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