Owairaka parkrun – Event #27 – 8 May, 2021

Welcome to event 27 – Saturday 8th May 2021.


I was super impressed to see a car with the number plates “PARKRN” in the carpark today! Such dedication to parkrun, our free, weekly,  timed 5km.

Today Run Director Jon announced during his run briefing that “it’s a nice day for parkrun” and we were fortunate for a nice autumn morning where 67 people attended. Congratulations to David Drummond the first finisher today in the speedy time of 20:05. First female over the line was Naomi McGarva in a time of 21:30.

Of the 67 runners today, 10 participants recorded a personal best time. Great effort in the head wind conditions. Owairaka parkrun welcomed Joshua Lobo for his first ever Parkrun. Thanks for choosing Owairaka for your first event! Ten people in total completed the course for the first time.

No milestones this week.

A very big thank you to our fabulous Hi-Vis Hereos our volunteers this week. Led by Run Director Jon Turner. Volunteers were Rosemary Bygrave, Helen Watson, Rosalind Kelly, Steve Darby, Vesselina Petrova, Graham Richardson, Yasmin Lakeman, Lynne Harrison, Doug O’shea, Mark Moriai, Natasha Van Der Laan, Abby Zhang and Shay Gardiner. Parkrun wouldn’t happen each and every week without our volunteers so please give them a wave and say thanks as you encounter volunteers and consider volunteering yourself from time to time.

In the 27 events at Owairaka 893 participants have completed 2,425 parkruns for a total of 12,125 km.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! And a very big Happy Mother’s Day to all of the parkrunning mums who attended today and each and every one of our mums and the special women in our lives.

See you next week!



Owairaka parkrun – Event #26 – 1 May, 2021

Those of you with a passion for parkun who love to track their parkrun challenges will know what I mean when I say today was the day for me to run my 241st parkrun event at my NENDY. For those of you wondering what on earth this is, one’s parkrun NENDY is one’s “Nearest Event Not Done Yet”. Owairaka has been my NENDY for the entire six months it has been running. I had been in attendance once before - at the trial run prior to the official launch in October last year, where I volunteered as a marshal - so I was familiar with the start and finish area, but today was my first day to experience the entire course and get a run credit to boot (and a volunteer one too, for penning this report, woohoo!).

I love getting out to visit different parkruns, and to catch up with many of the people I work with behind the scenes in the Event Director groups. Today was a real treat, where we managed to get four parkrun EDs in one place! Myself (Millwater), Julie (Owairaka), and the EDs of the soon-to-be-launched parkrun event at Sherwood Reserve, Scott and Andrew. Scott’s wife Anna, who was one of the three official photographers today, did get a pic of this auspicious occasion!

4x EDs

What an awesome course. The blue skies and sunshine definitely helped to boost the ambience of the morning, but my family and I were pleasantly surprised as how picturesque and scenic the course is. I enjoyed the beautiful setting of the Oakley Creek/Te Auaunga and the bright white construction of the Te Whitinga bridge against the cornflower-blue sky is a sight to behold. While the climb to the apex of the bridge was a little weary on my legs, the views made it worth my while! It was great to run most of the way with your awesome ED, Julie Collard. I frequently chat online with Julie about parkrun, sharing questions, stories and ideas, but this was the first time we ran together. Those who know me know how tricky I find it to talk and run at the same time, so Julie did most of the chatting while I acknowledged her with the occassional grunt and odd word or two. Sorry Julie! At least we caught up properly over coffee!

Speaking of coffee, local cafe L’Oeuf was super-busy today, and we did have to wait a wee bit for our post-parkrun brew, but it was worth the wait. I enjoyed a chat with Julie, Roz and Abby, where Julie and I shared the love of the parkrun challenge app. Sorry, ladies, for the addiction that will ensue! As I type - I await this week’s results to see if there’s any chance I may have ticked off #1 from my Stopwatch Bingo. My Strava data suggests otherwise, but I wait in hope*! Still don’t know what I’m talking about? Here: have a look. I take no responsibilty for the obsession with your stats that this may generate.... but you too will discover what your NENDY is! For the record, I now have a new NENDY, Barry Curtis parkrun. It’s my goal to get there in the not-too distant future.

Congratulations to the 93 finishers today, including 22 first timers. 22 people achieved a PB, which is fantastic! There were no official milestones today, but I will take the liberty of mentioning my son, Zach, who today ran his 25th parkrun. This is not currently an official milestone, but from September it will be (see here for info), so I thought worth celebrating! Well done buddy!

Thanks to RD Callie and the event team today for a warm welcome and great event. My husband, son and I had great time and we will certainly be back. The local flying fox in the park got a big tick of approval from Zach!

Have a great weekend, everyone, and happy walking, jogging, running and volunteering next week!

Claire Taylor

* P.S. I didn’t! My Stopwatch Bingo gaps live to see another day!


Owairaka parkrun – Event #25 – 24 April, 2021

A perfect morning for running greeted parkrunners at Owairaka today, with a nice 15° temperature, low winds and a clear sunny sky. Obviously the crew at Owairaka Athletics have a direct line to whoever is in charge of the weather!

Things did look a bit different at the startline today, with an Owairaka Athletics gazebo providing a bit of shelter at the start and a whole lot of Auckland Marathon gear kindly donated, meaning runners had the opportunity to pick up a PB and some new running clothes.


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It was great having the club running things today, with our Facebook page getting a rest from requests for volunteers, and it was awesome to see so many Owairaka singlets out in the sun right beside Arthur Lydiard’s house. As the founder of the club, and commonly cited ‘inventor’ of jogging, Arthur Lydiard would be extremely happy to see the 84 parkrunners assembled across the stream if he looked out his window.

For the first time in what seems like forever, we were able to welcome a guest from overseas! It was great to have Harmony Kwong along all the way from Australia, as well as parkrunners from across New Zealand including Whangarei, Napier, Hastings and Rotorua.

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First over the line today was Seamus Kelly with a time of 17:21, whose impressive effort stopped the Owairaka Club from taking the top 4 positions! Well done to Emma O’Connor who scored herself an impressive new PB as well as being first woman home. 10 parkrunners took home new personal bests, as well as the 5 parkrunners for whom this was their first ever parkrun, hope you enjoyed yourself and come back again!

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Today’s milestone runner was Mike Bricknell bringing up his 50th parkrun, as well as Max Parker with his 10th parkrun giving him a junior milestone. I’m always impressed by the juniors bringing up achievements like this, no doubt they will go on to some big milestones over the course of their life.

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If you are interested in joining Owairaka Athletics, the (self-proclaimed) friendliest athletics club in New Zealand, visit the website at https://www.owairakaathletics.co.nz/ Or you can pop along on Tuesdays and Thursdays to the clubrooms at Lovelock Track at 6pm and join in on one of the training sessions hosted by the incomparable Bazyl. Junior training is on Wednesdays, see the website for all the details.

Enjoy the long weekend, and see you next week at parkrun!


This week 84 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 14 were first timers and 10 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 9 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 13 volunteers:

Keith BURROWS • Jakub KALINOWSKI • Bridget LAWRENCE • Jon TURNER • James FISHER • Abby ZHANG • Jonathan DRAKE • Julie COLLARD • Winona LEE • Simon ASPDEN • Rebecca BERRY • Johno GEE • Justin OTTO

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Owairaka parkrun Results Page.

The female record is held by Hannah OLDROYD who recorded a time of 19:31 on 31st October 2020 (event number 2).
The male record is held by Paul MARTELLETTI who recorded a time of 14:58 on 16th January 2021 (event number 13).
The Age Grade course record is held by Margie PEAT who recorded 93.47% (21:41) on 21st November 2020 (event number 5).

Owairaka parkrun started on 24th October 2020. Since then 861 participants have completed 2,265 parkruns covering a total distance of 11,325 km, including 460 new Personal Bests. A total of 137 individuals have volunteered 371 times.


Owairaka parkrun – Event #24 – 17 April, 2021

The Weather & Visitors


Event Number 24 had (slightly) better weather than last week, with a stunning rainbow catching the eye of photographer Charlie Li, from Te Whitinga bridge. It still rained, but not for as long, nor as heavily, and by the end we were bathed in warm sunlight. The parkrun gear got a right soaking for the second week in a row, but everything dried out alright by the end of the day. Certainly, the unpredictable weather did not seem to get in the way of anybody’s happiness today, with plenty of smiles and 17 PBs! We welcomed guests from Hamilton Lake and Wellington, not to mention visitors from around the Auckland region including Jeff Parkinson, Samantha Parkinson and David Kung among others from our neighbouring event at Cornwall Park. There were also three absolute beginners running their first ever parkrun! Please come back again soon, Bob Stewardson, Cassidy Donald and Steve Landells.

The Volunteers

This week 86 people ran, jogged and walked the course, but it was only due to the sacrifices made by the amazing volunteer crew. They either hauled themselves out of bed much earlier than the rest or sacrificed a run in order to help us run a smooth event. The hugest of thanks go to the following 16 volunteers: Sian Dawson, Brenda Robinson, Craig Lindsay, Doug O'Shea, Jon Turner, Inge Way, Graham Richardson, Abby Zhang, Helen Watson, Julie Collard, Charlie Li, Adam Berry, Rebecca Berry, James McLennan, Tony Austin and Vivian Liu. Make sure you give volunteering a go so that others can have their turn to run!

The Rundown

Today’s first across the line honours go to Ben Mai on his 4th attempt in a time of 18:21, which though is not his fastest time on our course, is his first line honours, so congrats, Ben! In hot pursuit was Adam Berry who, despite pushing son Dylan in the buggy, has consistently come in the top 5-10 in his 12 parkruns here. What’s more, Adam finished, handed Dylan to mum who was on timing duties, whipped out his phone and started scanning barcodes for the incoming parkrunners. Huge thanks to the Berry family! First place for the ladies today was Sophie Broome, in 21:01, who improved from second place on her first visit, though she couldn’t beat her previous time. She did, however, hold off Krystina Knight and Angela Hawkes who were not too far behind and who have both previously achieved first place here.

Congratulations to James Parker who picked up 3rd overall and also scooped the top age grading of the day, with 75.15%. Richard Fox, visiting from Cornwall Park for the third time (careful, it may become a habit!) held the most parkruns crown, running his 260th today. In the Juniors, we saw a wonderful team of six Under 10 girls who are surely inspiring us oldies! The fastest of this bunch was Teana Carmichael in 28:28.

The Milestones

It was pleasing to see Isaac Aldous completing his 10th parkrun today, all of which have been right here at Owairaka. It’s funny that my first memory of Isaac is when he arrived for his second parkrun, sheepishly handing back the finish token he had inadvertently taken home for the week. That’s how you learn the parkrun rules! To add to his 10th junior milestone, Isaac nailed his second consecutive PB with a speedy time of 22:07. I’m sure there’s many more PBs in store for this young man. How lovely also to see sisters Ayawa and Maelee celebrate their 10th parkrun, which they ran last week at Western Springs. I wonder how our course compares to three laps of the Western Springs lake? Only half a dozen of today’s finishers had run more parkruns than Jakub Kalinowsky, who ran his 150th parkrun today. Most of his parkruns have been at Western Springs, but with 13 recent runs here at Owairaka, he seems to be making his home here now. We couldn’t be happier as Jakub is also a regular volunteer.

The Back of the Pack

Many of us know that often the most fun can be had by those finishing after 40 minutes in parkrun, and no one exemplifies that more than the wonderful Helen Watson, who ran with us for the 10th time this week, out of the 125 parkruns she has completed. Helen’s outstanding personality, unfailing positivity and total generosity (she is a talented baker!) make her a force to reckon with in parkrun. The café today was filled with more such parkrunners today, having a great old chat and a celebratory coffee and cake, because that is what parkrun is all about.

The Official Spiel

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Owairaka parkrun Results Page.

The female record is held by Hannah OLDROYD who recorded a time of 19:31 on 31st October 2020 (event number 2).
The male record is held by Paul MARTELLETTI who recorded a time of 14:58 on 16th January 2021 (event number 13).
The Age Grade course record is held by Margie PEAT who recorded 93.47% (21:41) on 21st November 2020 (event number 5).

Owairaka parkrun started on 24th October 2020. Since then 847 participants have completed 2,181 parkruns covering a total distance of 10,905 km, including 450 new Personal Bests. A total of 134 individuals have volunteered 358 times.

Thanks for reading,

Julie Collard


Owairaka parkrun – Event #23 – 10 April, 2021

What a wild, wet and windy parkrun we had this week! it was our first rainy parkrun - not bad  that it took 23 weeks! Poor Winona, who got drenched on her first time directing the show by herself, as did her team of volunteers. Just as she was starting the run brief, the heavens opened and dumped rain on all, which just made us want to start all the sooner! Almost immediately, Winona’s umbrella got blown inside out by the gale force winds, but unfazed, she turned to let it blow back the right way, then continued shouting into the wind, which we couldn’t hear much anyway. But all good, soon we were off and everyone was happy to get going. With no one wanting to brave the elements longer than was necessary, this was one of our fastest parkruns, all done in about 45 minutes. That meant we were earlier to the café, earlier to post results and earlier to get home, warm and dry!

Our parkrun might have finished early today, but our number of finishers (82) was higher than recent weeks, largely due to a busload of tourists from South of the Bombays, AKA The Tron! Welcome to the crew from Hamilton! On the bus north they must have been quaking in their trainers at the thought of running an unknown course in such crazy weather. To their credit, they did not turn back, but took in their stride (pun intended!) and made waves here at Owairaka. According to club affiliation, I counted 11 Hamilton-based runners, but there were possibly a few more. Some of the legacies they left behind include: a new record in the VW65-69 age group by Raewyn Richmond, running a speedy 26:59, one of only 8 age group records across the country this week, and what’s more Raewyn took out the top age grade performance honour as well; and the parkrunner with the most runs under their belt this week was Hamiltonian Tau Holden, on 241 now, how exciting to be approaching the 250 mark. A talented bunch these tourists!

With 82 walkers, lopers, joggers, jigglers, speedsters, trudgers and dashers, we actually suprassed the last two weeks’ attendance numbers, surprising given the foul weather. Nationally, there was lower attendance at all parkruns save 7, including Owairaka, which had the largest percentage increase over last week of almost 40%, due in a large part I’m sure to the Hamilton contingent. I caught up very briefly with the Hamiltonians at the café afterwards, but being wet and cold at this point, did not stay to chat.

Out of the 82 finishers, 3 were experiencing their first ever parkrun, how interesting that it should be such horrendous weather! I do hope that Elijah Delowe, Satoshi Kono and Xinlong Zhang were not unduly put off and return again soon. They do say the second parkrun is the hardest, but after this one it should be a breeze! A further 16 parkrunners were at Owairaka for the first time, mostly from Hamilton I should think. Despite conditions, 10 more recorded new Personal Bests, no mean feat with squishy shoes. Of all the PBs I thought Geraldine Comber's stood out. At just her 6th event, she took a mean 10 minutes off her previous PB and is poised to break 40 minutes in the near future. Bravo! Another one to note is young Isaac Le Grice who brought a young friend with him when he came for his third time. With a time of 24:16 he is just 16 seconds off his all time best. Isaac and his mum Emma are regular runners at Western Springs and have amassed 49 runs as of this one. For a J10 that’s amazing stuff! Good luck for you and your Mum’s 50th, presumably next week at the Springs. Hope you get better weather for it!

This week’s volunteers really went above and beyond, suffering the violent gusts and horizontal rain without complaint! My hat goes off to the following: Trent Vannisselroy, Shan Lee, Rose Bygrave, Winona Lee, Adam Berry, Carrie Austin, Tony Austin, Francis McCormick, Mathew Cooke, Stephanie Tieu, Mandy Donald, Rebecca Donnell, Erin Currie, Sienna Currie, Marina Fox and Daniel Fox. Volunteers make parkrun tick, of course, but it’s far from drudgery, and people wouldn’t come back for more if it wasn’t fun! So take a look at our roster and let us know when you can lend a hand on owairaka@parkrun.com.

This week’s final reflection is that we are a young parkrun. It’s rare that we have a milestone to celebrate. A quarter of parkrunners this week(20) were running their 10th or lower parkrun. The ones with more than 20 or so parkruns would have started their parkrun journey elsewhere and are visiting or trying us out, and in some cases, becoming regulars here. Some are, you could say, serial visitors, which is all good too. As we grow, some will reach 50 with most of their runs/walks at Owairaka. That will be special. As we head towards the end of our first 6 months (on April 24), it’s rewarding to see our little parkrun family grow from strength to strength, and start to see the same names pop up and the same happy faces crossing the finish line. Unfortunately, I often don’t actually put many of the names to the faces. Please feel free to come up to chat anytime, and definitely put your name forward to volunteer when you can. Last, I want to highlight one of our stalwart volunteers and parkrunners, Rose Bygrave. Regularly arriving at around 7am to get the course set up, she must also have one of the highest number of runs at Owairaka, at 18, although she now has 211 in total. (I would love to hear from anyone who has more than 18 on our course.) We are so grateful for your service, Rose, and it has been wonderful getting to know you too. I’m sure the year or so before you reach your 250 will fly by!

Julie Collard


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