Lower Hutt parkrun 445 – 6 February 2021

Tēnā koutou and kia ora to all 249 parkrunners plus volunteers who showed up for Lower Hutt parkrun #445. We started our morning with a karakia by Liz Neill in recognition of Waitangi Day.

The karakia was written by Ben Ngaia during lockdown 2020 for Matariki, and speaks to bringing together people and places, acknowledging the importance of relationships, and the values that sit at the heart of our communities. It acknowledges where we came from and who we are today, collaboration and connectivity, and the sharing of each other's abundance. Very fitting for Waitangi Day and our parkrun community. Liz has shared a YouTube link of the karakia to the Lower Hutt parkrun Facebook page, and I’ve included it below if you missed it or would like to hear it again. Thanks Liz, and ka pai for reaching 200 parkruns! He Karakia mo Matariki \ Wellington City 2020

Speaking of community values, thank you to the wonderful volunteer team members for your time this long weekend: Floro ASTRONOMIA, Colin BOYD, Warren BURKE, Caitlin CAREW, Zoe CAREW, Stu CHANDLER, Mark COFFEY, Andrew CUSHNIE, Margaret DONOVAN, Emily Musson!, Peter MURMU, Liz NEILL, Rob STEAD, Alesha YUILE, and Dennis YUILE.

The warm, calm conditions called for 20 visitors and First Timers, and 43 PBs! Welcome and congratulations to you all. Our fastest female runner this week was Hinano ANDREWS with an aesthetically pleasing time of 20 minutes flat, and our fastest male runner was Andrew RUTHERDALE, with a PB of 16:58 on his 96th parkrun - impressive! Does anyone else ever wonder if there is a correlation between the speed of the lead bike and the first finishers across the line? (editor's note there has been an instance or two of the lead runner beating the bike!)

I see that our newest parkrun neighbours Trentham Memorial parkrun had 166 finishers for their 2nd event, a drop from the first week but a great turnout nonetheless. I’ll be sure to get out there as a parkrun tourist soon.

To finish, I’d like to give a shoutout to my sister Claire MUSSON, who introduced me to parkrun 2 years ago when I moved to Wellington, after having become hooked on it herself in 2016. Claire has been a regular at Lower Hutt for the last 4 years, has volunteered 12 times, and visited 9 other courses including London’s Bushy parkrun pilgrimage. Claire’s plans of ticking over her 100th parkrun in Europe last year were put on hold due to COVID-19, so she continued at Lower Hutt following our lockdown, and now has 98 parkruns under her belt. If you had blinked you would’ve missed it, but Claire and her husband Camilo also now have a two-month old baby, Sebastian, who has already completed our course in the buggy once! Keep an eye out for Claire as she completes her 100 milestone in the next few weeks.

Ka kite anō



Karakia link



Lower Hutt parkrun 444 – 30 January 2021

Hi there, and congratulations to the 158 runners, walkers and enthusiastic dogs who completed Lower Hutt’s 444th parkrun.  We totalled over 200 participants for the last three weeks, so our numbers this week were down a bit.  I haven’t stalked anyone to confirm, but I would guess this was not entirely due to the cool overcast conditions – but also because some Lower Hutt regulars took the opportunity to go to Upper Hutt and run the inaugural Trentham Memorial parkrun.  Exciting to have another parkrun near by!  Welcome to the ‘family’ Trentham Memorial!

As I noted, it was definitely cooler than usual; overcast and not very summery.  This was because of the ‘fresh’ (aka reasonably strong!) southerly wind.  So instead of flying out and then being smacked by headwinds on the return, we had the opposite.  It was a tough slog to halfway, then tailwind back – so I’m not sure about you but I had that rare thing – a negative split.  My second half was faster than the first half. \^0^/

So let’s have a look at how yesterdays run shaped up.  I’d like to welcome the following first timers to the parkrun family; Gareth Wilson, Kent Collard, Kayleigh Wilson, Rami Mounla, Trelise Morgan, Anne Hewson, Anne Robinson, and Rebecca and James Hall-McCafferty.  I hope you enjoyed your first parkrun experience and will be back next week for more!  When you finished your run, did you head to Buzz café for refreshments and conversation with your fellow runners?  It is my favourite thing to do after completing a parkrun… at least the weeks I am there and don’t have to dash off to dragon boat training!  For many of us, parkrun is not just a run, it is also a social outing.  Speaking for myself, connecting with my parkrun buddies is what brings me back week after week.  And this week was my 314th park run, so you can see it can be very habit forming!  And if you want to venture further afield, there are another 32 parkruns around New Zealand.

A warm Lower Hutt welcome to Alanna Furlan who completed her 20th parkrun, and her first outing at Lower Hutt.  I hope you enjoyed our riverside course.
Although the conditions were not especially ideal, there were 18 PB’s – personal bests.  Well done, Jacob Anderson-Wallace, Jeremy Bray, Adam McLoughlin, Nigel Elder, Vignesh Sivaraman, Aaron Morgan, Callum Skinner, Jan and Petri Le Roux, Sophie Powick, Michael Coffey, Sush Metikurke, Koko Imazu, Victoria Edwards, Lousie Harrington, Riyet Pelayo, Christina Thompson, and Erina Potter.  Note that as a general rule, the more parkruns you do, the less frequent the PB’s become.  For myself, my PB was run way back in 2013 – it is my lifetime best that I get further and further away from as the years go by!  So enjoy what you achieved this week!

Additional congratulations are extended to young Koko who achieved her latest PB on her 50th parkrun – very exciting as it is a t-shirt milestone run – you are eligible for the red shirt.  And all this in the week of your 10th birthday.  Happy birthday also, Koko! Talking about milestone tshirts – the red fifty shirt is the first, followed by the black 100 shirt, and you may notice there are also several people sporting the green 250 tshirts.  When looking at Lower Hutt parkrun statistics, I see that Mark Malone has completed 425 runs so he is well on the way to the 500 tshirt!

We had four ‘Unknown’ runners this week – that is people who did not bring their barcode.  Please remember to bring the barcode with you as Lower Hutt has a strict ‘no barcode, no time’ policy.  And it is a shame not to get an official time when you have done the run.

Finally, parkrun happens because of the team of volunteers who put it on for you every week.  It can be challenging for the Run Director to fill all the various roles every week – I signed up to do this run report after a Facebook post the day before our run looking for four more people needed to fill the volunteer roster for this week.  Please consider volunteering and give back.  It is actually fun, and you get to see the run in a whole new light.  So this week, a pat on the back to Floro Astronomia, Caroline Bray, Warren Burke, me, Andrew, Emma, Olivia and Sophie Crosland, Andrew Cushnie, Margaret Donovan, Oliver Dulton, Lizzi Elton-Walters, Mark Malone, Tony Ting, and Sam Visvalingham.

Have a great week.  I won’t be at parkrun next Saturday – I’ll be at Whanganui competing at the Masters Games.  Those of you travelling for the long weekend, stay safe and remember to scan those QR codes!  Where ever you are, you can be sure that parkrun will be there, same place, same time – 8am Saturday morning :)

Nga mihi nui

Winnie Cleary

Lower Hutt parkrunner #319257


Lower Hutt parkrun 443 – 23 January 2021

Greetings runners, walkers and huffers and puffers like myself.

On the 1st and 2nd of January I was fortunate enough to run two different parkruns in Auckland. They were picturesque runs through beautiful parks up there. One being Western Springs and the other Cornwall.

What was different was that one was a two lapper and the other a three lapper. This made me very nervous for the reason that I really didn't want to be lapped by another runner, let alone someone my age! It was cool that I could set a time for a lap and then try and run faster on the other laps. At Lower Hutt parkrun I always try and run the 2nd half faster. Yes, this is tricky with a fresh northerly but heaps of fun with a gale force southerly.

Looking through the results I noticed some interesting statistics, well to me as a geeky maths teacher. Terry McDonald was the first-person home in my age group (45-49 males) in 19:14. That is insane! I would have to go back to 2009 to run that time. Nikki Everton ran a 20:21. What makes this brilliant is that she is running 2 minutes faster than she did 3 and a half years ago, and it's her 4th parkrun. Well done Nikki, I need to train like you. Well done to all 209 runners out there giving it a go. Looking back over my history I see that this will be my 10th year running parkrun at Lower Hutt. I doubt I'll be able to beat my best of 20:49 set in 2013. What I am going to aim for is going under 25 minutes and hopefully completing my 200th parkrun.

To do this I'll have to run consistently and run a few sub-5-minute kilometres. Whatever your own personal goals and challenges this year I wish you all the best. I'll run with an orange bucket hat and shirt. So, if you are keen to try break the 25-minute barrier (I'm currently a 28-minute person) maybe say hi and we could try together...

Today there were an amazing 20 new parkrunners, and 24 park runners who ran Personal Bests (PBs).

We are very grateful to the volunteers who made this event happen: Camilo ARDILES, Janette BECKETT, Bryan Daniel BOTHA, Gary BRADDOCK, Stu CHANDLER, Andrew CUSHNIE, Margaret DONOVAN, Svend HANSEN, Sandy HOOPER, Ruth KERR, Peter MURMU, Andrew NG, Rob STEAD, Glen WARNER, Trevor WEAVER and Alesha YUILE.

Bryan Botha



Lower Hutt parkrun 442 -16 January 2021

Well I think this is becoming a bit of a trend with the run reporters not actually at Lower Hutt again. My excuse was that I was supporting a fellow parkrunner doing her 2nd tourist parkrun at Kapiti parkrun. So I was still at a parkrun just not lower Hutt. Anyway I think we both had very good conditions with a good cloud cover and not a lot of wind to battle against. The running surfaces at Kapiti are quite different to the smooth paths you all enjoyed yesterday. Good training though for anyone doing other running events later in the year like I will be doing.

So I see some of you would have enjoyed another warm up session with Nathan Martin taking that again. Not sure if he plans on doing any more at parkrun but if the numbers were encouraging he may return in the future.

Looks like 281 parkrunners got up early and started their Saturday doing a 5km run before enjoying the post run chat at Buzz. That's why a lot of us come to parkrun for the coffee and chat after, or at least I enjoy that part. Sadly we still seem to be getting the ones who do not have a barcode which is a shame that your efforts for running 5km can not go towards one of the milestone t-shirts.

Must have been good conditions for the 30 runners/walkers who got a PB so well done to Anthony JACKSON ( who also was 1st finisher), Aj SHAW, David HOOD, Jacob ANDERSON-WALLACE, Brett SHAW, Isham REDFORD, Adam MCLOUGHLIN, Brian THOMSON, Gen WEST, Anna WALSH, Terry ROSS, Svend HANSEN, Jenn BURRIDGE, Jonny DITTMER, Karen SIGLEY, Anna STUDDERS, Marjan VAN DEN BELT, Courtnay DITTMER, Simone DUGGAN, Mahia STEAD, Michelle SMITH, Fraser KIRBY, Lovey WAITOA, Ramya RAVISHANKAR, Joanna ROWE, Oscar HEARFIELD, Siobhan SIMPSON, Vanessa CREAMER. It doesn't matter whether your PB is by 1 sec or over a minute it will encourage you all to try a better your times in the coming weeks. I did manage a PB at Kapiti and it has taken me awhile as my 1st run there was 5 years ago and this was my 2nd run. So doesn't matter how long it takes to get another PB.

Welcome to all 19 First timers to Lower Hutt parkrun. Some of you may have travelled from parkruns all over the country or just visiting us from the parkruns within the Wellington region. Hope you enjoyed our parkrun and will return again. Florence REYNOLDS, Ashim GC, Harry JOSEPHSON, Rowan JACKSON-STEWART, Peter RAMAGE, Lei JU, Claire WALLS, Roger REID, Sophie POWICK, Ash KEOWN, Angela GRAHAM, Freddie GILBERT, Pramila THAPA, Gowri Shankar KALYANA KUMAR, Oliver FULLER, Ed FULLER, Tony JURY, Anna FIELD, Melissa MORGAN, Lisa CUMMINS, Haydee SY, Chris MUSSON, Belinda TAYLOR, Tracey MCFADYEN.

Congratulations to Anthony BECKETT for reaching his 300th parkrun, 284 of those have been done at Lower Hutt.

AustIn POWELL ran his 150th well done

There are a few others who are getting very close to milestone runs soon.

Lastly but most importantly are all the volunteers who gave up doing a run so others could do there's. Make sure you all give a Saturday run up so others can as it's the volunteers who are so important for a parkrun to go ahead. Alesha YUILE • Anthony BECKETT • Bill EMMENS • Bjorn WINTER • Christine OSULLIVAN-ROBERTSON • Colin BOYD • Jan CADWALLENDER • Maggie DAVIES • Margaret DONOVAN • Maria Jessa DE ASIS • Mark MALONE • Michel WEBB • Nathan MARTIN • Peter MURMU • Rob STEAD • Stu CHANDLER • Victoria LEE

Jan Cadwallender

parkrunner / Roving Reporter




Lower Hutt parkrun 441 – 9 January 2021

Hello fellow parkrunners!  Welcome to the parkrun report for the second weekly parkrun of the year.  Recently I realised that I hadn’t volunteered in a while.  I decided it was high time to do my civic duty so I signed up to do the run report for 9 January. But then, during the week leading up to the 9th, I got an email from the Central Region Dragonboat organisation, reminding me that dragon boat rep trials were on 9 January at 10am in Masterton…oh dear.  Having put my name on the volunteer roster, I couldn’t very well pull out a few days beforehand, could I?  So it was fortunate that I had put my name down for run report, and not say timekeeper!  As a result, this run report has been written ‘in absentia’, by someone who wasn’t even there!

Congratulations to the 247 runners who did turn up for the 441st Lower Hutt parkrun.  It was an action packed event, with a good mix of ages and times, milestone, PBs and a new Lower Hutt age graded record set… I’m sorry I missed it!

A warm Lower Hutt parkrun welcome to this weeks ‘newbies’ - first timers; Kate Rea, Steven Cheong, Hayley Rust, Terry Ross, Mary Cahill, Victoria Edwards, Maran Van Den Belt, Genevieve Smith, Rachel Crowhen, Donna Gabites, and Vanessa Creamer.  Now that you have completed your first ever parkrun, you are part of an international ‘family’ and your bar code can be used at any parkrun anywhere in the world - literally.  And while travel to overseas parkruns is a bit problematic for now due to Covid-19, there are still 31 other parkruns within New Zealand to choose from.

And a warm welcome to Michele Allison, Adam Larkin, and Serena Pearce, they have run other parkrun(s) elsewhere, but ran their first ever Lower Hutt parkrun on Saturday.  I hope you enjoyed our course, the friendly people, and perhaps even a scone and coffee afterwards at Buzz café.

The conditions on Saturday must have been near perfect, because there were 32 PB’s! Congratulations to all of you for running your fastest ever parkrun!  You will have to forgive me for not naming you all.  However, well done to Fraser Kirby, Ann King, Jonathan Eweg and Svend Hansen who achieved a PB after more than 100 parkruns.  As a general rule the more parkruns you do, the harder it becomes to get a PB.

I mentioned we had a new age grade record – congratulations to an outstanding run by Michele Allison to achieve this.  Sister to the late running legend, Bernie Portenski, Michele eclipsed Bernie’s Lower Hutt course age graded record.  In 2014 Bernie set the Lower Hutt record – 95.15%.  On Saturday Michele achieved a stunning 98.56%.  Wow!

Unfortunately there were fourteen ‘Unknowns’ – people without bar codes.  Lower Hutt has a strict ‘no bar code, no time’ policy, so please remember to bring your bar code with you next time.  If you have roused yourself from your comfortable bed and arrived by 8am and competed the run, it would be nice to have it ‘count’.  You could perhaps keep your bar code in the car or with your running shoes.  Or buy yourself one of the cool wrist bands, or go for the small laminated tag.

We had two milestones this week – Grace Cummings competed her 50th parkrun and so reached that exciting first tshirt – the red one.  And in the Juniors, congratulations to Jacob Anderson-Wallace, in the JM11-14 age group for completing your 10th parkrun.  Well done Jacob.

Finally, parkrun was brought to you this weeks volunteer team, Kate Benson, Colin Boyd, Andrew Cushnie, Margaret Donovan, Bill Emmens, Wayne English, Naga Gorla, Jay Gregory, Marina Kaichis, Ann King, Mark Malone, Michelle Malone, Peter Murmu, Liz Neill, Rob Stead, and me!  parkrun needs a team of volunteers every week – consider giving it a go if you haven’t already.  There are several different roles, and it is fun.  There is even a milestone tshirt you can aspire to – the mauve one signifying you have volunteered 25 times.

And last word - in case you were wondering – the dragon boat rep trials was gruelling, we were put through our paces.  It had been over a month since I last picked up my paddle, due to work and Christmas, so I certainly felt the pain!  We trialists will have to wait until after the February trials before they announce the teams (I am trialling for the Senior C – over 60’s – team).  Here’s hoping I put in a good strong paddle performance at the next trial, and fingers crossed that it will be good enough to be selected!

Have a great week, and see you at parkrun on Saturday.

Nga mihi nui

Winnie Cleary
Lower Hutt parkrunner #319257


Lower Hutt parkrun 440 – 2 January 2021

As a somewhat itinerant parkrunner, parkrun to me is about visiting places with which I’m unfamiliar. Learning a little about those places enhances that experience, and I enjoy sharing a few snippets through writing the run report. If local history isn’t your thing, sorry, just skip the next 3 paragraphs, but in pure parkrun terms, Lower Hutt has its own history, being NZ’s first parkrun way back in May 2012. However, human involvement here goes back much, much further.

Around 1200 AD the Ngai Tara tribe settled the area naming the river Te Awa Kairangi, translating to “the esteemed river”, or “river of food from the sky” depending on which website you follow! When the first Europeans arrived here a little under 200 years ago, they were greeted by a very different landscape to that which we see today. The area was largely a swamp and prone to flooding. It wasn’t, therefore, a particularly appealing place, though “Britannia” was established and the settlers there set up NZ’s first bank and newspaper.

Sir William Hutt, after whom the river and city are named, was a British politician in the 1800’s who was very involved with work in both NZ and Australia. Though he never actually visited either country personally, there are also Hutt Rivers in both Western and South Australia named after him, and the Bowes River, in WA, named after his wife.

A large earthquake in 1855 raised the land in the lower reaches of the Hutt Valley allowing it to be reclaimed, though floods have still occurred since, as testified by the monument close to the start/finish. Since then, the population has grown steadily, and stop banks along the river have been improved. It is on these that our parkrun takes place, an out and back, 2.5km each way along the true left of the river following a small section of the Hutt River Trail. This walking/cycling trail runs for 28km upstream to Upper Hutt (soon to have its very own parkrun), about half the length of the river itself, which rises in the Tararuas.

A hot and humid morning, though mercifully without the wind for which the course is renowned, greeted 163 parkrunners to the 440th running of Lower Hutt parkrun, and the first in 2021. Following a well surfaced track with a few undulations, I observed Black-backed Gulls, Canada Geese, Black Swans, Blacks Shags and Mallards on the river, with Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Tuis, Grey Warblers, Starlings and Rosellas in the bushes and fields. Yes, I know I might be a bit faster if I was more focussed on the running, but, as a fanatical birder, I can’t help but notice the birdlife, it’s just what I do, and parkrun caters for everyone!

Between Anthony Jackson, who picked up finish token #1 in 16.49, and Janette Beckett, our volunteer tail walker, there are a few other people who deserve a special mention today. Firstly, a big welcome to the parkrun family to Cat Williams and Daniel Goldsworthy who both used their barcodes for the first time today. I hope parkrun becomes a regular and enjoyable feature of Saturday mornings for you both from now on! At the other end of the scale, Martin O’Sullivan ran his 400th parkrun this morning and whilst not an official milestone, it is surely something to celebrate. Not far behind him (on 392) was another legend of parkruns, Hannah Oldroyd who was also the first female across the line in 18.32. Apart from Hannah and Martin, there was an impressive number of very experienced parkrunners out there this morning with no less than 11 others having clocked up over 300, and 3 teenagers (from the O’Sullivan family) not far short. Stu Leslie ran his 100th Lower Hutt parkrun (out of a total of 125). Numbers most of us may never reach, but inspiring nonetheless, well done all of you!

There were 3 other runners, Anthony Emms, Chris Norman and Tim Swan, running at Lower Hutt for the first time and visitors from at least Queenstown, along with my wife and I from the Coromandel. Apologies if I’ve missed others, I can only mention those I hear about!

We enjoyed our visit to Lower Hutt parkrun and will have to return as the Buzz Café, the regular post-run haunt of parkrunners here, was closed this morning. We therefore need to come back to sample it! The Tutaki Café, in the Lower Hutt Events Centre, made a more than adequate substitute and several parkrunners made their way there for this important part of the whole parkrunday experience. parkrun is about far more than simply running or walking 5km and it’s great to chat to other like-minded souls over a coffee and replenish those recently lost calories.

Lastly, a big thankyou to todays’ Run Director, Mark Malone, and his team of hi-vis heroes who ensured we were able to run our favourite, free, 5km this morning. In his briefing, he made the all-too-familiar plea for people to step forward to help fill the volunteer roles. Don’t be shy, it’s easy to sign up and adds a whole new dimension to the parkrun experience. Just contact the team via email or facebook, learn a new skill, work toward one of those trendy purple T-shirts and feel smug rather than guilty next time the call goes out. Happy New Year everyone.

Nigel Milius,
Cooks Beach


Lower Hutt parkrun 439 – 26 December 2020



EVENT #439

Well that’s it.  parkrun 2020 done and dusted.  What a crazy crazy year it has been – like no other in recent memory.  A year when our team of five million put our country in a far superior position than any other in the world.

Due to COVID, Lower Hutt parkrun was only allowed to run 30 events.  Its 8th birthday in May went uncelebrated and it fell short of its 450th event which was scheduled to occur inOctober. Still, we must remind ourselves that so many other countries have not had a parkrun since March and have been making do with “non-parkruns”.  That may not change any time soon.  Let’s be grateful.

What happened at 2020’s final event?



Talk about timing their run.  The following reached their milestones at the last event of the year.  Given the year we’ve had, reaching any milestone in 2020 is more coveted than any other. As for today, I think we all looked out the window this morning and thought, I can’t wait another week - nothing will stop us now!

Many CONGRATULATIONS to these blokes:

Bruce McCARDLE 350

Peter MURMU 250

Brian THOMSON 250

Jim MAWER 150

Alan CARMAN 100 


Chris BISHOP 50


ME  300!  


I treated myself to a first visit to the Buzz Café where the coffee is perfect and the cheese scones delicious! I’ll be back before #350!


The tourist and newbie numbers usually swell during the holiday season. Not so in 2020. To the brave three new parkrunners, welcome to the parkrun whanau.  We hope to see you again: Luke EVANSJenny BURRIDGE and Tony PIETRAS – the weather isn’t always like this!

And we trust the six parkrun tourists from around the motu all enjoyed their visit to Lower Hutt.  Two notable tourists that exemplify the genuine definition of a parkrun tourist areShamiso SISIMAYI who has run at over 50 parkrun eventsaround the world; and Jim MAWER over 30!

Safe travels to you all and we hope to see you again soon.


At the time of writing, the whole field of 113 finished with the same time!  59:59 meaning 1st equal!  I am sure this glitch would have been resolved by the time of publishing, so enjoy it while you can!

The finishing positions are accurate where the following flew around the course today:

1stBen MAI and Rosie HAY

2ndDaniel RUSS and Nikki EVERTON

3rdLuke CARMAN and Shamiso SISIMAYI

The timing glitch means we can’t officially say who ran PBs today.


It’s days like today where we are all truly grateful to our wonderful team of volunteers.  Big cheers to our last volunteer crew of the year led by Run DirectorSusan HAYNES.  As the field of 113 sought shelter under the trees,Susan made a smart decision to keep the run briefing verybrief this morning!

Thank you to Carole WRIGHTMargaret DONOVAN, Sharon CLARKPaul GORDON, Martin O’SULLIVANAndrew JONES, Roy BLEWETT, Craig THOMPSON,Joce JONESJulia GORDONLiz NEILL and moi!

And a huge thanks to ALL of our volunteers in 2020 who, come rain, wind, frost or shine made sure the parkrun show did go on.  Without the volunteers, parkrun just does not happen. 

TO 2021


That just leaves us to ponder what is in store for us in the New Year.  As long as we stay at AL1, Round the Bays of returns in February; the kids’ Weet Bix TRYathlon series and XRACE events are scheduled to go in March; the Olympics will try to start again in Tokyo; and we will hopefully have a new parkrun event to enjoy in Upper Hutt.  So, still a lot to be excited about…

To all our parkrun whanau, do have a safe New Year’s celebrations.  We hope to see you at one of the local New Year’s Day events in Porirua, Kapiti and Greytown.  To those travelling, particularly on our roads, drive safely, don’t forget to pack your barcode!

And don’t get complacent - keep scanning!


Manuia le tausaga fou (Happy New Year!)

Nga mihi,

Vatau Sagaga



Lower Hutt parkrun 438 – 19 December 2020

For my first stint at volunteering, I chose to do the Run Report. This ended up being the perfect role because I’ve sadly fallen victim to some sort of virus and have had to give parkrun a miss this morning. Don’t worry, it’s not COVID-19 (I got tested) but I knew the responsible thing to do in these times was to stay away this week.

I sent some of my elves out to the riverbank to give me a report on the conditions and overall feel of parkrun this morning. Apparently, one ended up in someone’s pocket, getting a first-hand view of the full course. The elf made a good time, although some claimed he was cheating – but what do you expect from an elf who normally sits on a shelf? Unfortunately, he hasn’t come back to me with his report so I don’t know what his full experience was like, sadly.

The other elves tell me there were some very ominous looking clouds over the valley – it felt like the parkrunners were about to head into a dark and evil place like Mordor. It’s always a foreboding feeling when you see clouds like that at the start of parkrun. You wonder, ‘Am I going to get wet today? Or will I make it back just in time?’. But it was warm…no need for a hoodie today.

The wind pushed everybody down the course for the first half. Some of the lead runners were boosting it, even with the ruthless headwind on the way back. One elf tells me there were a couple zooming along past the 3km mark in under 11 minutes! Anthony JACKSON finished first (17:16), followed by Walter SOMERVILLE (17:35) and Andrew RUTHERDALE (18:43). The first female finishers were Holly COUCH (24:37), Lauren DABB (24:49 – also a PB!), and Samantha BOVEY (25:54).

There were 8 first timers at Lower Hutt parkrun (welcome):
David HOOD (22:09)
Mark LUTNANT (23:27)
Kim FIELD (30:37)
Flora KAY
Madison RAE (31:27)
Andrew RAE
Beatrix MURRAY

16 people got PBs!:
Jonny LUSBY (22:54)
Gary NORTHEY (24:26)
Noah VAN DER LINDEN (24:43)
Lauren DABB (25:49)
Natasha HOPE
Svend HANSEN (29:03)
Braden LISTER (31:59)
Tracey XU (32:40)
Jasmin MORRISS (36:10)
Poppy WILKINSON (36:29)
Philomena CHIN (47:18)
Eden MORRISS (47:19)

There weren’t any official milestones today, however Caroline BRAY reached her 150th parkrun. Well done!

There were 10 unknowns, though I know two of them were my elves, I mean, Devin Glover and Jim Baxter (come on you two, get your barcodes)

And of course, thank you to all the volunteers:
Colin BOYD
Margaret DONOVAN
Matthew RUGLYS
and myself, Mercedes GLOVER

Overall, spirits were high at parkrun today. Even a couple of Christmas t-shirts were spotted. I think everybody is looking forward to the holidays. I hope you all have a festive, happy and safe Christmas break!

Mercedes GLOVER


Lower Hutt parkrun 437 – 12 December 2020

Welcome to Lower Hutt parkrun’s event #437 and my 10th run report that I have written for parkrun this year.


Sometimes it is hard to get out of bed for parkrun and for the past 2 years, it hasn’t been an easy one. Although we had 21 Saturdays cancelled due to COVID-19 lockdowns and further restrictions halted the events, this is a great reminder that getting back into parkrun has been no easy task. Unfortunately, this scenario has happened to me as I didn’t keep up with my runs regularly and my fitness which hasn’t been the same since the first lockdown. Hopefully, my fitness will gradually be more match fit for my other sports that I play, so running does help with the lung capacity and eases the stress levels. Coping with injuries throughout the year does not help either, so walking parkrun is still good to do, even if you cannot run.


So 100 parkruns later, I managed to get my next milestone shirt by completing 60 parkruns in a row that were available even before and after the lockdowns were lifted. This means that I have not missed a single parkrun available just before I achieved my 50th parkrun milestone last year. I guess that I'm looking to aim for another parkrun milestone between this new milestone and the green 250 t-shirt, which means only one achievement and that is the 25 volunteer t-shirt. Since I’ve got only 8 different volunteer days left to go, this is an achievement that I’ll likely to obtain once I am halfway towards the next parkrun milestone. Anyone who is aiming for their v25 purple shirt, there is a catch on how to obtain this shirt. First of all, regardless if you do more than one volunteer role, it will still count as one day of volunteering not the number of volunteering roles you do in any one time. When you receive an email about volunteering, there is a hint stating that you have volunteered on different occasions.


Having done this course twice since the whole world went into lockdown in March, it does feel different as the parkrun vibe is there regardless of which one you visit. Supporting local tourism with the time I had on my hands makes you wonder how special and lucky our country is. Since there are currently 32 courses in this country and I have done 18 of them, I intend to do all of them one step at a time. There are 3 different parkruns which I have not done yet that I am looking forward to adding towards the 18 different parkruns completed within the next 3 weeks. If you would like to give parkrun tourism a go, then this table link of participants can surely help you achieve this amazing goal and they can share some of their experiences, if you come across anyone from that list. Going to different parkruns helps you adjust to different scenarios and there is not a single course that I did not like to run or walk at, especially if you need to travel to a parkrun that is outside your home parkrun.

I arrived early to parkrun today only to realise that Nathan Martin was not present for his 7:45am pre run warmup. There were some people questioning as to when Nathan had turned up and there was no announcement until the run director Stu Chandler mentioned that he’s not available until next year! Hopefully there will be some advanced warning as to when a guest trainer does not show up. If you arrive at any of the available parkruns early, it is great to do a warm up or a short jog before doing your run.

I arrived early to parkrun today only to realise that Nathan Martin was not present for his 7:45am pre run warmup. There were some people questioning as to when Nathan had turned up and there was no announcement until the run director Stu Chandler mentioned that he’s not available until next year! Hopefully there will be some advanced warning as to when a guest trainer does not show up. If you arrive at any of the available parkruns early, it is great to do a warm up or a short jog before doing your run.

To the stats for the week

Debuts and Tourists

There were 14 first timers, which 13 of them are doing their debut parkrun for the first time. We hope to see you again soon. They are as follows: Luca COKER, Eden MORRISS, Linson CHO, Diksha RAMAMURTHI, Kim KERR, Jasmin MORRISS, Cameron BUCKHAM, Ramya RAVISHANKAR, May POTTER, Emma MIDDLETON, Aaron MORGAN, Vignesh SIVARAMAN and Sam PIETRAS

Personal Bests

There were 21 parkrunners who have obtained a new PB today. They are as follows: Walter SOMERVILLE, Daniel RUSS, Hayden KING, Valentinas BAKAITIS, Brendan JELLEY, Jonny LUSBY, Pamilla KWONG, Callum SKINNER, Ayano SAKAMOTO, Miriam NHEMA, Carolyn VAN LEUVEN, Shane REMPALA, Katie BENSON, Svend HANSEN, John KERR, Alex TURNER, Tarn CAREW, Michelle COFFEY, Tracey XU, Kelly BURDON and Philomena CHIN


Apart from myself on achieving my 100th parkrun today. We also have Moira LEDINGHSM completed her 50th parkruns, which all 50 of them have been at Lower Hutt. Also Gerard JONASSEN completed his 200th parkrun today, only 50 more to go till the 250. Congratulations to both Moira and Gerard.


From top left in a clockwise direction (from the photo above): Moira LEDINGHSM, myself and my parkrun group on the bottom. Vatau with the cap on will be doing his 300th parkrun on Boxing day. Unfortunately I will not be there to celebrate it as I’ll be in the Manawatu region. Congratulations to you in advance Vatau!


Thanks to the 14 volunteers who helped out today. They are as follows: Hailey BOUWMAN, Miringa BOUWMAN, Colin BOYD, Stu CHANDLER, Gaby COWCILL, Margaret DONOVAN, Daxa GOVIND, Neil HAXTON, Mark MALONE, Bruce MCCARDLE, Liz NEILL, Rob STEAD, Craig THOMPSON and myself (Dan JOE).

As we look forward to ending this year on a high and with Christmas just less than two weeks away. There are 4 names that will be aiming for their 250th parkrun within the last 3 possible parkruns for the remaining of this year (Christmas Day parkrun has to be done, if currently at 247 parkruns). Congratulations to you all in advance, if you achieve this goal before the new year and possibly a late Christmas present too. They are as follows: Brian THOMSON, Mark BOUWMAN, Jo O'SULLIVAN and Peter MURMU.

Until then, I am looking forward to achieving a new personal best and also trying to get sub 25 consistently as my new goal for the new year.

Also a friendly reminder that Lower Hutt will not be doing a Christmas or a New Years Day special. If you wish to do any of the special parkruns, you can navigate here.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May your wishes come true in the years to come.

Many Thanks,




Lower Hutt parkrun 436 – 5 December 2020

The first parkrun of this summer welcomed 207 parkrun enthusiasts on a cloudy morning.

This included 14 first timers; Nicholas WALBRIDGE (22:39), Jonny LUSBY (24:47), Pamilla KWONG (25:17), Kylie KEEN (31:27), Svend HANSEN (32:28), Katie BENSON (32:28), Bryn HARVEY (32:30), Craig HARVEY (32:30), Kate O'HAGAN (36:35), Keith SUMMERILL (36:56), Cayla MCFADDEN (37:36), Esme GOODWILL (51:24), Helen GOODWILL (51:24), and Philomena CHIN (53:18) who decided to run/walk along the Hutt river.

Even a decent northerly headwind on the way back couldn’t stop 7 people, Mike VINCENT (24:36), Yannick GRUNDY (24:48), Lizzie ZASLOW (27:03), Samantha MCCAW (27:26), Rebecca STOOP (27:36), Sush METIKURKE (28:25), and Kelly BURDON (35:41) beating their previous best times.

The very first finisher seems to have forgotten their barcode:

which means the men's podium consists of David CREAMER (18:59), Daniel RUSS (19:01) and Patrick DONOVAN (19:07).

and the first 3 women were Sally HALE (23:34), Pamilla KWONG (25:17) and Megan HODGES (25:56).

People who ensured that the event went ahead smoothly were Anthony BECKETT, Hailey BOUWMAN, Miringa BOUWMAN, Stu CHANDLER, Gaby COWCILL, Maria Jessa DE ASIS, Margaret DONOVAN, Stu LESLIE, Peter M, Liz NEILL, Christine OSULLIVAN-ROBERTSON, Rob STEAD, Tony TING, Rhys WINGATE, and Ellan YOUNG.

Happy running/walking everyone.

Peter Murmu
parkrunner A757773