3rd July 2021 Event #375

Report by Martin Jones

To say it was cold on Saturday morning was a bit of an understatement, my temperature gauge on my phone when I let the house had a minus sign before the first number! It was VERY cold!!, yet 129 hardy souls lined up for the start of the 375th Dunedin parkrun.

At the briefing the groans were heard when to no one’s surprise it would be three laps around the top and three times up the infamous stairs of despair!! It should be noted that we had some masochists amongst us who actually cheered when hearing the news – sad people indeed!.

A big thanks must go to our wonderful volunteers who braved the cold, at least the runners and walkers could get warm thru movement- I heard a rumour that some of our finish line volunteers were doing star jumps in an attempt to keep warm. Just remember parkrun wouldn’t exist without our volunteers so remember to do your bit and help out when you can. It’s very easy to do the tasks that are required to stage a parkrun and training is provided.

And so to the results….

Well done to Daniel Stouffer and Sue Lang! – Their very first parkrun!!

Another Dunedin first timer was Nicholas Walbridge from the Kapiti Coast Parkrun and it was his 50th parkrun.

And Phil Lindsay from Hagley Park parkrun was another to tackle our famous stairs for the first time.

We look forward to welcoming you again to our course and hopefully it will be a wee bit warmer next time.

Other notable achievements this week were Connor Gray logging his 50th parkrun and Danette Little logging her 150th parkrun.

Don’t forget your pajamas coming up in the PJ run on July 17th – should be lots of fun and timed to be on during the school holidays – so bring along the kids as Saturday morning sports is having a break.

In closing its worth mentioning to make sure your emergency contact details are up to date alongside your barcode. Its important in an emergency we know who to contact. I’m sure we are aware of the runner who was given CPR and was revived by parkrunners and lived to tell the tale. A link to his story is below



Event number 366 Dunedin News Saturday 1st May 2021

Dunedin Botanic Garden and what happens on Saturdays at 9am a Tourist view.

Firstly, what is a Tourist. A tourist is a person who is visiting a place for pleasure and interest, especially when they are on holiday. To this point I wish to give you my thoughts of my 19th different park run in New Zealand.

It was a pleasure to be part of this parkrun today meeting friends that I had not only met in my home run of Whangarei, but also at other parkruns in NZ. If COVID had not taken hold of this fantastic place we call home (The World)! I would have not been here today but running in Rome, Italy. This would have been my second international parkrun and part of six weeks away with parkruns in 6 different counties! We are very lucky to have the opportunity here in Aotearoa to parkrun in great places, along with great courses and of course what makes parkrun as far as I am concerned so great……… THE PEOPLE.

Today will as always have goals that we have all set for ourselves. Some of these will change quickly and some we must work hard to achieve. To this end I offer you a look at Dunedin parkrun number 366 as I see it.

I arrived in Dunedin yesterday afternoon; it was warm and sunny! Was it to be the same this morning? No, it was a barmy 4C with a bit of a nip in the air. I had managed to get my hosts along to parkrun. Not their first but their first like me in Dunedin. I was being driven to the venue as I had no idea where it was in relationship to my home for the next week. We arrived early at the carpark; it was just before 8:30. We walk around and found the start, at least we had the correct place the Run director was there along with the flag and other parkrun paraphernalia. Greeted with big smiles by Paul; groups of people started to arrive and the parkrun “buzz” started. Some people where well rugged up and hopping on the spot! The volunteers donning their orange vests and Paul briefing them on the jobs at hand.

Always a great sign that the volunteers turn up early; as they are part of the “cement” that bonds any parkrun together. Time for a briefing for those first timers and tourists. Remember this is one of the most important positions. Especially when one has first timers at any parkrun, they need to be welcomed; as they take the next big step by actually turning up! As a first timer that has been to a few parkruns before and I have some idea of what happens at the beginning and the end. Others may of course not know what to expect of the five kilometres. I can honestly say we had ALL the information we needed with the first timers briefing, with a great verbal description of the course and questions well answered and encouragement that would have been very helpful to any first timers. Thank you.

It’s getting close to the start and up pops the Run Director, welcoming us to come closer, but not too close! Those of us that have been to a few parkruns (me 114) it can be a case of “Do I have to listen to all of this again?” I heard it last week and the week before! I was pleased to hear or should I say not hear really a sound; as silence descended on the 174 participants and volunteers. A well respective audience. Yes, we did hear about the sponsors and about the way to respect the gardens. Which I must say are beautiful, (I am here for a week, so I will make sure to have another look round). We heard of course about the volunteers that are needed over the next few weeks; especially when the children (young adults) are going to run the show. Great to see the enthusiasm from them as they shadowed their mentors. This was my nineteen different parkrun in New Zealand and I have heard a lot about hazards on courses around the country. From tree roots, large puddles and even a bit of frost on some routes. Today was the first for me, as Paul announced that on the upper course there was a cone marking one of this country’s biggest hazards….……… A Possum; are well it is after all New Zealand!

Briefing over and it’s off to the start, remembering are you at the back and should be in the front or the opposite, are you going for a PB, never mind its time and we are off. I always find a new route a bit daunting, but never mind, I have seen it on the web page, we have had a first timers briefing, just follow that faster person in front of you! What do you mean there are people passing you, at this rate I will be joining the tail walkers! Better get a move on, round the lower loop twice and it’s time to attack the top section, keep left, keep right what a lot to remember. Never mind it’s all marked and on to the top and after those “stairs of despair” I hear a voice giving us encouragement. A voice in my head no a person, who because of the sun I could not quite make out, it was great to have that motivation. Thank you.

On to the turnaround point and it’s around again. This time I knew what I was doing! Can I run faster? No, those stairs again, keep going, please legs it’s all worth it for the view! Pass another runner and its pass the possum. I am sure it had moved as the second time round I could not see it; was it taking part in the parkrun? Anyway, on round the cone just over half a kilometre to go and it’s as fast as possible down to the bridge, hand brake turns by the duck pond and see sight of the finish line. Made it………………………

Dunedin parkrun thank you…………………….. it’s time to find my hosts and after a few acknowledgements of thanks it’s off for a quick coffee.


The event was made possible by an awesome team of volunteers led by Paul McElhone along with John Thomson, Amanda Corbett, Heidi Eyles, Jamie Sinclair, Leon Miyahara, Gail Sharp, Janice Hughes, Deborah Clearwater, Reece Smith, Wendy Shanks Emily McElhone and Martin Harrap.



Always good to celebrate we have the following…...


Personal bests


Congratulations to thirty people who achieved personal bests namely Ann Pratley, Aya Waldrom, Beryl Lebowitz Ciccoricco, Caitlin Lill, Christopher Wells, David Liddell, Ethan Tritt, Eva Dejong, James Kirker, Jan Flood, John Lill, John Reynolds, Jude Waldrom, Kate Caradus, Kendyl Chalmers, Kent Chalmers, Kirsty Nicholls, Jonah Smith, Laura Bingham, Louis Newman, Lucas Nyhof, Michael Todd, Reece Smith, Reuben Bosworth, Rowena Howe, Royce Earl, Stewart Noguer Blue, Stewy Haddon, Tracy Thomas and Warren Pickering


Congratulations to Tim Maroon 300 parkruns and Paul Cobby with 150 parkruns

After today’s effects there are a number of milestones that may be up and coming next week Andrew Bosworth (99), Aidan Cho (95), Sebastian Kerkvliet (49), Orlaith Heron (49), Tony Moore (49), Janet Beale (49)


First home

This week Jonah was the first back in an incredible 17:16 only 17 seconds outside the course record. Having taken off 16 seconds from the previous week can he achieve the new course record on his next outing? The rest of us followed and the top three male and female are as follows:



1 Jonah Smith 17:16

2 Sebastian Kerkvliet 19:52

3 Zeke Smith19:57



1 Orlaith Heron 22:41

2 Alice Macleod 23:15

3 Jillian Tourelle 23:36

Age graded performance


Jonah Smith74.71%

Henry Eyles 69.89 %

Simon Guest 68.52 %



Julie Wilson 81.72 %

Jan Flood 73.42 %

Jillian Tourelle 72.81 %



I am off to see what else is around Dunedin, or should it be up and down! I am off to find Baldwin Street for I am a tourist after all.

Thank you for having me, have a great week and as Peter Snell would say….

“When it’s pouring rain and you’re bowling along through the wet, there’s satisfaction in knowing you’re out there and the others aren’t.”

Martin Harrap



17th April – Junior Run Report Writer

Our second start at nine am - the beautiful sun was shining but it was still a bit chilly. All the autumn leaves falling off the trees and making a brown and golden carpet with 226 park runners and walkers. There were 14 out of town people from Auckland, Wellington and Matamata. We are very grateful to have the volunteers who are : Marlie CHISHOLM, Deborah CLEARWATER, Paul COBY, Amanda CORBETT, Jo LITTLE, Rachael MASTERTON, Kathy MCKENDRY, Leon MIYAHARA,  Ben ROWLEY , Neville SCOTT,  Neville SHANKS , Nancy SMITH, Martin WATT 

By Marlie Chisholm (11 years old)

7th March Event Cancelled

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Due to Dunedin being in Alert Level 2, there will not be an event this week.

Listen out for any alert level changes and we will be back again one we move to Alert Level 1.



Event number 355 6th February 2021

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This week 181 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 14 were first timers and 21 recorded new Personal Bests. Of course this couldn't happen without our fantastic volunteers:

Emily SCOTT • Rachael MASTERTON • Neville SHANKS • Nick WOOLISCROFT • Lynne KERR • Hannah SCOTT • Corinna FLAWN • Laura SCOTT • Kathy MCKENDRY • Logan GRAY

We also had one of parkrun's Event Ambassadors visiting us for the first time and here's his impression of Dunedin parkrun


What a fantastic event the South Islands original parkrun is!  I’m talking about Dunedin parkrun of course! It’s taken me until my 220th finish to arrive here and the wait has been worth it.

A friendly, encouraging and enthusiastic group of volunteers, ably led by ED Tania and today’s RD Nick - self supporting parkrunners and parkwalkers - a picturesque course through the Botanic Gardens and of course, The Stairs of Despair!

I thoroughly enjoyed my First Timer at Dunedin as did Caren, great to see other First Timers at the briefing and also First Time Visitors like ourselves.

Next time we are here we won’t arrange to be in another town by a particular time.

Looking forward to our 2nd run with Dunedin parkrunners already (& hopefully I won’t be in broken condition next time)

All the best
Geoff & Caren

Event #354 30th January 2021 – double run report

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The last parkrun for January 2021 dawned fine but cool in fact a little cold for some people after the hot temperatures earlier in the week.

178 keen souls lined up and completed the course helped along the way by our wonderful volunteers – 9 in total. Remember parkrun wouldn’t happen without them so do your bit and volunteer every now and then, it’s an easy task and you are really appreciated by the runners.

Some highlights and achievements looking in detail at this week’s results.

28 PB’s recorded so well done – a couple that stand out include Joel Carman – first male across the line in 19.09 and Sharyn Bungard taking 45 seconds of her previous PB.

10 first timers again and well done on completing your first parkrun and the one that stood out was Sammy Benson Pope – first female across the line in an excellent time of 21 minutes exactly.

It was also the day for people completing their 100th parkrun – 4 people in fact completed the milestone so big congratulations to Hideo Yoshihama, Henry Bluestreak, John Hogue and Lisa Caton.

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We had visitors from Invercargill and from Millwater Park Runs and I know they enjoyed the stairs of despair. Our Millwater visitor agreed that after climbing our hill that she didn’t have any right to complain ever again about the hill (more like a bump) on her course ever again.

In closing just remember while a PB or a major milestone is worth celebrating I believe parkrun is more than that. It’s about friendship and making new friends and sharing stories about how we all conquered those bleeping stairs again!!, it’s about feeling good about yourself after you have got some exercise and enjoying a coffee with your parkrun friends, as well as the joy and anticipation of doing it all again next Saturday.

Martin Jones (134 parkruns)


I love parkrun. I love parkrun because I love to meet parkrun people. I love to visit new parkrun locations. I love staying active in some of NZs most beautiful sports. And I love to give back and contribute to parkrun.

And lucky old me continued to do just that at Dunedin’s 354th event on Saturday.

I have never considered myself a parkrun tourist. A wannabe one, sure, but in reality I very rarely manage to leave my family behind (or indeed take them with me) and experience a different event. This is why 204 of my 233 parkruns have all been at Millwater, my home event where I work with our core team to keep things ticking along. However, looking at my parkrun stats for the past month or so, I have run at four different events over seven weeks which makes me smile! And to give back I decided to write the run reports for these different events.

So here I am!

Back in October, three friends and I booked a girls’ trip to Dunedin for a friend’s 40th. Fellow parkrunners will understand my joy when I realised I would be able to tick off another event while we were there. I had been to Dunedin once before, back in 2003 on a South Island road trip, but this was before Paul Sinton-Hewitt had started the original Bushy Park Time Trial, so there were certainly no parkruns back then. I was certainly not a runner back then either!

We were staying in the city this time, just a 15 minute walk from the Botanical Gardens, so my friends and I left our motel at 7:15 and made our way there. We were excited to see the 660 house en route, and stopped for a quick photo opportunity, and then proceeded to make our way to the gardens. We were super early and the first to arrive, so had a quick chat with the set-up team, who were a very friendly bunch. We ascertained that the stats for Dunedin were very similar to Millwater, both in attendance numbers and with over 300 events to their name, though Dunedin has been going for several months longer. One of my friends is a keen runner too, though not registered with parkun (I know… we have to work on that!), and she joined me on the run, while my other friend decided to watch us go, and then take a leisurely walk around the gardens.

Now I had heard of the ‘Stairs of Despair’ but had naively thought ‘how hard can they be?” Well, I can confirm that they are hard! We made great time around the first two lower laps, in fact hitting my best average speed for a long time. And then the hill. To be honest, the hill was harder than the stairs on the hill. And they hurt. And I plodded up them as best as I could before enjoying the marvellous view of Dunedin from the top. And then I gingerly navigated my way down the hill on the loose gravel. And repeat! My friend, (who is a pilates instructor, with excellent core strength it seems) managed it far better than I, and finished a couple of minutes before me, when I collapsed over the finish line at a little over 34 minutes. I was pretty chuffed with that, considering the incline!

It was a very different parkrun experience to any I had before. And yes, it was hard, but I loved it!

Enormous congratulations to first finisher, Joel Carman, for getting around in 19:09 and achieving a PB. He must be superhuman to do the course in that time! In fact, 20 people recorded a PB this week. I notice the course record is set at 16:59 back in 2015 by Joshua Baan. Amazing!

I was among ten official first timers, congratulations to everyone for showing up and giving it a go!

Huge thanks to ED Tania, this week’s RD Nick Wooliscroft and their team of HiViz heros for putting on such a friendly, welcoming, interesting event! We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and while my legs are still aching three days later, those views at the top of the hill were well worth it!

I’m looking forward to returning ‘home’ to Millwater this week, but I promise the next time I come to Otago, I will certainly be back to try and get a PB!

Have a great week, everyone; and happy walking, jogging, running and volunteering next week!

Claire Taylor (233 parkruns)




Run report 21 November 2020

I am a Kapiti Coast park runner. Well, walker, actually. I walk park runs. Much more forgiving on my body these days.

This was my first time at the Dunedin parkrun.

It was a morning of memories. Just my second time at the Botanic Gardens since 1975. My wife, Jocelyn, also walking today, and I had our wedding photos taken in the gardens. I am not sure where they are, but I guess I could be looking at the gardens every day!

The only other time I have been in the gardens in the intervening period was for another family wedding. Clearly a popular spot to record a special day.

However, no wedding parties this morning. But 115 parkrunners out getting their weekends off to a perfect start. And it was perfect. I looked out at 6 this morning and saw a damp ground and a promising sky. Now, a few hours later as I write this, not a cloud to be seen. A typical Dunedin morning! Seven people made the most of the perfect conditions and recorded PBS. Well done!

I loved your course. Of the parkruns I have completed there a little hills, gentle rises really, at Cornwall Park, Porirua and Reigate. No real hills. After 40 years in Wellington, you come to love the hills. I loved the hills in your course. And, today, it was hills without the wind that I left behind in Wellington.

I see that the local harrier clubs give good support to parkrun. That famous club, the Caversham Harrier Club, is where my father in law spent his Saturday afternoons running in the “slow pack” as he called it, over 70 years ago.

Four other first timers participated this morning in addition to Jocelyn and I. I hope you enjoyed the course as much as we did.

If you are in the lower North Island, come and enjoy my home course. Out and back along the banks of the Waikanae River.

Thank you for hosting us this morning. I loved those hills. Did I say that already?

Graeme Fountain


Musings from the tailwalkers 14.11.20

It started quick and some were still gathering their thoughts and emerging from the toilets as the starting whistle blew. After missing the starting whistle, Carlo Bell made the bold decision to hang back for a clear path to the front.  Others began their quest at a few minutes past 0800 making the tail-walker’s job challenging as we tried to work out exactly where the back of the pack was. Not to worry, the marshal’s helped us out and we forged onwards.

As we rounded the first loop, the front pack, mostly young ‘uns, came thundering past. They were valiantly chased by the 170 other park runners who lapped us in various states of running euphoria high and low.   Lap number three and as we headed up the stairs of despair the muse overtook us and we reflected that ‘meanwhile, faraway in another part of town, Rex Askerud and a couple of friends were prowling around, number one contender for the middleweight crown, had no idea what kind of s**t was about to go down’.  And we were again lapped by the front runners.

Throughout, due to the slightly unorthodox start the tail walkers remained slightly confused, but vigilant for any last-minute stragglers, lest anyone be left behind us. With Dylan and his lyrics accompanying us on our travels we enjoyed the spring like conditions, the beautiful rhododendrons, and the babbling brook beside us.  We mused that the gardens are truly a beautiful and an ever changing vista to enjoy every week, and they are particularly beautiful at a slow and considered pace.

Finally, and as we weaved towards the final cones on the grass, Dylan and the Kinks ringing in our ears. we were met with the smiles and applause from the intrepid few who stay behind every week to welcome those at the back of the pack.  As we scanned our bar codes and enjoyed the euphoria and camaraderie that comes at the end of every parkrun, we mused: ‘Everybody’s a park runner, everybody’s a star, everybody makes parkrun, it doesn’t matter who you are’.

By Rex, Anna & Hugh


Time change 3rd October and updates


This week we take advantage of the lovely long summer daylight hours and start at 8am (with the first timers and visitor's briefing at 7:50 and the main briefing at 7:55).

Remember to scan the Ministry of Health Covid Tracer QR code - you can do it from the screen here before you head to parkrun (or over on our Facebook page) or when you are at parkrun.
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And finally thanks to all the volunteers who make parkrun happen each week. The timekeeping amd barcode scanning roles now use the Virtual Volunteer app on your phone, so make sure you have updated the app which has had a few tweaks recently. It should now look like this when you open it up.

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Here we go again

When we last saw each other who knew that parkun was about to be paused and when we would be able to be back in the Gardens to meet up, run and walk and have a coffee.

Sadly that meant that we missed one of the loveliest seasons in the Gardens, but it did mean that we got to enjoy our neighbourhoods during what was a lovely autumn.


Now thanks to the hard work of everyone, WE'RE BACK this Saturday. And as the first country up and running/walking, we have adopted parkrun Nederlands to show our support for them while they are still paused. Looking forward to seeing lots of orange, and wondering if anyone will attempt the course in clogs.

One difference is that we will be displaying the Ministry of Health’s NZ COVID Tracer QR code for people to scan - don't worry if you don't bring your phone, you can scan it here or from the Facebook page. We encourage people to do this as part of our fight against Covid and to help protect our safe haven in NZ.

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So get ready, find your barcode and fingers crossed the ice stays away and see you tomorrow.

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