Goulburn’s inaugural parkrun attracted nearly 500 participants keen to be part of the opening event and encourage local participation.
People came from all over NSW, the ACT and beyond to participate in Goulburn’s first official parkrun.
The core group of Goulburn parkrun enthusiasts had two shakedown runs the previous two weekends to ensure they had everything ready for Saturday. Most of the group have been travelling around NSW and even further afield participating in various already established and some inaugural parkruns.
Before the start the Goulburn event director Angela Hookham, who had been introduced to parkruns by a work colleague, welcomed everyone, spoke about safety precautions and the need for volunteers to keep the regular Saturday morning parkrun going. She also named the small band of people who had helped to plan and establish the Goulburn event.
Among the visiting participants were several former Goulburn residents including Rev Mark Cooper, his wife Jo and their children. The Coopers, who are now at a parish in Newcastle, are regular parkrun participants and have been for a considerable time. The inaugural Goulburn event was an opportunity for them to catch up with friends too.
Some people who participated on Saturday have a personal goal to attend as many initial parkruns as they can to experience the special buzz associated with the new course launches.
Goulburn runner Andrew Oberg said the time people take over the course is unimportant and essentially parkrun is not a competition it is about participation and physical exercise.
“People can walk or run at their own pace and are not judged on how fast they complete the course,” Oberg said. “There are some of us who burn up the course and there are others who take a leisurely stroll, taking in the scenery as they go.”
Of the hares in the inaugural Goulburn parkrun, the first person to complete the course was Jaemin Frazer of Goulburn who took just 17 minutes 20 seconds for the five kilometres. The course starts at Marsden Weir and is along the concrete Wollondilly River bike path and walking trail to near the PCYC with a loop around on the grass and back to Marsden Weir.
The fastest female on Saturday was Jessica Hassan in 21 minutes 20 seconds. Angus Taylor came in fifth in 19. minutes 13 seconds. On the other end of the scale some of the participants took over an hour to travel the five kilometres, enjoying the stroll, talking with friends or travelling a pace to suit their children.
For locals who have not experienced a parkrun but would like to try, and do a little exercise for their health. Jump on line and register for free at www.parkrun.com.au download and print out your unique barcode and identity number and bring it with you on Saturday ready to start at 8am from the Marsden Weir Carpark.
parkrun is a worldwide phenomenon and registered participants can drop in on events and participate for free even when they are travelling overseas.