Porirua parkrun is cancelled on 6 June 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

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.


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.


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.



5km run report for Saturday 21 March 2020

parkrun cancelled
As COVID-19 is running amok, and parkrun being cancelled until further notice, I thought I’d write a non-parkrun report.

Porirua parkrun put out a statement reminding us not to turn up to parkrun like usual at 8am parkrunday. They reminded us of all the other parks in our backyard we also could explore. Some of our community have been attending our parkrun for the past seven years. It must’ve been super weird for them not to head out to Bothamley Park at the usual time.

Zzz sleep-in
I know I enjoyed the sleep in. No hitting the snooze button like usual. This is the only silver lining I can see of no parkrun. MIKE and I eventually got into our exercise gear and headed out to Bothamley Park after breakfast and a substantial sleep in. There were a few like minded people about, with and without buggies, dogs, and a number of cyclists.

Freedom walk
I’ve freedom run our parkrun course before, but it still felt unusual not to see the chute set up and not experiencing the hubbub of people arriving pleased to see their buddies. MIKE and I set our watches and walked out (sadly we are not injury free) and discovered there was a substantial branch down alongside the track. This was well before the 1km mark. It must’ve fallen across the track, but some good citizens would have moved it off to the side onto the hard shoulder. Thank you to them.

Walk the talk
We were walking and had plenty of time and breath to talk about what the latest Covid-19 news meant to us, our family and friends. I found walking and talking with hubby was good to decompress. Then we had time to talk about ordinary things, and even crack a few bad Dad jokes. Did you hear that David forgot his ID, he’s known as Dav now. Or do you know what Sprinters eat? Nothing, they fast! Haha!!! You’re welcome.
Walking on the bridge
No wet shoes for me
At the fork on our freedom parkrun, we decided to take the left hand track instead of going up the steepest bit of our usual course taking us to the 2 km post. Shock horror, yes we didn’t stay to the regular route. We were on our own walking into the unknown. Not really as we’d taken this route before, however this had been a couple of years ago. This track narrows and we had a choice of fording the creek, or taking the walk bridge. We took the bridge. I’ve never been keen on walking with wet shoes.
Mana Island
Views of Mana Island
The houses of Aotea appeared on the skyline to our left. We walked along, going beyond the usual 2.5 kms out and back. I guess this was because there was no marker or turning cone, and curiosity as to what was around the next corner. We popped out of the trees to a cul de sac with a small common and a mini playground. After that we crossed the road over to the Countdown and walked north up the track until we were rewarded with great views out to Mana Island.
Whitireia and Plimmerton
Covid-19 Alert Level 2
After a photo we turned around, reversed our journey and headed back to the car. Shush don’t tell anyone, but we actually did 7 kms. On the way home we heard about the Covid-19 alert four level system being announced by JACINDA ARDERN and her government. I looked up covid19.govt.nz to understand what Alert Level 2 meant, and level 3 and 4 - because that’s what we’re facing. I sent my mother the information and followed up with a phone call to ensure that she isolates herself.

New routines
Some of the things that I’ve promised myself, while we’re in this state of uncertainty are:

  • To adhere to these rules put in place by the government
  • To carry on and replace my old routines with new routines as I believe everyone needs structure
  • To still have purpose in my life, and
  • To continue to connect with others through technology.

Staying healthy - some examples
I’ll give you a couple of examples of how I’ve tweaked things over and above more frequent hand-washing and social distancing:

  • Using the Strava app and joining their Covid19km weekly challenge (woe is me, why oh why did I click that orange join button)
  • Do 30 minutes of ‘Yoga with Adriene’ on youtube in our living room or some sort of non-locomotor exercise
  • Messaging friends and family around the globe through various channels
  • Not sweat the small stuff
  • Have some time in the day to be creative, journal and try something new.

Ordinary people being creative
The ‘try something new’, I went on tiktok finally, to find out what the young ones have been going on about. After cruising through some content, I was entertained with ordinary people sharing their creative doings. I was impressed with these two working together from @demibagby

All the best my parkrun buddies, and I hope to hear what you’re doing to stay active and maintain your health.

Ramblings by KATH O'CONNOR


Journalist Lily Scott’s Interview – Porirua Parkrun Event 355 – 14 March 2020

This is my Parkrun report by Lily Scott. I wasn’t there so I’m interviewing my mum, Rachel Scott, like a proper journalist.
Rachel Scott

Q1. What time did you have to wake up?
A1. I woke up at 6:45 but I was late, as I woke up to discover that the London Marathon had been postponed and I had lots of messages from friends to respond to, but was eager to get to park run to cheer myself up!

Q2. How long did the run take you?
A2. About 28 minutes and I had a very nice run chatting with my Parkrun friends

Q3. What did you have at McDonald’s ?
A3. I had a trim latté and I had to have a banana loaf because they no longer sell my favourite, pear and ginger loaf, an absolute travesty!

Q4: When is the London Marathon postponed to?
A4: 4th of October which is near my birthday on the 1st.

This is Lily Scott reporting live
BREAKING NEWS ////// Parkrun is cancelled due to Covid 19 (Corona virus) we will miss you all and we are very sad stay safe everyone!

Lily Scott age 12

Lily Scott

First Age Grade Finishers

1 Pam GRAHAM Female VW70-74 Wellington Scottish Athletics Club Inc 28:04:00 (86th overall)
2 Michelle VAN LOOY Female VW45-49 Olympic Harrier Inc 21:19:00 (12th overall)
3 Elizabeth DAINTY Female VW65-69 26:49:00 (72nd overall)

First Female Finishers

1 Michelle VAN LOOY Female VW45-49 Olympic Harrier Inc 21:19:00 (12th overall)
2 Melissa BRAY Female VW50-54 22:10:00 (21st overall)
3 Shelley THOMSON Female VW40-44 23:55:00 (31st overall)

First Male Finishers

1 Simon ANGUS Male SM30-34 Olympic Harriers 17:06:00
2 Darius SIMPSON Male SM20-24 18:20:00
3 Bruce MORTIMER Male VM50-54 19:31:00 (4th overall)

This week 192 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 9 were first timers and 42 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 14 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 12 volunteers:

Alison HAWKES • Simon DERBYSHIRE • Sickan DERBYSHIRE • Terry KURUKAANGA • Roland IDACZYK • Lily SCOTT • Jackie KNOX • Richard CLARK • David BLOCKSIDGE • Benjamin POWLEY • Janet WEBSTER • Adam SIMPSON

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 4,398 participants have completed 39,140 parkruns covering a total distance of 195,700 km, including 6,217 new Personal Bests. A total of 535 individuals have volunteered 3,931 times.


Parkrun run report #354 – Celebrating International Woman’s Day

Welcome back to parkrunday, my favourite day of the week.
Purple for International Women's Day
Porirua parkrun turned out in a smattering of purple and splashes of lavender 25 volunteer shirts in support of International Woman’s Day. Here’s some of what women runners are doing on a world stage: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Missions/14435/Women-s-sporting-events-around-the-world-mark-International-Women-s-Day

Chilly this morning. I noticed several were loath to shed their long sleeves while waiting for the megaphone to come out at 8am.

I had dusted off my DSLR and charged the battery in anticipation of being the photographer. Reporting for duty, I found there was a slight mix up in the roster which had me down as run reporter this week instead of photographer. Never mind you’ll get some super cool action shots from both Libby and myself.

Alison run director briefing

Alison first time run director at Porirua, however many many times run director at her native parkrun in London, welcomed everyone, including overseas parkrun tourists from Scotland, England and Aussie.

I set my camera to continuous mode as I didn’t want to miss anyone. I snapped a few photos of the first time briefing, people receiving their milestones. Then the pressure was on for me to get in front of the runners before the whistle was blown.

I managed to capture the burst of energy at the start line as all the runners, walkers, buggies and doggies went past. Libby and I ambled after them discussing the best vantage points on the course to take photos.

I peeled off at approximately the 300m mark and Libby went on a ways. I sat and waited on a tree stump looking expectantly up the track waiting for the lead bike to appear. It didn’t take too long just long enough for my fingers to get cold.

There were loads of super nice smiles, a jog, some planes, thumbs up and several comments when I suggested people sprint to the finish. Either I’m rusty on my action photography skills or you guys are extremely speedy as some of you blurred right past me.

Being the parkrun photographer is quite the responsibility. I really enjoyed congratulating people but it was tricky to focus on a moving target and even more challenging where you’re all bunched up in a running pack. I reckon you should all queue slowly and in a orderly fashion so next time I’m photographer I can get all of you and your features in focus not just your torso, or worse, the track behind you.

Having said all that I was pleased I volunteered as I got to see you all and be reminded what a fab community I’m part of. Not to mention the added bonus of next year on International Women’s Day I will have earned my Lavender 25 Volunteer parkrun t-shirt and will be able to wear it with pride.

You know when you volunteer, you feel better for having done so. It’s great for your health and well being. It gives me a boost. Have a read of this article Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits.

Go see the future volunteer roster and email porirua@parkrun.com to put your name down. Alternatively, while at parkrun next, write your name directly on the hardcopy version of the roster which is usually found on the picnic bench.
1st timer briefing
While volunteering you get to know your running buddies just that much better. There are a few roles you can do where you can also sneak in parkrun (e.g. first time runners briefing and parkrun report). The tailwalker is a great role for when you’re getting over an injury. There’s something for everyone volunteering at parkrun. We ask that you volunteer once for every ten times you run.

Back to Maccas for a decent catchup, coffee and toasted banana bread. See you next parkrun day.

Ramblings by Kath O’CONNOR

First Age Grade Finishers
1st Pauline POORE VW60-64 79.17% age grade Port Hills Athletic Club Inc 24:10 (37th overall)
2nd Juliet MOORHEAD JW10 76.93% age grade 22:11 (20th Overall)
3rd Noah ABBOTT JM15-17 75.84% age grade Olympic Harriers 18:21 (1st Overall)

First Female Finishers
1st Ana SIDWELL JW15-17 20:51 (10th Overall)
2nd Juliet MOORHEAD JW10 22:11 (20th Overall)
3rd Sarah BAKKER VW45-49 22:37 23rd Overall

First Male Finishers
1st Noah ABBOTT JM15-17 Olympic Harriers 18:21
2nd Kane ARMSTRONG SM30-34 19:43
3rd Bruce MORTIMER VM50-54 19:45

This week 232 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 19 were first timers and 55 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 15 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 12 volunteers:

Alison HAWKES • Peter HANSON • Simon DERBYSHIRE • Sickan DERBYSHIRE • Christine MCNAIR • Craig HOLDEN • Maia HOLDEN • Kath O'CONNOR • Felicity HOLDEN • Riley HOLDEN • Libby WITHEFORD-SMITH • David KNOX

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 4,389 participants have completed 38,948 parkruns covering a total distance of 194,740 km, including 6,175 new Personal Bests. A total of 534 individuals have volunteered 3,919 times.


Leaping Lizards, it’s Leap Day! parkrun report #353 – Saturday 29 February 2020

There’s two parts to this parkrun report:

  • Leap day parkrun
  • Xterra Festival

Leaping lizards - a rundown of #353 parkrun at Bothamley Park

The conditions
We woke to ho-hum weather. It was overcast, warm and a sort of precipitation that couldn’t really be classified as drizzle. Mike and I were pleased to have two of our kids along with us. We gave them an option of parkrun or orienteering on Sunday. They chose early wake up, parkrun and McDonalds over a sleep in, orienteering and the possibility of getting lost. Interesting findings.

Leap Day
Janet welcomed us to leap day parkrun and congratulated the milestone people. Janet explained her brother is celebrating his 15th birthday today. It’s interesting to note it’s a 1 in 1,461 chance of being born on a leap day.

Janet handed the mega phone over to Andrew. He told us we had the option of doing a leap on the way home. There’s some epic photos on the Porirua parkrun Facebook group. Bruce MORTIMER, you’re a leaping legend.

Bruce's bounding leap

We get underway
Those that had watches set them and we were off. Smiles, greetings and hi fives along the course. When I turned at the top, the drizzle became rain for a brief period. I think I can now say I’m an all weather runner haha. An extra huge thanks to the volunteers for standing in the rain fulfilling their roles dutifully. Much appreciated.

Antics at McDonalds
George is a paper plane enthusiast and test piloted his origami aerodynamic creations. After his plane crashed and burned a couple of times, he made some adjustments. One nice and steady flight, Joe caught the plane by it’s fuselage to save it crashing into Helen’s temple! What quick reactions Joe.

Xterra Festival - Saturday 1 February 2020

One parkrun day not so long ago, about a dozen of us drove right past the turnoff to Porirua parkrun and just kept going. Why you might ask? Why would we want to pass up the opportunity to hang out with the rest of the smiley parkrunners?

It’s because Stuart Daniel mentioned in passing (intentionally planting the seed) that Xterra for the first time were bringing their Festival to the Wellington region. Wouldn’t it be nice to go for a run up the coast?

And like the sheep we are, we found we’d entered the Xterra Festival at QEII Park, Paekakariki. There were several events we could choose from: a triathlon, mountain biking only and running only; all at differing distances. Being runners, we entered as individuals doing either the short (6 km), the medium (14 km), and the long (21 km).

The conditions
The weather was out of sorts, so much so that we couldn't see Kapiti Island on the drive up. I would describe it as Lord of Rings weather; dank, muggy and grey.

Mike and I bumped into the rest of the Run Grumpy Finish Happy team. A few of us train together during the week to keep our fitness up and we notice how much happier we are at the end than from when we started.

I felt a group pic coming on.

This is most of us.

This is most of us. Pictured L to R: Peter McF, Arwell, Mike, Katie (in front) Suzanne, Stuart with bunny ears, Helen, and Tineke.

Those absent from the group photo but also Porirua parkrunners are: Rachel, Jacqui, Nick, Joe and Kath.

Waiting to start, Nick and Joe
Waiting to start, Nick and Joe.

A warm up for me - a light jog to the tram, which transported me to the start of my course.

The trusty tram
The trusty tram

Yeah right
I made new a new friend at the start line waiting for the briefing. Ashley said “I’ll be walking it.” I visualised a Tui billboard and thought "yeah right!” A quick briefing instructing us to follow the colour coded arrows, help your fellow runners if they need it, and give the Marshalls a hug, perhaps a kiss or hi five!

The sun came out blazing. Just like that, the drone was buzzing and the starter horn went off and we were on our way. Like always I got caught up with being in a crowd and started out a little too fast. After a while we spread out along an invisible bendy string and got into a rhythm.

The terrain of the courses

  • Short: mostly on a track and some steep dunes
  • Medium: mostly on tracks, in the hills and bush of Whareroa Farm and down to the gruelling dunes.
  • Long: funnily enough a longer version of the medium event.

 Up the steps, down the steps and around the corner

Up the steps, down the steps and around the corner.

As I was slogging up a steep hillock, I spotted the event photographer at the top. I slapped on a smile. It must have been obvious that I was finding it tough going, as he apologised for picking his vantage point while snapping away. Phew, I’d made it. No time to stop. No energy or spare air to say “it’s all good”. Onto the next section.

The finish line
Close to home, I was passed by several medium and even a few long course runners. They were light and agile on their feet. They made it look effortless and were said encouraging things like "good work” or “nice job.” Xterra really is a feel good community just like parkrun except there are more and longer slightly uphill flat bits.

I was surprised the finish line turned up so soon as I felt like I was destined surely to do more and more arduous dunes.

I willed my tired legs to go a bit faster; to sprint down the chute and over the finish line. It felt like I was in slo-mo. Surprise surprise my new friend Ashley was there to cheer me in. I knew it, she hadn’t walked at all and finished two ahead of me.

My eyes widen at the sight of someone coming towards me with some bling. I bow my head and accept my shiny new medal. Mentally, I pat myself on the back and am thrilled to be adding it to my ever expanding collection of running medals - totalling two to date!

Of our parkrun pod, Jacqui came home first. Well done! It turned out I must have been pretty speedy too, as I was chuffed to be second. Together, we welcomed home the slower runners. Whoopsie, what I meant to say was, we welcomed in the others who did the longer distances. We lined up like a guard of honour and high-fived the rest of our mates home. It felt good to have done it and be home. We debriefed enthusiastically over electrolytes, jet planes, and gels.

The highlights were finishing - stepping over that line, being presented with a medal, the refreshing flash ice-blocks (flavours such as blackcurrant and mint, raspberry, melon and lime), the coffee and sharing in the same experience with friends.

job well done, on the tram back to the cars.

Job well done, on the tram back to the cars.

Arwell coming in

Arwell coming in

Kath in her happy place: an iceblock and medal

Kath in her happy place: an iceblock and medal

The bling

Survey results
I surveyed my fellow parkrunners who did the Xterra Festival. I got ten responses and these are some of the results:

Half of the respondees did the long distance. 30% did the medium and 20% did the short.

Reasons why we ran the event:

  • Got it free as we entered the whole Xterra series
  • For the challenge of a new run and fear of missing out (FOMO)
  • Xterra events normally have a good atmosphere
  • Wanted to see if I could do it
  • Started with parkrun and this is where it leads.

Overall rating
How satisfied were you with the event:

  • 80% gave it a 5/5
  • 20% gave it 4/5.

The things we liked about the event were (you could tick as many as you liked)

  • The run itself
  • The park (QEII park plus Whareroa Farm)
  • The Marshalls
  • The medal
  • The ice blocks
  • The people
  • The tram ride
  • The weather
  • The company in the car
  • Off site registration

The things we didn’t like so much about the event were (you could tick as many as you liked)

  • The run
  • The weather
  • The bathroom facilities
  • The drive
  • Stuart’s jokes
  • No coffee cart at the start.

What do you say to others thinking about doing a trail run event and haven’t yet clicked that Register Now button?

  • Do it
  • Do it and you can say you’ve had a new adventure plus a new personal achievement
  • Step away from the button - it’s not too late. You’ll only end up having to join some runners anonymous group. You’ve been warned. haha.
  • Do it but train for it.
  • It’s always more fun running with a group, especially if friends are attending to push themselves in support of you.
  • Register Now!

The next event in the Wellington Xterra series is on Sunday 22 March 2020 at West Wind. You too can enjoy the benefits of running or walking an Xterra event.


I’ll leave you with this
Did you know, the next time a Leap Day lands on a parkrun day will be Saturday 29 February 2048? Ponder that.

Ramblings by Kath O’Connor

First Age Grade Finishers
1 Pam GRAHAM Female VW70-74 Wellington Scottish Athletics Club Inc 28:05 (82nd overall)
2 Juan KOEKEMOER Male VM40-44 Irene Road RC 18:05 (1st overall)
3 Jessica HUGHES Female JW15-17 20:20 (6th overall)

First Female Finishers
1 Jessica HUGHES Female JW15-17 20:20 (6th overall)
2 Sarah BAKKER Female VW45-49 23:05 (25th overall)
3 Olivia FOUNTAIN Female SW30-34 23:57 (33rd overall)

First Male Finishers
1 Juan KOEKEMOER Male VM40-44 Irene Road RC 18:05 (1st overall)
2 Elliot CREE Male VM40-44 18:09 (2nd overall)
3 Steve LATHAM Male VM35-39 London Heathside 18:25 (3rd overall)

This week 175 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 17 were first timers and 18 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 18 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 10 volunteers:

Andrew GRAY • Brenda GRAY • Amanda MACDONALD • Sue CUTHBERTSON • Rosanna LONG • Benjamin POWLEY • Janet WEBSTER • Elizabeth DAINTY • Kath O'CONNOR • Susan CHISNALL

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 4,370 participants have completed 38,716 parkruns covering a total distance of 193,580 km, including 6,120 new Personal Bests. A total of 533 individuals have volunteered 3,907 times.

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