Carol - Event Director, Seaton parkrun and south-west ambassador UK.
Fun at parkrun across the world: Thank you St Peter’s!
Yesterday was exactly ten years since the very first parkrun at St Peter’s with 122 taking part that day. Roll on ten years to today’s event #449 with 264 finishers, the biggest attendance since the second ‘pause’ due to the pandemic. With many more events across Sydney and Australia it is good to see such a good turnout across all ages and abilities and particularly great to see 20 newcomers to parkrun. Welcome to the parkrun family!
For me it was my third visit to this parkrun this January during our visit to Sydney to see my daughter who set up home in the city six years ago. We are so grateful to be able to travel again after two years of not seeing her. The magic of parkrun is that everything is exactly the same wherever in the world you parkrun. It is always 5k, always on a Saturday, relies on volunteers and, most importantly, is always welcoming and inclusive. The only difference is it is 8 am here but with the heat we are quite grateful for that.
Sydney Park is such an ideal location for parkrun with a lovely scenic route, easy public transport and café and toilets on site. We particularly like the welcoming and motivating chalk messages on the route especially as you tackle the hill. We are wondering if the ‘powers that be’ will object to us doing similar on our Esplanade at our local parkrun in the UK.
On each of my three events this visit I have been made welcome and on the first week I even met a new parkrunner on the train and showed her the ropes! I was delighted to see her back last week.
There was a great battle for first finisher today with Ian Zhou just pipping Patrick McMahon on the line with both given 18:01. Patrick’s age-grade was a very impressive 84.92% which put him well clear in the age grading positions. First female was Niamh McMahon in a PB of 19.28, and second on age-grade with 78.6%.
Twenty volunteers supported today’s event and the marshals were vocal and encouraging. Last week I met the Event Director, Paul who is the longest serving ED in Australia. What a great job you have done.
I believe there was at least one other visitor today from the UK as well as me. I suspect once things return to some sort normal that’ll increase again as it is a super event – the coffee after was excellent with that traditional parkrun vibe around the café and how nice to have it outside in sunshine. Next week I’ll be on timing duties on our pebble beach finish at Seaton parkrun in Devon, UK. I wonder how many layers I’ll need to wear!