10 – Berwick Springs (Vic) 2nd, Kalgoorlie-Boulder (WA) 2nd
17/10 – Brightwater (Qld) 1st, Gungahlin (ACT) 2nd, Kingscliff (NSW) 3rd, Mosman (NSW) 2nd, North Lakes (Qld) 3rd, Murray Bridge (SA) 1st
24/10 – Bunbury (WA) 2nd, Darwin (NT) 2nd, Kawana (Qld) 3rd, Mudgeeraba (Qld) 2nd, Westerfolds (Vic) 2nd

Cancellations:
Until further notice – Heirisson Island (WA)
03/10 – Penrith Lakes (NSW)
10/10 – Geographe Bay (WA)
17/10 – Launceston (Tas)
24/10 – Chermside (Qld)
31/10 – Wangaratta (Vic), Penrith Lakes (NSW)
14/11 – Tamborine Mountain (Qld), Shepparton (Vic)
28/11 – Penrith Lakes (NSW), Lillydale Lake (Vic)
13/02 – Geographe Bay (WA)

Other:
03/10 – International parkrun Day

Feedback from the field


Natasha Konners - My running bestie, one of our fabulous events directors at North Lakes parkrun, celebrated her 100th run today ~ and this is on top of her 40x volunteering! This picture shows what parkrun is all about - getting out there supporting and encouraging others to be the best we can be. Good on you Jules Venz - giving back to you today the super support that you give to our parkrunners every week.


Keren Brown - My dog Ruff doing his first ever parkrun at Yarrabilba QLD, he ran well but either did not want it to end or he was spooked by the finishing flags and the cheer squad bringing us in!!


Jo Black - We had one of our Augustine Heights parkrunners Darren Lenham reach 50 a couple of weeks ago. He has been a huge part of the community spirit as the main scout organiser for Redbank Plains scouts along with his wife Peta for many years. But as there brood has slowly flocked the nest they have slowly began swapping there passion for scouting activities for running activities & helping hugely on a regular basis with our parkrun September 12th saw Darren Lanham, one of our regular participants complete his 50th parkrun. Darren loves to have fun and really enjoys his weekly parkrun so what better way to celebrate than with some balloons! He arrived at Augustine Heights with 1 traditional 50 balloon (as far as he knew) which his family gave him and gradually his parkrun family added to this - when he set off at 7am for his run he had over 60 balloons tied to him which looked fabulous with his rainbow tutu and cape topped off with a beautiful parkrun wand! Darren who has a PB of 21.20 still managed to run his 5km in an awesome time of 24.38 even with 60 balloons dragging behind and having to dodge the trees! Everyone then enjoyed a lovely spread of food and a huge, yep huge cake, biggest Augustine Heights has seen. Congratulations Darren on achieving your 50th parkrun and for having so much fun doing it.


Peter Truscott - No particular reason to email but to say how much I love the parkrun concept. I run Parramatta parkrun and absolutely love it. Keep up the brilliant work.


Jo MacCarthy - I'd love to thank everyone at Balyang Sanctuary parkrun on the 26th September. The day before, my 10.5 year old beagle Humphrey (past parkrun dog of the week) died in his sleep. My fellow Run Directors quickly volunteered to take on my rostered role, and on Saturday I had a crowd of friends waiting to give me a hug. The support I got before and throughout the run inspired me to run my fastest time for the year!
It's hard to believe Humphrey will never pull me up the halfway-hill again, or make me stop so he can have a quick swim at the canoe crossing. This is the one of the last pictures I have with him – running at Balyang Sanctuary's 3rd Birthday Pyjama Party last month. Saturday was also the day Lyn Quinlivan and I were surprised at the finish line with a joint birthday cake made by the amazing Lea-Anne Harrison. All of these fabulous people have been brought together by parkrun – I'm very lucky to have found this group.


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:  Renee Russell

Age:  Wrong side of 40 :(

Home parkrun:  Varsity Lakes

Occupation:  Customer Service Leader - QBT

Number of runs:  14

PB:  25.30 this was quite a while ago (a long way off it these days)

Number of times volunteered:  65

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Depicted in the above photo - This was Varsity Lakes 2nd Anniversary in May this year. Whilst I had only been Event Director since November 2014, I was overwhelmed with the recognition I received for doing what I see as a pretty simple job, from both parkrun Territory Director Renee Gimbert (also pictured) and the Varsity Lakes parkrunners who welcomed me when I initially started as a runner in January 2014 and have continued to support me in my role as Varsity Lakes Event Director.

I volunteer at parkun because::  It is a very small amount of time out of my day to provide enjoyment to so many people every Saturday.

One thing I love about parkrun is::  The families at Varsity Lakes parkrun! I love that entire families participate together. I also have one family with 2 boys who are our super star junior volunteers - this makes getting out of bed early every Saturday morning worth it!

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 laser engraved silicone wristband 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

Children under the age of eleven must be accompanied at all times by a parent, guardian or other designated adult of the parent's choice. It must also be ensured that children place themselves appropriately at the start so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken. 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 22nd September 2015

welcome to the newsletter


After ticking Bushy parkrun off the bucketlist last Saturday we made our way across the Channel and down through France for Les Dougnes parkrun in Cubnezais, about 30 minutes outside of Bordeaux. We stayed with parkrun France Country Manager Anita Afonso, her husband Alex and their daughters Sofia (3.5 years) and Eva (6 weeks) in their beautiful 19th century cottage in the small village of Salignac. For the parkrun historians out there, Anita was parkrun's first ever employee in the UK, starting in April 2009 as Event Activator. Since then she has masterminded the launch of literally 100s of parkrun events in the UK however in November 2013 Anita and Alex made the decision to move their family to France with the goal of launching parkrun in Anita's home country.

And so it was that on June 6 this year Les Dougnes parkrun got underway and all went according to plan for the first 9 weeks. However in the early hours of August 8, the day of Les Dougnes parkrun event 10, Anita went into labour 3 weeks premature! What to do, what to do??? Quickly Anita and Alex made a plan; Alex would go to parkrun with the gear, set up the course, give the stopwatch, scanner and tokens to one of the parkrun UK ambassadors they knew was attending before speeding back to the house to take Anita to hospital. Later that day, after Les Dougnes parkrun had been successfully run, little baby Eva was born. Now that's commitment!!!

Fast forward to the Saturday just gone, and there we were on the start line of Les Dougnes parkrun with a small yet enthusiastic crew of locals and tourists (see photo above). The course was a flat 3-lapper and ideal for running a quick time or pushing a pram. And as per usual everyone stayed around afterwards for a chat and a cup of coffee. Just goes to show that parkrun and parkrunners really are the same everywhere we go.

Next stop for us is the launch Cork parkrun in Ireland.

Happy running,

Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)

Were you a first timer last weekend, did you run a personal best or do you have any other feedback? We would love to hear from you on email, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

donate to parkrun Australia

Essential Stats for Australia & Singapore – 19/09/2015:


Number of locations – 132
Number of runners – 14,849
Number of PBs – 2,887
Number of first timers – 2,166
Number of volunteers – 1,241
All time registrations – 237,294

'One More parkrun with Ian' by Andrew Dodd


Two separate events came together at Newy parkrun recently that led to an outpouring of emotion and a potent reminder of everything we love and value about parkrun.  A number of people later posted photos with the hashtag #thisiswhyiparkrun.

Ian Pettigrew has been running all his life and earlier in the year clocked up his 50th parkrun. Following an encounter with cancer some years back Ian became an active committee member for Relay for Life.  Ian has been doing it tough over the last year or so with another bout and only three weeks ago was admitted to a hospice. He rallied somewhat and was able to return home for his 56th birthday where a plan was hatched for "One More parkrun with Ian Pettigrew."  So he had to get up several hours earlier than what is normal for him these days and get to the start line with barcode in hand – and an entourage, including family and friends – and his surgeon – who were committed to making the day special and to take turns to push  him along in his wheelchair. A Facebook event generated a lot of support and Ian was given a rousing three cheers during the briefing.

Alan McCloskey has also been running all his life and is one of the characters on the local scene where he is known as 'The Grandfather of Running'. He won local marathons in his day and still sets out at a decent clip – if he's not holding back to encourage or pace other runners. Al runs in the VM60-64 category and has a PB of 18:52 and pushes 85% in the age grade stakes!  He even has his own running group- appropriately named Maccas Mob. The same Saturday was Maccas 100th parkrun and the Mob tuned out in force to support the bloke who has given them so much.

Al was asked to wait at the very back of the 'peloton' during the briefing which that week had over four hundred and fifty runners and walkers. Due to his standing in the Region of Runners and to make the day memorable the crowd parted and Al was accorded the rare honour of a guard of honour to the start line to receive his milestone shirt.

Then the emotion kicked in. Al was pushing his good mate Ian Pettigrew who was bearing his black shirt. They have run together, played in churches soccer against each other and been in the same team for an Oxfam 100km trailwalker.  They embraced on the startline and their was hardly a dry eye in the house.  Al's and Ian's groups then combined – forming a pack of around forty people who had the time of their lives with these two special blokes near the back of the field and taking it in turns to give Ian a push. They even had time for a group photo at the halfway turn-a-round point.  Everyone was inspired by these mighty warriors.

Then twenty metres from the finish line the group unexpectedly stopped.  Ian got out his chair and walked across the line with his daughter Amy by his side and surrounded by his friends -with Macca right behind him.

#thisiswhyiparkrun

'From parkrun to Beijing' by Allan Cook


I recently returned from the IAAF World Athletic Championships in Beijing where I represented Australia competing in a exhibition Men's over 50 800m race organized by the World Masters Athletics in consultation with the IAAF and was one of 10 athletes selected from 9 different countries from around the world.

The whole experience of being part of a National team and competing inside the Birdsnest was something I thought that running and competing in athletics could ever be that good, it was unbelievable to be competing on the track with 50,000 spectators screaming at every point of the arena and to think that I was running on the same night, same track as Usain Bolt, Mo Farrah and many other world class athletes was a dream I don't need to have anymore. I finished 7th in the race and ran a time of 2:05.59 and was really happy with my performance considering I was plucked out of winter here and landed in Beijing out of season with no lead up races available.

My last parkrun at Point Cook was in June before the transition into 800m track work in readiness for the event, parkrun has played an important part of my base and speed endurance and really enjoy mixing with the runners who turn up week after week.

parkdog of the week


My name is Cali and I'm an 11 year old border collie kelpie cross who never wants to miss parkrun. The mere stirrings of movement on a Saturday morning at home see me out waiting at the door to get underway. This is despite the fact that I can only use three of her legs. One of my front legs has been out of action for a year now but my other front leg has taken over and I can still stack on some serious speed. These days I prefer to just do the first loop of the Wishart parkrun course and wait at the start/finish point to be the centre of attention, spoiled and patted, as well as to cheer on the home coming runners.

Upcoming Special Events


Launches:
26/09 – Ashgrove (Qld)
03/10 – Hamilton Island (Qld), Petrie (Qld)
10/10 – Hamilton (Vic)
17/10 – Grafton (NSW), Paradise Point (Qld)
31/10 – Port Macquarie (NSW)

Anniversaries:
26/09 – Bowral (NSW) 1st, Merimbula (NSW) 2nd, Tamworth (NSW) 1st, Toowoomba (Qld) 2nd
10/10 – Berwick Springs (Vic) 2nd, Kalgoorlie-Boulder (WA) 2nd
17/10 – Brightwater (Qld) 1st, Gungahlin (ACT) 2nd, Kingscliff (NSW) 3rd, Mosman (NSW) 2nd, North Lakes (Qld) 3rd, Murray Bridge (SA) 1st
24/10 – Bunbury (WA) 2nd, Darwin (NT) 2nd, Kawana (Qld) 3rd, Mudgeeraba (Qld) 2nd, Westerfolds (Vic) 2nd

Cancellations:
Until further notice – Heirisson Island (WA)
26/09 – Penrith Lakes (NSW)
03/10 – Penrith Lakes (NSW)
10/10 – Geographe Bay (WA)
17/10 – Launceston (Tas)
24/10 – Chermside (Qld)
31/10 – Wangaratta (Vic), Penrith Lakes (NSW)
14/11 – Tamborine Mountain (Qld), Shepparton (Vic)
28/11 – Penrith Lakes (NSW), Lillydale Lake (Vic)
13/02 – Geographe Bay (WA)

Other:
03/10 – International parkrun Day

Feedback from the field


Barbara Adams - My girls and I ran the trial parkrun at Ashgrove last weekend. Absolutely loved it, but the best part is that my 12 year old daughter Jaime, ran the whole 5KM for the very first time! To see how proud she was of herself that she finally did it! I remember how excited I was when I ran 5km non-stop for the first time, as we all know, it's such a great feeling of achievement. We also got this great shot of me and my 9 year old daughter Emily, I love it!! Looking forward to the Official opening of Ashgrove parkrun on 26th September.


Garyblueskys – Last Saturday at Highlands parkrun we may have had the the first ever mutiny at a parkrun. Our magnificent event director, Sue Maric, had started the brief, when from across the lake, and appearing out of the lifting fog, appeared a pirate, rowing his lifeboat erratically, storming the Highlands parkrun pier mid brief. The pirate interrupted to borrow Sue's crew, in his quest to search for the legend of the mythical red beam. The legend states that finding the red beam, is achieved by travelling a distance no less than 5244 yards, at between 2-6 knots, around our lake, and then by finding the Lightkeeper. The beam then brings health, happiness, friendship, and fitness to to those who find the light. We were celebrating International talk like a pirate day and spirits were high. Not the spirits that are generally associated with pirates, but the parkrun spirit would have filled the sails of the largest pirate ship. Speaking of pirate ships, we had a pirate ship too. Aranea Carstairs, and her little parkrunners, Lachlan, and Tait, plied the waters with their ship, the 'pramlander', keeping us all safe with their canons. Their was lots of costumes, eye patches, beards, hooks, swords, Arrrrrrr's, ahoys, me Mateys, jolly Rogers, and of course a fantastic parkrun.


Jenny – Thanks to Margie and the amazing Toowoomba parkrun team for awarding me parkrunner of the month. 12 months ago I would never have thought that I would even attempt to walk 5 kms let alone run it, then I went along to parkrun regularly with my family and with support I managed to meet a few goals, first to get under 40 mins, and most recently to run 10km to support my cousin's fund raising for breast cancer. parkrun is a great way to start the weekend. Thanks for making it possible.


Claire and Phil Anderson – Like Tim we are in the UK too, visiting my family in the West country. We returned to our fist ever parkrun at Killerton House, Exeter where they made us most welcome. Then last Saturday ran the Lostwithiel, Cornwall parkrun with my brother. This hilly forest run is tougher than Bunyaville! This Saturday we hope to run the Chippenham parkrun.


Jan Bingley - My husband, Grant, and I started parkrun two months ago, soon after we heard Devonport parkrun had begun. We enjoyed it so much we put the word out to our staff (bus drivers) to join us. We offer them free breakfast at the nearby Drift Cafe following the run/walk. We were joined by ten last week and we hope the number continues to increase, as well as their fitness. Those who have participated most weeks can feel the difference and enjoy the social atmosphere that follows. PBs are a great talking point at work. Well done to the organisers at Devonport for taking on the tremendous job of starting up parkrun, we are weekly grateful.


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:  Stacey Rush

Age:  32

Home parkrun:  North Shore

Occupation:  Administration Officer

Number of runs:  51

PB:  38:17

Number of times volunteered:  I am up to 31 and counting!

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  When I was invited to become a Co-Event Director with a good friend of mine, Sandra Lamari. We met through parkrun and since May 2015 we have been determined to make North Shore parkrun even bigger and better for our parkrunners. This has included increasing our average parkrunner attendance record for each event, smashing our attendance record at our 2nd Superhero Birthday Bash, supporting local businesses like Woolworths North Shore and Millie J & Co North Shore who constantly give to our events, obtaining a new Selfie Frame from The Digimen Townsville and getting a new donated camera from Joyce Mayne Townsville.

I volunteer at parkrun because:  It gives me the opportunity to meet parkrunners from all walks of life. I have obtained great friendships through parkrun and continue to meet people who are not only interesting but inspiring as well.

One thing I love about parkrun is:  I simply enjoy being part of an event that inspires health, fitness and community spirit

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 laser engraved silicone wristband 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

Children under the age of eleven must be accompanied at all times by a parent, guardian or other designated adult of the parent's choice. It must also be ensured that children place themselves appropriately at the start so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken. 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 15th September 2015

welcome to the newsletter


What’s on your bucket list? If you’re a music lover it might be a visit to Abbey Road Studios in London where The Beatles recorded the bulk of their music. If you’re an art lover it might be a trip to the Louvre to see Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. If archeology is your thing then it has to be a trek to Machu Picchu in Peru. But if you’re a parkrunner then your bucket list must have at the very top a visit to the home of parkrun, Bushy Park, in south west London.

This is precisely where I found myself at 9am last Saturday, some 5 years 1 month and 18 days after making my parkrun debut just down the road at Wimbledon Common. And it didn’t disappoint. But how could it?

There were familiar faces from Australia (St Peters parkrun Event Director Paul Wilcock and wife Emily; former Main Beach & St Peters parkrun Run Director Aaron Pidgeon and wife Una); parkrun Founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt and CEO Nick Pearson; over 1,000 other parkrun pilgrims; and of course many roaming herds of deer including a huge stag that plonked itself right next to the finish line not bothered one bit by the action taking place around it.

It was a truly wonderful morning, something I will never forget, and it was brilliant to share it with my family and such good parkrunning friends. For what it’s worth I came in 894th place out of 1,042 finishers which goes to show there is absolutely no relationship between finishing place and enjoyment at parkrun!

But believe it or not this wasn’t even the parkrunning highlight of my weekend!

That came the following day when I took my niece Molly and nephew Liam to Surbiton junior parkrun, my first experience of our free, timed, weekly, 2km event for 4 to 14 year olds. It was absolutely hysterical yet equally inspiring watching these kids of all shapes and sizes take on the 2 lap course, many of whom had only 2 speeds; absolute flat out sprint or walk! I was so proud of Molly and Liam for making it the whole 2km (they tried last week but didn’t quite get there) and I look forward to seeing them grow into fully fledged parkrunners in the months and years ahead.

So watch this space re junior parkrun coming to Australia. It’s going to absolutely revolutionise health and wellbeing for children in this country. Sunday mornings will never be the same again...

Happy running,

Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)

Were you a first timer last weekend, did you run a personal best or do you have any other feedback? We would love to hear from you on email, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

donate to parkrun Australia

Essential Stats for Australia & Singapore – 12/09/2015:


Number of locations – 131
Number of runners – 16,077
Number of PBs – 2,926
Number of first timers – 2,579
Number of volunteers – 1,214
All time registrations – 235,490

‘parkrun in Ireland’ by Russell and Jan Candy


While visiting Ireland for a period of 5 weeks Jan and I managed to find 4 parkruns in locations corresponding to prearranged accommodation in five areas. The parkruns that we attended were at:

- Westport in Co. Mayo – An old rail trail out and back
- Killarney at Muckross House – 3 laps of the gardens near stately home and museum
- Johnstown Castle near Wexford – 3 laps past the Castle (through the entry arch) and grounds
- Bere Island in remote Co. Cork

We were very fortunate in that all of them turned out to be in iconic locations and while we can thoroughly recommend them all, the stand out was the parkrun at Bere Island. Bere Island is located just off the Beara Peninsula in County Cork. The fact that the run is located on an island with a resident population of only 200 persons in itself was intriguing. So we decided that while this involved a trip of over 110 km on narrow and winding, rural Irish roads it was adventure we were prepared to undertake. We left at 7.00am to make the ferry departure time of 9.00am for a 9.30am start.

From facebook we found we had to contact the ferry operator to let him know to expect us. parkrunners get a special rate of 10Euro for the round trip. The ferry stop is located in a typical Irish fishing village called Castletownbere. This allowed him to provide a suitably sized bus to take parkrunners from the ferry stop on Bere Island to the township of Rennin where the run started on the GAA oval. GAA stands for the Gaelic Athletic Association which is responsible for Hurling and Gaelic football as well as other amateur sports in Ireland and puts a lot of money into community sports. As an aside when you get 82,000 people attending the County Hurling Championship Grand Finals at Croke Park the GAA would seem to be financially well off for an Amateur body.

So the adventure starts at Castletownbere where you hop on the 9.00am ferry to the island. A bus then takes you on a spectacularly scenic trip of about 5km to the start of the run. Here on the sports ground there are excellent change rooms and toilets. After the usual briefing and preliminaries you are on your way. The run is quite hilly but the views on the one lap course on a public road with minimal prospect of meeting any cars was just overwhelming. The countryside is very rugged but with virtually no trees of any size, just hedges of a variety of bushes including just ripening blackberries you can see for miles and the views are just stunning in all directions. The run is followed by most participants heading to the local shop that has a backroom where coffee and cakes are served for a modest price. We were given what we have come to expect in Ireland a very warm welcome. At 11.00 the notice was given that the Bus was there to pick us up and transport us back to the ferry and thence to Castletownbere and our car. We then took the opportunity to explore more of the Wild Atlantic Way on the Beara peninsula. A most satisfying day. We missed their 1st birthday party which was the previous week when they had 135 participants however there was still a credible 39 participants for our run. This is pretty amazing when you take in the isolation of the run but does demonstrate the sense of community that we discovered in the Irish places that we visited. We also missed the Westport 1st birthday being early by one week showing that parkrun in Ireland is also growing quickly.

No PB’s to report, the course was too hilly for that, but Jan now holds the course record for the W65-70 age group (as she has done for all 4 runs in Ireland). So for a while at least Australia has left a mark on Irish parkrun.

So if you are looking for some amazing parkrun tourism we can heartily recommend you visit Ireland and be sure to head down to the far South West and find your way to Bere Island for a unique experience you will cherish forever. Our home parkrun is also in the south west but in Western Australia at Manjimup. Please visit us and you will be sure to get the same sense of community spirit.

parkdog of the week


I’m Fairy and I belong to 2 junior parkrunners from Murray Bridge, Alexandra and Helayna White. I am over 10 years old and Saturday was my first parkrun. I have little legs and found that some of the course was too rough so I had to be carried by my friends but when I could walk I yapped constantly and made lots of noise as I was so excited to be there. It was so much fun. Murray Bridge parkrun is the friendliest parkrun, I had a wonderful time meeting the other junior parkrunners and parkdogs, so much fun infact that when it came time to go home I hid and had to be reunited with my family later in the day. Now that I have completed my first parkrun I hope that other dogs like me will feel welcome to join the parkrun and have as much fun as I did.

Upcoming Special Events


Launches:
26/09 – Ashgrove (Qld)
03/10 – Hamilton Island (Qld), Petrie (Qld)
10/10 – Hamilton (Vic)
17/10 – Grafton (NSW), Paradise Point (Qld)
31/10 – Port Macquarie (NSW)

Anniversaries:
19/09 – New Farm (Qld) 4th, Pakenham (Vic) 1st
26/09 – Bowral (NSW) 1st, Merimbula (NSW) 2nd, Tamworth (NSW) 1st, Toowoomba (Qld) 2nd

Cancellations:
Until further notice – Heirisson Island (WA)
19/09 – Penrith Lakes (NSW), Murray Bridge (SA)
26/09 – Penrith Lakes (NSW)
03/10 – Penrith Lakes (NSW)
10/10 – Geographe Bay (WA)
17/10 – Launceston (Tas)
24/10 – Chermside (Qld)
31/10 – Wangaratta (Vic), Penrith Lakes (NSW)
14/11 – Tamborine Mountain (Qld), Shepparton (Vic)
28/11 – Penrith Lakes (NSW), Lillydale Lake (Vic)
13/02 – Geographe Bay (WA)

Other:
03/10 – International parkrun Day

Feedback from the field


Amy - I just want to give some feedback about Murray Bridge parkrun. I have really loved being a part of a great little community. Each week I am completely shocked smashing my PBs. I started off running 31 min and on Saturday i did it in under 28. The support and encouragement from Sara (Event Director) and all our amazing regulars has been fantastic. As a mum of a 2.5 year old and 1 year old it has been great for my physical and mental health.


Christine Millar - With only 7 parkruns under my belt I am relatively new to parkrun. I've never really enjoyed running, but after completing my first parkrun in June this year something keeps drawing me back! I think it's the completely relaxed atmosphere and friendliness of all the runners and volunteers. My home parkrun is North Lakes, QLD. Last week (5/9) I volunteered for the first time and took on the role of photographer. At North Lakes we have a fantastic backdrop to our parkrun with our beautiful lake, I couldn't help but take a couple of snaps of the gorgeous wildlife we have at the lake before the running began. I also had the absolute pleasure of photographing one of Australia's fastest female parkrunners, Clare Geraghty on her 50th parkrun. I barely had time to snap a photo of every runner before it was time to capture Clare crossing the finishing line in a cracking time of 17:02 (not her fastest, but still an amazing time). It was also North Lakes 150th parkrun - congratulations to all the volunteers and run directors that make it possible for us to run each week!


Lynne Howard - Congratulations on such a wonderful event. I am 55 and never imagined for a minute I could run! I've never been sporty but with support from work buddies have completed 2 parkruns. I absolutely love the feeling of success and accomplishment when participating. Thank you so much for the opportunity and encouragement that timing and an event to participate in gives me.


Brad Mitchell - I've never been much of a runner/jogger or person who generally does exercise, but I had a bit of a wake up call a number of years ago having been diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes. A couple of years ago, my brother had this wacky idea of training for the Bridge to Brisbane which I completed having only started running 10 weeks prior to that event. In a way, my brother helped save my life and parkrun helps maintain that and keeps me off medication. Every week I'm at parkrun (generally Sandgate) and what keeps me coming back is the friendly atmosphere and the amazing people at Sandgate. Last Saturday (12/9) was extra special for me as my daughter (4 years) completed her first parkrun. Even now I can hardly believe she walked (with a little bit of running) the whole 5km by herself. Along the run, she got a great amount of encouragement from other parkrunners and volunteers. Thanks Sandgate parkrun and the parkrun movement in general.


Jenny Fitch - In one of Tim's recent stories he mentioned the lengths some people go to in an effort to get their Saturday parkrun fix. My husband and I were recently invited to a long-time friend's 50th birthday in Brisbane so decided to fly down as a surprise at the end of August for the weekend. We left Darwin on the 1.15 am flight on the Friday night/Saturday morning, landing in Brisbane at 5.30 am Saturday and ventured off to Wynnum parkrun at 7.00 am. If the plane was late, we may have missed out, but all worked out and we got our parkrun in, minus a good night's sleep. Most impressive was hubby - Rod - who pulled out a PB there at Wynnum. We have a bit of a running rivalry - sometimes he beats me, sometimes I beat him. I snuck ahead at the 4k mark but he pulled out a bit of extra steam at the end and pipped me at the post. We also took the opportunity to catch up with our old neighbour from Bowen in North Queensland (Tony) who moved to Wynnum a couple of years ago. Tony was always a super keen runner and we kept telling him he should try out parkrun. So before we left Darwin we contacted Tony, told him we were landing at 5.30 am and would meet him at the Wynnum parkrun. Tony had still not been to a parkrun, so he finally registered and we met him on what was quite a cool morning for us Darwin people. Tony enjoyed the experience thoroughly and is now keen to join in parkrun whenever he's home from work. And what was also quite impressive on his part was that he came first in his age group - not bad for a first-timer. Thanks to all the parkrun volunteers - it's great to be able to try a different location when you're away from home.


Mel Erbacher - What do a bunch of parkrun volunteers do on a gorgeous Spring Sunday for fun? Get together to tell other people about parkrun! parkrun Australia were at Carindale last weekend, participating once more in The Green Heart Fair. Joined by Event Directors Adrian Royce (Wishart) and Carmel Rogers (Minippi), along with RDs Andrew and Jenny, and Steve, we spent an enjoyable day sharing our love for parkrun with fair goers beneath the shade of the parkrun tents (thanks Matty and Rhondda)! It was wonderful to meet so many future parkrunners, and lovely to catch up with current parkrunners too, including Wynnum Event Directors Alan and Róisín Burrell who couldn't help but recruit a few new parkrunners themselves when they stopped by. We even got to meet the famous Mr Green Heart and recruited a beautiful butterfly - imagine the course records she could set with those long legs! It was a fantastic event, hope to see you at the next one!


Karen - On Saturday we participated in our second parkrun at Warner Lakes. I was enjoying my run while pushing our daughter Amanda in her running pram. With a couple of hundred metres to go Amanda escaped the five point harness in her pram. I grabbed Amanda and tried to carry her, run and push the pram. I was struggling so I decided to walk. A fellow runner offered to push the pram for me. I was able to run the rest of the way while carrying Amanda. Later in the day I looked at the parkrun results. I had beaten my previous week's time by over one minute! Meanwhile my lovely helper Sarah finished one second off her PB. Without knowing it she sacrificed her PB to help me smash mine. Thank you Sarah!.


Wayne Young - I usually run at Lilydale Lake parkrun Australia. I am travelling in Turkey at the moment. parkrun isn't here yet. Although it has been very warm I have been running most mornings. A highlight of each run has been the waves and smiles from fellow runners and once seeing dolphins swimming in the Bosphorous. If any parkrunners know anyone living in Istanbul, along the waterfront on Kennedy Cad would be perfect location to start.


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:  Nikki McCarthy Hicks

Age:  47

Home parkrun:  Sandon Point

Occupation:  Events & Business Manager

Number of runs:  25

PB:  27:57

Number of times volunteered:  93

What do like about volunteering at parkrun:  The sense of community, people of formed valuable life long friendships through parkrun.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  I can't define any as more memorable than others, but lately we seem to have more & more younger kids coming for a run with their family. Not necessarily fast athletic kids just kids coming along and having a go. 5km can be a long way if you haven't done it too many times before. I love that they want to be involved & have a go!

I volunteer at parkrun because:  It gets me out of bed on a Saturday morning & I understand the need of an 'event' to motivate others to get up & go for a run.

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 laser engraved silicone wristband 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

Children under the age of eleven must be accompanied at all times by a parent, guardian or other designated adult of the parent's choice. It must also be ensured that children place themselves appropriately at the start so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken. 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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