weekly newsletter 24th February 2016

welcome to the newsletter


In the newsletter last week we celebrated the amazing growth of parkrun over the past few months but also highlighted the fact that such growth does put increasing pressure on our volunteers to be able to deliver high quality events to you every Saturday. On the whole, it’s a nice ‘problem’ to have!

This led to some interesting discussions amongst our Event Directors during the week, specifically around the ability to predict an event’s average attendance as a percentage of a town’s population. Stanthorpe parkrun Event Director Kirsten Ellis started the discussion –

“Stanthorpe parkrun has shown that reaching 1% attendance of your local population is a high probability. For us that's 50 runners which our course handles no trouble at all. Port Macquarie could be reasonably expected to reach 1% or 440 runners. How many runners does 1% represent for your event, have you reached it yet, and if not would you cope if it happened?”

Great chat Kirsten! Although we quickly realised that the 1% theory doesn’t always fit the bill.

Tony O’Connell from Inverloch – “Our population is 4,970 so our 1% is 49. Our average attendance is 85 with a record of 212.”

Miriam Tan from Dubbo – “We have 350 people or 0.8% of the town attending each week (population 40,000).”

Christine Timms from Launceston – “Our population is 75,000. If 1% all turn up at once I think I’ll cry!”

As is often the case I’ll give the last word to Alan ‘The Professor’ Burrell from Wynnum who wisely said – “It is great to see so many smaller regional events starting and my advice to them is not judge success by numbers or percentages but by the fun, friendship and difference it makes in their communities.”

Well said Prof!

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


Locations – 148
Runners – 22,670
PBs – 4,263
First Timers – 3,143
Volunteers – 1,440
Members – 289,417

Suncorp Bank employees take a parkrun #selfie and win!


As a proud partner of parkrun Australia, Suncorp Bank are offering their staff the opportunity to win weekly prizes including $100 gift vouchers for the parkrun online store.

Just take a selfie at your local parkrun and upload it to the Suncorp Bank Yammer group for your chance to win.

You'll receive one entry each time you submit a parkrun selfie over the 12 week competition period. Plus, you'll also go in the running to win a 2016 Gold Coast Marathon adventure for you and a colleague.

Double your chances: download the 'I Love parkrun' poster at the link below, fill in the name of your local parkrun, then upload a selfie of you holding the poster at your parkrun event to the Yammer group.

Ready, set... go and encourage your Suncorp Bank colleagues to get involved, take lots of selfies and keep an eye on the Suncorp Bank Yammer group for all the parkrun action.

CLICK HERE FIND OUT MORE

Upcoming Special Events


Launches:
27/02 – Panania (NSW)
27/02 – Studley (Vic)
12/03 – Bairnsdale (Vic)
19/03 – Rockhampton (Qld)
02/04 – Lismore (NSW), Kedron (Qld)

Anniversaries:
27/02 – Tuggeranong (ACT) 3rd
12/03 – Albury Wodonga (NSW/Vic) 2nd, Dawesville (WA) 1st, Parramatta (NSW) 3rd
19/03 – Campbelltown (NSW) 2nd, Yamba (NSW) 1st
26/03 – Manjimup (WA) 2nd, Mount Barker (SA) 2nd, Riverway (QLD) 3rd

Cancellations:
12/03 – Penrith Lakes (NSW)
19/03 – Launceston (Tas), Penrith Lakes (NSW), Albert Melbourne (Vic), Armidale (NSW)
02/04 – Dubbo (NSW)
23/04 – Penrith Lakes (NSW)

Donate your KMs this month!


For the first quarter of 2016 we have partnered with the Australian Paralympic Foundation (APF) to support our elite para-athletes in the lead up to the Rio Olympic Games. For this month only parkrunners across the country will be able to make a donation to the APF for every kilometre completed. A link will be provided in your results email this Saturday that will enable you to choose an amount to donate per parkrun kilometre. For example $5 / km will be a $25 donation. And of course this is completely optional; parkrun always has been and always will be completely free of charge!

Our ‘donate your km’ campaign will coincide with a national appeal being launched by Australia's official Paralympic broadcaster Channel 7. On Saturday 5 March, Channel 7's Weekend Sunrise program will be taken over by the Australian Paralympic movement with a show that will not only entertain but also showcase Australia's Paralympic hopefuls and why it is so important for all Australians to get behind them. This TV event will be the first of its kind anywhere in the world for a Paralympic team and I’m thrilled that parkrun will be part of it.

parkdog of the week


Hi, my name is Moose, I'm a Labrador and I turned 2 in November, which means I'm only 2 weeks older than my home parkrun, Minnippi!

I've been going to parkrun since I was a puppy because my mum is a run director. Unfortunately however I'm not a very good volunteer because parkrun has lots of my second favourite thing... people (behind food of course), and I get very over excited when my humans take me along.

I love running at parkrun so much, I bark the whole way through the briefing and warm-up before taking off so fast at the start that my Mum can't run fast enough to keep up with me. My Dad takes me, but I get tired after all that excitement and slow down after 2kms. When I can finally pace myself I think I'll make an excellent pacer for them.

The best thing of all though is the cafe we go to afterwards where I can just wait under the table for someone to recognise I'm starving after all the exercise!

Feedback from the field


Anne Grant - I've been wanting to join parkrun for quite a while but the events were always too far away. Last week I read in the local paper about the newly-started (November 2015) Nambour parkrun. I registered straight away and this morning I participated in my first one. I'm quite used to running about 10km, so I thought 5km would be a bit of a cinch… well, I was in for a shock! Nambour parkrun is no walk in the park! It seemed to me to be all very steeply uphill or very steeply downhill the entire way! The other participants were all very welcoming, friendly and encouraging, with more than one telling me that Nambour parkrun is rumoured to be the most challenging in Australia. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed running on trails and I think it was worth about 10km to my fitness! Thanks parkrun!


John Ralph - One of our regular Mount Gambier parkrun couples were absent this week, for a very good reason... and checkout the wedding cake.


Mike Selby - My son and daughter in law (Carl and Niki Selby) have just started the Cleveland parkrun and are really enjoying it. They have told me about how organised and friendly it is and have sent me a copy of your newsletter, which I find interesting. I especially enjoyed the article on Riley the Jack Russell and his Barkrun. Being an ex-runner (now slow jogger) I understand what benefits and joy you can get from running in a group, and beating your best time feels like winning the Lotto. Although living in Yorkshire England, next time I visit Australia I will make a point of joining my son, daughter in law and the rest of the Cleveland group on a parkrun.


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:  Chloe Tookey

Age:  10

Home parkrun:  Berrinba, Qld

Occupation:  Grade 5 student @ Groves Christian College

Disability:  Cerebral Palsy (Spastic Diplegia)

How Acquired:  From birth

Athletic career achievements:  I have completed 3 triathlons; represented Logan Districts for Discus, Shot Put and 100m; and competed in Townsville for MET East in Discus.

My favourite things about parkrun:  It invites the community to come and do parkrun at the Berrinba Wetlands and I love it because I get to do it with my Dad (former professional rugby league player Mark Tookey). Everyone at parkrun is always so friendly.

Plans and goals for the future:  I would love to be a primary school teacher and this year I would like to compete and hopefully make the Queensland team for athletics. I am a 10 year old girl with Cerebral Palsy I spend most of my life in a wheelchair but I don’t let that stop me from participating in sport. I can do most things everyone else can, just in a different way. I love getting involved and having fun and parkrun lets me do that.

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 19th February 2016

welcome to the newsletter


Exponential Growth

Wikipedia defines exponential growth as “when the growth rate of the value of a mathematical function is proportional to the function's current value, resulting in its growth with time being an exponential function.”

Say what?

It may as well have just said “see parkrun Australia, 2011-2016”!!!

As you can see from the graph above, we have experienced some serious growth since our launch back in April 2011. In particular the growth over the past 18 months has been phenomenal, both in terms of events and weekly finishers.

Let’s look at weekly finishers as an example. On the 24th of October last year we set a new record of 18,491. This held until the 2nd of January this year when 19,024 of you got 2016 off to the best possible start. Since then we’ve seen the record increase on no less than four occasions; 22,624, 23,074, 24,190 and now 24,238 last Saturday.

On the whole this growth is a great thing as it means more of you are benefitting from the good that parkrun brings to local communities, however it also presents many challenges to us as an organisation and to the local volunteers who bring us parkrun every week. This was brought to my attention this week as one of our newer events, Port Macquarie parkrun, have decided to cancel this weekend as their existing course simply cannot handle the volume of people who are attending. They are victims of their own success!

On Tuesday I spoke with Port Macquarie parkrun Event Director Keith Robinson who had just returned from a planning session to modify their course so that it would be more robust under extreme attendance conditions. This is the sort of dedication to the cause that many of you would never hear about or expect so I just want to salute Keith and his team for their hard work here in the newsletter.

Happy running,

Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
General Manager

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

Upcoming Special Events


Launches:
20/02 – Wyndham Vale (Vic)
27/02 – Panania (NSW)
27/02 – Studley (Vic)
12/03 – Bairnsdale (Vic)
19/03 – Rockhampton (Qld)
02/04 – Lismore (NSW), Kedron (Qld)

Anniversaries:
20/02 – Kirra (Qld) 4th
27/02 – Tuggeranong (ACT) 3rd
12/03 – Albury Wodonga (NSW/Vic) 2nd, Dawesville (WA) 1st, Parramatta (NSW) 3rd
19/03 – Campbelltown (NSW) 2nd, Yamba (NSW) 1st
26/03 – Manjimup (WA) 2nd, Mount Barker (SA) 2nd, Riverway (QLD) 3rd

Cancellations:
20/02 – Mt Penang (NSW), Devonport (Tas)
12/03 – Penrith Lakes (NSW)
19/03 – Launceston (Tas), Penrith Lakes (NSW), Albert Melbourne (Vic), Armidale (NSW)
02/04 – Dubbo (NSW)
23/04 – Penrith Lakes (NSW)

Donate your KMs this month!


For the first quarter of 2016 we have partnered with the Australian Paralympic Foundation (APF) to support our elite para-athletes in the lead up to the Rio Olympic Games. For this month only parkrunners across the country will be able to make a donation to the APF for every kilometre completed. A link will be provided in your results email this Saturday that will enable you to choose an amount to donate per parkrun kilometre. For example $5 / km will be a $25 donation. And of course this is completely optional; parkrun always has been and always will be completely free of charge!

Our ‘donate your km’ campaign will coincide with a national appeal being launched by Australia's official Paralympic broadcaster Channel 7. On Saturday 5 March, Channel 7's Weekend Sunrise program will be taken over by the Australian Paralympic movement with a show that will not only entertain but also showcase Australia's Paralympic hopefuls and why it is so important for all Australians to get behind them. This TV event will be the first of its kind anywhere in the world for a Paralympic team and I’m thrilled that parkrun will be part of it.

parkdog of the week


Hi, I’m Riley. I’m a very energetic seven-year-old Jack Russell Terrier and parkrun is the highlight of my week! I make sure everyone knows I am ready to run as I get impatient and bark loudly at the start line (that’s why I call it barkrun)! My PB at Torrens is about 21 minutes, but I usually have about six toilet stops along the way and try to chase the ducks on the river bank which slows me and my Dad down by a few minutes.

Last week I was awarded my ’50-run-ribbon’ from the great volunteers at Torrens and I now wear it with pride on my collar. Merrilyn the wonderful barcode scanner always gives me a pre and post run snack, and I always give her a pre and post run kiss. I love getting lots of hugs and pats from all the great people at parkrun and can’t wait for next Saturday to come around so I can do it all again!

Feedback from the field


Stockton parkrun team – This is Don. He comes to our event pretty much every week and has a good crack, despite the fact that one knee is full of arthritis and the other is still a little tender after he had a little fall recently. As a result he had a few weeks off running but he still came along and volunteered. He just loves parkrun and he encourages others that live in his over-50s resort to come along too. Good on you Don!


Jeff Bartlett - Many thanks for all the effort you put in with parkrun Australia.  My wife and I discovered parkrun late 2014 in Tamworth and I have gone from a 1 hour + walker to a low 30 minute shuffler.  To say it has made a difference in my life would be an understatement and as many visitors have said Tamworth parkrun is one of, if not the, friendliest parkruns in NSW.  Now just got to get over this little hip problem and get a clearance to start running again!


David Gardiner - Although I haven't done many parkruns, only eight, I still read the newsletters and was touched by Debra Walz's story. Like Debra, in 2007 I did one of those Rotary Club bowel cancer screening tests and several months later, after chemo and radiotherapy, ended up with a colostomy bag… but at least I'm ALIVE and can still participate in parkruns and enjoy life! If you're offered a test kit, take it, and send it back… It might just save your life!


Donovan Ritson - As a first timer last Saturday at the Main Beach parkrun I was truly impressed by the professional standard of the event. Before attending the run, I was completely unaware of what “parkrun” was, only being made aware by a friend's dad when I thought of a similar social running event. It was great to see people of all ages and running experience, where the organisers were very welcoming. As I had previously heard nothing about it, nor seen advertisements on the net (Facebook marketing), I think a lot more people need to be made aware of its presence! This is an event I will definitely continue to attend, share my experience with others and encourage people to participate in. Thanks for your time and creating such an awesome event!


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:  Carol Anne El-Chaar

Age:  28 years & 288 months

Home parkrun:  Cooks River (spiritual home: St Peters)

Occupation:  parkrunner and parkrun volunteer

Number of runs:  55 + 1 Freedom run

PB:  28:27 at Cooks River

Number of times volunteered:  59

Favourite volunteer role:  All of them:
- Run Director because I like to welcome parkrunners especially the newbies and the tourists;
- marshall because I like to high-five and yell encouragement;
- timekeeper because I love seeing people make the big effort towards the finish, especially the back-of-the-pack parkrunners (and because I’m really good at yelling SUB-30!!! SUB-30!!!);
- barcode scanner because I can sneak a peek at names that I’ve forgotten, and because I get to see the fast runners up close and not as a distant blur.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  There are many, but the most significant was entry to the 50 Club. I never ever considered myself a runner or thought I could manage more than 20 metres without a stitch and a heart attack. parkrun is my church and I’m a proud parkrun preacher.

I volunteer at parkrun because:  Fluorescent orange complements my natural skin tones, and wearing the vollie vest gives me a valid reason to approach strangers without scaring them off. I started volunteering at St Peters parkrun when I was off for some months with an injury; it gave me a reason to stay involved and kept me focused on getting back to running whilst surrounded by a supportive and encouraging atmosphere.

One thing I love about parkrun is:  The friendly welcoming vibe, both real and virtual; the non-judgemental ethos: walkers, children, all levels are made welcome, there’s no pressure to complete the course except at your own pace; and you can be involved as much or as little as you want. parkrun has opened the door to a fabulous new world, one where it’s okay to get around in colourful stretchy fabric and it’s not a sin to sweat.

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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