Barry Curtis parkrun
Event number 392
8th May 2021
Guest Report from Julie Collard
It’s always a pleasure to visit Barry Curtis parkrun from my new home at Owairaka parkrun. Today was my 5th time here and served me two very important purposes. With my mum in Clevedon and me in Mt Roskill, Barry Curtis is the perfect meet-up parkrun location and the added plus today was that my brother Luke (today’s sole overseas visitor) was in town thanks to the Trans-Tasman bubble and came along for his first-ever parkrun. Luke enjoyed the experience tremendously and vows to drag his wife along once back in Sydney as she is a keen walker. I often try to encourage friends and family along to parkrun, but, as I’ve come to realise, parkrun is hard to describe well to others. “Uh huh,” people nod, “I’m busy that day, but maybe one day…” And you’ve lost them with the word ‘run’. But if you can get the people there, they can’t help but be blown away by the phenomenon that is parkun. And Barry Curtis does that so well. I just love the sense of thriving community I get from the run brief here. Assorted people have their turn to speak, passing out café coffee vouchers to volunteers and noteworthy others, announcing milestones from the junior 10s up to the 100s and above, and welcoming visitors, who today were from Dunedin, Porirua, Tokoroa and Rotorua. Fantastic!
The Queen of parkrun
My second reason for coming today was to connect up with NZ parkrunner extraordinaire Alison King. Co-event director at Rotorua’s Puarenga parkrun, Alison has also become a leading figure in the explosion of parkrun-related media. Her online presence at www.runswithabarcode.co.nz complements her Facebook page and new ‘clubhouse’ that has grown exponentially over the last few months. To top off that amazing mahi, Alison has just published New Zealand’s first parkrun guide book, the Unofficial parkrun Guide New Zealand. I was hugely pleased this morning to get my hands on the copy I’d pre-purchased, and at the post-parkrun brunch at Sequel, there were many keen to pass the two copies there around for a once over. The book is only $33, available online or wherever you can catch Alison as she parkruns around the country and is well worth it for the highly readable articles on every parkrun in the country, great pictures, and a very cool forward written by no less than Paul Sinton-Hewitt, founder of parkrun. The book will, I am sure, become the bible of New Zealand parkruns. Kudos to Alison for seeing it through and continuing her incredible support of parkrun. Watch out also for the copy making its way from Whangarei to Invercargill, via every parkrun in the country, on a parkrun tourist relay, with accompanying journal for parkrunner comments. It’s going to be awesome!
Grant Lincoln took out first place today for the 98th time. What an amazing statistic! While he freely admits the first places don’t come as frequently these days, it can’t be long until he reaches the 100 milestone. With 314 parkruns now completed, that’s an almost 1 in 3 success rate! First place in the women’s division went to Gretchen Bourdillon who is also no stranger to the honour, with 46 under her belt at Barry Curtis alone! Both these speedsters also took out the highest age grade achievements. In terms of greatest number of parkruns, Ian Ross (352) and Shamiso Sisimayi (326) were most impressive. There were several milestones too, well done to juniors Libby Bowers (10) and Gabrielle Ng (10), Warren Willis (100) and Carly Bateman (150). Congratulations to all today’s 176 finishers, especially the ones who managed to set a PB (17!), win their age group, or managed a year-best result. Last, a call out to Owen Thompson who was unable to continue his streak of PBs noted before the start, but completed his seventh consecutive parkrun in his second fastest time, and I am sure that there will be many more PBs to come. Hopefully parkrun will become a way of life for Owen and for many others just starting their parkrun journey.
Giving back to parkrun one in ten times is the recommendation given to us all in the run brief by Peter Rout, and he did it in a way that was both humorous and positive. Someone near me murmured that they’d done a lot more than 10%. Well, me too, but there will always be some that never volunteer, for whatever reason, so I guess we’re hoping that somehow it will average out. There are many compelling reasons to lend a hand at parkrun, including the fact that parkrun will not operate without volunteers. Once people find how much they enjoy it, they tend to come back many a time to willingly take part behind the scenes. So, take the plunge and put your name on the roster! Thanks to this week’s awesome crew:
Gerard BOURDILLON, Gretchen BOURDILLON, Julie COLLARD, Ray FREEMAN, Rosalie FREEMAN, Chanpen KANABOOT, Keegan KOKKE, Grant LINCOLN, Ronald LOBJOIT, Karen ROUT, Andrew SHALLARD, Caitlin SHALLARD, Hannah SHALLARD, Maria SHALLARD, Rebekah SHALLARD, Jono WILLIS, Warren WILLIS
What a lovely experience it was at Sequel Café after parkrun! Though the long table was not completely full, we all had a great time discussing the day’s event, sharing stories of other parkrun adventures, and passing round the new parkrun NZ guide book. It was a funny coincidence that I found myself sitting opposite regular Barry Curtis runner Brian Kwok, who I’d met up with at Taupo parkrun back in January. It also turns out that Peter and Karen Rout are good friends with my stepdad, and I also got talking to Delwyn who’s promising to bring a friend to Owiaraka in a few weeks, so lots of connections for me today. It certainly is a friendly and warm family of parkrunners that we are all part of, and is indeed what makes parkrun so special.
Wishing everyone at Barry Curtis parkrun a very happy birthday for the 22nd, and may your tutu run go splendidly. I’m sure we’ll be getting the tutus out at Owairaka as well. Please come and visit us across town if you can, I hope we can return the excellent hospitality I was shown today.
A big thankyou to Julie Collard, one of our visitors this week, who offered to write the run report for us. It is so lovely to see our parkrun through someone else's eyes. We look forward to seeing you again Julie.