If you’ve ever met Shellharbour parkrun you’ll understand why I’m about to gush like a woman in love.
As my 18th different parkrun I feel like I’ve seen enough parkruns to get a feel for the kinds of courses available, the potential for great (or not) scenery and a friendly parkrun culture. As someone who loves hills & trails Shellharbour really ticked all the boxes. All of them.
By my reckoning, there were 33 volunteers on today, headed up by the truly incredible, welcoming Brendan Scollary. Brendan would be the first to tell you that he couldn’t do it without his core team including Olly & Kellie, and dare I say his family, all of whom made this event unlike any other parkrun I’ve been to.
I was immensely happy to see Brendan deliver the most solid “Welcome to Country” I’ve seen to date at parkrun. Thank you for your dedication to this important acknowledgement.
Coffee and breakfast was so easy it was almost too good to be true, with the post run cafe being less than 50 metres from the start/finish line. And as we waited for the live podcast episode to be set up for us to watch, I went swimming with my enchanting new friend Gaillyn. Because, after all, the beach is only a short sharp walk from all the parkrun shenanigans, so why not?!
The live parkrun adventurers podcast was recorded and we got to see behind the scenes of the Scottie and Mel show. It truly was a delight to sit on the grass under the shade of a massive fig tree and watch them work and play together.
I could go on, but I think it’s fair to say I had an extraordinary day with new friends. It was wonderful to hang out with people who get this crazy part of me that most of my closest friends and family totally don’t understand. I hit some #NewThings by doing 4 individual runs all under 24 hours. And I got to meet the humans attached to the voices I have binge listened to for 2 months straight.
Thank you to Gary Murphy for coming up with the idea for #palm18.
Thank you Mel & Scottie for saying yes.
Thank you Brendan Scollary for enthusiastically putting your hand up to host us.
Thank you to EVERY volunteer who worked today and did anything in the lead up to this event, including the creation of those awesome signs and especially Chris Fraser for all the EXTRA work you did to help us have an enjoyable Freedom Run at North Wollongong on Friday evening.
Finally, a special mention to Em Scollary. You bring something to this parkrun that no other parkrun in the world has. Thanks for helping me to appreciate at an even deeper level how awesome humans can be.
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