weekly newsletter 30 August 2016

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the joy of volunteering


My husband was the volunteer timekeeper on Saturday so whilst I was running and thinking of this, I decided exactly what I wanted to share in this weeks’ newsletter. 

You are probably used to giving all the vollies wearing high vis every Saturday a round of applause, and you’re likely to have heard the call out for volunteers during the pre-run brief, or seen what look like crazy people flashing a roster and pen around in the air, this is because we ask our participants to volunteer three times a year – this is simply because we need volunteers in order to operate. 

Volunteers are the backbone of parkrun, from the person who arrives early to set up the course, to the marshal in the high vis vest giving high 5’s and guiding you in the right direction, to the timekeeper that concentrates on which button to press as runners cross the line.

Then we have the photographer that takes your happy snaps that we all know you love to tag as soon as they hit Facebook, to the volunteer cake bakers, to the Event Directors & Run Directors, volunteers really are what makes parkrun happen. 

Many will know that volunteering is actually fun and very rewarding, it also contributes to the development of community spirit, social cohesion and friendship. If you’ve ever volunteered, (or you are lucky enough to own an eggplant 25 volunteer shirt), we salute you. Thank you to each of you for helping to make the magic happen. 

As parkrun continues to grow, so too will our volunteer roles, the newest of which is a Volunteer Helpdesk Role. The role involves coordinating incoming athlete support emails. You will be required to update athlete details online and respond to athlete request emails. Timing is based on volume, however will be approx. 15min per day, and this role can be shared or rostered between multiple volunteers.

Have you ever wanted to volunteer but Saturday mornings just don’t work, or do you have gaps of spare time during the day? We are opening up this role for expressions of interest. If this sounds like you, please email renee.gimbert@parkrun.com outlining experience by COB Friday 9th September. 

Happy parkrunning,

Renee Gimbert
National Operations Manager


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join us for Personal Better Day on September 3

Lace up your sneakers, because Personal Better Day is coming.

On Saturday, September 3, we’re gunning to beat the national attendance record and aiming for more than 25,000 Aussies participating in parkruns nationwide. 

Personal Better Day is a great time to bring your friends and family along to your regular parkrun, and show them just how fun it can be. Like all parkruns it’s about participation not performance, so you can assure your loved ones it doesn’t matter how fast they run, or even walk. 

To register, and for more details, head to www.personalbetter.com.au


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upcoming special events

launches:
17/09 – Palmerston (NT), You Yangs (Vic), Moree (NSW)
8/10 - Galston (NSW)
22/10 - Orange (NSW)

anniversaries:
03/09 – Blue Gum Hills (NSW) 2nd, Broadbeach Waters (Qld) 2nd, Lochiel (SA) 1st, Warner Lakers (Qld) 1st, Warwick (Qld) 3rd,
10/09 – Bega (NSW) 1st, Inverloch (Vic) 2nd, Wynnum (Qld) 4th,
17/09 – New Farm (Qld) 5th, Pakenham (Vic) 2nd,
24/09 – Ashgrove (Qld) 1st, Bowral (NSW) 2nd, Merimbula (NSW) 3rd, Tamworth (NSW) 2nd, Toowoomba (Qld) 3rd, 

cancellations:
10/09 – Mt Penang, Penrith Lakes (NSW), Diamond Creek (Vic)
17/09 - Penrith Lakes (NSW)
01/10 – Penrith Lakes (NSW)
15/10 – Launceston (Tas), Clare Valley (SA)
12/11 – Mt Penang (NSW)
19/11 – Tamborine Mountain (Qld)


feedback from the field

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St Peters parkrun had two runners celebrating their 100th parkrun on Saturday. Sarah Jane Thomsett and Kim Pike have both been run directors, regular volunteers and have encouraged countless people to give parkrun a go - they totally embody the spirit of parkrun.

Many of the people they introduced to parkrun turned out today, many in tutus (because who doesn't love a run in a tutu) to walk or run the course and cheer these 2 fabulous women home. Kim had a particular motivation for getting to her 100th parkrun - she wanted to do it before her twins arrive, which will not be too far away.

Rachel Launder

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Not many parkrunners get their 50th run in by their 5th birthday, Its a tight schedule.

You can’t get your own barcode till you are four and Odin Bonar turned 5 the day after his ‘redshirt’ run at Newy - accompanied by his slightly older twin brothers who recently became the youngest identical twins in the parkrun universe to complete their 100th run.

Odie has completed 25 different parkruns with his family and having completed all 12 parkruns in the Region of Runners is a Regionnaire.

#theboyswholookliketripletsbutarent


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parkdog of the week

Please allow us to introduce ourselves – we are Basil (on the right) and Sybil (eyeing off the cake) and we own humans at Cleveland parkrun in Queensland! 

We LOVE Saturdays so very much and we know what day of the week it is just by the feeling in the air.

We obey all the rules and run on a short leash (not as quickly as we’d like to, but that’s another story) and we are generally loved by all concerned. 

We both started our lives in a rescue centre and boy were our humans lucky the day/s they chose us – pats, swims, licks and running companions. We love parkrun; it ROCKS. 

Basil and Sybil Weaver

Are you a parkrun-loving dog, aka a parkdog? If so, and you’re clever enough to read this newsletter, we’d love to hear from you. 

Please send your profile to helloAU@parkrun.com with the subject ‘parkdog of the week’. 

And remember, don’t forget your bark-code. 

Woof!


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foreign correspondent

Name: Bill (Bullet) Justus

Age: 53

Home parkrun: Okanagan Canada

Occupation: Restaurateur- Chef (Retired Canadian Airforce) 

Number of parkruns (volunteer): 5 dummy and 1 official

Number of parkruns: 0 - I have spent the better part of bringing this to Canada we were the first to get it going here in the beautiful Okanagan. I also have CIDP google it…LOL and have been battling that which makes it Impossible to run.  I will get back this I am sure.

I volunteer at parkrun because: I love running, I love seeing people with a sense of accomplishment on their face a smile a big as the moon. If I could change one thing it would have been here 18 months ago. It gives me HOPE

You should visit my parkrun because: Well I live in and amongst the wine capital of Canada the trail of beautiful and you would get a chance to meet me, I’m a pretty nice fella, a great tour guide, and a little bit crazy.

And when you’re in town you should also check out: Chinamans caves, Wall of a 1000 eyes, Myra canyon, Eks Grill, Okanagan Mtn Park, Angel Springs, and one of the 186 Plus wineries, over 19 golf courses, in the winter we are at 5c to -10 but have 6 world class ski resorts just a 45 min drive away. Run in the morning and ski-board in the afternoon.

 

weekly newsletter 23 August 2016

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Personal Better Day

Hi there!

parkrun isn’t just about running… it’s about running, jogging, walking and everything in between. It doesn’t matter what age or speed you are, it’s about getting out and joining in.

During the week personal stories pile into HQ by email, many stories of PBs, parkrun tourism and also first timers, here is one I’d like to share:

“Last weekend was my first parkrun. It was also about the most miserable and coldest day of the week. It was very tempting to sleep in. However, if that was going to be my excuse, I could see that I'd never make a start. So, rugged up in woollen leggings, gloves, a scarf and hat, off I went to be greeted on arriving at Vic Park by some of the friendliest volunteers I have ever encountered.

The course was a saturated swampland in parts and my hitherto clean shoes were sodden and covered in mud by the time I'd finished. By then I'd well and truly warmed up. I'll be back next week encouraged mostly by the friendly welcome and the encouragement of so many people. It's a great community and I only wish I'd known about it sooner.”

My parkrun day was opposite with gorgeous weather, and a change of pace as I enjoyed walking my local parkrun with my husband & friends. I also took the opportunity to spend time with a friends 4-month old baby, so while her Mum was the 2nd female over the line in just over 20min, we were about 5th last females over the line in just over 50min. Regardless of placing, we both enjoyed the same magic that is parkun. 

If you are thinking about walking parkrun, but worried you’ll be last, or you are not sure about running a whole 5km, there is no better time to join in! Mark your dairies for September 3rd as we are teaming up with Medibank to present Personal Better Day 2016, we invite you and your family and friends along, think of someone who needs encouragement to set their own ‘Personal Better’.

What does your personal better look like? 

Happy parkrunning,

Renee Gimbert
National Operations Manager


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Blackmores Sydney Running Festival

On Sunday the 18th of September over 32,000 people will pound the pavement through the streets of Australia’s most populous city in the annual Blackmores Sydney Running Festival. 

With four events on offer, ranging from 4km through to a 42.2km Marathon, there really is something for everyone. Best of all, everyone gets to walk or run across the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge – traffic free! 

Changes to both the Blackmores Sydney Marathon and Blackmores Half Marathon have made both courses flatter, faster and even more beautiful.

The Blackmores Sydney Running Festival are excited to announce a partnership with parkrun by offering a 10% discount on entry fees to the first 200 parkrunners who register, so get it quick! Note, the code below is for registered parkrunners ONLY and entrants will be cross-referenced to ensure validity.

Click here to register and when prompted use the promo code ‘10%parkrun-r5c16ts32v5’ to redeem your discount in the run that’s FUN for everyone!

Also, there will be a designated meeting area for parkrunners located in the Blackmores Recovery Village post-event. This area can be found at the northern end of Tarpeian Way, close to Tarpeian Gate. We look forward to seeing you there!


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TomTom Competition Winner

Last week we asked you, "What is your favourite song to train to and why?" The winner is… Rachel Joseph.

“That would be Guns N Roses 'You could be mine'. A great energizing track, that lifts & increases my stride & I feel myself power along. Top band, top song!”


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upcoming special events

Launches:
27/08 - Wilson Botanic (Vic)
17/09 – Palmerston (NT)You Yangs (Vic)Moree (NSW)
8/10 - Galston (NSW)
22/10 - Orange (NSW)

Anniversaries:
27/08 – Balyang Sanctuary (Vic) 4th, Cairns (Qld) 3rd, Capalaba (Qld) 2nd, Chermside (Qld) 1st, Hervey Bay (Qld) 2nd, Lake Joondalup (WA) 2nd, Maribyrnong (Vic) 2nd, Mt Clarence (WA) 2nd, Singleton (NSW) 2nd
03/09 – Blue Gum Hills (NSW) 2nd, Broadbeach Waters (Qld) 2nd, Lochiel (SA) 1st, Warner Lakers (Qld) 1st, Warwick (Qld) 3rd

Cancellations:
10/09 – Mt Penang, Penrith Lakes (NSW), Diamond Creek (Vic)
17/09 - Penrith Lakes (NSW)
01/10 – Penrith Lakes (NSW)
15/10 – Launceston (Tas), Clare Valley (SA)
12/11 – Mt Penang (NSW)
19/11 – Tamborine Mountain (Qld)


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feedback from the field

I was never able to run the length of my street without stopping until my Aunty taught me a simple trick. My aunt and uncle also told me about a free 5k timed run, I initially did my first parkrun, then it was nearly a full year later before I started to really participate.

While my husband has been on long service leave I was able to start to regularly run on Saturday mornings and even brought my 7 year old twins once. It wasn't really for my daughter, but my son loved all the attention and praise he received for his lightning speed of under 28mins! He had never ran more than a km before this.

We have since run 7 parkruns and planned our school holiday Saturday's around parkrun locations while visiting family in northern NSW. We have run Bendigo parkrun which was so cold I ran with my scarf wrapped around my hands, next we ran at Dubbo which was a great track easy to run with lots of friendly people. This was our best time of the trip.

The following week we drove 6.5hrs in rain and flooded roads to get to Cobram for their second ever parkrun. A very muddy, but lovely course. Cooper nearly couldn't finish as he was so exhausted from running all over the place following kangaroo prints and exciting noises in the bush hunting for the koalas that sometimes walk the track. The fog was so thick that I wasn't sure where I was going in a number of places and just hoped for the best.

The best part about parkrun is just how welcoming and friendly it always is. To the point where I would be at one of the non home town locations and wonder 'do I know these people already?' 

I feel so grateful to have been able to regularly parkrun with my son the last few months and hope to do many more in the future. 


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parkdog of the week

 

It's 5:30 Saturday morning and time for my favourite thing in the world parkrun! Wake up humans...Wake up!

 

I am Roxy the Foxy, some parkrunners know me as 'Rocket'. I love to run and I love pats so parkrun is perfect for people (dogs) like me.

 

I get very excited when we're lining up at the start-line and I sprint as fast as I can to be first around the corner. I get to show off my speed and am always 'first dog' when Dad (aka Robert) comes with me.

 

Mum (aka Kate) is quite a lot slower so I have to take it easy when she comes with me...I pull her along. I am only 4 kilos but I am quick, my PB is 21.39. Dad and I are working on a sub-20 minute run this year.

 

We've been to a few different parkruns (Sandgate, Southbank, Jindalee and Bunya) but New Farm is our favourite because it's a beautiful run along the river and then we go to the Markets afterward (aka treats and more pats).

 

We have volunteered a few times which is exciting as long as I get my run in first, otherwise I complain bitterly about missing out.

 

Everyone thought I was too little to run 5km but I showed them. It's what's in the heart that counts. ...if only I could take my ball with me and we could play fetch afterward. My run-buddies say they're too tired.

 

Are you a parkrun-loving dog, aka a parkdog? If so, and you’re clever enough to read this newsletter, we’d love to hear from you. Please send your profile to helloAU@parkrun.com with the subject ‘parkdog of the week’.

 

And remember, don’t forget your bark-code.

 

Woof!


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foreign correspondent

Name: Phil Cairnduff

Club: Lagan Valley AC

Age: 30

Home parkrun: Stormont

Occupation: Manager

Number of parkruns: 20

Favourite volunteer role: Scanning

What do you do at parkruns: I enjoy visiting different parkrun courses for the novelty of running somewhere completely new. When I can't run, I volunteer and have done so at my home run, Stormont, three times this year and also at Princes in Liverpool, where I recently visited for the British Transplant Games. I find parkrun is useful for training while keeping the atmosphere relaxed.

How has parkrun changed your running: parkrun has made running more enjoyable. I train all the time for different runs and events and never miss an opportunity to build a parkrun into my training schedule. You get to run alongside other people without the pressure of trying to beat them for an overall result or prize. It has also given me a desire to encourage other people to take up running. The diversity of age and skill shown at just about every parkrun highlights that the sport is for everyone.

What do you like about parkrun: You can run anywhere you please and even decide on the morning where you want to go. At every parkrun I've been to, I've been made extremely welcome and have run some great courses that have obviously had a lot of thought put into them. Most parkruns have a diverse crowd, from serious competitive athletes to recreational runners, and there are few other places where you'll see such a range of abilities. In addition, I love the appreciation of volunteers and the key role they play.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment?: Getting lost at Colin Glen parkrun and asking a dog walker for directions. A volunteer did show us the route before we started, I just wasn't paying attention!

 

weekly newsletter 16 August 2016

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getting the right people in the room

Hi there!

Last week was one of those milestone week for parkrun Australia. Let me explain.

Ever since we launched parkrun at main Beach in April 2011, people have been asking me - "When are you opening a parkrun in Centennial Park?" - or - "Bondi?" or "Coogee?”

The truth of the matter is, we have been lobbying for years to open a parkrun event in Sydney's majestic eastern suburbs but for one reason or another; fees (Centennial), road crossings (Bondi) and Council restrictions (Coogee); it just hasn't happened. 

Well I'm pleased to say that has now changed. How did we do it? By getting the right people in the room!

It all started about two months ago when I caught up with Athletics Australia President, Mark Arbib, for a run around Centennial Park. Of course the topic of parkrun came up (as it always does) and Mark wanted to know why we didn't have an event near his home in Randwick. I told him the sorry story of our many failed attempts at this and as a result, he pulled out his proverbial little black book, and arranged a meeting.

Fast forward to last Thursday and there we were; myself, Silpa Parmar (our Territory Director for Sydney metro), Cr Noel D'Souza (Mayor of Randwick), Matt Thistlethwaite MP (Member for Kingsford Smith) and Jorde Frangoples (Director of City Services); all sitting around a boardroom

table in the Randwick City Council offices, playing around on Google maps and trying to plot the perfect parkrun course in Sydney's east. I knew it was going to be a good meeting when Jorde entered the room and slapped his tattered parkrun barcode on the table and exclaimed, "Proud Curl Curl parkrunner, PB 21:04!"

YES!

The outcome is an agreement to support and fund a new parkrun event along the shores of Yarra Bay with a desire for it to launch sooner rather than later. What a great result! And what a great testament to the support we now receive from our friends at Athletics Australia.

So special thanks to Mark Arbib for facilitating, to the gentlemen mentioned above for collaborating and to Silpa Parmar for being an absolute champion!

Happy parkrunning,

Tim Oberg

Chief Executive Officer


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Blackmores Sydney Running Festival

On Sunday the 18th of September over 32,000 people will pound the pavement through the streets of Australia's most populous city in the annual Blackmores Sydney Running Festival.

With four events on offer, ranging from 4km through to a 42.2km Marathon, there really is something for everyone. Best of all, everyone gets to walk or run across the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge – traffic free!

Changes to both the Blackmores Sydney Marathon and Blackmores Half Marathon have made both courses flatter, faster and even more beautiful.

The Blackmores Sydney Running Festival are excited to announce a partnership with parkrun by offering a 10% discount on entry fees to the first 200 parkrunners who register, so get it quick! Note, the code below is for registered parkrunners ONLY and entrants will be cross-referenced to ensure validity.

Click here to register and when prompted use the promo code "10%parkrun-r5c16ts32v5" to redeem your discount in the run that's FUN for everyone!

Also, there will be a designated meeting area for parkrunners located in the Blackmores Recovery Village post-event. This area can be found at the northern end of Tarpeian Way, close to Tarpeian Gate. We look forward to seeing you on there!


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TomTom competition

We recently ran a competition on Facebook courtesy of our friends at TomTom asking the simple question, "What is your favourite song to train to and why?" Wow, what a response we had!

In four days we had almost 500 entries and a Facebook reach of over 33,000. This was easily the most successful social media competition we have ever run and congrats to Damien Parker who was selected at random as the winner of a new TomTom Spark Cardio+Music GPS Fitness Watch. Damien's favourite song is "Lose Yourself" by Eminem... good tune.

Well we have decided that we can't let the Facebook likers have all of the fun so we're going to repeat the competition here for our newsletter readers. To enter, email TomTom on apac.tomtom@gmail.com and answer the question, "What is your favourite song to train to and why?" The winner will be selected by TomTom at random and announced right here in the newsletter next week.

 


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upcoming special events

Launches:
27/08 - Wilson Botanic (Vic)

17/09 – Palmerston (NT)You Yangs (Vic)Moree (NSW)
8/10 - Galston (NSW)
22/10 - Orange (NSW)

Anniversaries:
13/08 – Callaghan (NSW) 1st, Wishart (Qld) 2nd
20/08 – Hobart (Tas) 2nd
27/08 – Balyang Sanctuary (Vic) 4th, Cairns (Qld) 3rd, Capalaba (Qld) 2nd, Chermside (Qld) 1st, Hervey Bay (Qld) 2nd, Lake Joondalup (WA) 2nd, Maribyrnong (Vic) 2nd, Mt Clarence (WA) 2nd, Singleton (NSW) 2nd

Cancellations:
10/09 – Mt Penang (NSW), Diamond Creek (Vic)
15/10 – Launceston (Tas)
12/11 – Mt Penang (NSW)
19/11 – Tamborine Mountain (Qld)


feedback from the field

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Diamond Creek Runners hit the road this week for some parkrun tourism to Coburg parkrun. It is such a beautiful course along the river with just the right amount of ups and downs!
Thanks to Simon and the volunteers who made us feel so welcome. 
Nikki Waterfall

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Knowing that I would be spending three months in Singapore my first question was, is there a parkrun? To my delight there was, East Coast parkrun. I was coming from the winter cold of my home parkrun, Gungahlin, ACT, into the heat and humidity of Singapore.

It was very welcoming turning up to my first international parkrun and meeting a group of likeminded people. I was also surprised to find on my second run another Canberra parkrunner. Small world indeed!

East Coast parkrun is run on a very busy running path used by many runners, cyclists and walkers exercising in the relative cool (not) of a Singapore Saturday morning.

Like all parkruns it is very well organised with enthusiastic Run Director and volunteers and for those interested in achieving PBs, it is a completely flat run. The most welcome aspect was the outside showers, handy to help cool down.I look forward to my next international parkrun.

Tim Daly


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parkdog of the week

 

Hello my name is Pepper; I am a 9-year-old Qld Stumpy tail / red cattle dog cross.

I enjoy reading about other parkdogs so I thought I can share my story. I was a birthday present for Jasmyne when she turned 12.

At the time she was distraught about losing her dog Betty to a snake bite. When Jasmyne moved to Liverpool, England to work, I stayed to look after the rest of the family. Karen is a social runner and so am I.

I love meeting all of the ladies and children who come to parkrun. I know when it is Saturday and when Karen is getting ready for parkrun I have to bark to remind her that I am up and ready too. When my mum is away, I have other parkrun mums take me to parkrun so I don't miss out.

Last time I went to parkrun with an other family a boy called Oscar walked with me, it was lots of fun but as we went past the finish for the first lap, there were so many people finished already that I wanted to stop and see them so I only did 2.5k parkrun that week. 

I always thank the volunteers with a kiss, although sometimes they don't like that.

Are you a parkrun-loving dog, aka a parkdog? If so, and you're clever enough to read this newsletter, we'd love to hear from you. Please send your profile to helloAU@parkrun.com with the subject "parkdog of the week".

And remember, don't forget your bark-code.

Woof!


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foreign correspondent

Name - Jim Kettlewell

Age - 71

Occupation - Full time old aged pensioner

Home parkrun - Whangarei, about 3 hours driving north of Auckland and now up to 26 events since starting in February.

Number of parkruns (runner) - 13, one at Cornwall Park and 12 here at my home parkrun in Whangarei.

PB time – 22:04 with an age grade of 80% so something to work on here I think.

Number of parkruns (volunteer) - 14 times to date mostly as Run Director but I will handle any task as and when needed.

I volunteer at parkrun because - It's a fun thing to do! Great to be able to give something back to the sport that's given me so much as a runner

You should visit my parkrun because – We live in the "Winterless North" of New Zealand so come here and enjoy some great weather. Our parkrun course is quiet simply one of the best with an interesting river setting, two bridges to cross and excellent facilities on hand.

And when you're in town you should also check out – Te Matau A Pohe (the fish hook of Pohe). This is the lifting bridge where we start and finish Whangarei parkrun. They raise and lower the bridge at midday every day just for tourists to photograph. 

Also check out the Hundertvasser Arts Centrebuilding about to be constructed at the Town Basin. This will be the last building ever designed by world renowned Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertvasser when it is completed. Or just stay a few days and run on some of the best trail runs in New Zealand all right here in town.

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