News - 14th May 2020

A commitment to parkrun


With worldwide parkrun cancellations and no Saturday morning parkrun routine, many of us are finding knowing which day of the week it is a bit of a challenge. That’s not the case for Lower Hutt parkrunner Liz Neill however, who has been keeping an eye on the date recently.  


“It’s now a little over five years since I started parkrun,” Liz reflected recently, and what a five years it has been. Since starting in 2015, Liz has completed 174 parkruns and volunteered 20 times, well on her way towards her purple milestone shirt.  


Like many of us, Liz didn’t define herself as a runner but fancied a new challenge. She had been a hockey player and loved swimming but hadn’t ever dipped her toe in to running. Using the popular Couch to 5K app, and encouraged by a parkrun friend across the ditch in Melbourne, Liz started running.  


Whilst she still doesn’t call herself a runner, Liz is definitely a parkrunner! She’s a known regular on the Lower Hutt course and also is one of a handful of New Zealand parkrunners to run at every one of the 29 courses across the country, completing this amazing achievement earlier this year. This was after a mammoth touring effort in summer 2019/2020, ticking off the final eight events she had yet to visit and seeing places in New Zealand she’d never seen before.  


Following the postponement of parkrun in New Zealand, Liz wanted another way of staying connected to the parkrun community. With an immunocompromised child at home, Liz’s bubble locked down before the government mandate, meaning that they have been inside even longer than the rest of us.


However, her daily walks and runs inspired her latest challenge – spelling the name of all 30 NZ parkruns (Whanganui Riverbank included) in local street signs. Like parkrun tourism on a micro-scale, Liz said that this challenge took her and her bubble to places they wouldn’t usually go within their local area, creating a “Grand Tour of New Zealand parkruns” in local street signs.   Liz’s commitment to parkrun, even now, is amazing, and we thank you for being part of the community. Kia kaha, Liz, and see you when we’re back!  


Lizzi Elton-Walters

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