Parkrun celebrates one year anniversary
SATURDAY, January 4 will mark the first anniversary of Mansfield Botanic parkrun.
It’s hard to believe that it has been almost a year since Mansfield parkrun launched.
Thanks to the hard work of people such as Louise Hopwood, Ron Cracknell and David Jones, Mansfield joined the 1000s of parkrun venues across the world.
Who would have thought a simple 5km event would spark so much interest and enjoyment?
Over the last year, both locals and visitors of all ages, humans and dogs, have been walking and running the 5km course at Mansfield’s Botanic Park.
Parkrun rules ensure that there’s no driveways or roads to cross, but there are no rules regarding having to run up hills including Mansfield’s own iconic zig-zag hill to get the heart rate up.
Mansfield parkrun could also be called the Saturday morning social, as some participants amble along chatting to someone else who just wants to wander along, give encouragement to those who want to race the course as they go past, trundle along with babies in prams, or set off with their best four-legged buddy.
And afterwards, there are plenty of coffee shops in town to retire to and continue the chat.
You will never be last across the line at parkrun, as there is always a volunteer tail walker keeping an eye on everyone for safety.
Many parkrun challenges are there for you to attempt.
Maybe an event in every state, or like the retired Canberra couple who were running their way through the A-Z of parkrun and chose Mansfield for their M, or the group of friends who choose a place where there is a parkrun to have their girls’ weekend away.
People from far and wide visiting love to discover Mansfield is a parkrun venue and eagerly join in, always receiving a warm welcome from our local parkrun die-hards.
What a great way to visit places and meet people.
The best bit is that it’s free to register and run; just remember to bring your trusty barcode with you.
Dogs that join in with their owners don’t need one as they have their own ‘bark-code’.
Participants look forward to the email you receive letting you know your time and place, overall, gender and age category, you can find it all out.
Some challenge themselves to better their time, or secretly challenge themselves to beat a friend or family member.
And each week, the many photos that are posted on the Mansfield parkrun Facebook page are eagerly sought afterwards.
Volunteering is a critical part of the event, so if there is a week you don’t want to run the 5km, put your name down for one of the jobs required to keep it running and encourage the participants out on course.
It’s as simple as signing up, printing off a barcode and arriving in time for the warm welcome, even on a cool morning for an 8am run start.
Parkrun fanatics admit to having barcodes in all sorts of places so they don’t forget them wherever they are on the Saturday morning.
Come on down and check it out on any Saturday, as you can participate without being registered to see if it’s an event for you.
Also join in on January 4 for Mansfield’s one-year birthday, with celebrations post event.
Some stats on Mansfield Parkrun (as at week 48)
Number of events: 48; Number of runners: 868; Number of runs: 3296; Number of first finishers: 44; Number of clubs: 69; Number of PBs: 806; Average number of runners per week: 68.7; Average number of runs per runner: 3.8; Biggest Attendance: 251; Average run time: 00:37:25; Total hours run: 0Years 85Days 15Hrs 38Min 28Secs; Total distance run: 16,480km
Female record holder: Simone MCINNES - 20:21 - Event 23 (08/06/19)
Male record holder: Tynan MIMS - 17:04 - Event 4 (26/01/19)
Age graded record holder: Mark PURVIS - 81.32 % - 19:54 - Event 3 (19/01/19)