Queenstown parkrun – Event number 98 – 10th October 2020

Queenstown parkrun
Event number 98
10th October 2020

Today's Run Report is brought to you by visiting parkrunner, Julie Collard!

What a delight to run the lovely Queenstown course, and great to be back parkrunning, as it was my first since August 8 when I volunteered as photographer (due to an injured knee) at my home parkrun, Western Springs (Auckland). Lots changed since then. My knee healed and I ran some (not) parkruns, but nothing beats an official event. So I was delighted when a work training opportunity in Queenstown presented itself, and it was possible to stay an extra day to slip in a parkrun.

I contacted Chris & Jamie Seymour, who I had met briefly when they ran Western Springs a while ago, and they were the perfect hosts, introducing me to the local running hangout at Smiths Craft Beer House to talk parkrun, picking me up and dropping me off, and ensuring I had a wonderful time on the day. Which I did, cold though it was for this northerner! I admit to being shocked and awed at the number of parkrunners in shorts and singlets! Yoicks!

As a run director at Western Springs and soon to be launching Owairaka parkrun (also Auckland), it’s always interesting to see how other parkruns work. It was cool to see the core group of locals, both runner, walkers and volunteers, and lots of families, given that Queenstown is a destination for tourists and parkrunning alphabeteers alike. The course is incredible, showcasing the park and the view, and despite the disruptions of the council works in the park, the parkrun unfolded like a well-oiled machine and in comfortingly familiar ways. I was delighted to hear of up-coming celebrations involving cakes, fancy dress opportunities and to hear the usual running stories involving other parkruns, trail races and the local Monday Runday club.

This week’s run was a successful second post-Level 2 event, with an increase of one third from the week before (from 48 to 64). By all accounts the weather was much more user-friendly this week, although the 3°C my Garmin recorded was mighty cold for a northerner like myself! We set off just past 8 o’clock and I barely had time to glance at the crystal-clear stream as we surged past. I was too busy willing my numb-with-cold legs to turn over a bit faster. As we hit the hill, I was losing that fight big time and was passed repeatedly. I hardly cared, but as I slowly warmed, I could overtake a few people back on the lovely Douglas fir forest downhill. Hitting the lakefront brought a whole new calm and I settled into a steadier pace, loving the soft footfalls and crisp air. Got to do the loop again, fortunately without the huge hill (just the medium one) and was content to hit the home straight with a bit of energy left for a sprint.

A few stats for the number-hungry:

  • There were 32 males as opposed to 24 females taking part today. Come on Queenstown gals, get your trainers on and join in!
  • One in 8 parkrunners today either forgot their parkrun or does not have one. My advice, running is more fun when you get to rack up more and more of them, not to mention keeping track of everything.
  • I thought 8 total newcomers to parkrun was outstanding. Keep spreading the word, people!
  • Fifteen, including myself, were in Queenstown for the first time, possibly a little lower than normal. Funnily enough I knew two of them, Sue and Brett Sedon, Western Springs regulars.
  • I also got chatting to a keen runner from Blenheim who, it turned out, was Bill Hunter, running his 150th today! Congratulations, only 100 left until the next milestone!
  • Coincidentally, local Wendy Hawkes also ran her 150th today, and was another familiar face for me having met her sister Angela, another Western Springs regular.
  • Great to see some super-fast kids running, with 6 boys and one girl under 14, and 4 boys in the top 10! Keep it up!

Here are the first three males and females:

Males: Jack McKay 18:33, Jude Deaker 18:48, Dave Pearson 20:09

Females: Dahna Hunter 22:54, Isobel Barry 23:12, Wendy Hawkes 23:58

Last, congratulations Chris Seymour on reaching your 50 parkruns, go get that red shirt! I know your volunteer tally is already more than double that. Your passion and dedication to parkrun is inspirational! Thanks for the ‘southern hospitality’ from you and Jamie and I’d love to run Queenstown again.

Julie Collard, Event Director Owairaka parkrun

The event was made possible by 14 volunteers:

Chris SEYMOUR • Matt RAYNER • Jamie SEYMOUR • Ina CHALMERS • Keri JACKSON • Fiona BUTLER • Declan MURRAY • Teresa COSTELLO • Iain BANKS • Coen BANKS • Hudson BANKS • Judy SIM • Shelley CHARLTON • Scarlett ROSE • Julie COLLARD