welcome to the newsletter
Not many people get a personal letter from parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt - but then not many people run a 100 parkruns like identical twins Alfie and Boaz by the time they are 6 years, 2 months and 27 days old. I told you the story of Alfie and Boaz in last week’s newsletter however what came next was so great that I had to follow up this week.
PSH - as he if affectionately known - invented parkrun in Bushy Park UK back in 2004 when he was injured and wanted to keep in touch with his running buddies. He was the first person to bring barcode and scanner technology together in one simple weekly free timed fitness package known now around the world as 'parkrun'. When he heard of the boys’ achievements he penned this letter to them.
Dear Alfie and Boaz,
I read about your incredible achievement in the press on the internet this week. As you approach your 100th run at parkrun, I have been sitting in my office in London, Great Britain and considering the journey you have been on and what an inspiration you both are to children all over the world. Congratulations to you both and to your little brother, mum and dad. You should be very proud of your achievements and of the fact that there will be many children encouraged to emulate what you have achieved.
Also, I want to share with you that even though it’s a very long way from London to Newcastle, Australia I have visited you in the early days of Newy parkrun. That was probably before you started running with us. Nevertheless, I want to tell you that Newy parkrun is one of my most favourite parkruns. But, that’s a secret between you and me because every parkrun is special and everyone wants me to say their parkrun is the best. So, it is my hope and wish that I can visit you all at Newy parkrun again sometime. It will be such a privilege for me to meet you and your brother and to run a parkrun alongside you (if I can keep up).
Thank you for making parkrun special. You are champions.
Lots of love,
If that wasn’t enough, you may remember that last week I wrote “the Newy team have arranged for an extra special guest to attend and congratulate the boys.” Well that special guest was none other than Colleen O'Shea who completed her 100th parkrun at Fingal Bay parkrun only 3 weeks ago and at 86 years of age became the oldest female parkrunner in the world to achieve the black shirt milestone. And believe it or not she too is a twin!
Tim from parkrun Australia (get in touch)
‘Day of the parkdog’ by Debbi Weaver
Lillydale Lake parkrun doesn't have just one special parkdog of the week, it has 38!
Recently, Lillydale Lake parkrun held a special parkdog day where everyone was encouraged to bring along their dog for a special run, with treats for all dogs, and prizes for special category winners. We had a fantastic turnout of dogs in all sizes, speeds and ages ranging from under 1 to an energetic 14-year-old, and a three-legged dog who ran the full 5 km. Two smaller dogs completed in dog prams, proving that everyone can participate in parkrun.
The dogs all took it in true park dog spirit - with two fast dogs competing for first place (our first-ever dead heat) to the dogs taking their time and enjoying the beautiful weather. One dog even completing the first lap and stopped for a quick swim in the lake before completing the second lap, still finishing in under 25 minutes!
This special event was proposed and organised by James Love (aged 11) – one of our regular junior parkrunners and a previous parkrunner of the month. James was guest run director for the day, and gave a wonderful performance in his briefing for all parkdogs.
Win big on Whitehaven
With entry to the Great Whitehaven Beach Run on the 25th of June; comes the chance for you to win over $10,000 worth of prizes for your home parkrun! A lucky participant of any Hamilton Island Endurance Series event will win for their home parkrun, club or gym; 3 nights’ accommodation in a Yacht Club Villa for up to 8 people at an event the following year, 8 trips to the Great Barrier Reef courtesy of explore, $2000 of custom team wear from 2XU, 8 pairs of asics shoes, $1000 worth of Shotz nutrition, 8 spa treatments and a $500 voucher at a Hamilton Island restaurant for the crew to enjoy!
So if the winter chill has you dreaming of warmer climes; then pencil in The Great Whitehaven Beach Run as your escape! With junior races, 5km, 10km and half marathon options; you can pound out a PB on the hard sand before sinking your toes into the soft white silica sand and splashing into the sparkling Coral Sea for recovery! With fun relays to finish, transfers from Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island plus asics competitor singlets all included in your race entry; this is a perfect excuse for visiting one of the top ten beaches in the world! Make a weekend of it and tick of Hamilton Island parkrun on Saturday morning followed by a run technique session with Steve Moneghetti as part of your taper and then top it off with a ‘Meal with Mona’; a pre-race Q&A session and dinner on race eve!
Click here to check out the details.
Upcoming Special Events
04/06 – Narrabri (NSW), West Beach (SA), Bowen (Qld)
11/06 – Goondiwindi (Qld)
18/06 – Burley Griffin (ACT)
02/07 – Cobram (Vic), Atherton (Qld), Strathalbyn (SA)
16/07 – Renmark (SA)
28/05 – Castlemaine (Vic) 1st, Devonport (Tas) 1st, Highlands (Vic) 3rd, Mt Penang (NSW) 2nd, Penrith Lakes (NSW) 2nd, The Ponds (NSW) 1st
04/06 – Ballarat (Vic) 1st, Berrinba (Qld) 2nd, Canning River (WA) 3rd, Sandon Point (NSW) 3rd
11/06 – Frog Hollow (Vic) 2nd, Mitchelton (Qld) 3rd, Newy (NSW) 4th, Shellharbour (NSW) 2nd
18/06 – Carine Glades (WA) 2nd, North Shore (Qld) 3rd, Town of Seaside (Qld) 1st, Wangaratta (Vic) 1st
25/06 – Gladstone (QLD) 3rd, Jells (Vic) 1st, Logan River (Qld) 3rd, Mornington Peninsula (Vic) 2nd, East Coast Park (Singapore) 2nd
04/06 – Penrith Lakes (NSW), Mt Penang (NSW)
11/06 – Darwin (NT)
02/07 – Main Beach (Qld), New Farm (Qld)
16/07 – Rocks Riverside (Qld)
10/09 – Mt Penang (NSW)
12/11 – Mt Penang (NSW)
Feedback from the field
Jitka Navratil - I am deaf and approaching my 50s. I was looking for a new interest to take up, after spending the last 20 years rearing my three daughters, and working full-time. A Deaf friend of mine recommended parkrun on Facebook. So I participated in my very first parkrun last Saturday at Parramatta. What an incredible experience it was! I was inspired when I saw all the other parkrunners of various sizes and ages. I am unfit and have not run for many, many years. Needless to say, I was at the back of the pack, walking most of the way to the finish line in 46 minutes. My aim is to be able to run the whole 5km course eventually. My husband and daughters are very keen to join me. I am looking forward to many more days of happy parkrunning!
Mark Schipp – I have been in Paris this week for work and joined parkrun du Bois de Bologne. 22 runners, 10 of them visiting Australians! The same great atmosphere, welcome and volunteers.
Kate Davidson – Thank you for putting Gidget in the newsletter this week! Best EVER!
Carmel Cattach – Finally a free Saturday morning - love to walk fast so was curious re a time walking the 5km at Inverloch's parkrun. Great clear chilly morning and on with the beanie and completed at 42:53 and passed a few joggers! Nearly 71. Perhaps time could have been a little better as I headed left to scan table in error before collecting tag and then quickly had to turn and go through the tapes. Our lovely beach alongside and lots of lovely smiling faces and encouragement. I am glad there were a few people walking and I encourage people to have a go.
Les Haynes – I would like to thank parkrun on instigating my wife on the road to better health. She has found it hard to find motivation in the past. You know the drill, we don't always listen to our other half. But through parkrun she has found inspiration and quite possibly a long lasting love of running.
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: Charles Marks
Age: Old enough to justify getting slower when I run!
Home parkrun: Gladstone Park, London, England
Occupation: Business Consultant & Qualified Zombie.
Number of runs: 123
PB: Not Fast Enough
Number of times volunteered: 51
I volunteer at parkrun because: When I’m injured (which seems to be a lot looking at the question above) I need something to do.
You should visit my parkrun because: It was setup by originally by an Aussie who now works for parkrun (Glen Turner), there is a parkrun in Australia (QLD) with the same name so you will feel almost right at home, you can see Wembley Stadium from our run and we have a multinational crowed who will interpret our run briefings for you if you don’t speak proper English.
And when you’re in town you should also check out: Well, were pretty close to central London so I could go on for ages but if you want my top three tips that are a bit “off the beaten track” right now then try the following (all in one day in the same part of town). Hike over the O2 dome in Greenwich and combine that with a cable car ride over the river and a visit to the 2012 Olympic Stadium at Stratford where you can climb (or take the elevator) up the Arcelor Mittal Orbit Tower and then ride the world’s longest and highest tunnel slide to get from the top back to ground level (opening 24th June). You are right next to Westfield Stratford there too so again you will feel right at home!
We look forward to meeting some of you – and remember – don’t take our barcodes home with you!