welcome to this week's newsletter
Lots of feedback this week especially for the new Blenheim parkrun, hear how some brave parkrunners took on a tough challenge told by Cornwall’s parkrunner of the week and Dunedin’s ducks have also had a tough time with some very icy weather!
Lian and Noel from parkrun New Zealand (get in touch)
Blenheim started on a chilly, but luckily beautiful morning with blue skies. There were a number of parkrun tourists from Lower Hutt amongst the 27 that finished and 7 parkrunners had already received their 100 milestone. They all agreed it was a lovely course and a great asset for the community, which will prove to be very popular with locals and visitors to the area.
Many thanks to Phil Muir and Oliver Carne for their enthusiasm in getting Blenheim up and running!
Pegasus parkrun was recently in the local paper and thanked New Zealand Home Loans for their support.
After a very mild start to winter, the freeze was suddenly upon us here at Dunedin parkrun on the 2nd July as seen here by the frozen duck pond. After a quick check of the bottom loop, it was decided that to avoid being renamed park-slip-and-slide, we would run three of the top loops instead and finish near the café to avoid the iciest section.
This news was greeted by a few groans - those of you who know Dunedin parkrun know that this top loop is where the stairs-of-despair are - the nemesis of many a parkrunner. In reality all the runners took on the challenge in fine spirit and running the hill for the first time on completely fresh legs made a pleasant change. However after three times up the hill, times were slower by a minute or so for most people, though 2 of our newer runners still managed PBs.
The following week it was still very slippery, so the top loop was again three laps. There were quite a few visitors this week from other NZ parkruns, Australia and Singapore and there were lots of comments along the lines of "it's not usually this hard" as they were congratulated on their efforts.
Thanks to all the runners and walkers for adapting to the changes in the course so that everyone could get a safe parkrun fix on a Saturday morning!
Dunedin’s first 100 Club Member
Dunedin parkrun was very excited to welcome its first home grown member of the 100-club recently, Hamish McKinlay. Hamish has completed 99 runs at Dunedin and 1 at Cornwall Park, running his 100th at Dunedin parkrun. He currently runs in the JM15-17 category and during that time he has managed 19 PBs on the Dunedin course with a current PB of 21:12.
Tania Hollis – Dunedin Run Director
Cornwall Park – 30th July
feedback from the field
On 3rd July, 7 hardy, (crazy?) parkrunners met at Woodhill Equestrian centre to take part in the Auckland Tough Guy and Gal 6k team event. The course involved wading through muddy water swamps (waste deep for some, a tad deeper for the more vertically challenged), navigating knee deep sticky mud that saw a lot of folk get stuck or lose their shoes, belly crawls under spider nets and though tunnels, mud slides, climbing frames and barbed wire ‘mine fields’. We finished up with a belly crawl under dangly (supposedly) electrified cable. Our team finished a very respectable 9th out of 25 sports teams.
Weirdly - perhaps - it was one of the most fun events I've ever done. You get covered in mud so early on, that you very quickly realise there's no way to avoid it. It's all about navigating the course and obstacles as best you can. Most of us agreed at the end that we'd definitely do it again - though next year we'll try the 12k option. Watch this space...!
Cerise McCormick – Cornwall Park
Congratulations Blenheim parkrun on joining the parkrun NZ community. We (Lower Hutt tourists) really enjoyed our visit to your scenic new course!
Julia Gordon – Lower Hutt
A great way to start a new parkrun. Thanks for the hospitality and good luck for the future. Lovely course along the stream, going to be spectacular in summer!
Brent Foster – Lower Hutt
Sorry I missed it Blenheim. Hope to get down there really soon.
Mark O’Sullivan – Lower Hutt
Well done Blenheim parkrun, great start for a new parkrun!
Astrid Van Meeuwen-Dijkgraaf – Porirua
Appreciate all the support for our first parkrun. Great to have visitors from other parts of NZ. Feel free to return and enjoy Blenheim in the sun
To the Dunedin parkrun Team - This is just a quick note from Australia to say thank you for organizing last Saturday morning’s parkrun! Although I found the course very challenging (especially tackling the back climb up Mt Everest x 3!), I had a lot of fun with some great people providing encouraging words along the way. My apologies for forgetting my barcode, but thank you for making sure however that I did not lose the famous Dunedin run in New Zealand on my international parkrun list - more importantly I just wanted to say a big thank you! Regards
Natalie Harper - Mitchelton parkrunner from Queensland Australia
To Hagley parkrun - I'm not sure if you remember but I had the pleasure of volunteering at your parkrun at the end of February this year. You kindly let me do the timing for the run and I was thrilled to have been able to help. We returned to the UK the following day and I have been timekeeping at home since. We had a brilliant time in your country, capped off by my 'foreign' parkrun experience!
I wrote a short piece for parkrun UK about the thrill of accessing parkrun worldwide and genuinely believe I will try to volunteer in whatever country we visit from now on where parkrun is operating, maybe another 5 before I'm 70 in 3 yrs time?! Who knows?
Anyway once again, I had a brilliant time with you and I will also be recommending others to contact you if they are in New Zealand. Best wishes
Pete Rowley - UK
Drop us an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.
parkrunner of the week
Name: Cerise McCormick
Home parkrun: Cornwall parkrun
Occupation: Case Manager
Number of runs: 157
Number of times volunteered: 23
What do you do at parkruns: I run (to the best of my ability), and then enjoy a coffee and chat at the end. Don't forget the coffee...
How has parkrun changed your running: I'd only been running for a few months before I started coming to parkrun. Before that I was a confirmed couch potato. parkrun helped make exercise a regular and very important part of my life.
What do you like about parkrun: A run in a beautiful park, followed by a catch up with friends over coffee. It's my favourite way to start the weekend. I love that it's for everyone – from the fastest of runners, to mid packers, new runners and walkers. A lot of us go every week, and a few folk go just every once in a while, but everyone is welcome.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: I have an embarrassingly absent sense of direction. I got lost on my first parkrun, and without realising I chopped about a km off the 5k distance. I didn't realise my mistake until the following week when my time was about 5 minutes slower. I did eventually match that first week's time - but not for another 18 months!