Adriana started to parkrun at West Beach back in September 2016 when she was only 70. She crossed the finish line that first day just ahead of the tail walker in 58:20. Not a bad performance for someone who “hadn’t exercised much” and who lives over 60km away from West Beach. Since then she has trimmed over 15 minutes off her 5k time and her parkrun pb is now an impressive 43:08.
Full of energy and enthusiasm Adriana has completed 45 parkruns at 7 different SA locations and has also volunteered seven times.
It’s thanks to Adriana’s daughter, Eveline, that she started to parkrun. Eveline is a runner and was pleased when she saw West Beach parkrun launching because, although it is a long commute from Mallala, it is a manageable pre-parkrun journey on a Saturday morning.
Eveline invited Adriana to join her. Eveline’s children, Elli 19, Cleo 15, Billy 12 and Max 8 also now attend parkrun. Often there are three generations out parkrunning together.
Adriana used to see her daughter getting out early to run, having fun, so decided to get up and out herself. She wanted some of that fun for herself.
Adriana, Eveline, Cleo, Billy and Max at the launch of Port Broughton parkrun this year with a couple of West Beach mates (Lorraine and Marg).
One of the things Adriana likes about parkrun is there is no pressure and lots of support. She says “Don’t say you can never do it, you get lots of encouragement, parkrun people encourage you even if they don’t know you. Do it for yourself, time is not important the tail walker is always slower”.
For the first two months, Adriana had to go home and have a rest in bed to recover after parkrun. Now, she has tried trail-running, run in multiple events including a 10k road race and next year she is planning to run a half marathon.
Apart from the incredible improvement in her running Adriana feels more healthy since she’s been parkrunning. Her blood pressure has reduced and she has lost weight. She uses her car less and thinks nothing of walking 1.5k to pop to the shop to get the milk.
A great achievement for Adriana in April this year was returning to her hometown of Rotterdam in Holland and competing in a mini-marathon of 4.2k with her granddaughter Elli. The cut off time for a finisher’s medal was 50 minutes. After months of training at parkrun Adriana finished in 35:11, almost 15 minutes before the cut-off which is amazing given she was originally worried that she wouldn’t make it.
Adriana finishing West Beach parkrun wearing her Rotterdam shirt.
It is fair to say Adriana loves parkrun for many reasons.
She loves to run and go touring with her daughter and grandchildren but is also totally independent and often parkruns wherever she chooses. She now has the benefit of Gawler parkrun on her doorstep and can be found there regularly too. She enjoys the friendship and support of her parkrun family.
Everyone is delighted that Adriana has embraced parkrun and she is well and truly part of the West Beach parkrun family.
When 75 year old Mary Gehrmann completes Rocks Riverside parkrun in Brisbane, she’s always proud to come in first place – in her age group, that is. Mary took up parkrun in 2016 at age 71 and came from a background of little to no physical activity. She is now encouraging more in her…
On Friday last week we published our provisional COVID-19 Framework, describing how parkrun events are likely to return where there remains an underlying level of the virus. We intentionally published the Framework in advance of it being appropriate to open any of the 21 parkrun countries that remain closed, to enable us to progress…