News - 26th August 2022

James Hansen sets new parkrun Australia record

James record

A mishap with booking flights turned into parkrun glory for Launceston parkrunner James Hansen, who broke the parkrun Australia record today in a time of 13:53.


James was supposed to be at the National Cross Country Championships in Adelaide this weekend but messed up his flight booking and couldn’t get there.


With plenty of training under his belt, he used his peak fitness to have a crack at the parkrun Australia record, which he knew stood at 14.02. He ran 14.12 a few weeks ago, breaking the course record and not realising how close he’d gone to the Australian record. This week he set out to claim the unofficial but prestigious title of Australia’s fastest male parkrunner, and he did it.


James knew Launceston wasn’t the fastest course to do it on, but set out at the start with the record and sub-14 minute time in his sights anyway.


“There’s a few undulations and there’s a little steep hill,” he said.


James’ overall 5km is 13.34 on the track. A 1500m runner normally, he’s been trying longer distances of late, with some decent success.


James, 28, has been running since he was seven. Like many, he started at Little Athletics. He has a few national championships to his name, including the Albie Thomas national mile championship.


He raced a few 5km events last year and won the Launceston 10km fun run on the road in June this year, however parkrun was his first real exposure to the 5km distance.


Sometimes he’s there to lay it all on the line and other times he’s happy to jog in the pack for chat.


“It can be great for a good hit out. Sometimes if there’s no one to train with, or I’m struggling for motivation, parkrun makes things so much easier.”


The global parkrun record has stood at 13.48 for 10 years, so after learning how close he was today, James said he would keep it in his sights.


“I need to find the right course for that I think,” he said.


James said as well as looking to chip away at parkrun records, he had plenty of other running goals.


“I’d still love to make an Olympics team. I’m closer with my 1500m times but my 5km is really coming along. I’ll have to wait and see what happens,” he said.


James said he loved the concept of parkrun and would continue to use it as part of his training.


“It is cool to bring the elite and social running community together. I do a bit of coaching too and I’ve got people trying to break 30 minutes and then I’m there trying to break 14 minutes.


“It’s just great to have that social aspect though. You know with parkrun it’s always going to be on and it brings people together. The hardest thing with running is getting out the door but when you’ve got people around you, it’s so much easier. I really love the idea that with parkrun, anyone can do it,” James said.


Sally Heppleston

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