News - 8th May 2019

parkrun profile: Blackbutt

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Blackbutt parkrun is located in an amazing bushland setting in the middle of Newcastle – a Nature Reserve that is managed by Newcastle City Council rangers, who have been a great support to since launching in August 2013.

 

The Reserve has excellent facilities, with two separate children’s playgrounds, native animal and bird enclosure and displays (focussing on koalas) and great walking tracks through the bush setting. Being a council reserve with lots of native wildlife, dogs are prohibited from our event.

 

Blackbutt will run/walk their 300th event in May 2019 – the camaraderie and friendships that have developed over the past 6 years are something to behold.

 

Blackbutt parkrun is not an easy course – but it DOES have a great downhill finish! The distance is still 5klm, but quite hilly and challenging. This is actually the main attraction to a large core group of devotees, who love the course.

 

First timers can get a bit of a ‘wake up call’ at first attempt, but the event quickly becomes the favourite, especially for those who get trail running bug. The course is mostly tar sealed, with a small grassy finish chute and an added bonus of the bushland course is the fact that 90% of it is in the shade – very welcome in summer!

 

Visitors love the fact that we travel past an emu and kangaroo enclosure, run between a couple of small lakes, cross bridges, and occasionally see goannas, snakes and a myriad of birds. Some mosquitos have also been known to invite themselves…..!

 

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The Burn! Definitely a love/hate relationship for most devotees! Between the 1klm and 2klm pegs comes ‘The Burn’ – a 400m slog upwards rising about 80m in elevation.

 

Blackbutt parkrun attracts a very diverse group of people, from hard-core runners to those just beginning a fitness journey, those happy to enjoy a brisk stroll, from babies in prams to our more ‘senior’ parkrunners, from born-and-bred Novocastrians to recent arrivals from out-of-state and overseas.

 

We have many awesome and inspiring Blackbutt devotees too. Cory Newman – 10 times Comrades marathon runner, 165 Blackbutts! Jill and Marg – 70+ (pictured tail walkers below) are hardcore, having traversed the Camino trail in Spain, and each has challenged themselves around Blackbutt 50 or so times. Tanya, our heart-stopping supergirl, still walking and volunteering regularly. Also John R., who turns up pretty much every week to help with set-up, and refuses to accept volunteer status for it, and many others providing great support and love each Saturday morning.

 

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Blackbutt parkrun has attracted plenty of local residents, many of whom were unaware of the (not so hidden) treasure we have here in the middle of the city. Numerous parkrun tourists have also discovered that Newcastle has some spectacular sites and surrounds.

 

As noted above, Blackbutt prohibit dogs in the Reserve. Fines will apply! A very family friendly event though, and many hardy souls do push prams over the course – doubling the hill climb effort!

 

The local Blackbutt Hotel (200m away) is the ‘go to’ venue after the tough 5klms – with the added bonus of 20% discount to parkrunners – special appreciation and thanks go to the publicans! Great breakfasts and coffees post-parkrun!

 

Blackbutt parkrun website is here and their Facebook page is here.

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