August 2012 – Looking back at myself in photos from a Fiji trip is a pudgy, unfit 55-year-old man. 20kgs overweight, huffing and puffing from (normal) exertion.
Ugh… something must change!
From being a reasonable runner up until my 40’s… this hit home.
My 25-year-old son had just moved back home, after a long stint in Melbourne. Joining the Army was on his radar, and he had commenced a fitness regime – he was attending a Crossfit gym and had started attending parkrun. One Saturday morning dragged me along!
That first attempt on 8th December 2012 was frightening! My time was 29:57, dry retching afterwards, aching muscles for a week afterwards, and with a sense of ‘What the hell am I doing?!’ However 28 runs later at Newy, 17 PBs and getting my time down to 22:31 and I was hooked! – though that was my last Newy run….
Fast forward to today (now 61yo) and I am on my 243rd parkrun – I have been the Event Director of Blackbutt for over 3 years, one of the most difficult hilly parkruns in Australia. I run 35-45klms per week, have run 15 or so half marathons, one brutal UTA22 trail, parkruns in NZ and Singapore and have made so many friends and acquaintances in the amazing Newcastle community. A PB on my 50th run, a PB on my 100th run, and the target was to get another on my 250th – however I just recently smashed my Blackbutt PB by 33 seconds – there is plenty of life in the old dog yet!
Even better, my wife is now hooked and recently achieved her 50th parkrun. I cannot convince my 12yo daughter to run, but she does do over 12 hours dance training per week, so is achieving her own goals!
All in all, the running community in Newcastle is very special, with at least 10 distinct running clubs or groups, all competing to the best of their ability, and contributing to a vibrant and a better community. I cannot think of a better place to be! Happy parkrunning, everyone!
Blackbutt parkrun Event Director
The day of love is upon us and as Australians gear up to spend a whopping $23 million on Valentine’s gifts, dinners, drinks and flowers, one Australian couple are thanking parkrun Australia for shooting cupid’s arrow, without spending a single cent. Equine Physiotherapist, Hayleigh Reid and her husband Nigel have mapped out the perfect…
It seems like the most unlikely of locations to find love, but parkrun has brought many couples together around the world. Port Macquarie couple, Kylie Scott Young and Kiel Bigeni met just before Valentine’s Day last year at their local parkrun and after one thing led to another, the couple are due to be…