Uncategorized - 8th July 2021
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Celebrating Sue

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In Australia, Clare Valley parkrun stalwart Sue recently celebrated a double milestone. Not only did Sue complete her 100th parkrun, it was her 100th time as a volunteer, too.

 

Every parkrun needs a Sue – someone who is always ready and willing to volunteer at the last minute, someone whose name is on the roster multiple times a month, and someone who promotes parkrun and all its benefits to whoever will listen.

 

Sue has been part of Clare Valley’s core volunteer group since its inaugural year. Sue loves to volunteer. She is one of six who share the Run Director responsibilities at Clare Valley and says she enjoys helping out the team. When she’s not Run Director, you will often find Sue as Tail Walker, ensuring no one is left behind or comes last.

 

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What does parkrun mean to Sue – fitness, friendship and fun! She loves the inclusiveness, the encouragement everyone gives to one another, and that there’s no pressure to perform. “I know there will always be several trusty volunteers waiting to encourage me over the finish line no matter how long it takes me.” And she is a walking example (pardon the pun) of how the name parkrun is not synonymous with those who can participate. As Sue says, “I walk rather than run, with the occasional slow jog”.

 

For Sue, parkrun is not just about completing the 5kms, it is part of her Saturday routine. “No matter where I am, hardly a Saturday goes by without participating.” Sue likes catching up for coffee afterwards at Clare Rise Bakery, where she enjoys chatting to other participants. She loves getting to know all age groups, and says this is important to her when living in a small community. “I’ve enjoyed watching the children of our regulars being pushed in prams by their parents in the early days and now they’re running independently.”

 

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Sue is in the 70-75 age category and tries to encourage others in her age group to participate, though she doesn’t get many takers. “Maybe they are deterred by the word ‘run’… but I’ll keep trying.”

 

For me personally, I don’t think I would’ve met Sue without parkrun. As a mum of two school-aged children, our paths would most likely not have crossed in the Clare community. But Sue has become a friend and I enjoy our chats when we’re both volunteering or over coffee at the bakery. Like Sue, I love this about parkrun – the fact people from different walks of life, as well as times of their lives, can meet, get to know each other and become a community. As Sue says “fitness and social community go hand in hand with involvement in parkrun”.

 

Congratulations on your milestone achievements, Sue! We’re so grateful you’re a part of our Clare Valley parkrun community.

 

Sheridan Laws

Co-Event Director, Clare Valley parkrun

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