parkrun is often a family affair. Mums and Dads with their kids, husbands and wives and even the family dog gets to enjoy a weekly, timed 5km.
Most parkruns wouldn’t run each week if the event teams didn’t have the support of their loved ones. One formidable parkrun family duo is Amanda and Chloe Radovic, from the recently launched Mernda parkrun event in Victoria.
Mum Amanda and daughter Chloe, 17, both contacted parkrun separately and secretly, to share with the world how inspired they are of each other. We thought the best thing to do would be to combine their stories and surprise them both to tell everyone in the greater parkrun family about what a great team they make and how well they support one another.
Amanda started her parkrun journey at Diamond Creek nearly two years ago, before switching to Lalor, then more recently deciding to launch her own event much closer to home, at Mernda. It took Amanda 18 months to notch up her 50 shirt, but that the following week she earned her 25 volunteer shirt. She has now run 55 parkruns and volunteered 31 times.
Chloe said when her Mum started running only four years ago, she started with a 5km event with her husband Paul, but was then told by doctors to give it up. “Mum likes to prove doctors wrong so when she was told she couldn’t run she decided she would give it a go and when she was told she could only run a maximum of 3-4km a week she decided to train for a half marathon,” Chloe said. She got through that half marathon and has since done another.
Chloe was the one to introduce her mum to parkrun. “She actually found parkrun through me, who found it through Mum’s friend and I loved it so much and told her she’d love it too, which I can say I was pretty right about,” Chloe said.
Mernda opened on June 17 this year and like most new events, it required months of planning and preparation. “Mum loves parkrun and saw a need for it in our community. She also wanted to foster that community spirit that you see from parkrun, which we’ve been successful at doing at Mernda. I think she’s pretty amazing,” Chloe said.
At age 17, Chloe was bucking the trend when it came to being an average teenager. Like Amanda, Chloe too started out at Diamond Creek, Lalor, then their new home event at Mernda, in Melbourne’s outer north. Chloe had spent much of 2016 volunteering at Lalor to help get that event up and running. “Chloe always selflessly puts her hand up to volunteer whenever the need arises, at both Lalor and then at Mernda parkruns,” Amanda said. “In fact, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to launch Mernda without her unwavering support. I can count on Chloe to help whenever needed and whichever role.”
Amanda was blown away by Chloe’s running to volunteering ratio, all in less than two years, and while studying through her VCE at the same time. “She’s even been Run Director during her final exams. In this time she has fostered a real love for volunteering and loves the camaraderie and the coming together of the community she experiences when she volunteers,” Amanda said. “It spreads wide too, as she has made friends through parkrun and we bump into parkrunners in the local community!”
Amanda said as a mum, she was incredibly proud of her daughter, who was not like other teens. “Instead of sleeping in, as teens love to do, she gets up before the crack of dawn almost every Saturday to participate in parkrun. My girl is a champion! I sometimes think her generation cops a bit of flack, but maybe they haven’t met a teen like Chloe.”
Congratulations to both Amanda and Chloe for making Mernda the great event it is and we hope you both enjoy this cheeky newsletter surprise.
Lena Charles and Bonnie Smith are Health Promotion Officers (and Best Friends) at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) in Melbourne. They are passionate and love empowering their Aboriginal community to make healthy lifelong changes. One way they do this is by promoting the benefits of parkrun. They love spending their Saturday mornings at parkrun…
I first signed up to parkrun in May last year, determined to get active and lose weight, determined to go 5km around the Lillydale Lake. I was scared, nervous and for 4 months I couldn’t bring myself to do it as I wasn’t a runner and I didn’t want to be last or embarrassed because…