News - 13th October 2020

Wadeye (not)parkrun


Kristine Willems is an avid parkrunner and has been inspired to start an unofficial ‘pop-up’ parkrun to help keep fit when she moved to the remote Aboriginal community of Wadeye, Northern Territory.


The safest course is a circuit of the airfield and measures only 4.7 km. The aim is to go every Saturday but if Ceremony has been called like Sorry business or Mens business, no one is allowed out along the course. In Wet season, the back part of the airfield turns into a small fast-flowing rocky river so if there’s been heavy rain, it’s cancelled. Luckily, we’ve only had that happen once since the start of the year.


It’s hot, sweaty, dusty and full of flies but we’ve grown from 2 of us to 5 with a view to keep growing, especially if we can get some of the local community to join in. I pop up a post on the local buy sell swap page which serves as a community noticeboard and see who turns up!


Because of the heat we leave at 7:30 am and so far we all walk together… it helps with safety and apart from myself, everyone is just starting out on their parkrun journey.


Timing is based on whatever my Strava app says and since we all start and finish together, we can urge each other on to try for new PBs. And no Wadeye parkrun is complete without a dog stick or two to help keep the camp dogs at bay and bathing ourselves in insect repellent. We recently lost one of our numbers when she returned home to Tasmania but she signed up to parkrun before she left so she could continue!


It’s not parkrun without breakfast at the end and with no cafes here, we take it in turns to provide breakfast at each other’s homes. Breakfast has ranged from bacon and egg burgers, gourmet scrambled eggs, pancakes or toast! It’s been a fantastic way to meet new people, make friends and spread the parkrun vibe when I’m far away from my parkrun home in Point Cook, Victoria.


Kristine Willems

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