For most parkrunners, getting to their local event involves a short drive. If you want to run with your partner, friend or family member at their parkrun but they live in another town, maybe you have a slightly longer drive. But what if your local parkrun is 124 km away, and your partner’s event location is 974 km away from where you work and live. Would you go that far?
Peter lives and works in Tullamore, a small rural town with a population of about 250 people, in the middle of New South Wales, Australia. It is a lovely little community with a great school. Peter is the school principal and the pupils are active thanks to his encouragement and that of other staff members.
Being a keen runner, he makes the trek to his closest ‘home’ parkrun which is Dubbo parkrun. It is not exactly a quick, easy drive down the road. Dubbo is 124 km away. Despite the distance, Peter has been a regular attendee and volunteer at our parkrun.
Peter may travel 124 km to Dubbo, but he travels even further to another parkrun on a regular basis. Christie, his partner, lives in Brisbane, Queensland and loves to attend Wynnum parkrun, 974 km from Peter’s hometown in NSW. That is a much longer drive (or a nice one hour flight from Dubbo!). Maybe that drive is one to take during school holidays.
We asked Peter some questions about parkrun and why he loves it so much.
What time do you leave home for parkrun?
“I leave home at 6am, which is easy in the warmer weather but on a bitterly cold, dark, wet winter morning it is a challenge.”
What do you enjoy about Dubbo parkrun?
“I love Dubbo parkrun being part of my weekend routine. I make it a ‘day out’ and always have things to do in Dubbo anyway (like shopping – Tullamore has no supermarket) so it’s a great way to get the weekend off to a running start (excuse the pun). The course itself is very pleasant along the river. People are always friendly and I have greatly enjoyed the couple of times I have volunteered and seeing how parkrun operates.”
What do you like about parkrun in general?
“I love the fact that almost wherever I am and whatever I’m doing I can find a parkrun. I travel a lot for personal and work reasons so it’s great having parkrun on hand pretty much anywhere you go. I am a school Principal which while certainly fulfilling and never boring can be a demanding job and I find running and keeping fit in general to be the best way to de-clutter mentally. I am in awe of the global parkrun movement, such a simple concept, yet it’s organised so professionally and all just seems to run so smoothly anywhere you go. You could make a case that parkrun is one of the biggest contributors to community mental and physical health and well-being on the planet and it’s only going to get bigger in the future as more and more parkruns open up. I love that it caters for absolutely any level of participant from elite athlete to people just wanting to push prams and walk dogs.
Does parkrun bring you and your partner together?
On a personal note my partner Christie is also an avid parkrunner, so even when we are not together we are still ‘together’ doing parkrun on Saturday mornings even if it is in different locations, which is nice, even though she always beats me ha ha (and no it’s not meant to be competitive, but with us it is !) So although I’ve only been a parkrunner for about 2 years now, I’m officially addicted, it’s a life sentence for me!”
John Robins – Dubbo parkrunner
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