Dubbo is a rural regional city in the middle of New South Wales and if you drive about five hours north-west from Sydney, you’ll end up there. It is famous for the Taronga Western Plains Zoo and the Royal Flying Doctors Visitors Centre, which recently had a visit from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan.
While the royals might not be avid parkrunners, the town certainly has plenty of them. The out and back course on the Macquarie River, which features “just one hill” has a 50m grass finish where plenty of encouragement is provided and is friendly for both prams and dogs.
The course is in the middle of town but locals remark it feels like it’s out of town as the scenery (particularly when green) is beautiful with the river on one side and parks on the other.
About 30 per cent of participants at Dubbo parkrun walk, with an average finish time of 37 minutes – something the event team is proud of.
Their launch in mid-2015 was held with the temperature sitting at a balmy minus three degrees yet despite this, 255 still turned up. Dubbo parkrun now boasts an average of 263 participants each week and Dubbo’s postcode has the second-highest number of registrations in Australia – an impressive 5,173.
“Chalk fairies” appear at Dubbo parkrun a few times a year to decorate the path, and with the drought, the artwork can often be enjoyed for a few weeks at a time.
Like many Australian parkruns, the free, weekly activity provides the rural community with a meaningful way to get together on a Saturday morning.
Dubbo parkrunners can often be spotted at The Def Chef cafe for a bacon and egg roll and coffee, but they like to spread themselves around and try all the other cafes in town, too.
In mid-July, the Scarborough family hooked up their new caravan for an Australian adventure, with a rough plan to complete a half lap of Australia starting from Canberra. Prepared to accept that COVID-19 could interrupt these plans at any point, they didn’t expect to have the good fortune to enjoy parkrun’s return in the Northern Territory…
On Saturday we welcomed back Cape Pembroke Lighthouse parkrun, in the Falkland Islands, and all three events in Australia’s Northern Territory, representing another positive moment in the gradual return of parkrun events around the world. It was great to see the unofficial parkrun podcast, With Me Now, live-streaming from Nightcliff and Palmerston parkruns. If…