With only three parkruns starting with J in Australia, Jells parkrun in Melbourne’s east is a highly sought-after event. If a two-lap course with plenty of undulations is your style, then this is a course you’ll love.
Jells has a great community of walkers. As it is a 2 lap course, it is easy to just do half, until you build up enough fitness and endurance to complete the whole 5km. It’s good for those starting out, and those coming back from injury. You won’t get a time until you do the 5km, but you still get all the other benefits of being part of our parkrun community and being active outside in nature.
Jells has parkrunners from all age groups 4 to 84… as well as a being multicultural with a great group of Chinese runners and a great representation from the local Indian community.
Event Directors Naomi and Leanne became involved at Jells from different backgrounds. Naomi had just had her first ever go at being a Run Director at Albert Melbourne when Jells needed some more core team members. Having just moved house further from Albert and closer to Jells, Naomi went to check it out and ended up making Jells her home. Naomi says “I love all the green and the birds, the lake misting on a cold winter morning, and the parkrun community there is wonderful. Great people”.
Leanne is a Jells parkwalker, new parkrunner and a proud Jells passionista. Like many others, she joined parkrun for fitness but gained so much more. Leanne proudly states that “Each week I get to walk and now I can even walk/jog/run the course with new and old friends. We chat, laugh, we keep each other company and even have some friendly rivalry going on”.
The course has its ups and downs and in the Winter the grass is crisp with frost and the mist slowly rises off the lake. In the Summer the lake makes you feel cool and most days the bird wildlife comes out to say “Hello” as you pass by.
The Jells parkrun community is very social, supportive and loves a coffee or two. Each week, regulars and tourists head to Madeline’s at Jells. It is about a 3-minute exhausted stagger (or a 50-second jog if you still feel spritely) from the finish line. Good coffee, great food and very friendly service. You get to pass the café on the course, it might be a lot of our parkrunners’ favourite part.
Jells is also famous for its parkrun proposal! One of the Run Directors, Martin, and his girlfriend, Svenja, were both German nationals studying in Australia, and during that time, they became invaluable members of Jells core team and big personalities in the Jells parkrun community. Martin orchestrated a surprise proposal during the event briefing, that was also on the day of their 50th milestone runs – Svenja thought all their friends and family were there to help them celebrate their 50s. It was very sweet and joyous, with a huge celebratory breakfast after the run. Martin and Svenja have taken parkrun back to Germany with them, being core volunteers from the inauguration of Neckarau parkrun, Mannheim, and still going strong today.
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My parkrun journey started in 2016 when my beautiful partner (Kathy) suggested we try out this new community 5km run along the Torrens in Adelaide. Little did I know what an inspiring journey I was about to embark on and how much it was going to become a part of my everyday life. 2…