After losing touch for 40 years since being friends at high school, Robin found me (after a typical late night search) on Facebook….. Even though we had been separated by two States during that time, just by chance I happened to be a mere 40km from her hometown of Beechworth a few weeks later in Albury/Wodonga to do the local parkrun. So parkrun provided the meeting place for us after 40 years!
Just this week, Robin visited me in France and again we shared another parkrun- this time the 1st anniversary run for Chateau de Pierre de Bresse in Burgundy, France.
A couple of weeks ago New Farm had a free VI workshop after parkrun, organised by Casey Hyde who featured in our newsletter a few weeks ago. Casey said…
“A big thanks to everyone who joined in the fun and made new friends at new farm parkrun! . 30 athletes, 3 guide dogs, and record 5 blind or VI athletes! It was a perfect day for a tether guiding workshop. For the last 5 years I travelled the country looking for a supportive and inclusive community. Thanks to Brisbane running community! You are making my dreams come true! Special thanks to the blind and VI athletes who helped develop the workshop. Today we had no blind or VI athletes use their cane or guide dog to complete parkrun.”
And some feedback from other parkrunners who attended:
“Thanks to everyone who came, it is encouraging for VI people like me to witness. I was nervous when I first came to parkrun, but I’m not anymore, and it’s because of the community that has formed around the VI athletes. Thank you!”
What a great morning! So many people at the guiding workshop. A big thank you to Nicole for walking my Gem for me today ( Gem beat me!) which allowed me to walk the 5 Km with Kyra Cottrell (thanks heaps Kyra – that was the first time I have not used a cane or Gem in about 6 or 7 years!)… I don’t run – Gem and I are walkers but we would like to improve our time to under an hour… Once again, a wonderful turnout and you should all be proud of yourselves”
Barbara Clarke (Gem is Barbara’s guide dog)
Running blindfolded was a really powerful and visceral experience. I’m looking forward to using the skills I learned this morning to help give back to the running community. It was also a great opportunity to raise awareness with my children.
Well done to all students and teachers who braved the 3-degree temperature and made a postive, healthy start to their holiday break. Today was the final parkrun event of this round of Evans Run Club and The Run Beyond Project. But don’t forget, parkrun Australia is on every Saturday morning; rain, hail or shine!
I can confidently say that without the guidance of my clever coach, Michael Bannerman, my running to date would not be as adventurous or fulfilling. Michael has encouraged and pushed me in the right measure. I have come to recognise the significant contributions Michael’s knowledge and patience has had to my progress as a runner as well as self-awareness of what I can achieve.
When we first started I had no idea where his coaching would take me and I still don’t. I’m convinced that I would not have achieved as much without him. I’ve achieved PBs in all standard distances and one of these has taken me to Boston. I’m still processing the adventure. There I was with 30000 other runners in another country about to complete a brutal 42.2km.
However, it would be remiss of me not to mention that Michael has also been there in times of difficulty. His guidance has helped me gain an ability to focus on workouts with a new level of intensity. I have learnt that consistency is vital to progress and it has enabled me to do the one thing I need to do regardless of what is happening in my life. It has strengthened my resolve and taught me more about myself than I ever thought possible. I’ve learnt that I am capable and determined. I often surprise myself but never Michael. He is the hypnotist in my ear telling me I can do it. I think everyone deserves a coach like Michael.
And it all started with parkrun. It was Michael who first encouraged me to go to parkrun and it wasn’t long before he included a local parkrun in my weekly running plan. I really enjoy starting my weekend joining in with other active people. The local parkrun catchups are wonderful. I’ve even made parkrun a feature of my holidays both interstate and overseas. parkrun adds to my life. It’s fun and fun is good.
These two photos show how lucky we are to have access to defibrillators at parkrun. 30 seconds after the first photo was taken Tanya went into cardiac arrest. Out for her regular Saturday morning run at Blackbutt parkrun, Tanya Barlow felt ‘a bit dizzy’ so sat down and that’s all she remembers. Luckily Blackbutt…
Mitch and his father never considered themselves runners, until they discovered parkrun. That lead them all the way to Hamburg to achieve something that neither thought would be possible. Wind back to October 2015 and I would loudly and proudly announce my disgust for organised running. There was nothing worse I could think of…