Recently Bressay parkun, way up in the Shetland Islands, was introduced as UK’s most northerly parkrun. New Zealand will now have the most southerly event when Invercargill parkrun launches this Saturday! Here are some insights and history from new Event Director , Liz Henry, who amazingly has ancestral links to Shetland!
Home to The World’s Fastest Indian and one of the biggest transport museum collections in the world. Features wonderful beaches, wetland reserves and beautifully groomed public parks. Has the longest daylight in New Zealand and the spectacular Southern Lights. Has delectable seafood and premium export-grade beef and lamb. Proud to have the Southern Steel, the Southland Sharks, the Stags and New Zealand’s first velodrome and training ground for Olympic cyclists. Home to affordable living, free education and an unbeatable lifestyle with 50,000+ Kiwis who are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet.
Welcome to Invercargill parkrun, the World’s Southern Most parkrun!
You may not appreciate that we have a lot in common with the most northerly parkrun in the UK, Bressay parkrun in Shetland. As the southern most parkrun in the world, we have a cool title too, we also have challenges with our weather (though hopefully, not as extreme); we have long summer twilights, and short winter days, but we do have a pretty big difference we actually have a park, instead of being a park.
It was with excitement that we read recently of Bressay parkrun in Shetland. Shetland is the land of our ancesters, and my husband and I will be thrilled to be able to combine a trip to Bressay with meeting some extended family at some time in the future!
Invercargill has strong links to Scotland with many of our main streets being named after the rivers in Scotland. While our family claims Shetland roots, many of our residents claim greater Scotland for their roots. Today, traces of Scottish speech persist in Southland voices, with ‘R’ often pronounced with a rolling burr. We look forward to welcoming everyone to the ‘Southerrrrn most parkrrrun’ very soon.
Set in the jewel of our city, Invercargill parkrun will showcase some of our beloved Queens Park’s 81Ha. It is the site of Trip Advisor’s third ranking “thing to do” in Invercargill. If you are so inclined you can complete the Selfie Challenge around the park, a scavenger hunt with a modern twist! Although, we were savvy enough to enable you to complete this while actually doing the parkrun course.
Dunedin is no longer the southern most parkrun , but while Invercargill has taken that title, it has possibly been the most friendliest of takeovers, with Dunedin providing a wonderful support crew for the development of parkrun in Invercargill (Thanks Dunedin parkrun!).
My first experience with parkrun was in Australia, and I was amazed and humbled by the relentless positivity of all the participants at all the events I went to. We have enjoyed the process of setting up Invercargill parkrun, because the same positivity and community focus was apparent in NZ too. When we first looked at bringing parkrun to our home town, we were pretty confident that the friendly people of Invercargill would be able to keep up the ethos of parkrun and as we have been working towards bring Invercargill parkrun to life, we are enjoying how excited everyone else is about a brand and community that they have experienced in one way or another around the world.
We hope to have a regular band of runners, walkers and joggers and also parkrun tourists from all over the world as we celebrate parkrunday every Saturday at 8am (summer) and 9am (winter).
Be prepared though, despite currently having the classification of being in a drought, we also have been known as the ‘City of Water and Light’. The ‘light’ refers to the long summer twilight and the Aurora Australis (southern lights). The ‘waterreference, perhaps due to our notorious horizontal, driving rain in high wind at the corner of the two main streets, Dee and Tay.
Pack a jacket just in case!
I’m Jackie (Jax) Hancock from Pegasus parkrun in North Canterbury. We got involved with parkrun because my uncle came to visit from the UK and made us do Hagley (before Pegasus had started!). Then when Geoff started Pegasus parkrun it was so close to home we thought we would try it out – and started off saying…
Born with Miller Syndrome, a rare genetic condition, Erica and her brother are the only two affected by the syndrome in New Zealand. She credits her mum for her iron-willed disposition and her story of refusing to let her condition get in the way of her hopes and dreams is inspirational. Erica, parkrun NZ…