Coburg is in the busy inner north of Melbourne. The parkrun is located at Coburg Lake, directly opposite the old Pentridge Prison. The lake used to be a quarry where the prisoners worked, making it quite an interesting and unique place to have a parkrun.
The out and back course follows Merri Creek and includes a few bridges, some fast flat sections and a couple of cheeky hills to make things interesting. There is a fantastic park at the finish line which is a big hit with the kids.
While the hill at the 4km mark of the course can make it a real challenge to set a blistering time, the last 200m of the course is all downhill. Coburg parkrun Event Director Marcus Denny said this meant, no matter who you were or how the body was feeling, you could always finish like a superstar.
While Coburg is not known in Melbourne for being a fast course, both the male and female course records are held by Australian Olympians, who live locally.
Marcus said the weir at the bottom of Coburg Lake could be a spectacular site for parkrunners after a downpour. He said the course was incredibly easy to access by public transport and that starting with the letter C, it was a great place for those chasing Pirate Club status to visit (you need seven Cs and one R to become a parkrun pirate!)
Coburg always has plenty of walkers and the course is very friendly for kids, dogs and prams. They even have a regular dog who sits in a pram!
The growth at Coburg parkrun this year has been significant, Marcus said. “Our average numbers for 2019 are around the 130 mark. We have just celebrated our fourth anniversary and have a dedicated core of regulars and are also a popular destination for tourists,” he said.
Marcus said he started parkrun because his wife insisted he would love it. “We both fell in love with it and it’s been a part of our family’s weekend routine ever since. We love the friendly people and the beautiful course,” he said.
Coburg parkrun is also well supported by several local running clubs.
After each parkrun everyone supports The Boot Factory Cafe in Pentridge Boulevard which provides a good chance for people to catch up. The kids love to play either at the playground straight after parkrun or outside the café which is building a great sense of community.
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Westerfolds junior parkrun, launched in May 2018 as part of a trial of junior parkrun in Australia, is held at Westerfolds Park in Melbourne, the same location as the 5k event. While the “big kids” version of parkrun on a Saturday takes in a full, five kilometre loop of the picturesque park, junior parkrun…