4th Birthday Stats

With our 4th birthday coming up this weekend, here's some figures from Penrith Lakes parkrun's previous 12 months in action.

We had 6003 parkrunners who ran in the year since our 3rd birthday:

  • Females = 2653 (44.2%)
  • Males = 2960 (49.3%)
  • Unknown/unregistered = 390 (6.5%)

Of all the 5613 parkrunners who brought their barcode each Saturday:

  • Under 11 = 284 (5.1%)
  • 11-17 = 311 (5.5%)
  • 18-34 = 1268 (22.6%)
  • Over 35 = 3750 (66.8%)

Our 'new' results included:

  • New visitors/attendees (a.k.a. first-timers) = 704
  • New parkrunners = 292
  • New personal bests = 926
  • New registrations: 628

Each week, our numbers change based on compelling factors (weather, holidays, etc.):

  • Most runners = 342
  • Least runners = 39
  • Average number of runners = 139

We had some unavoidable cancellations due to other activities occurring at the Regatta Centre, but from 43 parkrun events that took place:

  • Full lake = 13 (30.2%)
  • Southern bank = 11 (25.6%)
  • Cross country = 19 (44.2%)

The total running time was 3110:53:54 (or 99.37 days), with an average running time of 0:31:19. We increased our total distance run by 30,015 km.

In our last 12 months of events, we had 691 volunteer positions which were filled by 183 individuals. Since our beginnings, 2716 volunteer positions have been filled by only 496 individuals.

We're looking forward to you helping us to have a great 5th year at Penrith Lakes.



Do you love parkrun? Don't forget to use the #loveparkrun hashtag in your social media posts.



"Smoking is one of the leading causes of all statistics."
Liza Minelli


3rd Birthday Stats

Approaching our 3rd birthday this weekend, here's some figures from Penrith Lakes parkrun's previous 12 months. The numbers are understandably down on our previous year, primarily due to the commencement of our sister event, Nepean River parkrun.

We had 7,460 parkrunners who ran in the year since our 2nd birthday, of whom:

  • Females = 3688 (49.4%)
  • Males = 3280 (44.0%)
  • Unknown/unregistered = 492 (6.6%)

Of the 6,968 parkrunners who brought their barcode each Saturday, runners in each age group were:

  • Under 11 = 381
  • 11-17 = 462
  • 18-34 = 1659
  • Over 35 = 4466

Our 'new' results included:

  • New parkrunners = 548
  • New visitors (ie. first-timers) = 884
  • New personal bests = 1183

Our numbers vary weekly depending on weather, the opportunity for parkrun tourism, or the ability to drag yourself out of bed, so accordingly:

  • Most runners = 350
  • Least runners = 32
  • Average number of runners = 180

We had some unavoidable cancellations (the same number as the previous year), but from 42 events that took place:

  • Full lake = 6
  • Southern bank = 16
  • Cross country = 20

The total running time was 3831:17:15 (or 159 days, 15 hours and 17.25 minutes), with an average running time of 0:31:11.

We're looking forward to a great 4th year at Penrith Lakes.



"It is proven that the celebration of birthdays is healthy.
Statistics show that those people who celebrate the most birthdays become the oldest."


Twitter Update

When we first started in 2014, parkrun Australia gave us a Twitter account with the username @Penrithparkrun because it wasn't already in use by anyone else. The problem was that our username was exactly the same as the name of our British cousin's event. There's been more than a few occasions when UK parkrunners would mention us in a tweet when they actually were talking about Penrith parkrun, located in the north-west of England approximately 50km south-east of the Scottish border! ;-)

As this was always going to be an ongoing issue, we've just changed our Twitter username to @PenLakesparkrun, hopefully eliminating any future confusion. (As a bonus, our old Twitter username is now free to be claimed by Penrith parkrun, should they decide to open a Twitter account.) Changing our username will not affect anything associated with our account, including tweets and followers, as the change will automatically be updated in everything we've ever done on Twitter. Our display name remains "PenrithLakes parkrun" (we just fit into the 20-character limit).

So, whilst we don't often tweet anything original (much of our content is reposts of our Facebook updates), you can follow us at @PenLakesparkrun or visit our feed at www.twitter.com/penlakesparkrun . :-)


Birthday Stats

In the aftermath of our 2nd birthday on 28 May 2016, it's interesting to view some data of Penrith Lakes parkrun's last 12 months.

We had 9,518 parkrunners who ran in the year since our 1st birthday, of whom:

  • Females = 4834 (50.8%)
  • Males = 3941 (41.4%)
  • Unregistered = 743 (7.8%)

The age groups of those parkrunners who were registered were:

  • Under 11 = 517
  • 11-17 = 436
  • 18-34 = 2305
  • Over 35 = 5517

We had lots of 'new' results:

  • New parkrunners = 597
  • New visitors (ie. first-timers) = 1167
  • New personal bests = 1898

Week by week, our numbers ebbed and flowed:

  • Most runners = 345
  • Least runners = 94
  • Avgerage number of runners = 221

We had a few cancellations beyond our control, but from 43 events that took place:

  • Full lake = 15
  • Southern bank = 11
  • Cross country = 17

With your help, we hope to make our 3rd year even better!



"Statistics play an important role in genetics. For instance,
statistics prove that the number of offspring is an inherited trait.
If your parents didn't have any kids, odds are you won't either."


MEDIA RELEASE – Locked Gate Becomes Major Hurdle For Local Running Community


Monday 9th May 2016
Penrith NSW

Every Saturday morning at 8am, hundreds of local runners and walkers descend on the Sydney International Regatta Centre for Penrith Lakes parkrun, a free, weekly, five kilometre timed run or walk which has motivated many Western Sydney locals to get fit and healthy.

But as the second anniversary of the event approaches, the Penrith Lakes parkrun community has received a harsh blow after the Penrith Lakes Development Corporation (PLDC) locked the gate that provides access to the carpark used by participants at both parkrun and Jetpack Adventures.

In March the PLDC contacted the International Regatta Centre to advise that access to Penrith Lakes via Gate D on Old Castlereagh Road would be blocked immediately, citing safety reasons.

The International Regatta Centre offered to undertake a risk assessment in order to support the various organisations that used the gate however without explanation, the PLDC refused.

Shelley Cootes, Claremont Meadows resident and Event Director for Penrith Lakes parkrun, says the lack of transparency about the reasons for the gate being locked has made it difficult to come up with alternative solutions.

"We share our beautiful parkrun venue with many other events at the International Regatta Centre, and because of this, we need a separate carpark," Mrs Cootes said.

"With Gate D locked, it is no longer possible to access our parking area.

"Currently participants are able to park in an alternative carpark and walk up to 800 metres to our start line, however this is not a viable solution long term as it means not just that parkrun is more difficult to get to, but that we need to cancel our run when there are major events at the Regatta Centre which require the use of all carpark spaces."

Without a permanent, accessible carpark there will be a significant increase in parkrun cancellations which would jeopardise the future of the popular community event.

"Every day we are confronted with statistics about the nation's health crisis—an obesity epidemic and a generation of kids spending too much time on electronic devices," Mrs Cootes said. "It would be an absolute tragedy to lose our parkrun.

"We have a proven way to get people outside, participating in a healthy activity on a regular basis—and it's not just about the running—there's a huge community spirit here and we are not exaggerating when we say that parkrun has changed people's lives."

Maree Thurbon from St Clair has participated in 74 parkruns, including 68 at Penrith Lakes. Mrs Thurbon says her physical and mental wellbeing has improved thanks to parkrun.

"I was given the all clear from cancer six years ago and to help me out of my depression, my doctors told me to do something, so my friend Leanne organised for us to start going to parkrun," Mrs Thurbon said. "Straight away I fell very much in love with what my friend had arranged for me. It's been the best thing I have ever done because of all the new people that I have met."

Michelle Fleming from Glenmore Park has been a parkrun regular since it began in Penrith in May 2014.

"I thought I would give parkrun a go as I had just had my third baby and thought it would be a good way to get back into my fitness," Mrs. Fleming said. "My mum joined me after a few weeks and it is an excuse for us to catch up and get fit at the same time."

Dan Hurley from Glenbrook is also a Penrith Lakes parkrun fan and regular volunteer.

"I can't take my three children to the gym and put us all on treadmills, but we can all walk around Penrith Lakes parkrun and get cheered across the finish line every week. I am so happy to be enjoying a healthy activity with my children—quite often parents stand on the sidelines and watch their kids play sport, or parents do their own thing, but parkrun allows our whole family to participate."

According to Mrs Cootes, people come to parkrun to participate in a five kilometre run or walk, but soon realise that running is only part of the magic of parkrun.

"We've got people who had never run before in their lives now training to run marathons, and we've got kids as young as four and men and women in their 70s who turn up every week and walk the entire distance," Mrs Cootes said.

"Our elite runners are finishing in under 20 minutes but at the back of the pack are parents pushing prams and people starting their fitness journeys, and those people get just as many cheers as they cross the finish line as the front runners do.

"There is no pressure and no time limit. Everyone who crosses that finish line gets a recorded time and a feeling of accomplishment.

"The event is free thanks not just to our sponsors, but also our volunteers—people who give up their own run to make it possible for hundreds of others to participate. A lot of people find volunteering at parkrun just as rewarding as running, and that says a lot about the type of community that's been created here.

"We are keen to work with the PLDC to try to find a solution, and are also open to alternate venues—anything that can keep our parkrun going.

"Tim Oberg – General Manager of parkrun Australia spoke with Dani Robinson PLDC Environment and Community Manager to discuss the impact of the gate closure on Penrith Lakes parkrun and attempt to reach a compromise, and while safety was again brought up as the issue, she didn't seem to be able to elaborate on those concerns or provide written position on the situation.

"The Regatta Centre and Penrith City Council have been very supportive and we have also reached out for support from NSW Minister for Sport and Penrith MP, Stuart Ayres and Member for Lindsay, Fiona Scott MP. The Mayor's office and representatives of Penrith City Council have also been very supportive.

"Right now we should be getting excited about our upcoming birthday celebrations, but it's being overshadowed by the threat of an uncertain future.

"But we will make the most of what we can. Our second birthday celebrations are being held on Saturday 28th May from 7.30am and we're expecting a great turn out."

Since Penrith Lakes parkrun began, over 3000 people have taken part in the local event.

With an average weekly attendance of over 200 registered runners, peaking at over 350 attendees on special occasions, Penrith Lakes parkrun is one of the most popular parkruns in NSW.

There are hundreds of parkruns around the world, all with the same philosophy: that parkrun is open to everyone, free, safe and easy to take part in. These events take place in pleasant parkland surroundings and people of all ages and abilities are encouraged participate; from walkers, pram pushers, young children and seniors right through to ultra-marathoners and even Olympians.

Registration for parkrun is free and only needs to be done once for each person. Each participant receives a unique barcode which they bring to all events, and this is used to record their results. The same barcode can be used for parkrun events all around Australia, and even internationally.

Every week Penrith Lakes parkrun welcomes tourists from around Australia and overseas. The event regularly attracts runners and walkers from as far away as the UK, where parkrun was founded, as well as Chile, South Africa and New Zealand.

Information about Penrith Lakes parkrun can be found on their Facebook page, their official site at www.parkrun.com.au/penrithlakes, or by emailing penrithlakesoffice@parkrun.com.

Media Contact: Shelley Cootes,
Penrith Lakes parkrun Event Director

Disappointed runners from the Penrith Lakes parkrun. Picture: Gemma Holly

Image caption: Penrith Lakes parkrun Event Director, Shelley Cootes (front left) and parkrun volunteers are concerned that Penrith Lakes Development Corporation's closure of the access gate to their carparking area has put the parkrun's future in jeopardy.


ATTENTION – Changes to Our Parking

The Sydney International Regatta Centre have advised us that Gate D (our normal venue access) is being permanently closed due to the requirements of the Penrith Lakes Development Corporation, who are redeveloping the surrounding quarries into the Penrith Lakes wetlands scheme, which will eventually become our future home. This means that we need to put in place alternative parking and course arrangements for all future events from this Saturday, 16 April 2016.

We ask all parkrunners to enter via the main entrance at Gate A (another 1.4 kilometres along Old Castlereagh Rd past Gate D), and show your barcode (only one needed per car) to the security guard at the Gate to avoid paying any entry fee. After passing through the gate, take the first turn right, proceed straight ahead through the roundabout to the very end of the road, and look out for our marshals who will guide you into the P6 car park.

Penrith Lakes parkrun - altered parking from 16 April 2016

This Saturday we are on the normal Cross Country course, so you will be directed to walk approximately 650 metres along the dirt track (marked with bunting) to our normal start/finish area - please allow extra time for this additional distance to and from your car. DO NOT walk on the jogging/cycling paths alongside the lake as there is a cycling event on and it will create a safety hazard for all involved.

In the short term, for scheduled Full Lake or Southern Bank courses, we will park in P6 and meet at the BBQ shelter, similar to what we did for our event on 02 April.

This is a temporary measure, and we are working with the Regatta Centre to implement a more permanent solution. We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.


ATTENTION – Changes to This Weekend!

Due to another activity taking place in and around our P7 carpark (which could also potentially impact our normal start/finish area), there are changes to our next event on 02 April.

Originally scheduled to be a cross-country, the Regatta Centre has directed us to hold this event on the Southern Bank course. However, as the P7 carpark is not available on this day, we've changed the course for this day only to better accommodate our new parking arrangements.

Penrith Lakes parkrun - altered parking for 02 April 2016

As Gate D will be closed this Saturday, all parkrunners are to enter the Regatta Centre via the main entrance at Gate A, another 1.4km along Old Castlereagh Rd. After passing through the gate, take the first turn right, proceed to the roundabout and turn left, and look for our marshals who will guide you into the P5 carpark.

Our meeting area will be at the Eastern BBQ Shelter, alongside the lake near the western end of P5.

Penrith Lakes parkrun - altered course for 02 April 2016Click to enlarge

The start line will be roughly 100m west of here, on the bottom path. Runners will head west along the bottom path, turning at the normal point to continue east along the top path. Runners then do a U-turn at the eastern turn point and continue west along the bottom path. Passing the BBQ Shelter, runners will again turn around at the western point and continue east along the top path, crossing the finish line next to the Eastern BBQ Shelter.

There will be a rowing competition taking place on the main lake which won't impact our event, but please be mindful of extra people walking from the nearby carparks across the western end of our course as they make their way to the rowing venue.


Cancellation – 31 October 2015

We regret to advise that Penrith Lakes parkrun is cancelled on Saturday 31/10/15 due to another event on at the Regatta Centre. Great time to do some parkrun tourism, check out http://www.parkrun.com.au/events/ for other parkrun locations.

We will see you back on 7/11/15.


Cancellations – 13/9 to 3/10 (inclusive)

We regret to advise that Penrith Lakes parkrun is cancelled from Saturday 13/9/15 to 3/10/15 due to other events on at the Regatta Centre. Great time to do some parkrun tourism, check out http://www.parkrun.com.au/events/ for other parkrun locations.

We will see you for a big reunion on 10/10/2015!!!


Cancellation – 6/6/2015

We regret to advise that Penrith Lakes parkrun is cancelled on Saturday 6/6/15 due to another event on at the Regatta Centre. Great time to do some parkrun tourism, check out http://www.parkrun.com.au/events/ for other parkrun locations.

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