Peter East and Sally Cooke are the Event Directors of Tauranga parkrun in the beautiful Bay of Plenty.
Peter became involved with parkrun whilst in the UK where his brother introduced him to Shrewsbury parkrun. On returning to NZ Peter contacted Lian and Noel who put him in touch with Sally and several others who had made contact and were interested in setting up a Tauranga parkrun. A couple of emails later and a course test with the group of like-minded souls we were on our way. And now, here we are, 1 year later celebrating our first birthday!
We are privileged to have been given permission by our friends at Tauranga City Council to base our Tauranga parkrun at Kopurererua Valley, on one of Tauranga’s largest reserves and winner of the merit award in the Outstanding Park category of the New Zealand Recreation Association Awards in 2017. It makes for a beautiful and varied parkrun along boardwalks and tracks alongside the stream.
Being in a holiday town we’ve had a great many parkrun tourists and first-timers at our event and our course description is fairly straightforward – It’s a flat, out and back course, along a boardwalk for about 600m then onto an unsealed path that follows a meandering stream, where the occasional seal swims, to the turn then retrace. It doesn’t get much easier! Some would say it doesn’t get any easier!
We start and finish our parkrun near to the Maori Pou which can be seen with 400m to go.
After everyone is back and all the gear is packed away, we head to ‘The Whipped Baker’ in The Historic Village (a 2 min stroll away) for great coffee and wonderful food in a unique setting. It is exciting to see the positive impact we have had on our Tauranga community; from a health and fitness perspective to building an inclusive and supportive local parkrun community and contributing to the growth for our local café t0 boot!
Among the many parkrun tourists, we have had some who have been on cruise ships and their arrival times have allowed them to come to our event. How’s that for dedication?
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Wow – Porirua parkrun is 6 years old – coincidently it is also about 6 years since I first arrived in New Zealand – it seems like I have lived here my whole life! I can remember when I first arrived and wore out a pair of walking shoes in about 2 months tramping…