Hero tells parkrun story

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

RUN­NING: It was a beau­ti­ful Satur­day morn­ing with 60 par­tic­i­pants ready to go at Air­lie Beach parkrun.

It was also a spe­cial oc­ca­sion for parkrun stal­wart and vol­un­teer Bob Bar­ford.

“I was think­ing: 18 months ago when my­self, Justin Knight-Gray and a bunch of lo­cal run­ners got Air­lie Beach parkrun up and go­ing, my per­sonal aim was to break 25 min­utes for the 5km run,” he said.

“My wife and some of her friends just wanted to walk the dis­tance. Justin and a few oth­ers wanted to be first over the line. But more im­por­tant than all that, we all wanted to be part of an or­gan­i­sa­tion that en­cour­ages par­tic­i­pa­tion.

“Yes, I cracked the 25-minute mark af­ter nine months or so, Justin has been first over the line a num­ber of times, Les­ley (my wife) has clocked up a num­ber of per­sonal bests. There are count­less sto­ries of peo­ple achiev­ing goals.

“Last Satur­day, af­ter five months without par­tic­i­pat­ing, with a di­ag­no­sis of ad­vanced prostate cancer and a new left hip joint, I again crossed the fin­ish line in 61 min­utes.

“...it felt as good as crack­ing my 25-minute goal. These per­sonal chal­lenges are so well sup­ported by our parkrun com­mu­nity. Thank you to you all.”

Alex Verelst was first over the line in 18.01. Aimee Sulzberger was first for the ladies in 23.12.


HERO EF­FORT: Bob Bar­ford com­pletes the Air­lie Beach parkrun course on Satur­day.

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