In Australia, we have almost 950,000 registered parkrunners, more than 400 events as well as four junior events, our participants are from many backgrounds and nationalities and come in many shapes, sizes and ages.
But what does our “average” parkrunner look like and where do they come from? And would it be fair to say that there is no “average” parkrunner, because anyone who does parkrun is above average?
parkrun HQ stats geek Mike Graney crunched the numbers and came up with this: our average parkrun location in Australia is Cobar, a small town in central western New South Wales, between Dubbo and Broken Hill. Our “average” participant is a 39-year-old female who has run 12 times with a PB of 32.22.
Meet Corinne McLeod. She’s 39, has participated 12 times and has a PB “close enough” to 32 minutes.
Cobar parkrun has been around since May 2018 and Corinne got involved from the outset. “I heard about it through Facebook, the local newspaper and I’m friends with former Event Director Tanya and she told me about it,” Corinne said.
Corinne said while she’d never been a runner before parkrun, she was keen to give it a go. “I’m more of a fast walker. I’ve slowly improved my times. I jog a bit more each time as I build my fitness,” she said.
Corinne, like many, said parkrun had become an activity she could enjoy with her family.
Her son Ethan is also a keen parkrunner and while only 10, already runs a sub 25 minute time, meaning one of the quicker adults at Cobar has to run with him. Corinne said her 12-year-old daughter Mia enjoyed jogging and walking alongside her.
Kids’ sport commitments mean Corinne can’t attend as often as she’d like, but when she gets a chance, she does. “I just love that parkrun gets us outside running around. We’ve always got one of the front runners to run with Ethan. It’s a phenomenal community. There’s always someone there to push him along to a PB, too.”
Corinne said the Cobar parkrun community was lovely and that with a population of just 4000, everyone knew everyone. “It is always fun to get out to parkrun. And I don’t even need to run. I’m always happy to volunteer by being a marshall or tailwalker. I make the kids join in too. If they’re going to run it, they need to help support it too. We all need to pitch in, you don’t always want to see the same people doing it each week,” she said.
Cobar parkrun is held along the Great Heritage Walking Track which winds around the Newey Reserve and through the natural Cobar bushlands. Starting and finishing at the picnic area, it is a 2.5km out and back course on a bitumen path.
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