As the world’s most westerly mainland parkrun, and located a 15 minute drive from YVR International Airport, at Richmond Olympic we’re one of the very few events that can play host to a new breed of parkrunner – the Time Traveller! Nearly a year ago, we welcomed Australian Allen Bromley, who completed 2 parkruns in the same day by crossing the International Date Line. On Saturday, our first female Time Travelling parkrunner appeared from Down Under! Annicea Madine tells us how she did it:
My holiday to Newcastle, NSW, Australia where I had been visiting my brother Richard and his family, was coming to an end and yet I had a huge challenge to look forward to. I planned to complete the Kamay parkrun at Yarra beach, Philip Bay at 7 am on Saturday 24 February, before catching the 12:20 flight to Vancouver, Canada and run at the 09:00 Richmond Olympic parkrun on the same date, Saturday 24 February! Ambitious I know, given the tight timelines!
I arrived at 0615 Kamay parkrun which is adjacent to the beautiful and peaceful Yarra beach and sailing club. It was still dark and with the route on my phone, I was finding my bearings when I spotted the familiar parkrun flag and two volunteers chatting at a nearby picnic bench and gazebo. The volunteers had already been around the course and put the relevant markers and cones out.
It wasn’t long before the other parkrunners arrived and the friendly run director provided a briefing, welcoming everyone, thanking the volunteers and 87 people headed off to complete two laps of an undulating course. I understand why the run is so early, as the temperature was already starting to rise into the low twenties. The friendly volunteers kept us right with the route and encouraged people as they went around.
While waiting on my taxi, I chatted briefly to a guy called Gordon, who said that his sister-in-law ran at my home parkrun in Edinburgh – and it turns out that I knew of her, it’s such a small world!
So with a mad dash from the parkrun to the hotel to shower, change and collect my bags before catching a shuttle bus at 08:30 to Sydney airport, there was no time to spare. All was going well, until the 1220pm flight takeoff was delayed by 20 minutes and once in the air, with approximately 9 out of the 14 hour journey in turbulent conditions, the headwind added an additional 20 minutes delay, with my expected arrival time slipping from 07:30 to 08:10 and my chances of reaching and completing the Richmond Olympic parkrun on time fading.
I explained my circumstances to a very kind Air Canada steward, who ushered me and my cabin luggage from my allocated seat at the rear of the plane to row 10, which helped enormously in getting ahead of the crowd going through security. But, alas my bag didn’t come off the carousel until 09:05. The clock was ticking!
I sprinted with both bags and joined a taxi queue and next thing, I was whizzing along a very snowy road to the intersection between Cambie and River Road looking out for the silver statue, which Becky the Event Director had described.
I spotted the statue and jumped out of the taxi. I could see volunteers in the distance, and I dragged my luggage part of the way before Therese the Run Director came waving and running in my direction to assist and pointed me off in the right direction – it was 9.20am, but I was crossing the start line! I was so elated and quite awestruck by the beauty of the snow capped mountains and the very still Fraser river ebbing along beside me, that I couldn’t quite believe that I was in Vancouver running in 20-30cm of soft snow. Quite the contrast to the Australian summer!
Both the volunteers and parkrunners were all so friendly, smiling and calling out words of encouragement as I passed them. The ‘parkrun-adrenaline rush’ effect was very obvious. I passed two amazing ‘Super Mums’ pushing stollers with babies around the snowy course! I joined everyone for a post run coffee at a nearby coffee, which was fantastic, where it came to light that one of the volunteers had attained their 25 volunteer status that day! Well done Denise!
I would just like to say a huge thank you, to all of the volunteers and the other 23 hardy parkrunners, who braved the conditions and made this challenge possible. What an amazing parkrun adevnture!
Keep on parkrunning!
After last week’s inspiring blog about Bellevue parkrun and experiencing the harsh Winter, it felt like a good time to reflect on our second cold season here in Canada. How have our events managed the cold? Do they do people still come and run? Well, let’s find out… It’s been a fairly typical season…
À la suite du blog inspirant de la semaine passée à propos du parkrun de Bellevue, et après avoir expérimenté un hiver difficile, j’ai pensé qu’il serait bon que je réfléchisse à notre deuxième saison froide, ici au Canada. Comment nos événements ont passé à travers du froid? Est-ce que les gens viennent toujours participer?…