Lower Hutt parkrun is cancelled on 6 June 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Lower Hutt UN birthday report


Here's a short report to mark Lower Hutt parkrun's 8th birthday /anniversary on 5 May.

5 May 2020 marks a special day in the history of Lower Hutt parkrun. Its "Happy 8th Birthday" and it will certainly be Many Happy Returns when we are all able to meet up again (hopefully sooner rather than late, with all things going well).

Event number 1 took place on 5 May 2012 with 84 participants and 5 volunteers. The first person in was Edwin Kaitany in a time of 15 minutes 25 seconds, and this is still the course record. This time was not equalled again till event 142 by Nick Horspool on 1 January 2015. So a longstanding time record is still waiting to be broken for anyone wanting a new challenge!

Dorota Eva Starzak was the first female runner in with a time of 20 minutes 49 seconds. The current female record holder is Phoebe McKnight with a time of 16 minutes 59 seconds,at event 306 on 3 February 2018.

Once a parkrunner, always a parkrunner (and that includes parkwalkers as well). Current Lower Hutt parkrunners who were at event 1, include Chris Speakman, Elaine Richardson, Alistair Willis, Tina Kerr, Bruce McCardle, Allan Hartley, Ian Morton and Andrew Crosland. Alistair, Tina, Bruce, Allan, Ian and Andrew all took part in event 419 on 14 March 2020, the last event before lockdown. The great thing about parkrun is that once you have your barcode, it's forever and you can use it at any parkrun anywhere. (Apologies if I have missed the names of people from event 1, who are active at Lower Hutt and/or other parkrun locations).

Lower Hutt parkrun is the  FIRST parkrun in New Zealand and our  first Run Director was Richard McChesney, who instigated the event here, after participating in parkrun while living in the UK.. The first ever parkrun was held at Bushey Park London on 2 October 2004. Richard is now based overseas, and active in  parkrunning . There are now 30 parkruns in New Zealand, and the worldwide parkrun movement is in 22 countries. Parkrun tourism is fast growing, and many Lower Hutt parkrunners have incorporated a parkrun elsewhere in their trips away.

Parkrunners at Lower Hutt have run a total of 302,985 kilometres in the last eight years ! That's equivalent to 7.6 times around the world. The largest number of participants has been 327 at event 410 on 11 January 2020. Since the beginning of January 2020, we have had an average of 270 participants every week. Volunteer teams have grown from 5 ,just 8 years ago, to 15. So when parkrun resumes, please have a go at a volunteer role, because no volunteers means no parkrun.

Hope everyone and your families are staying safe and well. The parkrun community at Lower Hutt (and all the other parkrun communities) will be back together in due course to enjoy fresh air, friendship and fun running/walking.

" Happy 8th Birthday 

 Lower Hutt parkrun"


Glynis Ng


Lower Hutt parkrun Not Event

Lower Hutt parkrun – no events taking place currently anywhere in the world...

Kia ora e hoa, I hope everyone is keeping well and safe.

April 4th 2020 – I'm on the roster for the Lower Hutt parkrun report, and I chose this date for a reason. 04/04/20 was 5 years to the day since my first parkrun. I was surprised to see that come around on a Saturday again. It would have been my #177 if parkruns were still happening, but instead I completed #174 before parkrun was cancelled for a while. Writing this report would also have been my 21st volunteer, as I was on target to join the Volunteer #25 club soon. Soon! It's all quite surreal really hey...

In early 2015 I decided it was time to challenge myself to get running. I'd been a hockey player since I was 11, and had played other sports along the way, and I love to swim, but there was no way I was a runner. No way! Definitely not a runner... A friend in Melbourne, was doing the Couch to 5k programme and encouraged me to join her. I'd never heard of it before but gave it a whirl. I followed the programme on time rather than distance, and not being fast I didn't quite make it to 5k in the 9 weeks, but got to about 4.7km. When I was drawing close a friend here said Well you better go to parkrun on Saturday then! Um, an event, like an actual running thing, with other people! Yup... So there we were. My first ever running of a solid 5k was also my first parkrun. Saturday April 4th 2015. Five years on, mid March I was to do my Melbourne buddy's local parkrun with her – but I didn't go... Travel may well be off the cards for lots of us for a while yet...

What an amazing five years it has been. Thanks to all the fabulous people who have challenged and encouraged me along the way! I'm still not sure I call myself a runner but I can consistently complete the 5k parkrun each week. Many weeks that's all I do in a week, so it's great to have parkrun to keep me moving. I'm incredibly lucky to travel around NZ with work and family and over 4 and a half years I had completed 23 different parkrun events, 21 in NZ, and one each in Australia and Canada. I planned a busy summer of parkrun tourism and from Nov 2019 to Feb 2020 I completed 15 different events, with a couple of volunteer breaks, including 8 venues new to me. That completed the NZ circuit of 29 parkruns. What fun! I met so many awesome people, and visited some parts of Nz I wouldn't have got to otherwise.

April 4th 2020, was also to be the day that NZ's 30th parkrun event had their inaugural. We look forward to joining you at some point Whanganui Riverbank. Some parkrun communities around the country are having virtual coffee meetups after parkrun time on a Saturday morning. Check out the facebook groups for the different events to see what the parkrun community is up to.

Kia kaha! Hang in there New Zealand. Stay safe, and we'll see you again soon at a parkrun nearby... Ngā mihi nui koutou

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, ēngari he toa takimano e. 

My strength is not mine alone, but that of many.

Liz Neill


Lower Hutt parkrun 419: 14 March 2020

Hello all,

This year so far has been a great journey for some and unlucky for others. Last weekend, I completed 50 parkruns at Lower Hutt and it was something that it might not have achieved. Saying that, there was Rachel STEVENS who celebrated her 50th birthday to achieve her 100th parkrun milestone on the parkrun week of Lower Hutt Parkrun #412 - 25th January 2020. That is one awesome achievement. Today we had our previous Wellington mayor Justin LESTER in attendance, it was great to see different people attending our parkrun event.

Lower Hutt & Greytown Woodside Trail parkrunner Bruce MCCARDLE is doing a freedom run of five events again in the lower North Island at the end of April as a repeat of last year’s successful event. If you would like to know more, please contact the Lower Hutt parkrun team who will get in touch with him for you. The courses are Lower Hutt, Porirua, Kapiti Coast, Palmerston North and Greytown Woodside Trail in this order.

We also had Athletes Foot as one of our previous sponsors in attendance with their marque. parkrunners and volunteers took the opportunity to have some fruit and had a look at the shoes that were on display after the event. As for those who are not aware, Whanganui has announced their official launch date for their first official parkrun on Saturday 4th April. I am assuming that there will be a large attendance of parkrunners attending the course for Whanganui Riverbank parkrun that date. So try and get there early, if you want to add the very first parkrun of that course to your name! parkrun tourists are guaranteed to be there on the official launch. Course details can be found here.


First Timers & Tourists

We had 17 first timers who made their parkrun debut today. We hope to see you again soon.

There were a mix of tourists from the United Kingdom, Australia and other parts of New Zealand who visited this course today. We hope you liked this course as part of your parkrun touring.


Personal Bests

We had 42 personal bests today. Congratulations to Iain SHAW, Anthony BLYTHEN, Rhys WINGATE, Briony HIBBERD, Tyler BAIN, Anna WELLS, Emma WICKENS, Nadia SORENSEN, Paul SUMNER, Susan HAYNES, Sarah GUINEY, Oliver WILKINSON, Simon WILKINSON, Stephen HARROP, Benny LAU, Kane KENCH, Renier WOLFAARDT, Doug WATSON, Sarah INGLIS, Rhys SCANNELL, Liam MCEWAN, Yvette OLSEN, Anne EAMES, Sarah DWEN, Brent HARDY, Dianne TENNENT, Les EAMES, Paul WONG, John STUBBINGS, Lianna PRATT, Clare BIRCH, Louise HARRINGTON, Samantha MCCAW, Heather SINCLAIR, Thomas VAN DER GULIK, Anna BORNHOLDT, Naga GORLA, Michael WALTON, Jackie PIGOU, Neve GROOM, David MOORE, Emiliia MCDONALD, Natthakarn SRIYAPHAN



There were some milestones today. Congratulations to Jane Campbell from the United Kingdom on completing her 50th parkrun as a first timer on this course.

Deborah BLYTHEN, Gina FOSTER and Maria Jessa DE ASIS completed their 200th parkrun today. 50 more to go before obtaining the green shirt. Keep it up ladies.

Lower Hutt’s event director Mark MALONE completed his 400th parkrun today. Mark started parkrun during Lower Hutt’s second event in 2012. Only 100 more to go before getting the nice blue 500 shirt. Martin O’SULLIVAN is not far behind on getting his 400th parkrun too, this also depends on where he celebrates this unofficial milestone of course!



Thank you to the 14 volunteers for making this event happen. They are as follows: Amy BEALING, Hailey BOUWMAN, Miringa BOUWMAN, Martyn CHERRY, Margaret DONOVAN, Alison EDWARDS, Jonathan EWEG, Dan JOE, Andrew NG, James OSULLIVAN, Vatau SAGAGA, Vatau Junior SAGAGA, Nina SIMMONS and Alastair WILLIS.


As we are going through some tough times as per COVID-19, please look after each other and listen to those around you. If you are unwell to attend a parkrun, please stay at home and rest up. Keep yourself proud by following the correct protocols during this tough time. We will get through this together. Follow the hygiene standards and protect yourself well.



Dan Joe (A4225353)



Lower Hutt parkrun #148 – 7 March 2020

Today we celebrated International Women’s Day, with (almost) an all women volunteer team. I’m proud to be associated with these strong, confident and caring women. It was a day for wearing purple, the colour associated with IWD as well as our parkrun volunteer 25 shirts. Thank you to all the men who wore purple today to show their support as well. It was a brilliant sight.

The weather played its part too, as it often does in early autumn, with a fine and cool morning with no wind to speak of. 258 runners and walkers, plus babies in pushchairs and dogs on leads, all completed their outings in less than an hour. Our Lead Bike today was 9 year old Sophie Crosland, who was wearing borrowed gloves and struggling to change gears, but fortunately Dad Andrew Crosland was leading the field and I found him pushing Sophie up the ramp at the fourth kilometre before storming home in 17:57 followed by first timer John Hartevelt in 18:36 and Darren Gordon in 18:42. Katie Jordan was first woman home today in 20:27, followed by first timer Katie Topham in 23:33 and Gaby Cowcill in 23:38.

In all there were 35 First Timers today, with 17 genuine first time parkrunners. Hope you all had a great time, and are looking forward to returning next week to see if you can make some improvements on those PBs that you set today. We had visitors from Whangarei, Kapiti, Australia, South Africa and the United Kingdom. We hope you enjoyed our course.

41 wonderful and hard fought new PBs were achieved this week- congratulations. Too many to mention individually. PBs usually become harder to achieve, the more runs you do, as effectively you reach an efficient running style etc. So, I always like to mention those people who have been around a long time and managed a PB. This week they are Shane Devitt 116 runs, Briony Hibberd 141 runs and my nephew James O’Sullivan 158 runs. This was in fact James’ 8th PB this year, run at various courses, but each one improving on his previous record at that course. Very proud of you James.

Gary Maxwell and Tim Mellsop both completed their 100th parkrun today. Joel Waters completed his 50th run. Congratulations to all of you.

Next week, Mark Malone will reach 400 parkruns. A wonderful achievement. While other people in NZ have more runs than Mark, none of them started their parkrun journey in NZ. Hoping to see a good turn out at Lower Hutt. Only 100 more after that until you get your blue shirt

So don’t forget your barcode #DFYB – every run should count.

6,531 runners have now completed 301,480kms including 8,516 PBs at Lower Hutt parkrun. It’s a special group of which to be a part.

The volunteers this week deserve our special thanks:  Sharon CLARK, Gaby COWCILL, Sophie CROSLAND, Maggie DAVIES, Lizzi ELTON-WALTERS, Gina FOSTER, Jill GROGAN, Mary-Ann JANSSEN, Ann KING, Natalie MCNAUGHT, Liz NEILL, Christine OSULLIVAN-ROBERTSON, Andrea RUGLYS, and Martyn CHERRY.
Don't forget, parkrun can't function without volunteers, so please check the volunteer roster and join in on the fun sometime.

Hope to see you all next week.

Christine O'Sullivan-Robertson


Lower Hutt parkrun #417 – 29 February 2020

Tēnā koutou parkrunners,

204 walkers and runners made it to the Lower Hutt Leap-day 2020 parkrun. We had warm, humid conditions to begin the run, with wind and rain kicking in on the home stretch to cool us down. The fastest man and woman were Geoff FERRY, and junior runner Katie JORDAN, but players of the day go to Walter SOMERVILLE and Andy CROSLAND for “leap-frogging” to the finish-line.

A warm (wet) welcome to the 10 first-timers and the 20 tourists from Australia, UK, South Africa, and other parts of New Zealand who joined us today. Speaking of tourists, I was startled to see that a few events overseas were cancelled this week due to coronavirus concerns. I hope the global parkrun community stays strong. I must admit, I have a vested interest, as I am intending to join the 100 Club (14 runs to go!) at an exotic European parkrun event (TBC) in June. Touch-wood things settle down soon; I’m keen to add some new flags to my parkrun tally, and would love to hear from anyone who has a remarkable Italian, French or Finnish parkrun to recommend!

Back to local news. With Wellington Round the Bays over for another year (congratulations to everyone who participated last week!), the pressure to push a hard pace may have eased, as there were only 12 Personal Best times set this week. Congratulations to the following individuals who all overcame the ominous weather conditions to set a PB at Lower Hutt:
Travis SPEAKMAN •  Sharon LAPWOOD •  Lucas AKERS •  John HORNER •  Gemma BENNION •  Wendy APPERLEY •  Laura BELLUSCIO •  Anna BORNHOLDT •  Tracie HEALY •  Robyn MEYNELL •  Caitlin MEYNELL •  Susan EWART.

There were no significant milestones this week, so instead I’ll say that Alison SPEAKMAN looked great in her new green 250 shirt!

Well done to everyone on your efforts today, thank you to the volunteers, and see you all next week for the International Women’s day parkrun!

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