parkrun report – 2 Jan 2021

I’m not a big one for New Year resolutions but sometimes I just can’t help myself. Last year’s resolution to clock 50 parkrun and 25 volunteer stints didn’t quite happen – partly due to Covid but also due to being a fair-weather sportsman (also something I am trying to correct). So the resolution still holds for this year!

This morning I could’ve made an excuse not to come – the strap on my Garmin watch had snapped earlier in the week and I was cutting it fine on time. Pushing myself out the door I ran down to Park Run (I don’t live far away) only to see everyone take off as I came over the stopbank by the bridge. Arriving after the starters gun is not the way to get a PB!

The legs weren’t feeling fresh this morning thanks to yesterdays run but I was determined to push through. Eventually, I caught up to a friend and we ran together, occasionally chatting (when my breath would allow) and sometimes in companionable silence. It was enough to try and keep pace with her.

Today was not a PB but it was memorable for so many other reasons – the joy of running with a friend, the satisfaction of completing a run even though my legs were saying no, seeing another friend do her very first parkrun (very cool!!) and the chance to catch up with others on this beautiful sunny morning.

This is why I parkrun.

Claire Scott


parkrun report – 1 Jan 2021

Sandwiched between days hiking Te Araroa (The Long Pathway), it was a delight to bring in the New Year at Palmerston North parkrun. As an NFP - person of No Fixed Parkrun, my five nearest parkruns are all 3 hours drive from home - it was lovely to be so warmly welcomed by the friendly, smiling volunteer team as they worked to set up for the event.

It was fun to bring my friend and PN hostess, Fiona Huston, newly registered, on her first parkrun. Hopefully the beginning of a beautiful and long lasting parkrun relationship. No pressure Fiona! Marita Gilling, Jacob Nicholson, Tristine Emery and Siobhan Walker also began their parkrun journey at Palmerston North this morning. Welcome! What a great way to start 2021.

It had looked a little overcast as we set out to parkrun but the sky cleared and, with no sign of the signature Manawatu wind, it was a quite a steamy warm morning. At first it seemed there might be a very modest turnout despite the later start of 9am to accommodate New Years Eve revellers. However, as Tuis chortled overhead, chattering parkrunners gathered bringing their pushchairs, buggies and barkrunners. Maybe next time Fiona will bring her very own barkrunner, Nugget! The total field of 99 was augmented by a tourist quotient of 10% from Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and my husband and I from the Coromandel.

Palmerston North is arguably the fastest parkrun course in the country, a straight forward out and back with slight undulations on an excellent asphalt surface along 2.5km of the nearly 10km Manawatu River pathway. Manawatu literally translates as “heart standing still”, a representation of how Maori ancestor Hau felt when he first encountered the size and beauty of this mighty river. Fair to say none of our hearts were standing still as we hurried our way along her banks, straining for a glimpse of the turn around marshal, serenaded onwards by the piping of the Poaka (Pied Stilts) in the riverbed. A few trees provide a little shade but a few clouds rolling in around 9.30am were most welcome. Fiona provided local gen as we hustled back towards the finish – pointing out the 200 steps across the river that locals used to stay fit during lockdown. Glad those aren’t part of our parkrun course.

Once across the finish line I stayed to cheer the remaining folk home – a special delight to welcome in Bob and Barbara Hartnell (regular parkrun volunteers, and Bob possibly our oldest participant today) immediately followed by a very cheery wee chap, Brody Peters, just 4 and a half years old, completing his 6th parkrun and sporting a t-shirt declaring “Awesomeness”. You certainly are Awesome Brody and I loved your finish line smile and wishes for a Happy New Year.

An impressive effort from Reuben Duker (JM11-14yrs) first home in 18:18, with Dorota Ewa Starzak leading the ladies home in 20:20. Well done, a cracking start to your 2021. Another seven folk brought home course PBs including both myself and my husband. Yay!

Sadly the regular post event breakfast venue, Elm Café, wasn’t open today however a few of us were rewarded with excellent coffee and nibbles a short walk away at Fiore Coffee cart at He Ara Kotahi Bridge.

From all 99 of us participants to the 15 wonderful hi-vis heroes that made todays parkrun possible -THANKYOU!! YOU ARE MUCH APPRECIATED!

Remember anyone is welcome to volunteer to keep parkrun free for everyone forever – full training given, just chat to the Run Director or email the parkrun directly. And it would appear that if your name is Wendy, you should definitely sign up now as there were 3 Wendys in your 15 strong volunteer team today, it is obviously the place to be.


With thanks Wendy Hare NFP Kiwi Tourist



parkrun report – 7 December 2019

EVENT #112 - 7 DECEMBER 2019


When we arrived in the morning for park run there was a small bus parked near the start.  It wasn't a travelling gypsy bus and it wasn't full of parkrun participants it was the "pack the bus" bus.  This bus is currently visiting public events throughout the Manawatu to promote the donations of food, toys and children's Christmas presents to be re-distributed by Methodist Social Services and Barnados for the festive season.  The participants of parkrun were encouraged to bring along an item for donation.  Well done for the donations.  There were several big boxes full.  It was also nice to see that the property brokers staff member is a parkrunner also.


This week also doubled as the special Christmas celebration event.  Most of the volunteers and some competitors were all dressed up and in the festive spirit.  There was a common colour theme amongst everyone - red.  It was really good to see and put most of us in a good mood.  There was even a dog who was running their 50th park run and had a saddle with a reindeer on it.  It really was memorable!


There was a couple of first time events for the Palmerston North Park run this week.  One was the briefing given to first time park runners.  This is a separate briefing to explain to the newbies what is about to happen and how things work.  This is a new volunteer role and only takes a couple of minutes before the start.  The other first time event was that there was a 25 minute pacer.  A park runner had volunteered to be a pacer and knew that he could run to 25 minutes.  Not sure how his followers went but I thought that was awesome if he could be sure of his pace, as it is something that some of us would definitely struggle with.


It was a very warm parkrun this week.  The breeze didn't get up until after the event had finished.  Many a participant crossed the finish line looking slightly damper than usual in their costumes and all!  Well done to everyone that turned up and completed the event and a special congratulations to those who achieved PB's and other milestones like 50 and 100 parkruns.


Rachelle Tait


Join us for a New Year’s Day parkrun!

Let's bring in the New Year the best way we know how - with a run or walk with our parkrun community!

We'll have a leisurely start of 9am just in case it's been a late night.

See you there, don't forget your barcode!


parkrun report – 2 November 2019

EVENT #107 - 2 NOVEMBER 2019

  It seems that the beginning of summer for New Zealand has finally arrived this weekend. A windless and slightly warmer morning greeted the parkrunners today with the usual pre-run chatter.


There seems to be more people running every week which is great to see. Every morning we see familiar faces, new local faces and of course the parkrun tourists which this week hailed from the UK and Upper Hutt. The slight downhill at the beginning of the course gives the illusion that the whole run will fast and effortless. While it makes for a great start, it can be disastrous later on (as most of us find out). The other downhill illusion is the section just after the ramp. It gives you just enough momentum to float down the hill to the halfway mark.


The turnaround mark also provides some motivation with encouraging words from the marshall and the need to look like you are not trying THAT hard at this point in the run. On the return journey, the other parkrunners provide a welcome distraction with many parkrunners recognising and greeting others on our Saturday morning parkrun. Mercifully today, there was no wind in either direction which meant 1. Less effort, more speed and 2. Increases the possibility of a PB. The final jaunt down the home straight is always difficult as it is a balance of trying to increase the pace without sprinting too early, with the addition of the slight uphill now becoming the enemy between you and the finish line. The photographer is always positioned in place where you least expect it, so you know that your photo will probably not look like a Nike ad unfortunately.


Well done to all the parkrunners this Saturday, PB or not, pat yourself on the back and let’s remind ourselves that it is not all about the PB and trying to look great in the photo, but let’s remember that there is always another parkrun next week.


Raquel Lopez Lozano


FYI: 2 seconds off my PB, not mad about it or anything

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