parkrun report – 24 August 2019

EVENT #97 - 24 August 2019

It’s 5:30am and I’m heading out the door to drive from Lower Hutt to Palmerston
North this morning for my 223 rd parkrun, and 5 th run at Palmerston North. I’ve been
doing a lot of touring recently, spending a lot of Friday nights in hotels, and this is my
15 th different parkrun without repeating. It started in May with a weekend in Brisbane
when I finally managed to run at Zillmere, part of my quest to knock off the alphabet
challenge where you complete a parkrun starting with each of the 25 letters of the
alphabet (there is no X). I was fortunate to attend a work conference a few weeks after
that and do Yarrabilba parkrun and with another conference next month in Adelaide,
I’m planning on ticking off Jubilee Way. With these possibilities, I decided to try and
do a tourism streak by stringing together repeats of local runs, and have some
weekends away. Why? Because setting these goals keeps me interested and gets me
out of bed on those days that are cold or wet. There are lots of challenges around, like
parkrun Bingo or Groundhog Day. If you haven’t heard of the Running Challenges
add-on for your PC, search for parkrun running challenges in either Chrome or
Firefox and find out all the stats that you didn’t know you were missing.

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Arriving in Palmerston North, I’m early so there’s time to go and grab coffee first.
Looks like the skies will open up before we finish the run so I don my raincoat and go
and check out how many friends are here today (Hi Kate, Hi Maggie). Andrew gives
the race briefing, welcome to the first timers and visitors, thanks to the volunteers,
thanks to the sponsors Athlete’s Foot who are here today offering a trial of the new
Asics shoes. They look great too. And we’re off. I’m mid field so I’m jogging but as
soon as I start to walk, I’m passed by some very speedy walkers. Never fails to amaze
me how fast the runners are at Palmerston North, but now even the walkers are racing
off. It’s pretty flat here which makes it one of the fastest parkruns in NZ, and it’s very
pretty following the path of the river. Near the turn-around, Shona and I cross and she
tells me I’m going well. I reply that I am trying hard but I’m not making any inroads
on catching her. With 1km to go, the bridge is in sight. It looks so close but a quick
check on my Garmin confirms that I still have 700m to go. Shona looks like she is
close too, but no. She manages to maintain the lead of over a minute at the finish, and
comes over to say hello and introduce herself. How cool is that? I have met so many
wonderful people at parkrun and made some great friends. Running or walking at
parkrun, really does put us in a good mood, all those released endorphins. And it sets
the tone for the weekend. #loveparkrun

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I’d love to tell you how speedy our first athlete was today, but it is showing as
unknown so no time. Don’t forget your barcode! 19 UNKNOWNs today, but Josh
DUSTAN-BROWN has the best reported time of 17:12 with Anita CHAN first
woman home in 22:07

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15 First Timers today, of whom 7 were doing their first ever parkrun and 8 were
visiting for the first time. Hopefully you Newbies will be back next week. For the
tourists, I hope you get to visit another of New Zealand’s parkruns next week.
Tourism is fun!

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There were also 19 PBs this week. Great work all of you! A new PB is always a buzz.
It shows that the work you are putting in is starting to pay off.

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You all know that parkrun can’t go ahead without volunteers. And if you are touring
somewhere, what about checking out some Volun-tourism like I did today? Please
remember to do your share too. Thanks to the great team of Volunteers this week;
Andrew GRAINGER • Bob HARTNELL • Christine OSULLIVAN-ROBERTSON •
David HARTLEY • Ilona FAASEN • Madison GUNNING • Nik ZENTVELD • Ray
LEE • Sara STRACHAN • Sharon PATTERSON • Warren PATTERSON
And we completed parkrun without any rain after all. Until next time.

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Christine O’Sullivan-Robertson
parkrunner and tourist