Newborough is located in the rolling hills of Victoria’s Latrobe Valley and is just a couple of hours drive along the Princes Freeway from Melbourne.
The town is home to a vibrant artist community and also hosts large sporting events at its sporting complexes and nearby Lake Narracan. There is a great parkrun in town too, which launched in early 2017.
Newborough parkrun weaves its way through the Moe Botanical Gardens along Narracan Creek, before looping on to the rail trail and back through the gardens. The vibrant colours are abundant with the changing seasons due to the array of flowering trees. The course offers a mix of gravel paths, two bridge crossing giving outstanding views of the area, bitumen and grass and is well suited to dogs and prams.
Newborough parkrun loves welcoming first timers to their event and have also had tourists from as far away as Italy and Indonesia.
“It’s a friendly event which attracts about 60 participants each week inclusive of a range of ages and a good mix of runners and walkers,” Event Director Wendy Mattingley said.
Newborough parkrun has a great core group of volunteers including 10 on the Event and Run Director team, three of whom are third generation family members who have completed more than 350 events between them.
Newborough parkrun has brought a range of community groups together as participants and volunteers. Recently, the local SES took over all the volunteer roles for a week.
Wendy said regular Newborough parkrunner, Caz, had a great story to tell.
“She joined not knowing anyone with the intent of getting fit. During this time, she has completed 68 parkruns at five different locations, achieved nine PBs, volunteered nine times, completed five runs in Melbourne, three 10km events and joined a local gym – all while having breast cancer. Caz, who has only had one week off for surgery said she believed parkrun helped with her recovery and that the friends and community from parkrun have been amazing with their continued support and encouragement,” Wendy said.
Wendy said being involved with parkrun was a “win-win”. “Regardless of whether you are a runner, walker or a volunteer – in helping others, it gives a sense of purpose and satisfaction, develops lifelong friendships and also keeps you healthy,” she said. “As a health professional, I believe parkrun ticks so many boxes to improve overall wellbeing. I originally joined as I wanted to give something back to the community and saw parkrun as the perfect option. I love the fact that parkrun is free, for everyone and has the motto keep it simple.”
The Newborough parkrun crew meet each week at Amay Cafe in Moe after their event and coffee is on the house for any parkrunner who also orders breakfast.
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