all in a parkrun day..

Aus_2016_09_27_01

It’s been a big week in the parkrun world, from our first Aussie Event Director reaching five years of service, to a proposal then a baby…. All in a parkrun day! 

On Saturday my husband and I attended South Bank parkrun for event number #200 and to join in the celebrations for Gareth Saunders, our longest standing Event Director who has reached 5 years.

Here is a special thanks from Tim Oberg: Gareth launched New Farm parkrun on the 17th of September 2011 and it quickly grew the event to be the largest parkrun in Australia, even as we grew into Sydney and Melbourne. By the one year anniversary of the event it was averaging over 300 runners and 10 volunteers per week, figures that most events struggle to achieve even today. 

On the 3rd of November 2012 Gareth launched South Bank parkrun and is of course still the Event Director to this day making him the longest serving volunteer with parkrun in Australia. During his tenure with parkrun Gareth has also served as volunteer Operations Manager, supporting me personally during times of unprecedented growth. Gareth also served as President of our Board for two years, transforming our governance and recruiting a high caliber of Board members around him.

Today parkrun is one of the largest and most successful community sporting organisations in Australia with 185 events and almost 365,000 members. I can safely say that no one person has contributed more to this success than Gareth Saunders and we certainly would not be in the position we are today if it were not for him. Finally, I would like to extend special thanks to Gareth's wife Mel for loaning Gareth to us over the last 5 years. We all know that it really is a team effort and Mel's contribution should not be underestimated."

That message stretches to all our partners, families, husbands & wives, being an Event Director is a team effort, so if you are the other half of an ED, Thank you! 

Aus_2016_09_27_02

parkrunner James Hogan proposed to his girlfriend Elizabeth Worrall, pictured above at Toowoomba on Saturday, The couple in the background, looking in on the proposal are two Gatton parkrunners who met at parkrun, got married and are having a parkrun baby!    James and I had been going to the same church for about a year but never spoken to each other (even though I'd been scoping him out for a few months before we started dating!). When we eventually started talking James told me about this parkrun he'd been doing (which I'd never heard of!) and invited me to come along the following week with him. He picked me up that morning before the run and I remember the first lap around we would chat casually, getting to know each other, but the second lap was significantly more quiet (both of us were out of breath! We did have a really nice time together after the run though and spent about an hour and a half sitting in Queen's Park, chatting and eating nectarines. parkrun has been great for us, James is definitely more committed at getting up early on a Saturday morning but we've done PBs together and pushed each other along.

Elizabeth Worrall

Now to the baby… Tony started running Dec 2013 when a friend of his nagged him to sign up for parkrun. Being quite competitive, he was quickly hooked. I started in January 2015 when a friend talked me into signing up for the GCAM half in July. Not realising how silly that was, I agreed and decided to use parkrun as part of my training. Tony and I met in February at our local parkrun (Gatton, where Tony is now a run director), and started dating shortly after GCAM. I'd love to say we spent a lot of time running together while we were dating, but he's way too fast for me. It's nice having someone cheering you home though! On a trip to New Zealand to meet each other’s families we enjoyed playing tourist at Western Springs parkrun. Tony proposed in March this year, just before heading to Canberra for the half marathon (and of course Ginninderra parkrun). We married at palm cove in late August (sneaking in a Cairns parkrun!), and were also able to announce that I was 13 weeks pregnant. We weren't able to keep this a secret for long at parkrun, as our friends quickly noticed my times slowing and the stops to accommodate my nausea! 

We are looking forward to continuing our active lifestyle (planning our holidays around parkruns) and I joke about adding an extra line to the volunteer sheet for anybody wanting to push the 'parkrun baby'! It's also very comforting to know we have this wonderful extended family within parkrun. We're both extremely grateful to parkrun, as I can't see how we would have met otherwise.

Amanda Worsley

This Saturday is the start of October and with it brings Bushy parkruns’ anniversary, also known as International parkrun Day. This marks 12 incredible years of parkrun, so which ever event you attend, or if this is your 5th or 50th parkrun - happy International parkrun Day!

Happy parkrunning,

Renee Gimbert
National Operations Manager
parkrun Australia


pink parkrun bands


Aus_2016_09_27_03

how parkrun has improved my life 

On Saturday, I ran my 50th parkrun. After being obese for nearly my whole life, I shed over 60kg in 2015 and 2016, and my health and fitness are the best they’ve ever been.

parkrun has been an integral component in my transformation, because it helped change the whole way I looked at physical activity — not as a dreaded chore, but as something to enjoy and look forward to. When I was dragging myself to the gym for mind-numbing sessions on the treadmill, I relied entirely on willpower and routine to keep me going: there was no pleasure in it whatsoever. I’m glad I didn’t have to find out how much longer I could have done that before willpower inevitably ran out.

I didn’t love running straight away: that took a few months. Before that happened, parkrun supplied two other important sources of motivation. First, parkrun gave me a sense of achievement and self-improvement that was far more powerful than anything I ever got on a treadmill. Second, the welcoming and inclusive atmosphere at New Farm parkrun made me feel like I had been accepted into a real community: it soon felt like home.

Eventually the bug did bite, and I started to love running. From there, 10km events and half-marathons soon followed, and I plan to tackle my first full marathon next year. I couldn’t even have imagined this at the start of last year. I don’t recognise myself, outside or in!

My 50th parkrun is an important milestone to me because it tells me that this is a lasting change in my life. So thank-you, New Farm parkrunners, and especially the events team. You’ve built an amazing community and my life is so much better for being part of it!

To pay it forward, I make an effort to say “hi” to new faces and ask them how their run went: I know it can make a world of difference!

Rudi Landmann


essential stats

Aus_2016_09_27_04


upcoming special events

launches:
8/10 - Galston (NSW)
22/10 - Orange (NSW)
5/11 - Willoughby (NSW), Karkarook (Vic)

anniversaries:
01/10 - Champion Lakes (WA) 1st, Hamilton Island (Qld) 1st, Petrie (Qld) 1st,
08/10 – Berwick Springs (Vic) 3rd, Hamilton (Vic) 1st, Kalgoorlie-Boulder (WA) 3rd,
15/10 - Brightwater (Qld) 2nd, Grafton (NSW) 1st, Gungahlin (ACT) 3rd, Kingscliff (NSW) 4th, North Lakes (Qld) 4th, Paradise Point (Qld) 1st,
22/10 - Mosman (NSW) 3rd, 

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


pa_pod_ep38


feedback from the field

Aus_2016_09_27_06

Recently both Madison McAuliffe (9) and Alex Langford (6) completed their 50th parkrun. To celebrate this milestone, it was announced in the school newsletter and 15 kids from Riverton Primary School attended. The sports teacher Mr Brooks who travelled 40 mins also attended along with the Principal Mr Grundy. It’s great to see teachers and so many children attend and support their peers.

Natalie McAuliffe

Aus_2016_09_27_05

Thanks to everyone who suggested Mt Clarence as the place to run whilst travelling WA. I ran my 100th parkrun with my daughter! Such a stunning run and friendly parkrun community. Thanks to the run team and volunteers today - those mountain inclines really tested my holiday legs! A far cry from the super flat home run of New Farm in Brisbane.

Helen Velkov


Aus_2016_09_27_07.jpg

parkdog of the week

Hi, my name is Reacher and I am a husky cross, which makes me adorable with 2 different coloured eyes. My human’s daughter picked me up on the side of the highway one night because she didn’t want to see me hurt, such a lovely human.

They did find my humans owners but it was ok for this family too keep me. I love my parkrun Saturday and if my human is volunteering and I can’t go I cry like the big sook that I am. I get very excited when we arrive and whimper with excitement to say hi to everyone.

I drag my human for the first 200 meters until I need to stop and relieve my excitement, well known for this, then I am off again. I know where the water stops are and I get very competitive when other humans or dogs pass us and try to take off in another direction when I see a bird, that bird is mine! 

My fastest time is 28:46 and I know I can go faster, I have done about 25 parkruns now, I am up to 15km and hoping to complete a half marathon with my human soon. I do think my human is weird when she does random jumps when we run, maybe I should learn to do them too. I love the attention and bacon that I receive at breakfast from all the volunteers and friends after our run each week.


Aus_2016_09_27_08

volunteer profile

Name - Andrew Kariko
Age - 44
Occupation - Electrician
Home parkrun - Varsity Lakes parkrun.
Number of parkruns (runner) - 161
PB time - 21:11

Number of parkruns (volunteer) - 30-40ish. Ok I've added them all up, twice and it comes to 37. Wow, that's heaps.

Favourite volunteer role - I don't really have a favourite role. When I write my name down to volunteer, I usually write down 'whatever'.

I volunteer at parkrun because - Pretty simple really. No volunteers, no parkrun. I get a lot from parkrun so I'm happy to return the favour.  Over the last five years I've missed nearly two year’s worth of parkruns due to work, so to volunteer every now and then is no big deal. And you can volunteer five times in one year and still get fifty runs, Weather permitting, and take advantage of the Christmas Day run and the New Year's Day double up.

One thing I love about parkrun is - Its consistent, every week is good. If you run at your home event or be a tourist at another. 

My most memorable parkrun moment was - There's not one moment that stands out. But I do get a big kick out of helping someone get a PB, usually a junior runner. Realising that they can push way outside of their comfort zone. I can't keep up with a few of those kids now.

 

parkrun, bringing people together

2016_09_20_01

I’ve heard, or read a number of stories this week about parkrunning bringing people together, whether it is neighbors or long lost friends, I love these stories & I hope you do too. 

Michaela Wilson – Before launching Meadowbrook parkrun, I was a regular at Logan River which is about 10km away. I have so many friends there that I was really torn to start my own event but I jumped on board. A few weeks ago I was approached by a parkrunner who was new to parkrun when Meadowbrook launched. She had met her neighbours at parkrun that morning! She introduced me as "Here's Michaela, the reason we're here! She's the wonderful person who started all of this". She then thanked me over and over, telling me what a wonderful thing it is that I've done, bringing neighbours together. At that moment, I realised, while yes I do miss my former home parkrun, starting this has brought so many new people to parkrun, people who wouldn't have started coming if we hadn't started Meadowbrook. It is all worth it!

Jenni Fitch - I was a parkrun tourist recently. My regular parkrun is Yarrabilba but I ran in Darwin. Imagine my sheer delight when the the RD was a friend who we'd lost contact with. Her husband and my husband worked together in North QLD and she came to my baby shower. That baby is now 13 and he ran as well. It was wonderful to catch up.

Our family recently gathered in Taree NSW to celebrate my dad’s 80th birthday – being regular parkrunners at our home events (Rocks Riverside Brisbane, Cooks River Sydney and Newy in Newcastle parkrun) we were all keen to have a go at Taree parkrun. There were 16 of us across the three families on Saturday morning – and lots of fun (and a bit of competition!!) between uncles, aunties, cousins and brothers-in-law!! And a few surprising PB’s too. The volunteers at Taree parkrun were very friendly and welcoming, and we really enjoyed running along the beautiful riverbank – a great start to a special weekend, and thanks to parkrun for providing fun family memories.

I love that fact that not only does parkrun give you a free, timed, 5km weekly event, it also allows you to start new friendships and rekindle old ones.  Lastly, the lucky winner of the Medibank Melbourne Marathon Festival competition winning flights, accommodation and entry for two into the Melbourne Marathon event of their choice is Gail Severino. Well Done Gail – We’d love to hear an update from you after the event. 

Happy parkrunning,

Renee Gimbert
National Operations Manager
parkrun Australia

2016_09_20_01.1


pink parkrun bands


physical activity and health research

The beneficial effects of physical activity on health are well known. As one of the most popular pastimes, the benefits of running are well established. Anecdotally, many believe that running is bad for their knees and can lead to pain and osteoarthritis despite the limited evidence suggesting that this is not the case.

We are experienced sports medicine clinicians and academics based at the University of Nottingham (UK). We seek to understand the relationship between physical activity, such as running and chronic diseases, such as osteoarthritis.

All parkrunners are invited to get involved in our research, plus your friends and family. One aim will evaluate individuals who participate regularly in recreational running and the development of knee osteoarthritis over time. We hope to help guide healthcare professionals in the care of athletes and ensure runners participate in confidence and safety.

Following the launch of our UK-based project last year, we are now progressing our research with the assistance of the University of Sydney.

If you are aged 18 or over, we encourage you to sign up, whether or not you have any health or knee problems. Also please sign up regardless of how often you run (or even if you never run!). We want to recruit people who are very active, those who are inactive, and everyone in-between!

To enrol in the study, please follow this link and complete the questionnaire.

Richard Leech

PhD Researcher Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis
University of Nottingham, UK


essential stats

Essential Stats 17-09-16


upcoming special events

launches:
24/09 – You Yangs (Vic), Moree (NSW)  
8/10 - Galston (NSW)
22/10 - Orange (NSW)

anniversaries:
24/09 – Ashgrove (Qld) 1st, Bowral (NSW) 2nd, Merimbula (NSW) 3rd, Tamworth (NSW) 2nd, Toowoomba (Qld) 3rd, 
01/10 - Champion Lakes (WA) 1st, Hamilton Island (Qld) 1st, Petrie (Qld) 1st,
08/10 – Berwick Springs (Vic) 3rd, Hamilton (Vic) 1st, Kalgoorlie-Boulder (WA) 3rd, 
15/10 - Brightwater (Qld) 2nd, Grafton (NSW) 1st, Gungahlin (ACT) 3rd, Kingscliff (NSW) 4th, North Lakes (Qld) 4th, Paradise Point (Qld) 1st, 
22/10 - Mosman (NSW) 3rd, 

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


pa_pod_ep37


feedback from the field

2016_09_20_04  

4 parkruns, 4 different countries across 4 consecutive weeks

While on holidays recently, my son and I took up the challenge of completing 4 parkruns in 4 different countries across 4 consecutive weeks.

We completed the Elgin parkrun in the highlands of Scotland, followed the next week by the Knocknacarra parkrun, near Galway in Ireland, then the Fulham Palace parkrun in London England and then finished off with our local Ashgrove, Queensland parkrun while suffering from jetlag, having only flown back in Brisbane the day before.

Our parkrun cousins in the UK and Ireland enthusiastically welcomed us at each of our runs and were excited to have overseas participants from Australia.

Peter and Chris Lamont

2016_09_20_05 

Event #163 of Krakow parkrun included 47 locals, one visitor from England and two World Youth Day pilgrims from Brisbane, Australia.

Due to the World Youth Day celebrations which saw over 1.5 million young Catholics (and Pope Francis) visiting Krakow, the normal parkrun course could not be used.

Instead, we headed for the hills, specifically Kosciusko Mound which overlooks the stunning cityscape of Krakow. Of interesting note, Australia’s highest mountain is also named Kosciusko, after the same historical Polish figure. Our “Aussie’ pronunciation of ‘Kozzi-okso’ is a little different to the correct Polish pronunciation though!

As Wishart and Chermside regulars, the trail running aspect and hills were daunting, and we focused on finishing and enjoying the experience of an international parkrun. Upon closer inspection of the all important post event stats, it turns out that the elevation change was over 300m, with maximum heart rate a feature for most of the run.

Fabulous features of Krakow parkrun are that all participants shake hands with everyone else when arriving, and everyone remains until the tail runner finishes. This means lots of clapping and celebrating for each person when they cross the finish line. A group photo is taken after each run, and our Australian flag, souvenir gifts and some of the World Youth Day merchandise featured in the photo.

It is hard to describe the feelings of happiness and belonging that we felt despite being at a parkrun where we didn’t understand the language. The overwhelming sense of global community that parkrun provides cannot be understated, and we highly recommend parkrun adventuring or voluntouring as part of any good pilgrimage or holiday!

Monique Brennan & Alana McDonald

(Wishart run director & Chermside parkrunner)


2016_09_20_06

parkdog of the week

I am HRH Jay (I have heard my human’s husband call her a princess so I figure that makes me a prince!).

My home run is Shepparton  parkrun, it is a lovely flat course that we need to run around twice and there are 3 BBQ areas we pass – sometimes a careless human has dropped a sausage which I tidy up!

My human walks me around the course before the parkrun so I get all my er, business out of the way, but I always keep some in reserve for the official run!

We pass the finish chute twice before we actually run up it – I try to drag my human up each time we go past – that is the place where you get all the adulation and pats – what is wrong with her???

We also go past the fence of the local outdoor swimming pool and sometimes wascally wabbits are in there – lucky there is a good fence or I would be all over them like sauce on a sausage……mmmm sausage. . . .drool ... I always enjoy the adoration of my parkrun subjects and with such vigorous activity on a Saturday morning, my human and I have really earned our Saturday afternoon nap. 

PS – it is not a bib – it is a bandanna!


2016_09_20_07

volunteer profile

Name - Michaela Wilson

Age - 41

Occupation - Accounts Clerk

Home parkrun - Meadowbrook (Qld)

Number of parkruns (runner) - 89

PB time - 24:17

Number of parkruns (volunteer) - 32

Favourite volunteer role - Timekeeper because I love encouraging parkrunners to finish strong!

I volunteer at parkrun because - I love the community spirit and I enjoy helping people come together, make new friendships, and improve their health and well-being, because that is exactly what parkrun has given me.

One thing I love about parkrun is - The number one is the friendships I've made - runners are beautiful people!

My most memorable parkrun moment was - Meadowbrook launch - the amazing turnout, and thinking how far I've come. From a non-runner less than 3 years ago, to now never missing a parkun, and Event Directing a new event.

 

weekly newsletter 13 September 2016

Aus_2016_09_06_01

have fun, it's just a run!

This week, like each Saturday we saw first timers, experienced runners and seasoned parkrunners across all our events. First time parkrunner Jay headed to Chelsea Bicentennial parkrun. Can you recall having thoughts similar to hers, running through your mind at your first parkrun?

Driving to the event I honestly had no idea what to expect, my thoughts started running wild.

What if there are all marathon runners? What if I am the only one to show up? What if I can't find the starting and finishing line? What if I get lost on the course?

Pleasantly surprised my expectations were exceeded; the parkrun community were easily identified with lots of marketing signage and volunteers easy to find in their orange high vision vests. A crowd of people dressed in their fitness wear, gathered together at the starting line. Again I am so surprised at how many people knew about this event, and I had never heard of it before. I join the others at the starting line. The air horn goes off, and people start running. I look around me and am excited to see the diverse range of people taking part; from experienced runners, people walking their dogs, people like myself pushing their young ones in a pram, and young kids just wanting to get out and have a run with mum or dad. It was so refreshing to see people of all age groups and backgrounds getting together to take part in this run in the park, each person completing it for their own reasons.

At the other end of Australia, on the Sunshine Coast, a seasoned parkrunner showed his persistence.

"persistence; the continued or prolonged existence of something."

In 2013, Barry Ball began walking the Kawana parkrun course with his wife Helen, finishing in the respectable time of 46 minutes and 44 seconds. The couple have been dedicated participants at the event ever since, and ran their 100th parkruns together in January this year. For some time now, Barry, who is in the VM75-79 age group, has had a different parkrun milestone in mind: to complete the entire course without walking a single step. And on Saturday, his 126th parkrun, Barry achieved this goal. Fantastic effort Barry!

A parkrun goal three years in the making and your persistence got you there. I'm sure the entire parkrun community joins me in congratulating you on achieving your goal!

Happy parkrunning,

Renee Gimbert
National Operations Manager
parkrun Australia


pink parkrun bands


Aus_2016_09_13_02

Western Sydney Marathon

Fast approaching is the Western Sydney Marathon to be held on Saturday 1st October at the spectacular Sydney International Regatta Centre, Penrith Lakes.  

The scenic views of Penrith Lakes, Lower Blue Mountains and surrounding parkland make this event the perfect setting to run in one of our four events, 42.2km, 21.1km, 10km Lap the Lake or the 5km Family Fun Run. 

The Western Sydney Marathon are offering a 10% discount on entry fees for the first 250 parkrunners who register, so get it quick! Register now and when prompted use the promo code "WSMPARKRUN2016" to redeem your discount in the race of your choice!


essential stats

Aus_2016_09_13_03

upcoming special events

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

anniversaries:
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,
01/10 - Champion Lakes (WA) 1st, Hamilton Island (Qld) 1st, Petrie (Qld) 1st,
08/10 – Berwick Springs (Vic) 3rd, Hamilton (Vic) 1st, Kalgoorlie-Boulder (WA) 3rd,
15/10 - Brightwater (Qld) 2nd, Grafton (NSW) 1st, Gungahlin (ACT) 3rd, Kingscliff (NSW) 4th, Mosman (NSW) 3rd, North Lakes (Qld) 4th, Paradise Point (Qld) 1st, 

cancellations:
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)


pa_pod_10-09-16


feedback from the field

Aus_2016_09_13_04 (3)

I started parkrun (Ballarat) a few months ago after seeing it pop up on my Facebook feed. I was feeling a bit sluggish after a long recovery after my second baby and needed some motivation.

Well parkrun certainly gave me that motivation. I made a couple of PBs in my first few weeks - this really pushed me. Then my husband started to get interested in parkrun after seeing how much I was enjoying it.

My husband, the anti-exerciser, was going to get up early on a Saturday morning with two kids in tow, to go for a run! I was gob smacked!

Well since then hubby and I have tried hard to get to parkrun every week, most of the time with our two little rug rats (almost 3 and almost 1). parkrun has helped motivate both of us to do local charity runs.

Our next one is 12km Run Ballarat which we are both looking forward to. Neither of us would be where we are without parkrun!

Christine Hutchinson


Aus_2016_09_13_05

Daisy and Sue-Ellen have been at Lismore parkrun for five events now. I first noticed Daisy at our first timers briefing (I love dogs) I could see she was a little unsure and held her tail between her legs (Daisy was adopted).

When we commenced parkrun, Daisy was looking behind her and was a little nervous with people running behind and around her. Over the past few parkruns I have noticed Daisy become more at ease and even smile as she ran / galloped down towards the finish line with Sue-Ellen.

I commented to Sue-Ellen on how far Daisy has come and she is becoming more confident, comfortable and even enjoys her free timed weekly run / walk with Sue-Ellen and many Lismore parkrunners and dogs too!! Sue-Ellen loves parkrun and say “it’s something we can both do together and it is great that parkrun is inclusive of our four legged friends”.

parkrun changes not only human's lives, but animal's lives too! And it has been absolutely remarkable the change in Daisy over the past few months!! parkrun has been life changing for Daisy and Sue-Ellen and it is always wonderful to see them both at parkrun on a Saturday morning!

Belinda Smith
Event Director, Lismore parkrun


Aus_2016_09_13_06

parkdog of the week

My name is Sadie, I’m a 5 year old Cavalier King Charles.

I started coming to Chermside parkrun a few months ago with my Mum (aka Melissa) to walk as she is currently pregnant and wanted a walking companion.

As soon as she starts getting ready each Saturday morning I bark with excitement!

I love coming along each week. I let her think it’s to keep her company... but really it’s to get pats from all the people!

People know me so well now that I get to sprint to the finish line with them all calling my name!

 


Aus_2016_09_06_07

volunteer profile

Name: Belinda Mikaelian
Running Club: (none- I’m not a runner. I just run!)
Age: 42
Home parkrun: Raymond Terrace
Occupation: Clinical Nurse Specialist
Number of runs: 12
PB: 25:38
Number of times volunteered: 4
Favourite volunteer role: Handing out tokens. I love to see the relief and happiness on the face of those that have given it their all and finished. I enjoy being the person to congratulate them on their efforts at the end.

What do you like about volunteering at parkrun? I love the community feel. I love the smiles you get when you are there cheering people on. I have met some truly amazing souls and enjoy having a chat on a Saturday morning. I feel part of the parkrun team when I volunteer and that’s a great feeling, as parkrun is giving so much to our community.

⇐ Newer Posts this Month