Owairaka parkrun is cancelled on 2021-10-02 – COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Owairaka parkrun – Event #35 – 10 July, 2021

As it turns out, the conditions at Owairaka on July 10th 2021 were excellent for record breaking!  Freyja Prentice broke our all-time women’s course record, coming in at a smoking 19:27, and David Hamilton broke our men’s age group 80-84 record at 31:49! Congratulations both! 

Despite being a cold, crisp midwinter morning, 64 runners and 19 volunteers were all at Owairaka park by 8am for Run Director Bridget’s prompt welcome and start to our 35th parkrun here at Owairaka. Seven people joined us at Owairaka parkrun for the first time and nine of our regular runners recorded new personal bests on a course that was clean and clear if a bit damp.

With the cold morning leaving some dew on the wooden bridges near the start runners and walkers were all careful to navigate potentially slippy surfaces with the help of our ever-vigilant volunteer marshals.  Despite this, it was a quick day for a lot of our runners with 18 runners coming in under 25:00 minutes total including some of our regular volunteers! By the end of the run as the tail-walker Francis finished parkrun with the last of the walkers the sun had cleared up quite a bit of the cold morning dew!

Here at Owairaka we LOVE milestones, and despite not having any 25, 50, 100 or 250 parkrun milestones at our run today, we are looking forward to a milestone for our little parkrun! We’re withing spitting distance of 1,000 unique runners! Since our start in October of 2020, 974 parkrunners have covered a collective 15,085km running, walking and jogging here at Owairaka. All we need is a few more people to bring their friends along to Owairaka to introduce them to parkrun and we can hit 1,000 unique parkrunners before we turn 1!

The fine print: 

This week 65 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 7 were first timers and 9 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 13 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 19 volunteers:

Rosemary BYGRAVE • Owen MITCHELL • Hilary FOWLER • Bridget LAWRENCE • Callie VANDEWIELE • Jon TURNER • Krystyna KNIGHT • Julie COLLARD • Simon ASPDEN • Rebecca BERRY • Marek TOMECKI • Nelis DROST • Francis MCCORMICK • Lucas MCDONALD • Mandy DONALD • Deborah TAIT • Sandra HULSE • Lilka TOMECKI • Theo MOUSCARDES

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

The male record is held by Paul MARTELLETTI who recorded a time of 14:58 on 16th January 2021 (event number 13).
The female record is held by Freyja PRENTICE who recorded a time of 19:27 on 10th July 2021 (event number 35).
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 974 participants have completed 3,017 parkruns covering a total distance of 15,085 km, including 614 new Personal Bests. A total of 167 individuals have volunteered 543 times.

See you next parkrunday!

Callie V


Owairaka parkun – Event #34 – 3 July, 2021

Under stunning blue skies, 75 parkrunners beat the cold to cover the glorious 5k route in times from newcomer David Atkinson in 17:04 to tailwalker Steve Doughty coming in at just under 50 minutes. The cold must have kept everyone moving smartly along! There were 11 were first timers, two of whom were attending their first ever parkrun, so welcome to Wesley Donald and Christine Koch. May this be the first of many! The other nine were visiting from other parkruns and we hope to welcome you again soon. A lucky 12 recorded new Personal Bests, reflecting that we had only two pacers on duty today, thanks to local Owairaka Athletics Club members Nick Moore and Bazyl Piotrowski who braved the cold to help others reach their goals.

The Nitty Gritty

After David in first place, there was a wee bit of a wait to Gary Philpott in second, but his effort of 18:56 also saw him take out the highest age grading today of 79.14%. A similar situation in the women’s event saw Krystyna Knight get her 6th first placing in a PB time of 20:28. She was followed by Ruth Gluckman who had to settle for second, but also got a PB time of 20:36 and took out the highest women’s age grading with 74.68%. Great to see a host of other PBs including Ajith Tilakarathne and Devika Manikpura who were back for their second parkrun and could better their first one. Well done you two! With a total of 11 parkrunners running their 5th or under parkrun, we can also admire those at the other end, with over 200 parkruns: Rosemary Bygrave (223), Steve Doughty (238), Linda Doughty (252) and Paul Elliot (333). May everyone be inspired by these and everyone else’s efforts. More results stats can be obtained from the Owairaka parkrun Results Page.


Volunteers are what make parkruns possible on a weekly basis, so huge appreciation goes out to the 17 who put themselves forward for today: Christine Munro, Bazyl Piotrowski, Steve Doughty, Craig Lindsay, Doug O'Shea, Callie Vandewiele, Jon Turner, Graham Richardson, Abby Zhang, Alex VW, Julie Collard, Zoe Wilson, Gabrielle Wilson, Nick Moore, Justin Otto, Mandy Donald, Theo Mouscardes and his mum, Sarah (if you get a barcode, Sarah, then we can make it official). They need extra recognition this week for doing their duty in the cold. The set up team were out and about soon after 7am in the big freeze and marshals and finish line crew were sitting ducks, unable to warm up by moving, so put up with numb extremities! Why don’t you consider volunteering to let others have the chance to run or walk? If everyone helped out now and again, we would keep parkrun going without the constant need to beg for volunteers.

Full Disclosure

If this run report is a little lacking in first-hand reporting of facts, that’s because I was not actually at THIS parkrun yesterday. After working on the volunteer roster behind the scenes and keeping up posts on Facebook, I headed across the bridge for the inaugural Sherwood Reserve parkrun in Browns Bay. It is the 7th parkrun in Auckland and the 34th in New Zealand. A three-lapper in a gorgeous reserve along the Taiaotea Creek and into Freyberg Park, the course was crowded with an incredible 265 parkrunners, quite a few more than the 209 at Owairaka’s inaugural last October 24th. Two of the attendees were none other than myself and fellow Owairaka regular Sandra Hulse. We enjoyed the change of venue, the pomp and ceremony of the extended run brief before we started and a cracker of a cafe session afterwards. Full credit to the team that made Sherwood Reserve a reality, including recent Owairaka regulars, Scott Arrol, Andrew Capel and Helen Watson. We wish you all the best!

The Fine Print

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 967 participants have completed 2,952 parkruns covering a total distance of 14,760 km, including 605 new Personal Bests. A total of 165 individuals have volunteered 524 times.

See you again next parkrunday, formerly known as Saturday,
Julie Collard


Owairaka parkrun – Event #33 – 26 June, 2021

What a difference a week makes!
For the hardy volunteers who braved last week's flooded underpass and torrential rain, today's balmy 12° run with minimal wind must have felt like a different time of the year!
Safe to say, the ducks were enjoying themselves on a much calmer river this morning, as captured by Julie as she set up this morning.

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This week was Volunteer Week, and we were blessed with a full contingent of volunteers, including first-time volunteers Alysha and Kyan Delany, who did a great job at the finish line. We also had Paul White, Tony Plowman, Linda Doughty, Rosemary Bygrave, Natasha Van der Laan, Jon Turner, Abby Zhang, Julie Collard, Scott Arrol, James Mclennan, Mike Bricknell, Rebecca Berry and Adam and Dylan Berry. Adam and Dylan managed to run the course in first place the whole way, then pick up the phone and start barcode scanning and handing out finish tokens! Legends!





It really is great to have our volunteer whanau come together each week and put on our fantastic events for all to enjoy. It's a great way to spend an hour on the weekend. Some jobs even allow you to run as well as volunteer! If you are thinking about doing it, please talk to one of the friendly volunteers or send us an email, and we can set you up for a future date.

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This week 69 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 9 were first-timers and 15 recorded new Personal Bests. 2 people joined us for the first-ever parkrun - hope to see you again Devika and Ajith.

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It was great to be joined by Lisa Bricknell for her 50th parkrun. Lisa has been a regular at Owairaka, and it is great having her. A few Owairaka regulars are closing in on a milestone - make sure you keep an eye on your number of parkruns so we can celebrate with you!

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Bike Auckland has also loaned us some bike racks, so if you are thinking about biking along the great cycle path beside Te Auaunga to join us in future, we can keep your bike nice and safe.

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Look forward to parkrunning in the future! Something tells me there might be a fair few checking out the new course at Sherwood Reserve next week  - good luck for the first event Scott!



Owairaka parkrun – Event #33 (cancelled) – 19 June, 2021

The one that didn’t happen, in which the volunteers are thanked anyway and a plea goes out for next week’s volunteer team.

Owairaka parkrun was cancelled yesterday due to course conditions for the first time (previous cancellations were due to Covid-19 restrictions). Rose had just completed her return journey for course setup from the first turnaround, reporting that the stream had risen to flood the underpass. In less than one hour, the stream rose from ankle height, to knee and then to waist height! If you have run the course in recent weeks you would have noted the large tree branches that have been swept down there during midweek flooding. We believed that such a depth of water, with unknown amounts of debris possible below the surface, was too dangerous to go ahead. With rain forecast to continue, we had no choice but cancel.

By 8am the rain had unexpectedly stopped, although the stream level continued to rise for some time. We made the only choice possible, but since this appears to be a common winter problem, and one we were aware was a possibility, we had already started the process to avoid cancelling parkrun in the future due to this. An alternative course that can be used when the underpass is flooded is already on paper, but still needs to be officially measured and approved by parkrun Global. It will involve the path around the sports ground and a much shorter part of the bike path out and back (and multiple laps!), avoiding the underpass altogether. Hopefully this alternate course will be usable before the end of winter, should the need arise.

Not all was lost yesterday. We also had an excellent volunteer crew ready to serve, and several performed duties despite the cancellation. Rose did the hard yards in the pouring rain to set up the course and check on the conditions. We can’t thank her enough for her dedication; she is truly a treasure! After the decision to cancel had been made, Isabel (who was going to be scanning barcodes) and regular parkrunner Naomi offered to go back over the course to pick the cones back up so that run director Roz could collect them by car. Others turned up to volunteer or parkrun, including James for the other set up section. Thanks to all you wonderful volunteers and we are really sorry that the parkrun system means you cannot get a credit for your efforts.

Some also managed to salvage a run. When visiting Whangarei parkrunner Andy Mears showed, he was floored that we were not holding a run, resigning himself to a return bus journey back to his accommodation in the city. Instead, confirmation had just come through that Western Springs was on, so he found himself in a volunteer's car, speeding off towards the zoo. There ended up being quite a contingent of Owairaka parkrunners at the Springs for what turned out to be a somewhat watery yet sunny event. It was pretty lucky as it turned out as Andy was celebrating his 200th parkrun! He was pretty stoked to get to pose with the golden cup (cutout) and nail the milestone. Congratulations Andy, and you'll have to come back again soon to Owairaka!

That brings us to next week, which is almost a blank slate. The volunteers from yesterday or other regulars are welcome to jump back on board if they can and we would love to have first-time hi-vis heroes to give it a try too. We have had great success is filling the roster in recent weeks by getting signups on the whiteboard on parkrunday, so this week we will need to do that virtually! See the sad looking whiteboard (pictured) or check out the future roster on our website, and pick a role! Let us know via the usual channels: email (owairaka@parkrun.com), comment on Facebook, or message us!

Julie Collard



Owairaka parkrun – Event #32

The sun streamed over Ōwairaka as this morning's parkrunners assembled in the crisp morning air of the 32nd Ōwairaka parkrun.

Conditions were perfect for running this morning, with a 13° temperature and minimal wind setting the scene for a great walk/run along Te Auaunga, no doubt those parkrunners who turned the alarm off and went back to sleep were kicking themselves when they looked out the window!

This morning we had 64 turn out to enjoy the course, with 14 setting a PB for the Ōwairaka course, including first placegetter Ben Watson and next weeks run director Roz Kelly.

We had no first time parkrunners or  milestones this morning, but we did have an international visitor from Sydney, hope you enjoyed your morning with us.

We potentially set a PB for number of volunteers with 21 people helping out! My inner run director hopes we haven't used up our quota for the month... 

Thanks to  Naomi MCGARVA • Sarah Jane SINCLAIR • Alan LESTER • Craig LINDSAY • Owen MITCHELL • Bridget LAWRENCE • Jon TURNER • Abby ZHANG • Alex VW • Krystyna KNIGHT • Christiana BARKER • Julie COLLARD • Rosalind KELLY • James PARKER • Karen WOODS • Francis MCCORMICK • Oscar ORELLANA • Ethan PRICE • Kylie HOGG • Jardine CHAPMAN • Matthew BARKER for your mahi out on the course today.

See you next week :)