Loved seeing volunteer pacer Sarah grab Jane’s hand with 100m to go. Jane crossed the finish line with an amazing 2:18 minute PB. Sarah didn’t know Jane before this parkrun but encouraged her to keep going and not give up… and she didn’t!
Just another example of why parkrun – and parkrunners – are so awesome!
This amazing human being completed 100 parkruns yesterday and while this is a great achievement for anyone, it is a particularly awe-inspiring moment for this humble gentleman we know as Pat!
My fellow ED Danielle was RD on Saturday so was in charge of kicking things off and what she wrote was beautiful, genuine and let’s face it…exactly what parkrun epitomises. Please enjoy reading her speech and pay particular attention to Pat’s ‘no-nonsense’ active wear! We love him.
“Pat – today’s parkrun is all about you.
Not only is today is an opportunity to share in your amazing achievement and milestone of completing 100 parkruns, today we, Pittsworth parkrun, will also take this opportunity to thank you for all that you bring each and every week.
We love that you rocked up to your first parkrun, back on the 18th October 2014, in you work boots, jeans, flannelette shirt and Akubra.
We love that you completed your first parkrun in 1 hour and 7 minutes, not concerned of your placing.
But most of all we love that you decided to keep returning week after week as you have continuously improved you walking speed, not to mention the 20 plus time you have forfeited your 5km to volunteer. Although, it has been very clear to us that parkrun hasn’t been just about times for you. More so, the community and friendships made.
When anyone asks Jaime or myself about parkrun we both think of you. This is also why we want to use this opportunity to publicly thank you for being the true example of what parkrun is all about. You have shown dedication, determination and commitment just like many other parkruners here; however we feel you bring something a little bit more special.
We appreciate your kind, friendly, true gentleman, genuine nature, you arrive with week after week, ready to walk at your our pace with a smile and a friendly wave as you start your second lap, always here to simply be the best version of you.
Pat we are so proud of you and please know that you are a very important part of this Pittsworth parkrun community and look forward to many more parkruns to come.”
Just before my 70th birthday last September, I was at a 21st birthday party in Adelaide where some members of my extended family were talking about parkrun. I did an internet search and what I found interested me, especially when I found an event at Merimbula, about 10 minutes from home. The selling point was that I could walk if I chose.
I did my first parkrun as a full walk in October last year; I was hooked. Suffice to say that I hadn’t run for about 55 years and I smoked for 20 of those years. I set my initial time around 44 minutes and I’m now at 32 parkruns and have reduced that by about 9 minutes. I have yet to run a whole event but I’m gradually building up my aerobic fitness and my goal is to do so eventually.
Of my 32 events, seven have been away from home; Hobart and Rhodes in Sydney, Bushy Park, Wimbledon Common and Tooting Bec in London and Elgin in Scotland. All of these places have something going for them, especially the remarkable Bushy Park, ancestral home of parkrun. The layout of the trees must be seen to be believed, as well as the 1300+ runners. At all of them, there was someone to talk to and a fine spirit of cooperation.
At Elgin, one of the volunteers mentioned a lady who had recently attended; this was the first time she had run outdoors rather than on a treadmill in a gymnasium. Suggests a great slogan, “parkrun; get off the treadmill”
I will be skiing a bit during winter but home on Saturdays for my run. After that, I’ll find time to travel a bit more and maybe do a tourist run once a month or so. I have events selected in Melbourne and Renmark already, will add Burley Griffin this month, another location in Sydney and one on the North Coast by the end of the year.
Shelli-Anne Couch is an entrepreneur, journalist and international business executive born and bred in the district now living in Los Angeles. Reading the TV Week on the bus on her way to school in Timboon, she became intoxicated with Hollywood. After school, she gained a degree in journalism from Deakin University, which lead her to the Sydney Morning Herald, Who Weekly and a move to the US 20 years ago as US Editor of Who Weekly. Her first job in Hollywood was at the Oscars!
Although a regular visitor home, Shelli-Anne had never heard of parkrun until late last Friday night while having dinner with family after flying in that morning from LA. She asked her sister Amanda what the plans were for Saturday, of course her answer was parkrun! Although not a runner, she thought it sounded like so much fun so like got online, registered and printed her barcode.
The beauty of jet-lag meant she was up at 5am and ready to go. During the event, Shelli-Anne was delighted to meet her old grade 6 teacher, geography teacher and a myriad of cousins. Then they all went off for a post parkrun coffee and brekkie at the Timboon Railway Distillery. She was so impressed with our parkrun she wants to start one in LA when she gets back.
So, from the bright lights of LA to the cold, damp fog of the Camperdown-Timboon Rail Trail in winter, parkrun truly is for everyone!
Since I started my first event at Westerfolds Park in 2013, I’d always wanted to see how closely the parkrun experience that I was creating in a suburb in Melbourne would resemble what Paul Sinton-Hewitt created 14 years ago in a park in South West London. Upon arrival I could see that some things were…
For many long distance runners, participating in a faraway event is the perfect way to combine the enjoyment and challenge of running with seeing new and exciting parts of the world. But with so many iconic marathon events now on offer around the world, which one do you pick? London? Paris? Boston? Tokyo? For…