Lower Hutt parkrun #412 – 25 January 2020

January is always a busy time at Lower Hutt as parkruners take advantage of the (sometimes) better Wellington weather, seek out an event for parkrun tourism or continue with their New Year's resolution. 293 participants enjoyed good running conditions out on the course and only had to battle a moderate head wind on the way back to the finish.

First timers
46 athletes lined up for the first time on the course - this included 19 athletes who had never run a parkrun before. Lower Hutt welcomed parkrun tourists from other New Zealand locations, the UK, Australia and South Africa. We hope that you enjoyed your time on our stretch of the Hutt River and we are looking forward to welcoming you back again.

PB's and Results
Congratulations to the 37 athletes who achieved personal best times on Saturday. The results from the pointy end of Saturday's field are as follows:

Fast Guys:
Geoff FERRY 16:51
Andrew RUTHERDALE 17:22
Stijn VERVAET 17:48

Fast Gals:
Sophie LEE 20:43
Jayme MAXWELL 23:07
Holly COUCH 23:44

Well done to everyone who crossed the finish line on Saturday!

There was cake!
Congratulations (and Happy Birthday) to Rachel STEVENS who ran her 100th parkrun on Saturday. Rachel was also responsible for a delicious selection of cakes that were enjoyed by many at the finish line (I had to extend my warm-down jog as a result!). Thanks Rachel!

Congratulations also to Shinichi MUROYA who completed his 50th parkrun on Saturday and also to junior parkrunners Shiyin LIU and Kaitlyn MCDONALD who completed ten parkruns.

Run Director of the Day, Stu CHANDLER lead volunteers Roy BLEWETT, Hailey BOUWMAN, Miringa BOUWMAN, Maggie DAVIES, Maria Jessa DE ASIS, Margaret DONOVAN, Julia GORDON, Ann KING, Matthew RUGLYS, Mike STEWART, Tony TING, Sam VISVALINGAM and Trevor WEAVER to successfully bring you event #412. If you have never volunteered before, I would strongly encourage you to give it a go - all the roles are fun, easy and you get great support on the day. More importantly, we have backup systems in place so you won't ruin the entire event if there is a minor mishap - this seems to be a common fear that makes some of us reluctant to volunteer... Come and talk to any of the Run Directors at the finish line - they will be happy to suggest a role that will suit a nervous first timer.

I'm taking volunteering to an entirely different level in 2020 - I'm off to Timor Leste on an assignment with Volunteer Service Abroad. There are no parkruns there and I'm pretty sure that I won't have time to set one up! (however, if you do happen to hear about "Xylophone Point" parkrun launching...).

I've really enjoyed watching Lower Hutt parkrun grow since my first run in 2012. It's a great cult community to be a part of and for me, being a Run Director has been a really rewarding experience. I must say that personally, my favourite volunteer role is Barcode Scanner operator as you get to meet, congratulate and celebrate with the runners who have completed the course. My parkrun barcode is packed alongside my passport and vaccination records in preparation for my next parkrun tourism opportunity. Until then, my total of 244 parkruns won't be changing much for a while.

parkrun Tourist (on assignment)