Lower Hutt parkrun event 457 – 8th May 2021

A day of celebrations


What is Svend so happy about? Is it because:
-    He just ran a PB on his 151st parkrun?
-    Andrew Cushnie just ran his 150th parkrun?

-    Being around 226 of our parkrun whānau who took part?
-    12 different clubs were represented?
-    We had 18 first timers experiencing the parkrun energy?
-    First timer Laurianne was in town just to run the Lower Hutt parkrun? Ok, not really but isn’t that a treat that she ran her first with us?
-    31 people recorded personal bests?
-    The afternoon parkrun 9th anniversary celebration was going to be amazing?
-    Or, just because...


Lower Hutt parkrun started on 5th May 2012. Since then 7,090 participants have completed 68,494 parkruns covering a total distance of 342,470 km, including 9,352 new Personal Bests! A total of 650 individuals have volunteered 5,200 times.
I couldn’t make the afternoon celebration fun but check out the awards for the incredible parkrun accomplishments for the two years since the last Lower Hutt parkrun anniversary celebration (2019):


Most runs at Lower Hutt Daniel Russ (82), Kirk Olsson (81), Deborah Blythen (78)
Most volunteer roles Liz Neill (30), Jonathan Eweg (25), Stu Leslie (21)
Most junior volunteer roles Hailey Bouwman (20 times), Miringa Bouwman (19 times)
Points table (F) Deborah Blythen (6566 points), Daxa Govind (6083 points), Tamara Thomson (5906 points)
Points table (M) Daniel Russ (7612 points), Patrick Donovan (6674 points), David Hibberd (5895 points)
Seconds Bingo Kirk Olsson (46 seconds), Michelle Malone, Daniel Russ, Anthony Blythen (all on 44 seconds)
Position Bingo Gary Braddock (55 positions), Michelle Malone (54 positions), Phil Henley (51 positions)
Endurance champions Janette Beckett (55 Hours:12 Minutes), Shona Humphrey (48 Hours:19 Minutes), Richard Te One (44 Hours:5 Minutes)
Most consistent parkrun finishing times Patrick Donovan (Standard Deviation of 19 seconds), Warwick Smith (SD of 22 seconds), Kelly Burdon (SD of 26 seconds)


Arigatō gozaimasu and heartfelt gratitude to The Athlete’s Foot for starting off our morning with a free trial of ASICS shoes on hand. Always helpful, always encouraging and the post run/jog/walk sliced oranges hit the spot!



A big THANK YOU to this week’s volunteers for keeping parkrun on track, so to speak:

Friendly reminder that volunteers are always needed, no experience required. Besides, it’s a great way to meet fellow park runners. Talk to the Race Director or volunteers on the day for more information or check out https://www.parkrun.co.nz/lowerhutt/volunteer/ and the Lower Hutt parkrun future roster.
For me, volunteering gives me the ‘kick’ to get out to Lower Hutt. Living a bit further away than most, I’m a bit slack getting out of the house!!
Ellan Young



Lower Hutt parkrun event 456 – 1 May 2021

Today is the first parkrun for the month of May where 191 parkrunners enjoyed a cool breeze and a nice tailwind after the halfway point to race themselves to the finish line. The river was calm and not too many dark clouds surrounded us. Today’s event has been my fastest time since parkrun NZ returned in July last year, of course there is always progress to improve on your running stride and/or your walking technique to minimise any impact to your joints. The run briefing did start later than usual and also there were a few late comers who might have thought the run had already started, but luckily it did not.

Even though today is officially Lower Hutt’s 9th birthday and is also the founding parkrun in New Zealand. I am sure that there are many of us that are grateful that parkrun is a great way to exercise and a great start to your day. Not only is parkrun sponsored, but it is also free to participate that draws a large crowd. It is great fun and to meet others during parkrun or during coffee afterwards. I hope to do some more parkrun tourism in the near future. Having completed two thirds of the current NZ parkrun courses, I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and creativity of the courses so far.

To the stats for the week

First timers and tourists

There were 10 first timers to the course, 7 of whom are doing their parkrun with us for the very first time. We hope to see you again soon. They are as follows: Ganesh CHERIAN, Evan THAPA, Bronwyn THOMPSON, Catherine SCHEDEL, Emma SCHRADER, Denise ZHANG and Petra WELLS. The remainder first timers are tourists from Napier and Auckland.

Personal Bests

There were 22 personal bests recorded today. Congratulations to Daniel RUSS, Svend HANSEN, John BILLING, John STUBBINGS, Michael WALTON, Helene WALTON, Anna STUDDERS, Martin COE, Brian DEE, Frank MACFARLANE, Akira IMAZU, James LABUSCHAGNE, Philomena CHIN, Von Paolo GENETA, Kent COLLARD, Brooke TAYLOR, Warren BURKE, Sarah MCLENNAN, Kate O'HAGAN, Stephen THOMSON, Michael MILLS and David STUDDERS.


We had a few milestones recorded today, 8 official and 2 unofficial as well as a new member to the v25 purple club. Congratulations to Tyler BAIN and Sue WALKER on completing their 250th parkrun. Svend HANSEN and Elmien BOTHA completing their 150th parkrun. Matthew YOUNG completed his 100th parkrun. Emma WICKENS and Anna WELLS completed their 50th parkrun. We also had a junior 10 milestone to celebrate also, congratulations to Laurel VAN LEUVEN. Lower Hutt veteran Vatau SAGAGA obtained his v25 purple volunteer shirt today at our newest parkrun at Trentham Memorial. Well done to you all and keep it up.

If you have an upcoming milestone, whether it is an unofficial parkrun milestone or not. It is definitely worth taking a photo of yourself as it is a great step towards your life achievements. There are a few people aiming to get their 50, 100 and 250 milestone achievements within the next 5 weeks. So please do not be shy to get a photo along with your new milestone!

Photos of the milestone participants are shown below. Unfortunately we couldn't find a photo of Matthew YOUNG to celebrate completing his 100th parkrun.

Parkrun 1

From L to R: Emma WICKENS and Anna WELLS

parkrun 2

Top to bottom (anticlockwise): Tyler BAIN and Sue WALKER started their parkrun journey in South Africa. Svend HANSEN started his journey in Denmark and Elmien BOTHA here in Lower Hutt.


Thank you to the 16 volunteers who helped out today and a special shoutout to one of our run directors Susan HAYNES for helping out as a barcode scanner after her run. Many hands make light work. The volunteers are as follows: Floro ASTRONOMIA, Katie BENSON, Colin BOYD, Andrew CROSLAND, Olivia CROSLAND, Margaret DONOVAN, Megan FERRY, Jay GREGORY, Susan HAYNES, Kokoro IMAZUIsla MCCAW, Peter MURMU, Gemma ROSS, Rob STEAD, Don STEVENS and myself (Dan JOE).

Other News

Sherwood Reserve & Otaki parkruns

Most of the countrymen status achieved in New Zealand are from Lower Hutt members that have completed the current 33 parkruns. There is some great news for both Sherwood Reserve in Auckland and Otaki parkruns (North of Wellington) is when the latter is yet to receive confirmation on when the launch will be. Sherwood Reserve will have its parkrun launch on Saturday 3rd July and it will be the first parkrun that starts with the letter ‘S’ in New Zealand. Once Otaki parkrun (name to be confirmed by HQ) has a set date for its official launch, I am planning to be adding the great news into one of my future run reports.

Julia and Paul GORDON attended the test trial course for Sherwood Reserve on Sunday 2nd May for the newest parkrun launch and potentially the 34th event in New Zealand. They had a great time and some treats like the famous #scottairplanes. I am sure that everyone else there had a great time after trying the course out as well.

parkrun 3

Volunteering can be a bit intimidating, but there is nothing to be afraid of and there are plenty of opportunities to get yourself recognised into the parkrun community. There are two stories that could entice you on participating as a volunteer at parkrun regularly by reading the below links

  • Run reporter blog by Alison King from Puarenga parkrun about Dan Joe - read more about this here.
  • Regular volunteer at Lower Hutt Margaret Donovan on her passion of volunteering and what parkrun means to both her and her son Pat. The blog is from Alison King as well - read more about this here.

Parkrun is for everyone and it is a great opportunity to achieve something each time you show up to an event.

Lower Hutt's 9th Birthday celebrations

You are more than welcome to attend Lower Hutt parkruns 9th birthday celebration at the HopScotch room at Station Gardens in Alicetown, Lower Hutt which is held on Saturday 8th May from 1-4pm. There are prizes to be won and we can celebrate the birthday properly this year as COVID-19 stopped the 8th birthday from going ahead last year. We would love to see you there on the 8th May.

Until next time. Happy parkrunning.

Dan Joe



Lower Hutt parkrun event 455 – 24 April 2021

Absolutely perfect autumn weather this morning with blue skies and sunshine, sparkling river, light breeze and birdsong for our 224 parkrunners and parkwalkers. Congratulations to frontrunners Andrew RUTHERDALE (17.44), AJ SHAW (18.03 and PB), and Matt DURNEY (18.14), and female frontrunners Kristin STOKES (21.17), Sally HALE (22.12) and Kirsty COLE (23.17).

Well done to AJ SHAW, Steve MOSLEY, Von Paulo GENETA, Bjorn COLLINS, Chris BISHOP, Mark HARRISON, Mel HARRIS, Goff RASHBROOKE, Oliver FULLER, Ed FULLER, Sarah McLENNAN, Heather SINCLAIR, Helena WOODS, Dylan GOODWILL and James GOODWILL on achieving Personal Best Times today.

Welcome to FIRST TIME EVER parkrunners Marko GARLICK, Braxtyn KENT, Paula ASIATA, Jaden ASIATA, David STUDDES, Sophie HARRINGTON, and Becky INNES. You are starting a wonderful and unique journey! it can get very addictive in a healthy way - see parkrun milestones below.

Other first timers at Lower Hutt were parkrun visitors from Christchurch, Palmerston North, Hawkes Bay, Auckland and other regions - welcome Nigel STRATFORD, Solly HEYDENRYCH, Penilla OLSSON, Benjamin O'SULLIVAN, Tania HONEY, WHEELER family, NAYLOR family and EASTWOOD family - hope you can visit again on another occasion.

FOUR parkrun milestones this Saturday - congratulations to Malcolm SIME and Craig SMITH with 50 parkruns, Rachel SHAW 100 parkruns and me 250 parkuns, a total of 2250kms run between us! We can look forward to our red/black/dark green T-shirts to celebrate these achievements.


For me, everytime I go to a parkrun, it's about participating, connecting and celebrating with the parkrun community. Even when life is stressful, parkrun provides timeout, me time and being in the moment on the course. The fresh air at 8am (even on those cold/windy/rainy mornings) wakes everything up!  My parkrun connection began 6 and 1/2 years ago on 11 October 2014, and right from the start, the friendly welcome, positive support and inclusiveness of the community, made me go back. (By the way, Patrick, Tony, Mark, Stu, Peter, Ian, Floro, Andrew, Sonja, Noah, Alison, Susan, MIchelle, Winnie, David and Maggie - you were with me at Lower Hutt parkrun on 11 October 2014, and again on 22 April 2021!)  Parkrun has given me friendships, the confidence to tackle new running/walking challenges, volunteering and learning new skills, and  the opportunity to do some parkrun tourism.  I love seeing the young parkrunners grow and develop, some have started  their parkrun experiences in the womb,  then pushed in buggies and then taking part in  running and volunteering. The future of the parkrun movement bodes well!

A big thank you to Run Director, Susan HAYNES, and the volunteer team for making today's parkrun possible.  Many thanks to  Anna WELLS, Margaret DONOVAN, Tony TING, Bruce SOMERVILLE, Aira ANI, Donald COLEY, Peter MURMU, Mercedes GLOVER, Tyler BAIN, Glynis NG, Flora ASTRONOMIA,  Victoria LEE, Andrew NG and Mark MALONE.

A callout for help with volunteering. No experience required and on the job training. Have a chat to the Run Director if you like more information about what a job involves. The free Virtual Volunteer app can be downloaded onto your phone and used for parkrun timekeeping and barcode scanning purposes at parkrun. Volunteering gives different perspectives of what's happening on the course depending on what job you do. For more information, see https://www.parkrun.co.nz/lowerhutt/volunteer/  https://www.parkrun.co.nz/lowerhutt/futureroster/

With the new Trentham Memorial parkrun in my home neighbourhood, I will be using that parkrun more frequently, but will visit Lower Hutt parkrun every few weeks to stay in touch.

Happy parkrunnng/parkwalking
Glynis Ng


Lower Hutt parkrun event 454 – 17 April 2021

Lower Hutt parkrun #454 17 April 2021

Our parkrun adventure this week began with a rainbow, helping everyone from miles around to find their way to the start line. By the time we were ready to run, walk, and jog, the rain had cleared up and barely a breeze was felt by the 220 parkrunners.

In celebration of Junior parkrun events restarting in England, I want to start by giving a big cheer to the youngest members of our parkrun whanau. It is so joyful to see you taking part each Saturday. I love your energy, your strength, and your belief in yourselves at such a young age. If parkrun had existed when I was little, it might not have taken me 15+ years to start running again after finishing school.

Our young heroes this week are: Jacob ANDERSON-WALLACE (JM11-14) zooming over the line in just under 21 minutes and in 20th place; Herbert ZIELINSKI (JM15-17) hitting a new PB of 23:20; Tim CHERRY (JM11-14) rocking a new PB of 24:57; Zoe CAREW (JW10) whose PB of 24:14 makes me very jealous; Brooke TAYLOR (JW15-17) cruising to a new PB of 27:03; Jayden WILSON (JM15-17); Naiah LEALUGA (JW10); Ruby FALCONER (JW10); Lexi FALCONER (JW10); Rebecca O'SULLIVAN (JW10) adding to her grand total of 232 parkruns; Tabitha ZIELINSKI (JW15-17); Ellen LI (JW11-14); Harriet MARTIN (JW11-14); Renee ROSS (JW11-14); Lucas ZHANG (JM10) completing his first parkrun and, in my opinion, being the most adorable finisher of the week; Poppy WILKINSON (JW10); and Oliver WILKINSON (JM11-14). You should all be super proud of yourselves.

I also want to give a big cheer to Malcolm HODGE, taking first place as a first timer to Lower Hutt and only his second ever parkrun in a smashing time of 16:48, knocking four seconds off his run at nearby Trentham Memorial. Wowsers.

On Saturday, 21 of you ran, jogged and walked your way to shiny new PBs, so huge congratulations to all of you.

We also welcomed 15 first timers, with seven of them experiencing their first ever parkrun! Thank you so much for joining us; we can’t wait to see you all again.

Floro ASTRONOMIA reached a whopping 350 parkruns, which is an incredible achievement. Well done! Andrew ROWE qualified for his stylish 50 t-shirt this week, so big congratulations to him too. 

There’d be no parkrun without our volunteers, so thank you to our cheerful team for doing another excellent job: Tyler BAIN, Katie BENSON, Steve BIDDLE, Kevin BIGGINS, Andrew CROSLAND, Margaret DONOVAN, Susan HAYNES, Ann KING, Victoria LEE, Isla MCCAW, Peter MURMU, Liz NEILL, Andrea RUGLYS, Matthew RUGLYS, Rob STEAD, and Sue WALKER.

I hear rumours of some big parkrun milestones coming up next week, and looking at the results shows me that many more of you will be reaching milestones very soon. We’re all looking forward to cheering you on and helping you celebrate!

PS: A special mention should go to Kevin BIGGINS for his ability to sort finish tokens and polish his standup material at the same time. A gifted man indeed!

PPS: Thank you so much to all of you for making Svend and I feel so welcome since we moved to your lovely part of the world. We hoped that parkrun would help us meet friendly people and make us feel more settled, but your kindness has gone far beyond our expectations. Every warm greeting and cosy chat means so much to us, making Saturday morning the highlight of our week. You are a wonderful bunch.


Lower Hutt parkrun 452 – 4 April 2021

It dawned a cool and calm autumn’s morning after a week of wet and windy weather ideal for a parkrun.

A field of 182 started out with visitors from Auckland, Napier, and Wellington including Ben BROWN, Nate BROWN, Lila BROWN, Sara STRUCKMAN, Ana COCHRANE, Alyssa KIDD, and Megan BIGG.

First Timers included Matthew MASON, Paul NEASON & Michelle HUGHES.

Milestones today were Ruby FALCONER (Junior) 10 & Craig DUNCAN 50.

Plenty of runners took advantage of the conditions to record a personal best including: (Beware it is a long list - 29 - 15.8 per cent ! - I suspect the 0.8 was a junior (Ed))

Matt DURNEY with a FIRST Place as well, Pawel KOTARBA in SECOND Place, Miki SZIKSZAI, Jeremy BRAY, Gregor FOUNTAIN, Nicholas WALBRIDGE, Von Paolo GENTEA, Kelly FIELD, Elspeth KNEWSTUBB, Zoe CAREW, James McCAFFERTY, Susan WHITMORE, Helene WALTON, Philomena CHIN, Siobhan SIMPSON, Rebecca STOOP, Emily LESLIE, Brad ZIE, Steve BIDDLE, Louise HARRINGTON, Tarn CAREW, Meriel REYES, Mercedes GLOVER, Christina THOMPSON, Rebecca HALL-McCAFFERTY, Stephen THOMPSON, Cameron BUCKMAN & last but not least Mimi GARCIA. And a mention to local MP Chris BISHOP who equalled his PB.

Whilst walking with the Tail Walker I was surprised by the number of new faces, long may this continue.

Thanks to this week’s volunteers. Remember volunteers are always being looked for. It is a great way to meet fellow park runners and friendships that can follow.

My apologies if I have missed a milestone or PB.

Hope you all have a great Easter.


⇐ Newer Posts