Far North Queensland is home to some challenging parkruns in the summer months but at Atherton parkrun, you get a chance to listen to the birds as you travel past the rainforest and enjoy the shade when it’s hot.
Atherton, on the Atherton Tablelands, is approximately a one hour drive southwest of Cairns. The course is two loops on a gravel rail trail with a sneaky hill that no one notices. The prevailing south easterly winds make the end of each lap a real challenge.
Located in a rural area, Atherton gets many itinerants who work on farms and come along to parkrun while they are in the area. It’s also a popular destination for southern tourists during the winter months.
There had been several attempts to organise running groups on the Tablelands with varying success over the past 30 years. When a local doctor, Matthew Neale, started the Atherton parkrun in July 2016, our current Event Director Janette Jacob says she had found her tribe.
“I took over as ED on our parkrun’s first birthday and I volunteer a lot because I can run any day of the week but I’m dedicated to keeping our rather small parkrun in operation for locals and visitors alike. Getting people out doing something active first up on the weekend ticks all my boxes. Seeing the shy loner become part of our group never ceases to warm my heart.”
Kylie K B. as she is known at parkrun, is a local nurse, who loved to run when she was younger but, like many of us, had not done much lately. She came along with her husband, Yuri, and three daughters, Nikita, and twins, Olivia and Erika.
Yuri is only home one week in three from the mine near Cloncurry where he works but recently started volunteering. Nikita enjoys being the Tail Walker or Photographer on a frequent basis and Olivia often gave us her time as Barcode Scanner or Finish Token volunteer. Erika also volunteers but, like Kylie, really likes to run. Sometimes all five of them are on our volunteer team!
Kylie ALWAYS has a bright smile and a word of encouragement for everyone, even days after she lost her treasured dad earlier this year. She’s like a breath of fresh air!
We LOVE to see families enjoying active time together at Atherton parkrun and Kylie K B’s is one of the best.
The Railway Café across the road from the parkrun Start/Finish has the best scones in Atherton, so is a natural meeting point for the post-run coffee… and a scone! Cafe host, Peter, always has a tale to share and he doesn’t hold back when joining in post parkrun conversations. He’s also up for a free hug if you feel you need one.
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