Event Report: parkrun #79

This morning we had perfect timing (weatherwise) for today's parkrun at Greytown Woodside Trail, as just prior to parking our cars and gathering for the 8am start, the rain was falling.
Luckily the rain cleared in time for us to enjoy a cool morning, with pretty good conditions for running and walking the trail.

Today we had 31 dedicated participants who ran, jogged and walked, including six first-timers. One of those was Peter Besseling, who was with us on his trip round the country.
Peter used to live just down the road and has just discovered parkrun. Safe travels and best wishes, Peter!

It was a good turnout considering the weather may have put off some participants from attending.

We welcomed a few out-of-towners at today’s parkrun, including a couple from Brisbane and Rob Hammington, who helped set up the Hamilton Lake parkrun.

6 13 16

We are certain they enjoyed the trail, especially the cows watching them go past.

Despite the cold wind we had some achievements this morning. We saw two PB’s. (Maybe they were running or walking faster to keep warm in the slight southerly cool breeze on the return trip to the finish line). Congratulations to Robyn Green and Dominic Green.

A full set of results can be found on the website.

Today's conditions certainly made us look forward to being in the warmth of The Offering Cafe, where we enjoyed our hot coffees, scones, and bagels (especially our barcode scanner – who had cold fingers due to not bringing gloves and may or may not have been Kim Catt).

Our perfect timing continued when we entered the cafe, as it started to rain again.
Once again we say a huge “thank you” to this week's volunteers. We really appreciate your dedication to parkrun:

  • Di Bailey
  • Kim Catt
  • Kelly Daley
  • Ali Lang
  • Greg Lang
  • Melanie MacGregor
  • Lloyd Millar
  • Dave White

We're always looking for new volunteers. There is a page on the website that shows the roster for the next few weeks. If you would like to volunteer for a particular role, please contact us.

Next week we enter the 80s bracket with parkrun #80.


parkrun #78 Event Report

Thanks to Ava Register for this week's Event Report:

Well done to the people who came out to parkrun today.
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It was a pretty fresh morning starting off; but as you got started, it warmed up pretty quick. In all, we had 53 finishers today. Well done to all!

We welcomed some people from outside the area, including from Rotorua and Ashburton (my grandma!).

We celebrated some milestones today:

  • Jenny Duggan and Flynn Register completed their 50th parkruns today.
  • James O'Sullivan recorded his 25th time volunteering today.
  • Alison King completed a parkrun at her 50th different location today. (More on that below.)
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Well done to those who got parkrun PB’s today:

  • Bianca Green
  • 1 (2)Robyn Green
  • Emily Harvey
  • Ali Lang
  • Bonne Macbeth
  • Tilly Mills
  • Dion O'Neale (right)
  • Christine Voelkerling

Good job to all the volunteers this week:

  • Phil Cox
  • Fiona McCardle
  • Nneka Okonta
  • James O'Sullivan
  • Lucy Smith
  • Dave White
Thanks, Ava!

One of our volunteers (and, indeed, one of our runner-walkers) was wearing a Cow onesie today. Although that might not be out of place in our part of the country, the people who wore them did so for a specific reason. Joining us today was Alison King from Rotorua, who took time out from running at Puarenga, her local parkrun, to run in Wairarapa.

Today, Alison ran at her 50th different parkrun. For doing so, she joined a club. You might be aware of the parkrun challenges. One of those is to join the Cowell Club, so named for Chris and Linda Cowell, the first man and first woman to record a finish time at 100 different parkrun locations. And if you join this Club, you can say that you have completed a Cowell. So half of 100 is 50 and so half of a Cowell is, naturally, a Cow. Today, Alison achieved her Cow, here in Wairarapa. We are happy to report that the cows along the course gave Alison a shout-out. So Nneka Okonta and Paul Gibbons, regular visitors to our fine part of the country, knowing this, dressed up to help Alison celebrate. Well done, Alison. Please let us know when you've done a Cowell.

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By the way, Alison has been chronicling her journey on her way to the Cow. You can read all about it here.


parkrun Profile: the Catt family



Familiar faces now at our parkrun are the Catts. From left are Harrison, Kim, and Connor.


Here is a bit more about each of them, including their answers to our Five Profile Questions: 

Connor, who is 12, has some soccer and hiking in his sporting background. At school, he enjoys woodworking and science. When he's not working toward his career goal of being a builder, he enjoys going fishing, kayaking, and swimming.

  1. What do you like about parkrun?
    I like the exercise. I like that I see my friends there.
  2. How did you find out about parkrun?
    Mum took me.
  3. What motivates you to come out to parkrun?
    The promise of chocolate cake and hot chocolate at the cafe, after I have earned them by finishing parkrun.
  4. How would you convince someone else to join you at parkrun?
    I would say you will make a lot of friends there, especially at Greytown parkrun.
  5. What's your preference: cheese scone or date scone?
    Neither. It's EXTREME chocolate cake all the way. I will try a cheese scone one day, when they have no chocolate cake left.

A keen mountain-biker, Harrison, 15, also has a bit of football in his sporting background. When he's not getting fit at parkrun, he likes to go hunting, fishing, and diving. He hasn't chosen a career yet but does enjoy the field of Technology.

  1. What do you like about parkrun?
    It's good exercise and features good, fun people.
  2. How did you find out about parkrun?
    Through Mum.
  3. What motivates you to come out to parkrun?
    The exercise and The Offering.
  4. How would you convince someone else to join you at parkrun?
    Tell them you get food afterwards.
  5. What's your preference: cheese scone or date scone?
    Cheese scone

The 45-year-old Kim has netball in her sporting background and now enjoys walking, especially with the Soul Mates group. When she's not walking, she's working as a finance manager for an insurance broker and helping out at school events. She says she's particularly looking forward to the Year 8 challenge at Powell Hut. When not doing any of that, Kim says the family looks forward to time at Ngawi, where they enjoy fishing, diving, hunting, kayaking, walking, and just relaxing in the sun.

  1. What do you like about parkrun?
    I like that it gives me purpose to get up early on a Saturday morning, and meet with friends, and enjoy some banter and exercise, and it is FREE! 
  2. How did you find out about parkrun?
    Through my Walking Group, before it started. We were at the first one.
  3. What motivates you to come out to parkrun?
    Meeting up with other like-minded people to enjoy some exercise and sometimes the hope you might beat your PB and also to work towards my Red 50 T-Shirt and my Purple 25 T-Shirt. Did I mention it is really addictive? My walking group often organise events around the possibility that we can do a parkrun somewhere else on our way or way home from an event.
  4. How would you convince someone else to join you at parkrun?
    I would tell them about the friendly bunch at the Greytown Woodside Trail parkrun and just how good they will feel afterwards. I would also tell them that you don’t have to run; despite the name, parkrun, you can walk and it doesn’t matter how long it takes, and you will never be last (unless you are the Tail Walker, of course.)
  5. What's your preference: cheese scone or date scone?
    Definitely Cheese, and it has to be toasted.

parkdog of the week – Zoe

As part of our occasional series on parkrunner's best friend, we wrote to Zoe to ask her to tell us a bit about herself.


Hi my name is Zoe, I am 7 years old now and my Mum and Dad took me away from my brothers and sisters when I was just 10 weeks old.  I am a chocolate Labrador and people always say I am gorgeous.

My Dad "Paul" is my main human as he trained me and he feeds me and the best part is he takes me hunting, and for 9 weekends each year I get to swim in the icy cold lake and fetch his ducks for him.  But my Mum human "Kim" is the one who takes me on lots of walks, around the Streets, up Mt Dick, in the Tararuas and of course to parkrun.  I love bringing my Dad's slippers to him when he gets home from work.  I also have 2 human brothers Harrison and Connor.

I love when Mum brings me to parkrun and all her human friends just love me and I get lots of pats and scratches and I also get to meet some other dog friends too.  I love playing with other dogs, but Mum always keeps me on a leash.  I get to smell all the fresh smells and sniff out the rabbits along the trail.  Luckily, although Mum sometimes gets dressed up, all I have had to wear was a pair of Reindeer antlers one Christmas, how embarrassing!

I have only attended Greytown Woodside parkrun, I have done quite a few now, but not as many as my Mum as sometimes she leaves me at home.



Greytown Woodside Trail parkrun QR Code

We were very excited to reopen our New Zealand parkrun events on Saturday, 4th July.

Thank you everyone for your support and patience during this challenging and uncertain time. The reopening of events in New Zealand is not only an exciting time for people in New Zealand, but provides hope and encouragement to the rest of the global parkrun family.

Each parkrun event will display a NZ Ministry of Health QR code poster to help walkers, joggers, runners and volunteers keep track of where they have been. The QR code can be scanned by the individuals using their own NZ COVID Tracer app.

Scanning the QR code poster helps with contract tracing and will be presented at the event, and also on the event Facebook page, and here on the news section of the event website, should you not take your smartphone to parkrun.

Information and links to download the NZ COVID Tracer app can be found on the Ministry of Health website. If you don’t have a smartphone you can still register online with the Ministry of Health to share your latest information.

QR code


parkrun Profile: the Mills Family



Familiar faces now at our parkrun are the Mills Family: Jamie, Ness, Tilly, and David.

jamiemills ness-tillie-mills davidmills
Here is a bit more about each of them, including their answers to our Five Profile Questions:


In the sporting realm, Tilly particularly enjoys tennis and swimming. She also likes dancing and riding her bike and scooter. She's 7 and enjoys studying reading, writing, and art. When she's not at school, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, playing cards and other games and going to the pool and to the beach.

  1. What do you like about parkrun?
    That it gets you fit.
  2. How did you find out about parkrun?
    From my mum and dad.
  3. What motivates you to come out to parkrun?
    My mum and dad get me out of bed and I try and get a PB so I can go to the Lolly Jar.
  4. How would you convince someone else to join you at parkrun?
    It's really fun because it makes you feel happy and it's nice when people cheer you on.
  5. What's your preference: cheese scone or date scone?
    Cheese scone AND a strawberry milkshake!

In the sporting realm, Jamie particularly enjoys running, cycling, swimming, doing triathlons, and playing cricket, football, and tennis. He's 9 and enjoys studying maths, he says, "because now I'm onto the more confusing stuff that takes a while to get the hang of". When he's not at school, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, playing games like Monopoly and chess and Yahtzee and going on bike rides.

  1. What do you like about parkrun?
    How it's a challenge to get faster and beat my PB. It's kind of like a mini race, and lots of people round the world do it.
  2. How did you find out about parkrun?
    My mum told me about it.
  3. What motivates you to come out to parkrun?
    I want to get fitter and exercise.
  4. How would you convince someone else to join you at parkrun?
    It's pretty easy. It doesn't matter if you stop and walk as long as you make it over the finish line.
  5. What's your preference: cheese scone or date scone?
    Cheese scone, but a milkshake is better!

The 40-year-old Ness (who just "aged up") is an early childhood teacher at Greytown Early Years. She was previously a primary school teacher. When she's not working, she's at the library (feeding her love to read) or going on bush walks and camping with family and friends, enjoying a wine or two now and then. She enjoys running several times as week, she says, "especially since I discovered the best app in the world - Charge Running - which host live runs all through the week. I've met people from all over the world and enjoy running "with" them cause #runningalonesucks !"

  1. What do you like about parkrun?
    I love the community aspect. The support from other runners is incredible, and our family has been welcomed at Greytown and other parkruns we've been to. I love how everyone cheers on the kids and knows their names now. I love how everyone is encouraged, from the speed demons to the amblers. Everyone is equally important, and this is so great for our kids to see. It's a perfect family event: kids, adults, prams, dogs!
  2. How did you find out about parkrun?
    I had heard of the concept for a while but saw the Greytown event on Facebook. Now we try to get everyone we know to come!
  3. What motivates you to come out to parkrun?
    Knowing I can start my weekend well: it gets me out of bed at a decent time on a Saturday morning.
  4. How would you convince someone else to join you at parkrun?
    Tell them they'll be welcomed into the family and they'll feel fantastic for starting their weekend off with some exercise on a beautiful trail.
  5. What's your preference: cheese scone or date scone?
    Toasted cheese scone all the way, but you have to be quick at the Offering because they're popular!

The 46-year-old is a piano tuner and technician who also works for Rival Wealth financial advisors. When he's not working, he likes spending with the family and getting his exercise. A keen runner and cyclist, he also enjoys triathlon and is training for a charity bike ride from Sydney to Canberra to raise awareness for Stillbirth and SIDS.

  1. What do you like about parkrun?
    Watching the improvement in my kids running and the constant amazement at how well they do.
  2. How did you find out about parkrun?
    Through a friend.
  3. What motivates you to come out to parkrun?
    Kids and a great way to start the weekend.
  4. How would you convince someone else to join you at parkrun?
    I've convinced a few already. I tell them it's about getting out there. Whether you walk or run, it's something you can do with your kids or parents. It's suitable for all ages and fun.
  5. What's your preference: cheese scone or date scone?
    Cheese scone!

Can I Walk?

Everyone is welcome at parkrun.
parkrun is a running, jogging and/or walking event. No matter how fast or slow you are we are just delighted to see you taking part.
Whilst more competitive people can use parkruns to test themselves against their own time, and against others, participation should ultimately be for fun.
Equally we don’t mind if you don't complete the whole 5km. You can always come back and try again another day.

But I don't want to be last... you won't be.
The Tail Walker stays at the back of the field, offering support and encouragement to those around them, and is the last person to cross the finish line ensuring that everyone is safe and accounted for.

They carry a mobile phone in case of emergencies and let the Stout's Corner marshal know that they can leave their post. And on top of that, Tail Walker will also earn both a run credit and a volunteer credit, taking them closer to their next milestones!

We would love to see you at parkrun this Saturday!


parkrun Profile: Melanie and Billie MacGregor



Two of our most dedicated and enthusiastic supporters of the Greytown Woodside Trail parkrun are Melanie and Billie MacGregor.

Here is a bit more about each of them, including their answers to our Five Profile Questions:

In the sporting realm, Billie particularly enjoys netball and enjoys many other sports as well. She's 11 and enjoys studying Art and STEAM subjects at school. She likes drawing and working with her hands.

  1. What do you like about parkrun?
    Exercise and hanging out with my friends. We chat along the way. We get to dress up in costumes for some parkruns because of the date or occasion.

  2. How did you find out about parkrun?
    My mum found out and took me along.

  3. What motivates you to come out to parkrun?
    Going to the cafe afterwards.

  4. How would you convince someone else to join you at parkrun?
    It is fun and it is good exercise ... and of course I would tell them, "You can go to a cafe afterwards".

  5. What's your preference: cheese scone or date scone?
    Cheese (and rocket) scone ... but my real preference are the waffles.

Melanie is a 45-year-old primary school teacher who, when she's not working, enjoys watching TV, walking her dog, gardening, spending time with family and friends, going to the gym, and participating in events ... especially with her Sole Mates walking group. Her early athletic pursuits were hockey, softball, and soccer. Her focus these days is on walking or running, and she enters at least one local event a month, from 5km up to 21km.

  1. What do you like about parkrun?
    The friendliness, the social side, the fitness, dressing up for fun themed events, getting a 5km run or walk in early on a Saturday morning, being able to take our family dog, Scout. I like the emails and results sent out quickly, the apps with results at your fingertips, the photos on FB, setting goals, getting PBs, the T-shirts, that I am part of a global group of parkrunners ... and going to the cafe afterwards.

  2. How did you find out about parkrun?
    Through my walking group - we found out it was happening and of course we were keen to join in.

  3. What motivates you to come out to parkrun?
    It is part of my Saturday morning routine, my friends, family and socialising, counting down to the 50 T-shirt, going to the cafe for coffee and Peanut Butter Cup Slice afterwards. The enjoyment of becoming fitter and faster.

  4. How would you convince someone else to join you at parkrun?
    "You should come to parkrun because it is a fun free event where you can walk, stroll, run for 5km along a reasonably flat trail with around 50 other people and some cute as dogs. You get to meet new people who are there for the same reasons you are (some local and some tourists). There are volunteers to help each week and they are friendly, approachable, and cheerful. Parkrun is on each week at the same time and same place ... no matter the weather or date. At times, you get to dress up in costumes, as there are themed events. You get your results sent to you quickly and you can challenge yourself to do better the following week if you want to. Also, if you are on holiday anywhere in the world they might have a parkrun there that you can take part in (for free). Of course, the best thing about going to parkrun is finishing and then going to the cafe afterwards for coffee and to socialise. It takes only part of the morning and you have the rest of the morning and afternoon to do other things. Parkrun is enjoyable, and you will love being part of it."

  5. What's your preference: cheese scone or date scone?
    Cheese (and rocket) scone. My real preference is Peanut Butter Cup Slice.

Christmas parkrun 2019

Join us at the usual time of 8 a.m. on Christmas Day 2019 for a parkrun. This will be an official parkrun, appearing in the stats for both participants and volunteers.


Much like our Midwinter Christmas parkrun, we'll have music playing and a few decorations installed at the start/finish area.

Feel free to dress up as appropriate, and bring your Christmas cheer!


darkrun – Happy 15 years!!

On Saturday 2 October 2004, 13 runners and five volunteers turned up to Bushy Park, North of London for a 5k run.

Little did they know what they had started.

Here is the story of parkrun:


Greytown Rail Trail -> this way!!


Last night, we wanted to commemorate the 15th anniversary of this amazing achievement.  So we held a "darkrun" - a night-time parkrun - to coincide with the celebrations taking place at Bushy Park.

This wasn't your average Saturday night get together.  It was dark, it was raining - but we had so much more fun than staying in and watching the England rugby team showing off against Argentina!

As part of demonstrating our commitment to parkrun, it was very important to us to achieve the same turn out that gathered on that day in 2004.  And we were not disappointed.  Friends came over the mountain pass from Hutt Valley to swell our numbers - and in all, there were 14 walkers and runners taking part.  And a dog!


Shiny happy people having fun.


This event was a "freedom run", which means that the full parkrun process doesn't apply - but we enjoyed the briefest of event briefings and then sang "Happy Birthday, to parkrun" to mark the occasion.  In true parkrun fashion, all participants were decked out for the conditions with torches, reflective garb, head-lamps, light sticks and even a stereo!  Maggie the spaniel sported an LED torch and a reflective Retired Working Dogs coat.  When she ran about, she was reminiscent of a battle scene from Star Wars!

The parkrun elves had been busy before the event, and our amazing kilometre markers and turn-around posts were suitably festooned with a combination of luminous and reflective items.  Certainly it was going to be difficult to miss that we were having an event!

Dave WHITE kindly volunteered to be tail-walker for the event.  Despite it being a "freedom run", clearly this is even more important for a night-time event when you need to be confident that you haven't left anyone out on the trail in the dark.  Dave was castigated for taking the spirit of "freedom run" too far and declining to wear our traditional mermaid's tail as "he didn't want the tail getting wet in the rain".  Not sure what sort of mermaid Dave is familiar with.

Pic from "The Lure" a horror mermaid musical.  Go figure.

Pic from "The Lure" a horror mermaid musical. Go figure.



All lit up!


A big "Thank you" to everyone who attended last night.  It was great to see so many friends there and the special efforts of some to ensure they were there.  Thanks also to Martin O'SULLIVAN for providing the "Lead scooter" to clear a way through the crowds and ensure there were no obstructions on the trail!

The next birthday celebration?  Well that will be on the 2nd November!  See you there!

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