Nambour parkrun has Fluffy the emu, Westerfolds is loaded with kangaroos and you might spot a koala or three at Lochiel, but Maleny Trail parkrun is home to the elusive platypus.
The small, friendly town of Maleny is located in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Nestled amongst rolling green hills, it is known for being a dairy farming town, as well as only 30 to 40 minutes from the Sunshine Coast beaches.
The parkrun, set along the Maleny Trail, follows the Obi Creek which winds its way through the town and is home to a thriving population of platypus. There is a viewing platform to look out for the curious creatures 100m from the start line.
Maleny Trail parkrun Event Director Joanne Turner said as well as the platypus, the trail had a “little bit of everything”.
“The undulating course includes grassy field, concrete path, formed track and technical forest trails. While it’s not the flattest parkrun course around, it is definitely one of the prettiest and achievable for all fitness levels. And of course, all the volunteers are super friendly and helpful,” Joanne said.
Joanne said she was passionate about supporting the Maleny community and that parkrun gave her a fantastic opportunity to do that.
“We live in an amazing place, I love showing it off. There are very few free, healthy, family activities around, and I love parkruns ethos: to make people healthier and happier. parkrun is a perfect addition to our town.
“If you make exercise fun and non-competitive from the start, you will help grow the love of fitness and it’s that love that will make it sustainable. If it’s always hard, you simply won’t continue.
“We have seen this with kids who come. They started hating running, but because there is no pressure and just mates and family to enjoy it with, they grow to love it. Our kids have done amazingly well in cross country and their parents say it’s because of parkrun, which makes me very proud of them and parkrun. Sometimes I just can’t wipe the grin off my face.
“While it was an uphill battle to make Maleny Trail parkrun a reality, there was never a doubt in my mind that a) it was worth it, b) we would succeed, and c) that we would have a very special event indeed,” Joanne said.
The Maleny Trail parkrun participants have two post-event coffee options, both offering discounts. Concept Coffee on the banks of the Obi is a great place to have a coffee and spot a platypus and Maleny Food Co, situated in the middle of town, also puts on a great breakfast for hungry participants, Joanne said.
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