welcome to the newsletter
Never underestimate a parkrun launch!
Paradise Point parkrun launched on 17th October with typically superb Gold Coast weather which goes some way to explaining why an incredible 345 of you come to get your parkrun on! Not many of you would know this but a new parkrun event kit these comes with only 1 – 300 finishing tokens... hmmm whoops! But thanks to our quick thinking debutant Event Director Tony a fix was implemented on the spot. As a Territory Director, I have now learnt to carry tokens 301 – 500 with me to future launches!
Paradise Point is on the Northern end of the Gold Coast and the course runs along the foreshore, through parkland and along the boardwalk, it’s a scenic, flat and fast course! Special mention must also go to local Councillor Cameron Caldwell, a school chum of Tim Oberg’s, for the wonderful support he has provided parkrun in getting established in this community.
Last time I wrote the newsletter I had flown to Cairns to help celebrate their 2nd anniversary. This time my husband Adam and I left home at 3am to drive from the Gold Coast to Yamba parkrun… why??? Why not???
So, I am currently sitting in the car, en-route to Sydney. New parkrun courses along this stretch of Northern NSW have been in great demand, and are now starting to pop up which certainly makes the road trip more exciting! Our trip to Sydney will be quick. While you are reading this we should be boarding a plane bound for New York where Adam will run his 2nd NYC Marathon. Keep an eye on the parkrun Australia FB page for photos!
Yamba parkrun is a stunning course. It’s a flat, fast two lap course that runs along the river, mostly on path but with a nice stretch of grass. The Run Director, Vicki tells me her nickname is Rain Director as every time she is rostered on the heavens open… well, she certainly didn’t lie – but the light sprinkle didn’t stop 40 locals and a handful of dogs for the perfect way to start their Saturday morning.
Vicki also summed up parkrun so well, “We welcome all runners and walkers no matter your speed. 5km completed in 18 minutes is the same distance as 5km completed in 60 minutes.”
Lastly, our amazing founding Event Director of Ipswich parkrun in Queensland, Rochelle Vaisanen, scanned her last batch of barcodes over the weekend and shares this:
Today I stepped down as Event Director at Ipswich QLD parkrun.
Starting a parkrun has been a humbling experience. The community becomes your family and it's extremely special to be involved in something as simple as providing a 5km run that becomes life changing for people.
This community has been there every week as I transitioned from a bald head cancer patient to the person I am today. They celebrated every milestone from running again post surgeries to being able to use a hairbrush again.
Rochelle, on behalf of parkrun Australia, thank you, it’s been amazing to share this journey with you. You are truly inspirational and a very special part of the parkrun family. You’ve bought 88 runs to Ipswich and we now hope you enjoy a little bit of parkrun tourism.
Essential Stats for Australia & Singapore – 24/10/2015:
Number of locations – 140
Number of runners – 18,489
Number of PBs – 3,717
Number of first timers – 2,832
Number of volunteers – 1,314
All time registrations – 249,057
‘The key to parkrun success’ by Scott Watkins
This is the amazing story of David, Rich, mixed-up keys, houses with identical locks, a baby, a PB and how your parkrun barcode can save you.
We have a key bucket at Albert Melbourne parkrun where people leave their keys while they go around the lake. At the end of parkrun today, Rich realised that someone had taken his keys and left theirs behind. Amazingly, the keys were very similar – they both had an electronic car fob and a red-coloured house key. After hours of searching cafes and messages on Facebook we were finally contacted by David, asking if, by chance, we had his keys. It turns out that David was up all night as his wife gave birth to a healthy baby boy. At 6.30am, David was full of energy so he ran straight to parkrun from the hospital and then proceeded to run a parkrun PB. After the run he mistakenly took Rich’s keys home.
By this stage David was pretty tired but he didn’t realise he had the wrong keys because Rich’s house key opened David’s house door! Yes, apparently these two families have identical door locks. The car that David then tried to drive belonged to his wife so he didn’t immediately notice that the electronic fob was different, he simply thought the battery had gone flat so he caught a taxi back to the hospital. It was only while in the taxi that he began to suspect that he might have someone else’s keys.
Meanwhile, Rich and his family were locked out of their car (which was parked at parkrun and which contained all their wallets) and were also locked out of their house. A fellow parkrunner kindly drove Rich to their real estate agent and Rich was able to convince them of his identity using the only thing he had – his parkrun barcode! The agents gave Rich a spare copy of his house key which allowed him to get his spare car key. He then got a lift back to Albert Park and collected his car.
When Rich’s wife, Sue, heard this whole story, she suggested that David should consider naming his child Keyth…
‘Top 5 List for parkrunning with dogs’ by Cesar Millan
1. Run with your dog on the LEFT SIDE of you with 2 hands on the lead. Your dog should be at arm’s length from you when running near any other runners or dogs. Do not let your dog run towards other dogs or in front of other runners. This is of the utmost safety importance and prevents dogs from meeting in the middle when they run.
2. Run without music if you have a dog so you can hear other runners coming up behind telling you they are passing you with a dog so you are caught out unaware.
3. Only bring dog and people friendly dogs. If you are bringing your dog for socialization the time is before and after the run. Dogs on the running path are there to run with you- not socialize.
4. Use appropriate collars so you can keep your dog at your side under control. The best control you will have is using a “halt eze” which goes around their nose and the leash attaches under the jaw. Leashes at the neck or halter are fine only for trained dogs that will stay at your side. Again, dogs on your left is the international standard.
5. Bring a doggy doo bag. Enough said.
‘World Mountain Running Championships’ by Andrew Arkinstall
On the 19th of September, I competed at the world mountain running championships in Snowdonia, North Wales after placing 2nd at the Australian championships held at Bellbird Grove in Brisbane on the 30th of May.
To make this adventure possible it has taken a solid 19 years of training and many years of support from family and friends. I certainly gave it my all and came in at 93rd position... and trust me I’m still feeling the pain even to this day!
The world championship course was held over 12km with 780m of elevation gain. My local parkrun at Tamborine Mountain has 90m elevation gain over the 5km so it's been a fantastic way to develop strength and speed leading into the championship event. The Tamborine Mountain parkrun community have been very welcoming and I have loved living and training on the mountain for the past 4 years. I’m certainly looking forward to many more parkruns in the future.
parkdog of the week
Hi, I’m Craig and my Mummy is writing the newsletter this week so she said me and my brother had to be in it! I love going to parkrun and running really fast with my Dad, but my brother George slows us all down. He’s old and he can’t run 5km anymore so Mummy has to walk with him (she drew the short straw)! We try to go to courses where Mummy and Daddy cross along the track so George can turn back with Daddy and doesn’t have to do the whole 5km… otherwise he limps for days after and gets all the attention! This morning ‘the humans’ woke us at 3am and thought a road trip to Yamba parkrun would be fun. We don’t normally get to stop on the way to Grandma’s house, but with all these new parkruns popping up in Northern NSW, Mummy & Daddy will have us up earlier and earlier to try them all out! Yamba parkrun was fun, but we got wet and now the humans in the car need to smell wet dog all the way to Sydney! Woof woof...
Upcoming Special Events
31/10 – Port Macquarie (NSW)
28/11 – Surfers Paradise (Qld), Cronulla (NSW)
05/12 – Airlie Beach (Qld)
31/10 – Mudgeeraba (Qld) 2nd
7/11 – Maitland (NSW) 2nd, South Bank (Qld) 3rd
14/11 – Diamond Creek (Vic) 2nd, Geographe Bay (WA) 1st, Launceston (Tas) 3rd
21/11 – Albert Melbourne (Vic) 4th, Calamvale (Qld) 1st, Sandgate (Qld) 3rd
28/11 – Minnippi (Qld) 2nd, The Beaches (NSW) 1st
Until further notice – Heirisson Island (WA)
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)
Feedback from the field
Shelley Cootes – Some of you may be aware that the wonderful Kathy Rae ran her 100th parkrun recently. It was quite an emotional morning at Penrith Lakes parkrun. We had a black and red theme to celebrate the occasion. I asked Kathy what she would like me to say in my speech as Event Director and this is what she wrote:
"Monday is the 5th Anniversary of my husband's Death. In those years I am I am proud to have become a runner. I am proud to have not hidden alone from the world, to be leading a healthy life and to be making the most of everyday. It has taken me nearly 4 years to reach 100. I did just 6 parkruns in my 1st year as I have been the Mum 1st to take my sons to Soccer and in recent years work. I have enjoyed being the parkrun Tourist and have been able to travel with my sons, my parents, friends and sometimes alone. With my sons older, working and driving I have been able to attend more parkruns and it is great when they have attended too. It has also been wonderful to have parkrun come to Penrith. It has been fantastic to meet other local runners. I am Thankful to the running community for the support and many friendships that I have made."
Kathy has run 38 Different parkruns - all 35 NSW parkruns, 25 parkruns at Penrith Lakes, 19 at Parramatta, 14 at St Peters and 25 Times Volunteering. She was cheered across the finish line by a larger than usual group of people including her parents and friends. We were very honoured to have Kathy run her 100th parkrun at Penrith Lakes parkrun.
Anna Cusack - Just wanted to dob in 2 dedicated Mt Penang parkrunners and volunteers Andy Long and Rachel Peters for their other good deeds - as Performers Without Borders. Andy has been first finisher many times and they often stand in at times when Event Director Naomi is away. The duo are soon heading to Nicaragua to teach circus skills and lift the mood in times of hardship.
Angela Coniglione - 1984, I sat there waiting patiently to be picked for the sports team in high school. But it never happened. Maybe at the athletics carnival, nobody would turn up, I will win an event and receive a ribbon, but it never happened. Fast forward 30 years and guess what happened? I came home with a parkrun Medal, 3rd place, Female Points Prize. How did I get this? Well not by being the fastest, strongest, or fittest. I earned this treasured medal by getting out in the sometimes freezing cold weather, where my fingers were so numb they would burn. I would leave my unfolded baskets of washing, unvacumed floor and head out the door with my barcode. Why? Because Saturday housework can wait. Because my mind convinces my body that I can complete 5km. Because I have a friend who has MS and turns up to parkrun week after week with symptoms that would keep most of us in bed. Because I can participate with my children as we encourage, compete and socialise with friendly faces that have become so familiar to our Saturday mornings. And now the people I run with have become my best friends. Don't be the person that says "I'm not fit enough to run". Get out there and walk it. One day you may want to run for 10 minutes, then maybe 100 minutes, but if you can't, so what? You are still out there. parkrunners, the best thing you can do (besides volunteering) is paying it forward. For every 50 people I've invited to parkrun, only one has come along and loves it but I will keep asking another 1000 if it means one person will benefit (although my kids do run away from me now with a 'ohhh no not again' when I approach local random walkers and invite them to parkrun. I am so grateful to our run directors and volunteers who make this possible every week.
Karen Knight - I started running (or should I say walking and running together) about 3 months ago. I have never been able to run. I was always the kid who never got picked for the sporting teams, they would say "don't pick her, she can't run". In an effort to lose some weight and get a bit fitter, thought I would give it a go, it worked for my husband Geoff, who has several parkruns and half marathons under his belt. I would go along a few times with him to the Coomera parkrun but would never participate, being put off by the inclines, and would just go off on my own down the other end and try to run. I was delighted when I heard Paradise Point was having their first parkrun last weekend. My friend and I had often done this circuit early on a Sunday morning over the last few months. It is a nice flat run with fabulous water views. With Geoff's encouragement, I completed my very first parkrun in 39 mins and 50 seconds, the best for me for 5ks. It is an awesome feeling of achievement for me at 56 years old. I can't wait to get back there and do it again in a couple of weeks. Thanks to all who got it up and "running".
Jarad Martin - Since the age of 8, Royce has joined the rest of the family on the Saturday morning 5km parkrun amble. Although he has done most of his runs at Newy, he has also taken the fun on tour at 23 other courses both interstate and overseas. So it was with much excitement that he entered the nervous nineties, and began the countdown to his 100th parkrun. So at the grand old age of 10, the day dawned at Newy where Royce got to crack the parkrun ton. As has become something of a Newy tradition, Andrew Dodd aka the Doddfather aka Doddy hyped up the sense of occasion, with transgenerational doyen of Newcastle running Al McCloskey on hand to present the coveted black shirt. Royce was absolutely chuffed with the whole experience, and with his sister Erika volunteering, got to run the course with Mum and Dad to top off another great start to the weekend.
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: Davina Harvey
Home parkrun: Coomera (soon to be Surfers Paradise)
Occupation: Public servant/ full time student
Number of runs: 115
PB: 26:58 (I hope to achieve this again ONE day!)
Number of times volunteered: 46
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: Being asked if I would like to be an Event Director and have my own parkrun!
I volunteer at parkrun because: I love the community feel at Coomera parkrun. It has a very family friendly atmosphere. I enjoy watching the runners puffing when they are coming over the line as I think to myself; oh! they find it hard too! As they make it look so easy when they are bolting past me on course (usually travelling twice as fast as me).
One thing I love about parkrun: It’s for everyone, no matter your ability, run, jog or even walk, from the front of the pack to the back of the pack everyone is so encouraging of each other.