While there’s a very active segment of the parkrun community that enjoys visiting other parkruns, the vast majority of registered participants in Australia attend parkrun infrequently and rarely go anywhere other than their local event. With the summer holidays approaching it’s a great time to start planning visits to other parkruns. We spoke with Scott Watkins from Albert Melbourne parkrun, an event that, due to its location, always attracts a lot of visitors. The team there are often inundated with enquiries from visitors so Scott has given us his top seven tips for visiting other parkruns.
- Recognise that visiting other parkruns is AWESOME.
One of the best things about parkrun is that the basic concept is exactly the same at every location. Simply turn up with your printed barcode and you can participate in any event, anywhere in the world. While every course and every community is different, the concept is the same and every parkrun loves welcoming new participants and visitors.
- Locate the parkrun.
Discover the location of other parkruns using the map on the parkrun Australia website or using this clever tool that finds the nearest parkruns to your location. On the latter, simply click on the location of your holiday destination and you’ll be able to see exact distances to the nearest events.
- Check the course details.
Check the event websites on parkrun.com.au for details of public transport, parking and the location of the start. Every event has a course page that has a map of the course and details of how to get there. The course page will also tell you if the event is able to accommodate dogs, wheelchairs or prams.
- Check the start time.
This one is really important. In Australia, parkrun generally starts at 7am in Queensland and the Northern Territory, 8am in NSW, WA, SA and Victoria and 9am in Tasmania. However, there are variations, including a number of 7am starts in NSW. Checking the start time is particularly important for visitors from the UK. Unfortunately, we regularly get visitors turning up after parkrun has finished as parkrun starts in the UK vary between 9 and 9.30am.
- Check that the event is actually on.
We do our very best to organise events every week but occasionally parkruns have to cancel due to other events in the parks. Event cancellations are noted on the top of each event webpage the week before the cancellation and, wherever possible, in the parkrun Australia calendar. It’s also a good idea to check the event’s Facebook page, particularly if there’s a danger of weather-related cancellations.
- Do extra parkruns on Christmas Day and New Years Day
With Christmas and New Year approaching there are opportunities to do some extra parkruns. On Christmas Day, some parkruns will organise an event and this can be held up to 1 hour later than their normal start time. On New Years Day parkruns can also organise an event and the start time may be varied between 30 minutes earlier and 90 minutes later than the normal start time. On New Years Day only, we do allow people to participate in and be recorded at two events. You can, therefore, do a parkrun “double”. “Triples” are not allowed and New Years Day (not Christmas) is the only day of the year where we permit people to participate in more than one event. It’s really important that if you do participate in two events that you travel safely between them, don’t rush.To find out which parkruns will be holding events on Christmas and New Years Days you can check out the parkrun Australia Christmas Compendium. Please be patient with our Event Teams as they update their details from “undecided” to “yes” or “no”. Each event has to first determine if they’ll have enough volunteers to safely organise the event. Many of them must also get explicit permission from their local council or landowner for the extra events so the timing of when they can commit can vary considerably.
- Have fun!
Visiting other parkruns is a great way to meet people in the place you’re visiting and learn more about other things to do in the area. If you do some parkrun adventuring, make sure you post about it on social media and let the parkruns know what you thought of their event.