A Long Time Coming – Porirua parkrun Event 359 – 25 July 2020

A Long Time Coming – Porirua parkrun Event 359 – 25 July 2020

Parkrun this week was the most nervous I’ve been since I first turned up at event #55 on the 12th of July 2014. I had seen a flyer somewhere and Bothamley Park was pretty close to where I lived. I turned up by myself, not knowing anyone and walked the course. It wasn’t until 2017 that I became a regular and by then by husband Steve MACDONALD had started coming along too.

August 30 2014 Parkrun

I don’t consider myself a ‘runner’ but the aim has always been to try and run the whole 5km. Up until now I have only managed to do a run/walk combination. But after building up some good habits during lockdown and recently completing a 6 week 0-5km training – today was the day I would attempt to run the whole course. In theory I was ready after completing the training with a 5km run on a flat course in Tawa the previous Saturday; but during the days leading up to parkrun this week in my mind the hill near the 2km point took on Everest-like proportions!

Now it wasn’t fast and it wasn’t pretty – but I did it! I ran the whole course including all the hills, which turned out not to be as bad as I had thought. Knowing it was all downhill after the 2.5km mark certainly helped!

2020 Parkrun

I’m now 115 runs in and so grateful for Porirua parkrun. I never would have imagined all those years ago in 2014 that I would now not only be a regular at parkrun but also part of one of the volunteer teams that set up beforehand. Steve and I now plan holidays around local parkruns. All the courses we’ve done in New Zealand and overseas are different, but the sense of community and inclusivity are common throughout. We have made some amazing friends at Porirua parkrun and I look forward to many more early mornings at Bothamley Park.

Amanda MACDONALD

Guest spot this week goes to my lovely aunty Sue JONES - we were lucky enough to do the Burnage course when we visited her a few years ago:

Hi to everyone from Burnage parkrun Greater Manchester UK. We are currently very envious of all you parkrunners in New Zealand as we are still closed due to coronavirus. We are all really missing our Saturday morning run and are not sure when we will be allowed to restart. We had some glorious running weather during lock down and missed our parkrun's 400th event in April and our 8th anniversary this week. At least we will have a lot to celebrate when parkrun is allowed to restart hopefully with cake! Hope you all enjoy your run this week. All the best. Sue JONES

Burnage

Congratulations to Hannah BURRELL, Lai Ching TAN and Jody GRAY for starting your parkrun journeys this week. We also had 15 personal bests - including Anna COFFIN who was doing her 85th parkrun.

Milestones
Rob JENKINS - 200 parkruns
Kate T - 50 parkruns

Milestones 1b     Milestones 2b

First Age Grade Finishers
1 Dennis BLOOMFIELD 20:09 VM55-59 77.58% (3rd overall)
2 Xcylaus JOHNSON 20:51 JM10 75.70% (5th overall)
3 Elizabeth DAINTY 27:53 VW65-69 (61st overall)

First Female Finishers
1 Sarah BAKKER 22:58 VW45-49 (17th overall)
2 Olivia FOUNTAIN 23:22 SW30-34 (20th overall)
3 Charlotte BALDWIN-JANKIEWICZ 23:54 JW11-14 Titahi Bay AAC Inc (22nd overall)

First Male Finishers
1 Paul SHOEMARK 19:00 SM30-34
2 Eric BAKER 20:06 VM35-39
3 Dennis BLOOMFIELD 20:09 VM55-59

This week 134 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 3 were first timers and 15 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 10 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 13 volunteers:

Lew CAMPBELL • Terry HOPE • Sandra RAMOO • Clint RAMOO • Amanda MACDONALD • Arwel THOMAS • Jackie KNOX • Murray PENNO • Kath O'CONNOR • Denis SPURDLE • Kirsty HOSIE • Teresa POHL • Lucas BOULT
Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Porirua parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Paul MARTELLETTI who recorded a time of 15:47 on 9th May 2015 (event number 98).
The female record is held by Hannah OLDROYD who recorded a time of 18:09 on 27th May 2017 (event number 204).
The Age Grade course record is held by Pam GRAHAM who recorded 92.75% (22:32) on 3rd January 2015 (event number 81).
Porirua parkrun started on 6th July 2013. Since then 4,430 participants have completed 39,759 parkruns covering a total distance of 198,795 km, including 6,281 new Personal Bests. A total of 544 individuals have volunteered 3,981 times.

 

In Search for the Last parkrunner

Run report 18th July 2020. Event number 358

How did you spend lock down. Did you have any burning questions during that time? Such as which supermarkets have flour, or bread? A bit bored one night, a question occurred to me who was the last person to complete a parkrun in March, before all the parkruns were cancelled?

As that person would have finished and no one else would have finished a parkrun anywhere in the world after them for three months, so a new world record since parkrun started. It’s a special bonus that this record is held by the last person across the line.
So I set out to find them and this is my journey.

First I started by working out which countries with parkrun were the last to see out the final hours in a day. Looking at the world map of parkruns, this proved to be the west coast of America and Canada.  There is quite a big group of parkruns in the pacific time zone in the USA and Canada. So I slowly checked through them all and found the person with the slowest time at each event and noted their time down (I was regretting starting this by then). Then checked the times each event started, as some might have started later or earlier. Only to notice at the end of the process, that the USA and Canada parkruns were cancelled after the 7th of March, where at least NZ had had an event on the 14th of March. Doh, Sigh….

I was almost ready to give up but I then did what I should have done right from the start. I just posted the question on a parkrun facebook chat page and had the answer in minutes.  The answer of the last country with a parkrun event, to see the sun on the 14th of March was the Falkland Islands.

So it was then easy to do a quick check to see who the person who came in with the slowest time on their results page and it showed it was “unknown”….

A kind of fitting answer and a total waste of my time, but it did lead me to inviting Richard Bullivant the Event Director of the Falkland’s Cape Pembroke Lighthouse parkrun to be our third international guest run report writer.

On 14 March 2020 at Cape Pembroke, Falkland Islands, we started our Parkrun as normal. I don't remember if I did the briefing or not, had I known at the time that due to cancellations elsewhere and our time zone, that this would be the very last Parkrun in the world for the foreseeable, I'd no doubt have thought of something more profound to say; perhaps to stay safe and endure (we did) or that no matter what, that Parkrun will be back. We are not there yet, we are have been Covid free for more than 77 days, but we are managed alongside the UK who are not in a position for mass participation events. It is comforting to know that New Zealand has returned to parkrun, as hope for our own event as well as being a general good news story for Parkrun generally.
I have no official confirmation we were the last parkrun, like many things about our parkrun I believe it is true without having checked. Amongst other things, I believe we are the furthest South, presumably taking that crown from somewhere in NZ. (Editors note: Invercargill was previously the most southerly parkrun)

I'd also guess we are the only Parkrun where you can see penguins, whales and dolphins from the route, although possibly NZ may also have something to say about that. I'd more strongly believe we are the only parkrun that runs alongside a live minefield, a reminder of the 1982 war, but will soon be no more, as the project to remove all remaining landmines in the country will soon be complete.

I don't believe there is a prize for the most picturesque run, but it must be a contender, nor would there be a prize for the windiest, but we'd probably be the winner of that also. I can't remember much of our last Parkrun event, but looking at the number of personal bests, I'd assume the wind was low, we often have high winds, a help on the run to the lighthouse, but a nightmare on the way back.

Only starting in October, we have yet to experience a Falklands winter and its effect on numbers, but we've built up a loyal following of normally around 50 participants but 171 turned out for the first event, from a population of approximately 3000. The concept of a Parkrun tourist was beginning to become an infrequent but not rare event, either those here on other business but also a few drawn here for no other reason than to take part and have bragging rights shared only with 345 others, possibly combining it with one of our other running events (World's Most Southerly Official Marathon!).

The run itself is a simple out and back, about 4 miles outside of Stanley. For those used to larger events (I attended a run in my hometown in the UK with 600+), it's a little different, usually with a very small crew of volunteers (there is no shortage, but people do like to run) and a solitary cone to mark the turning point for the return. It's well attended and well loved by those who attend, we regularly get new participants (Andrew and Rhonda, two new NZ arrivals did their first) and is sorely missed, we hope to be back soon.
Richard Bullivant

To thank Richard for being our guest writer we made him a virtual visitor to our parkrun. Please note he was a virtuous virtual visitor (try saying that quickly) and didn’t cross the finish line.

This week our milestones were Pam Graham ran her 50th event,

Bruce Inglis ran his 100th event

and Murray Penno ran his 150th event.

We welcomed Robert BRYSON, Renee SHARP and Harrison NATTA for their first parkruns
Also first time visitors from other parkruns were: Gary FAZACKERLEY, Jessica COUGHLAN, Tania FOURIE, Cohen FOURIE, Shaye FOURIE and Philip FOURIE

We had 19 PB’s this week. Well done everyone. Stand out mentions go to Helen SHANLEY after 115 parkruns, Maria WHITEHEAD after 80 parkruns and Maia HOLDEN after 48 parkruns.

There must have been some recent growth spurts as our juniors are dominating the stats.
The Best Age Gradings were
Juliet MOORHEAD JW11-14 80.03% age grade 20:47
Maia HOLDEN JW11-14 79.84% age grade 20:50
Jessica HUGHES JW15-17 79.55% age grade 19:14

The Flying Females were:
Jessica HUGHES JW15-17 79.55% age grade 19:14
Juliet MOORHEAD JW11-14 80.03% age grade 20:47
Maia HOLDEN JW11-14 79.84% age grade 20:50

 

The male meteorites

Darius SIMPSON SM20-24 70.56% age grade 18:17

Henry GREAVES JM11-14 75.91% age grade 18:41
James WEMBRIDGE JM11-14 76.52% age grade 18:57

This week 184 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 9 were first timers and 20 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 16 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 12 volunteers:

Andrew GRAY • Stuart DANIEL • Amanda MACDONALD • Arwel THOMAS • Steve MACDONALD • Christine MCNAIR • Rosanna LONG • Eddy BRAY • David BLOCKSIDGE • Kath O'CONNOR • Erin BRACKEN • Glenn HODGSON

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

The male record is held by Paul MARTELLETTI who recorded a time of 15:47 on 9th May 2015 (event number 98).
The female record is held by Hannah OLDROYD who recorded a time of 18:09 on 27th May 2017 (event number 204).
The Age Grade course record is held by Pam GRAHAM who recorded 92.75% (22:32) on 3rd January 2015 (event number 81).

Porirua parkrun started on 6th July 2013. Since then 4,427 participants have completed 39,625 parkruns covering a total distance of 198,125 km, including 6,266 new Personal Bests. A total of 542 individuals have volunteered 3,968 times.

 

Greetings from Eswatini Run report 11th July 2020. Event number 357

Our second return to parkrun after covid shutdown went well, the rain and wind abated, although it was a cool 8 degrees at the start.

This week 136 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 12 recorded new Personal Bests.

This weekend we had the following who did their first parkrun: Kylie KEEN, Wendy POTTER, Steven POTTER, William PARKMAN and Mikayla NATTA.  Welcome to the parkrun family and well done on getting up on a winters day - The key is getting up to doing ten parkruns.

First time visitors to Porirua parkrun from other parkruns were: Michael BAUGHEN, Emma JAMIESON, Anita CHAN and Matthew HALL

Over summer I read Bill Bryson’s book on the Human body and I was intrigued there were so many references to running.  For example at the back of your head is the nuchal ligament which is not found on other ape species. It has one job which is to hold the head steady while running.  So it is good to know your body has been designed to be a running machine.

Following on from the trend set last week in the inclusive spirit of parkrun. I have reached out and invited an international guest report writer, to contribute to our run report.  Sharing the parkrun aroha around the world.

Our guest writer is Neil Robinson from the beautiful Mbabane parkrun, Eswatini.

Neil is volunteer co-ordinator, run report writer, resident tail walker, sometime run director and new co-Event Director.  From the attached report you can see they have some very fast runners in-spite of their heartbreak hill,

Sawubona Porirua parkrunners, Gunjaan. (Hello and how are you)

Greetings from Mbabane parkrun and we trust that you are all well down under in New Zealand. We trust that you are enjoying your parkrun being able to operate, as we miss our regular Saturday morning parkrun.
A little bit about ourselves as a way of introduction. We are currently the only parkrun in the Kingdom of Eswatini and we held our first event on 6 May 2017. Eswatini is a small country at the foot of the African continent and bordering on South Africa to our west and Mozambique to our east. We are a land locked country and for parkrun purposes we fall into the Southern Africa cluster of parkruns. Mbabane is the capital city and situated in the north west of the country, atop a mountain. This can make for chilly parkrun conditions during winter (0 degrees is our record).

Our course is on the Mbabane golf course and is not for the feint hearted (so we are told by many of our visitors). On average we used to attract between 100 to 130 parkrunners and walkers to each event. Our course is a “there and back” course and for part of the course the up route is on the one side of the fairway while the down route is on the other side of the fairway.


For those that believe that they are speed merchants, our mens record is 14:56 (set by Nkululeko B Gama on 6 January 2018) and our ladies record is 20:02 (set by Gugu Mthembu on 28 April 2018).
Our event is anchored by a core team of about 30 volunteers who put on the weekly parkruns. After each parkrun we socialise and share a cup of tea, coffee or water at the Albert Millin facility at the Mbabane Club.
Our country is still under partial lockdown due to the Novel COVID 19 pandemic, and has been since 19 March 2020. In terms of the lockdown regulations all organised sporting events involving more than 10 people are currently “on hold”. Under the relaxations to our partial lockdown we are glad that we are now allowed to exercise and run by ourselves or in family groups. We are currently encouraging our parkrunners to partake in the (not)parkrun series. When parkrun reopens in Southern Africa we will be hosting our 149th event and belatedly celebrating our 3rd birthday, which occurred under lockdown.
Below are some pictures taken of our great course and some of our parkrunners enjoying the course. The first picture is of the top 1/3rd of our renowned “Heart Break Hill”.

The second picture is taken at the base of the hill looking up, our half way point is behind the trees on the top of the hill (top left of the picture).

The hill has an elevation increase of around the 94 metres while going forward about 300 metres.
Wishing you all safe and enjoyable parkrun. If anyone from your great parkrun is ever in our neck of the woods, please look us up. We always welcome visitors.
Neil Robinson

To find out more about Mbabane parkrun check out https://www.facebook.com/mbabaneparkrun/

 

The Porirua parkrun event this weekend was made possible by 15 volunteers:

Andrew GRAY • Simon DERBYSHIRE • Sickan DERBYSHIRE • Stuart DANIEL • Amanda MACDONALD • Steve MACDONALD • Rosanna LONG • Eleanore BROWN • Juan KOEKEMOER • Kath O'CONNOR • Charlotte HARRISON • Matthew HARRISON • Emma HARRISON • Hannah WADE • Jeremy WADE

Age Grade
Ana SIDWELL JW15-17 77.08% age grade
Emma JAMIESON JW11-14 76.42% age grade
Annie VAN HERCK VW65-69 75.10% age grad

Flying Females
Ana SIDWELL JW15-17 77.08% age grade 19:51
Emma JAMIESON JW11-14 76.42% age grade 20:34
Anita CHAN SW30-34 65.51% age grade 22:37

Nimble Males
Paul SHOEMARK SM30-34 69.11% age grade 18:53
Noah ABBOTT JM15-17 70.76% age grade 19:40
Christopher O'CONNOR SM30-34 65.27% age grade 19:52

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Porirua parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Paul MARTELLETTI who recorded a time of 15:47 on 9th May 2015 (event number 98).
The female record is held by Hannah OLDROYD who recorded a time of 18:09 on 27th May 2017 (event number 204).
The Age Grade course record is held by Pam GRAHAM who recorded 92.75% (22:32) on 3rd January 2015 (event number 81).
Porirua parkrun started on 6th July 2013. Since then 4,418 participants have completed 39,441 parkruns covering a total distance of 197,205 km, including 6,246 new Personal Bests. A total of 541 individuals have volunteered 3,956 times.

 

One Bouncy Step for Porirua Parkrun, One Giant Leap For Parkrun International

Run report 4th July 2020. Event number 356

Bounce

Welcome back – wasn’t this the best birthday/anniversary present we could have? To be back together for the first time since the 14th of March. So hopefully you all found your bar codes from where they had been gathering dust for the last 16 weeks.

Porirua is one of 29 NZ parkruns to reboot parkrun in the world. (Hobsonville unfortunately out of action)

Covid has changed the world and we thank our international community of parkrunners at this time who by sacrificing their local parkruns for now, show they value their fellow parkrunners, over participation. We hope that you are able to re-join us soon.

Porirua parkrun started on the 6th of July 2013 when 71 people stumbled out on a cool winter’s day and completed their 5km’s. This weekend 165 managed to control mind over mattress and braved the cool morning to complete their parkrun. We welcome Whanganui to the happy madness of the large parkrun family. We will now be sharing our birthday/anniversary weekend with the Whanganui parkrun on most years.

We welcomed first time visitors Kaz Nooana and Jennifer Rose and those completing their first parkrun ever: Tommy CARTER, Addison JETLY, Justin GOODING, Anne VAN DER PLUIJM, Mel FALCONER, Vic ARMSTRONG, Ilse VERMEULEN, Ella DANGERFIELD, Olivia NYCE, and Jennifer AGALDO

Obviously not everyone during the lock down were doing a “5K to Couch” training program, as we had 17 PB’s. Well done everyone. Stand out mentions go to Bronwyn Rideout, Felicity Holden and Steve McDonald for getting a PB with an excess of 50 runs.
Special mention goes out to Steve McDonald who after 65 parkruns set his new PB. Most people by the time they have completed 65 parkruns are happy to knock off a few seconds to get their best time. Steve bet his previous PB by an out of this world two minutes. The impressive loss of 42 kg could be a key to the difference. A man on a mission.

Steve

Steve seen here on the left heading home to the finish.

Thanks to Astrid for taking the event photos. This one caught my eye, where Stephen and Tommy are heading to the last kilometer. The perspective is flat, so it creates an illusion of making Stephen look like a giant. Tommy is going to be one to watch in the future, completing the course around 21 minutes.

Tommy and Stephen

This run report is going to be a bit different as we will have an international guest run report writer. In the inclusive spirit of parkrun, I have reached out and invited an international guest report writer to contribute to our run report and sharing the Aroha around the world. To welcome and thank our guest writer we made him a virtual visitor to our parkrun. Please note he was a virtuous virtual visitor (try saying that quickly) and didn’t cross the finish line.

Elliott

Elliott

Our guest writer is Elliot Line from the UK. Keen parkrunner and author of a website which compiles parkrun statistics

http://www.elliottline.com/parkrun

Particularly useful if you complete a milestone shirt, as you will be able to see how many other people also achieved the same milestone that weekend. Thanks to Elliott, we know that David Blocksidge and Shane McGuire who completed their 50th parkrun this weekend were two of the 19 parkrunners who joined the 50 club. Plus that 712 of 155204 (0.5%) of runners on 50-99 parkruns, ran this week.

Regards Andrew

In parkrunworld, today we looked to New Zealand to lead the way and provide hope that parkrun will one day return everywhere. There were of course some conflicting emotions: I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little envious, and a little depressed that in the UK at least a return to normal life and to parkrun seems as far away as ever. But these negative feelings are vastly overshadowed by the excitement that parkrun once again exists somewhere in the world! Where New Zealand leads, we all will follow.

Some context is perhaps in order for me contributing to this run report: desperate to be involved in some way with parkrun again, I put it out there that I would be prepared to write or co-write a run report for a New Zealand parkrun. Andrew Gray of Porirua parkrun approached me to ask if I was willing to contribute to the run report for the first run back. I jumped at the chance, and I even supplied Andrew with my barcode number so that I could appear on the volunteer roster. He happily obliged. However after consulting with various parkrun friends I decided that actually getting a volunteer credit remotely would be inappropriate and set a precedent that while perhaps not dangerous, could be awkward, so I withdrew from the volunteer roster. But of course I’m still more than happy to contribute to the run report!

I’ve never been to New Zealand, but have been checking out Porirua on Street View and it looks a beautiful place. Dropping my pin just near that start of the parkrun at Bothamley Park and having a look around you could almost believe it was in the UK: similar temperate climate, similar looking trees, grassland and rolling hills. Makes me miss parkrun in the UK all the more. The beautiful course starts just east of the centre of Porirua and heads further east towards Waitangirua before turning and retracing. Porirua is one of the more established parkruns in New Zealand; its inaugural was seven years ago this week. Only Barry Curtis and Cornwall parkruns (in Auckland), and nearby Lower Hutt parkrun are older. Before lockdown, Porirua would typically see around 150-200 finishers. I didn’t know whether the return would see greater numbers, with everyone excitedly welcoming parkrun back, coupled with being Porirua’s anniversary, or whether numbers would be lower, with people either nervous of once again coming together, and/or out of the parkrun habit. As it turned out, with 165 finishers and 10 volunteers, the numbers stayed relatively steady. Although that attendance was enough to make Porirua the joint 8th biggest parkrun in the world! It was great to see 10 complete newcomers to parkrun, plus 2 others visiting Porirua for the first time. For two parkrunners: David BLOCKSIDGE and Shaun MCGUIRE, the long wait to complete their 50 milestone was finally complete.

I’ve probably gone on for long enough so will sign off now, but would just like to once again thank Andrew Gray and the Porirua team for allowing me to be involved in this exciting return of parkrun to Porirua and to New Zealand

Regards Elliott

This week 165 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 12 were first timers and 17 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 11 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 10 volunteers:

Astrid VAN MEEUWEN-DIJKGRAAF • Andrew GRAY • Stuart DANIEL • Roland IDACZYK • N U TANG • Gordon BALFOUR • Rosanna LONG • David SINKINS • Karen MORTIMER • Leonie BOND

The Age Gradings were
Hannah WADE JW11-14 80.23% age grade
Max DOHERTY JM11-14 79.16% age grade
Hugo MILLAR JM10 78.85% age grade

The Flying Females were:
Jessica HUGHES JW15-17 75.87% age grade 20:10
Saskia KNOX JW15-17 75.49% age grade 20:16
Ana SIDWELL JW15-17 75.18% age grade 20:21

The male meteorites
Max DOHERTY JM11-14 79.16% age grade 17:55
James WEMBRIDGE JM11-14 76.65% age grade18:55
Mark Alexander ANDERSON VM50-54 78.79% age grade 19:01

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Porirua parkrun Results Page.
The male record is held by Paul MARTELLETTI who recorded a time of 15:47 on 9th May 2015 (event number 98).
The female record is held by Hannah OLDROYD who recorded a time of 18:09 on 27th May 2017 (event number 204).
The Age Grade course record is held by Pam GRAHAM who recorded 92.75% (22:32) on 3rd January 2015 (event number 81).
Porirua parkrun started on 6th July 2013. Since then 4,409 participants have completed 39,305 parkruns covering a total distance of 196,525 km, including 6,234 new Personal Bests. A total of 535 individuals have volunteered 3,941 times.

 

Non-parkrun parkrun report – 28 March 2020

Non-parkrun parkrun report - 28 March 2020

Bit of a sleep in this morning, but no drive time to our parkrun – so got started at 7:45am. We would have gone to parkrun in any weather, so weren’t put off by the strong winds or the rain.

Steve and Amanda

Steve and I set off down the hill from our house, but due to no first time runners briefing, ended up going in different directions.

I chose the quickest route to flat Papakowhai Road and headed to Aotea lagoon, one lap of the lagoon and back home – the last 750m all uphill. The rise just before the 2km mark at Bothamley park will never look daunting again!

Papakowhai Road Brora Road

Steve headed to Whitford Brown and ran all the way to the top before heading home the long way.

Steve

There were no marshalls to measure the courses before we headed out - mine ended up at 5.24km and Steve overachieved and managed 10.28kkm!

Amanda's run Steve's run

No timekeepers, which made the glitches I had with both my watch and Strava more frustrating!

Also no McDonalds after, but treated ourselves to a cooked breakfast at Macdonalds which was very welcome after the cold windy walk.

Breakfast

Strangely, neither of us saw anyone else out walking or running in such horrible weather.

Hope everyone is taking care of themselves during the lockdown.

Amanda MACDONALD

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