On the 29th July, Lake Joondalup parkrun held a very special parkrun, dedicated to a beautiful angel taken too soon; Alex Aitken. Alex (10 years old) sadly passed away on the 19th July 2017 in a tragic accident at the family home. Alex’s family are regulars at LJ parkrun and have been coming along most Saturdays for the last two years.
#run4alex was created to allow the whole parkrun community at Lake Joondalup to honour and pay tribute to Alex and his family. Despite the miserable weather, we had a fantastic turnout of 261 runners, our 3rd biggest ever and, one of the wettest. The turnout was a true testament to the outpouring of sympathy and support for the Aitken family. Participants all wore blue, Alex’s favourite colour, and over 50 family and friends of the Aitken’s showed up, many who had travelled from as far as New Zealand to be here. Most were first timers and many will be back to become regular parkrunners for sure.
Alex’s last parkrun on the 15th July also happened to be his 30th parkrun. In honour of Alex achieving 30 runs, we made Alex his very own milestone 30 Club t-shirt, in his favourite colour blue and personalised it with his name. Our hope is for Rob and Dionne to take this home to help remember the special day that we all ran for Alex.
It is times like these that we are just taken aback by what parkrun does for people. Complete strangers becoming lifelong friends, meeting and high-fiving each other along the course. A community which gathers together to support our parkrun family, not only in times of sadness but also in times of joy. There were plenty of high fives, hugs, laughter and tears on Saturday at parkrun and it was truly our honour to be part of something so meaningful.
parkrun would like to once again extend our deepest condolences to the Aitken family and to thank all those who turned up in the rain and cold to show their respect.
Lake Joondalup parkrunner
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