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