Queenstown parkrun – Event number 91 – 5th July 2020

Queenstown parkrun
Event number 91 - Return to parkrunning - parkrun Japan Tribute Edition
4th July 2020

This week 82 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 23 were first timers and 17 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 6 different clubs took part. We had visitors from across New Zealand, France, and the UK!

Kia Ora and Konichiwa from Queenstown parkrun! This week was a special and somewhat emotional time as we returned to our fave weekly 5km event for the first time since New Zealand went into lock down in mid-March.  All parkruns globally were paused from that time for health and safety concerns and to be in line with each country's government guidelines on mass gatherings and sporting events.  With New Zealand being the first country in the world to effectively eliminate community transmission, the government in early June removed all restrictions on mass gatherings and sporting events and here we are today with our Saturday mornings filled with the joys of parkrun.  The ability to be back at parkrun is a credit to all of the hard work the team of 5 million New Zealanders did to help beat this crisis.  Thank you to all of you who did you part and especially to the essential workers that were at the highest risk to keep us all fed, safe, and healthy during the lock down.

Puarenga parkrun in Rotorua Co-Event Director, Jason Chapman, proposed an idea to all of the NZ directors to have their events "adopt" another parkrun country in a show of solidarity and hope.  All the event directors were unanimous in the support and excitement to represent our global parkrun friends.  Flags, costumes/fancy dress, and country specific treats were discussed and each event team went out to prepare for a morning to remember.

parkrun Japan was selected for Queenstown parkrun to represent.  Event Directors Chris and Jamie have been fortunate to have traveled to Japan many times over the years for business, holidays, and races.  Japan is a country that has such an amazing history and culture that everyone should explore at least once in their life.  parkrun in relatively new in Japan only starting in April of 2019.  With Japan's strong running culture, parkrun events started popping up across the country in rapid fashion through 2019 and early 2020.  Chris and Jamie have experienced a few of these events and the enthusiasm and friendliness of the Japanese parkrunners and volunteers was incredible.  We were honoured to represent our friends from the Land of the Rising Sun and hope to see them parkrunning soon!

A few minor changes to our course this week were necessary due to some turf maintenance that Queenstown Lakes District Council is performing on our usual finish chute area.  As a result, we pushed our start line back about 25m to the ANZAC Memorial gate and the finish line to the green space near the Novotel Hotel.  This change had no major impact on the course as everyone's fave hills and undulations were left in tact. We also had some surprises for our finishers from our friends at Frontrunner Queenstown to welcome everyone back to parkrunning. Thanks to Paul and the team for their generosity.

This week saw some much delayed parkrun milestones for some of our locals.  Local running legend, Mark "Mr. Ben Lomond" Douglas completed his 50th parkrun milestone at our return event.  Mr. D did it in his own signature fashion wearing a half-length kimono.  One of our most dedicated parkrunners and volunteers, Dani Moynes, made it a double milestone by completing her 100th parkrun by volunteer tail walking to also earn her 25th volunteer milestone.  Dani had originally planned to complete this milestone on her birthday which was the weekend that we had to pause parkrun.  To make the milestone even more memorable, Dani completed the tail walk in an inflatable sumo wrestler costume whilst wearing a Japanese cartoon Tako(Octopus) hat.  Well done to both Mark and Dani for the patience and persistence to complete these milestones today.

After a shout out to parkrun Japan, Co-ED Jamie who was timekeeping today counted down to our parkrun return and our participants were on their way for another 5km of fun in the beautiful Queenstown Gardens!

Junior parkrunner from Dunedin, Ezekiel Stewart, completed his first Queenstown parkrun in style today coming across the line first in a time of 17:37!  He was followed in by Auckland-based parkrunner, Campbell Jackson-Mee, who crossed at 18:01 with local runner Jack McKay rounding out the top three at 18:20.

Emily Molloy completed her 7th parkrun at Queenstown this week and was the first female across the line.  She earned herself a new 16 second PB just barely missing the sub-20 barrier with a time of 20:02.  We have confidence she will log that sub-20 before long!  Amanda Harvey was next across and clocked a time of 22:33 with visiting parkrunner Mags Lynch following her in at 22:51 for a new PB in her second Queenstown parkrun.

After the event we went back to our post-parkrun cafe, Yonder, who recently opened back up full time.  It was fantastic to see the catch ups of many parkrunners that had not seen each other since before lock down.

See you next week for another edition of Queenstown parkrun!

Thank you so much to all the volunteers that made this return to parkrunning possible.  Without you we could not make this happen. The event was made possible by 10 volunteers:


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

The female record is held by Caitlin ADAMS who recorded a time of 17:41 on 6th October 2018 (event number 16).
The male record is held by Paul MARTELLETTI who recorded a time of 15:32 on 4th January 2020 (event number 80).
The Age Grade course record is held by Julie WILSON who recorded 87.92% (22:04) on 20th April 2019 (event number 44).