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.



Event 451 – 27 March 2021

Kia ora whanau

With the arrival of autumn, we are about to enter the toughest part of parkrun’s 12-month season. When some of us have those moments at 7am on Saturday morning and ask ourselves, ”Should I go...Nah...Should I go...Nah...then as 0745 strikes oh come let’s do it, rush rush rush to the start line!”

Then there is the somewhat difficult task of deciding how many layers to wear; whether to wear gloves?, a beanie?, tights? a jacket? As always, I realise by the 1Km mark I have overdressed!

But even when the weather does get a bit rough, you can now still count on Lower Hutt to still have a hearty, crazy core group of over 100 runners.


The trifecta: Wind, rain and cold (15 October 2016: 51 hearty souls braved the tail end of Hutt’s winter. The worst conditions parkrun I have encountered – anywhere!)

To this week’s stats:-

Huge thanks to our team of volunteers this week. Led by Mark MALONE were Craig THOMPSON - Katie BENSON - Rob STEAD - Zoe CAREW - Quentin DUTHIE - Margaret DONOVAN - Martyn CHERRY - Liz NEILL – Peter MURMU – Gaby COWCILL – Sophie CROSLAND – Michael WOOD and moi!


1. (38th overall) Zara FIELD (JW15-17)
2. (60th overall)Mae STEWART (JW10)
3. (168th overall) Esme WILLIS (JW11-14) with a PB to boot! Congrats!

1. (16th overall) Jacob Anderson WALLACE (JM11-14)
2. (52nd overall) Oliver WILKINSON (JM11-14) with a PB to boot! Congrats!
3. (75th overall) Max PRITCHARD (JM 11-14) with a PB to boot! Congrats!


We welcomed eight people to the parkrun movement and to the Lower Hutt parkrun whanau. We hope to see you again: Christopher MITCHELL - Mark HARRISON - Emily DALY - Alex WINSLADE - Kate ASTON (who casually rocks up and is the second female home!) - Leanna RYNNE - Zara FIELD and Caroline RACHLIN.

We also had three parkrunners visiting us today from Canterbury and Waikato namely Hugh CONLY - Jane ROBERSTON and IAN ROBERTSON. Safe travels to you all.


Perfect conditions for a PB – mild with a hint of a breeze. 26 people took advantage. Congrats to you all!



Congratulations on their milestone runs to:

Anthony BLYTHEN (100) Tina KERR (50)

Ryan PIGOU (10)

You would have all caught up on the upcoming changes to the Milestone system which will now include a 25 milestone t-shirt and the volunteer milestone shirts will mirror the current running milestones. Also, all of our juniors will now get the milestone 10 t-shirt as modelled by Vatau Junior. These changes will take effect on 1 September 2021.


Happy running and have a great week all. Stay safe. Stay warm.



Lower Hutt parkrun 450 – 20 March 2021

Fascinating stuff, visiting a different parkrun and seeing how they do it. Lower Hutt runs like a well-oiled machine, being New Zealand’s oldest parkrun and all. For me, an Aucklander, it was a bit like doing my Bushy pilgrimage! I’d heard about Lower Hutt for so long, from fellow Western Springs run director, Kent Stead, and had heard of Richard McChesney, now walking crazy far in England, who was the original event director. So, earlier this year I was excited to find out that the professional development group I am
involved in through work was assigned to meet in Wellington, not once, but twice in 2021. I knew without a doubt that my first trip down would be a chance to pay homage to Lower Hutt. I was delayed two weeks by Covid rearing its ugly head, but luckily the work trip was postponed and so I quickly rebooked the hotel and packed my barcode!

A few days before leaving for Wellington I sent a message on Facebook to see if I could catch a lift with a parkrunner from the city centre. Thinking that plenty of parkrunners would live further south than the CBD and travel north to parkrun, little did I imagine that Peter Murmu, a recent addition to the run director team, would backtrack miles out of his way to pick me up AND be willing to drop me back again afterwards! Thank you so much, Peter, I enjoyed our parkrun-related and other chats. And that huge gesture of hospitality and generosity was not alone. While I got the feeling the core volunteer crew are very familiar and close, Mark and his team were certainly welcoming to a newcomer, and I felt right at home. I did get side-tracked admiring the sunrise over the river when I realised I’d almost missed the first timers’ briefing, but I dashed over and the volunteer was happy to repeat himself for my benefit.

After a newsy and informative run brief from Mark we set off, and I could see the use of a dual start line in action – very cool. A bit nervous about running the whole 5k, I set off at a steady pace thinking I’d walk later if needed. Enjoying the feeling of running in a crowd, I was jogging along when I was greeting from the side by a friendly runner with something like “You’re a visitor from Auckland, aren’t you?” I looked around and saw a young woman with a very friendly face. Yay, conversation! I’m always keen to pass the pain of parkrun with a bit of chatting and swapping of stories. Meeting Katie this way was a stroke of luck as we easily kept up a pleasant talk the whole time, under bridges, past the returning speedsters, across the grass to the turnaround, and back the way we came, even through the part when my knee started protesting at about 3.5k. We just kept up our conversation right to the end which took my mind off any reasons my brain was concocting to stop and walk! So I ended up with a much better time than expected, thanks Katie. At the finish I met her husband too, and we walked together over to the Buzz Café to enjoy a well-earned and tasty breakfast. I was humbled when Katie and Svend insisted it was their shout. Again, what a welcome from the locals!


I’d better write something about the parkrun itself as well! It was a huge affair for me, as I’m from Owairaka parkrun in Auckland which only started up on October 24 last year and is averaging just under 100 parkrunners per week. This week Lower Hutt saw 222 runners, walkers and joggers, and it was exciting to be in a crowd again. The flattish course provided a fast time up front with 17:02 by Andrew Rutherdale, who chose placing first as a unique celebration for his 100th run. A quick check of the stats shows this is actually his 10th time to head the field and only 4 seconds off his PB, so a smashing morning for him! He did well to hold off Walter Somerville in second place by 8 seconds, and Nathan Martin with a PB in third trailing by a further 10 seconds. A close finish for the men, but not so much for the ladies, with Sally Hale out in front at 22:03 followed by Holly Couch in 23:26 and the crazy-as fast under-10, Connie Reed, in 24:27 - a new PB to boot! Well done to all of today’s finishers, including all 33 with shiny new PBs!

A run report would not be complete without noting the milestones, of which there were many. Out of seven, though, the most note-worthy of all was undoubtedly Lizzi Elton-Walters achieving her incredible 400th parkrun. The lovely carrot cakes were in her honour, but it was a bittersweet celebration as it was also Lizzi’s second to last parkrun in NZ before returning to the UK. Go well, Lizzi. In addition, there were the following other milestone: previously mentioned first placer, Andrew Rutherdale (100), Caroline Williamson (100), Deanna Aguila (50), Lexi Falconer (10), Tabitha Zielinski (10) and Olivia Crosland (10). Nice to know those they will all, juniors included, be able to pick up their milestone t-shirts in due course from the UK for a reasonable price!

One last word of thanks to the volunteers, for they make it possible for the rest to run. They are the ones who are in on a little secret, that volunteering at parkrun gives you even greater warm and fuzzy vibes than running does! So don’t hesitate to give it a try. Appreciation and thanks go this week to: Martyn Cherry, Julie Collard, Andrew Crosland, Margaret Donovan, Naomi Dunwoodie, Bill Emmens, Mary-Ann Janssen, Alison King, Mark Malone, Ian Morton, Peter Murmu, Alex Turner, Robert Turner, and Glen Warner.

What a great weekend I had in Wellington and Lower Hutt. A friendly lift to take away the stress of getting to an unfamiliar place in time, an entertaining friend to converse with as we ran and take my mind off the hard yakka, and a wonderful time at the café after. The icing on the cake was that it was also my long-awaited 15th different event in New Zealand, which gets me on to the leader board, yay! So, while the weather at 8am was chilly and grey, the welcome for me at parkrun was anything but! This warm hospitality was unforgettable. I would love to see my newfound Lower Hutt friends at Owairaka parkrun in Auckland where I can repay the favours I was blessed with and show off the beautiful course and café there!

Julie Collard


Lower Hutt parkrun 449 – 13 March 2021

Return to Alert Level 1 meant a recommencement of parkrun

Following last week’s forced cancellation of parkrun due to the country being in Alert Level 2. It was great to have our normal Saturday morning activity reinstated. We were greeted with ideal running or walking conditions, cool - but not cold, no wind and even freshly mowed grass.

Our local Athlete’s Foot’s store probably appreciated the calm morning when they setup their tent and display. It was great to have our national sponsors along once more to showcase their latest and greatest running shoes. As well as the right shoes they provide expert advice when it comes to things such as different lacing techniques and choosing the right socks. As we all know the correct footwear is crucial to our ongoing enjoyment of parkrun so thanks Athlete’s Foot for your continued support in this regard.

4 First Timers:
Emily REDMOND, Nathan SANDFORD, Samuel ROLLINGS and Sarah BELL picked a great day to join us for the very first time. Hopefully, you enjoyed yourselves and we get to see a lot more of you in the future.

We also welcomed first time visitors, Bernard James MCMANUS from Kapiti Coast parkrun and Deidre EWART from Tauranga parkrun. We hope you both enjoyed your parkrun tourist experience.

33 New Personal Best's

33 of the field totalling 192 achieved a shiny new PB this week. Warmest congratulations on this great achievement Rupert NELSON, Fern ROMANOS, Lee-Ann WARR Martin WARR, Gareth WILSON, Ann TYLER, Miki SZIKSZAI, Courtnay DITTMER, James MCCAFFERTY, Maria DUNWOODIE, Valentinas BAKAITIS, Daniel ABEL, Michael WALTON, Riyet PELAYO, Garry PELAYO, Christina THOMPSON, Fraser KIRBY, Susan WHITMORE, Joanna ROWE, Samantha MCCAW, Mark HUTCHINGS, Paul HEWSON, Jacob ANDERSON-WALLACE, Peter KING, Erwin KRATZ, Susan CHISNALL, Oliver WILKINSON, Helene WALTON, Kashif IMTIAZ, Rhys WINGATE, Chris DAVRIT-BADIOLA, Jo BUCKHAM and Connie REED.


Jo MCDONALD completed her 100th parkrun this week. Jo has run the Lower Hutt course 95 times and has run at both Porirua and Trentham Memorial twice and once at Taupo Congratulations on earning yourself a well-deserved black shirt.

Marketa LANGOVA completed her 200th parkrun this week. Marketa started her parkrun journey in the UK but now has 65 Lower Hutt parkruns next to her name as she continues to progress towards a green shirt. Well done.

This Week's Volunteers Were.
Run Director Peter MURMU
First Timers Briefing Paul GORDON
Timekeepers Margaret DONOVAN and Victoria LEE
Finish Tokens Tony TING
Barcode Scanning Holly COUCH and Jay GREGORY
Funnel Manager Mark MALONE
Tail Walker Craig THOMPSON
Photographer Sophie CROSLAND
Lead Bike Colin BOYD
Pre-event Setup Martyn CHERRY
Post-event Close Down Bill EMMENS
Token Sorting Liz NEILL
Run Report Writer Bruce MCCARDLE

With a few old hands moving on to Trentham Memorial parkrun (which is maybe closer to home) the pool of volunteers for Lower Hutt parkrun seems to have diminished somewhat. So, new volunteers are urgently needed. We all know how dependent we are on volunteers so please consider putting your name down lowerhutt@parkrun.com The roles are not difficult, it’s the best way to get to know like minded individuals and of course you’ll have a great time.

Podium Positions This Week.
Guys Andrew RITHERDALE, Walter SOMERVILLE and Tbaba LIU
Gals Sally HALE, Gen WEST and Connie REED

Highest Age Grade Percentages this Week.
Tbaba LIU 77.50%, Karl VAN POLANEN 77.21% and Andrew RUTHERDALE 75.95%

parkrun New Zealand
On Saturday in New Zealand there were
33 Events
3,717 Finishers
368 Volunteers
190 Completed their 1ST parkrun
36 people volunteered for the 1st time

Next week is Lower Hutt’s 450th event.
At #450 Lizzi ELTON-WALTERS (previously one of our hard working Run Directors) will be running her last parkrun before returning home to the UK.
This will be Lizzi’s 400th parkrun. It’s very sad for us that have got to know Lizzi over the last 4 years that we won’t see her smiling face on parkrunday any time soon. We wish Lizzi well, wherever life takes her in the future.
We’ll be watching Lizzi’s progress from afar as she heads towards a blue shirt once parkrun restarts in the UK, which is hopefully only a few weeks away.


Bruce McCardle


Lower Hutt parkrun 448 – 27 February 2021

Two hundred and seventy-two parkrunners turned up on Saturday morning for the 448th Lower Hutt parkrun. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, and there was barely any wind. Perfect conditions for an incredible thirty-four people to get PBs:


Nikki EVERTON (19:47), Hayden KING (19:48), Miki SZIKSZAI (20:01), Paul TUCKEY (21:35), Anuj SHARMA (22:18), Tobi TREVENA (22:33), Gregor FOUNTAIN (23:40), Marcelo RODRIGUEZ FERRERE (23:43), Zachary BOYCE (23:47), Rami MOUNLA (25:00), Peter KING (25:16), Emily LESLIE (25:27), Brendan DUNN (25:42), Ross WELLS (25:53), Svend HANSEN (26:01), Freddie GILBERT (27:06), Nicola FOWLIE (28:33), Brigitta BARTSCH (31:11), Heather SINCLAIR (32:49), Sam MONTECLARO (32:57), Michelle STANYON (33:00), Lyna MARCHENKO (33:17), Miringa BOUWMAN (33:28), Fraser KIRBY (33:43), Maria DUNWOODIE (34:41), Alice ROBINSON (34:47), Susan WHITMORE (35:26), Euan MONTECLARO (36:47), Marina KAICHIS (38:44), Akshara RAVI (44:15), Emmanuel MONTECLARO (45:22), Leonie BOND (46:30), Tania JOVANOVICH (46:45), and Belinda TAYLOR (47:11).


It felt like a real family event today. There were multiple mums and dads out with their young kids. Even my mum and dad were out there today (though I wouldn’t say I’m that young anymore, haha!). Let me take a moment to give a little shoutout to them (Joe GLOVER and Ruth GLOVER). Dad had his ankles fused a few years ago, which means he can’t run anymore. But he makes sure he still gets out to challenge himself, walking parkrun at top speed. Mum had a double-knee replacement in recent years. She’s still healing and has to deal with a bit of pain, but she can now walk 5 km in less than an hour (an impossible feat a few months ago). Go, Mum and Dad!


I also want to give a shoutout to our amazing volunteers (without you, parkrun wouldn’t happen):
Martyn CHERRY, Andrew CROSLAND, Olivia CROSLAND, Maggie DAVIES, Margaret DONOVAN, Gina FOSTER, Mercedes GLOVER, Daxa GOVIND, Susan HAYNES, Marketa LANGOVA, Sush METIKURKE, Peter MURMU, Liz NEILL, Martin O’SULLIVAN, and Craig THOMPSON.


Peter MURMU welcomed everybody in his first stint as Run Director. We had quite a few first-time runners at Lower Hutt parkrun as well (twenty to be exact):
Riku KOYAMA (17:10) – first place too!, Aaron O’NEALE (21:48), Damian GURNICK (23:41), Jack WHITEROD (24:00), Colan BALKWILL (24:06), Peter WITHINSHAW (30:05), Emma ROSS (31:01), Anna SECKER (32:51), Fern ROMANOS (34:48), Siriluck TESANA (34:51), Maryam SHOJAEI (34:53), Luna KUTCHUKIAN (39:31), Kirsty TAMANUI (41:50), Mary GORDON (42:44), Annette MORAN (44:04), Frances POYNDER (45:17), Martin WARR (50:32), Lee-Ann WARR (50:33), Vrajesh RAVI (57:09), and Toby WILLIAMSON (57:17).


And finally, congratulations to Karl VAN POLANEN (21:27), who reached his 50th parkrun!


Well done to all participants. I assume parkrun won’t be going ahead next Saturday due to the change in COVID alert levels this week. So, please always remember to be kind, stay safe, keep scanning those QR codes, and hopefully, we’ll see you all again in a couple of weeks!

Mercedes GLOVER


Lower Hutt parkrun 446 – 13 February 2021

Beautiful Lower Hutt parkrun conditions today for the 228 folk who 
completed the course. Was also fab to see the kayaks out on the river again.

It always feels so good to get the weekend's exercise over and done with 
first thing on a Saturday morning!

I used to find running really useful for working through any work issues 
I was up against. But now I find my mind is often blank when I run. Not 
sure what that's all about, or if it's a good thing or not, but it's 
quite pleasant really, as is running along with a lovely friend and 
asking loads of open questions so she can do all the talking! All while 
I puff and pant.

An article I read a while ago suggested that running may help to develop 
new brain cells. I wouldn't mind a few more of those, I thought to 
myself... If that alone isn't a good enough reason to get into running, 
what is?

The experts also reckon that aerobic cardiovascular exercise sends more 
nourishing blood to our brain. Of all the types of exercise, running and 
walking rate pretty highly in terms of increased cognitive flexibility - 
with better ability to switch between mental tasks more flexibly. No 
wonder there are so many of us showing up each week.

And how good it is that we're able to attend parkrun, when our friends 
in loads of other parts of the globe have COVID-19 to deal with still.

Thanks to our helpful volunteers this week: Roy BLEWETT, Warren BURKE, 
Martyn CHERRY, Sharon CLARK, Simon EDWARDS, Julia GORDON, Jill GROGAN, 
Susan HAYNES, Ann KING, Moira LEDINGHAM, Mark MALONE, Peter MURMU and 

Well done for taking part today - in particular to Kirk OLSSON who 
celebrated his absolutely magnificent 350th parkrun and any others who 
achieved a significant milestone.

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