It seems that the newsletter time rolls around quickly and already another month has passed. We are well into spring now, and I don’t know about you, but as much as I love nature, she makes it difficult to get out there at this time of year with all the trees desperately trying to kill me with their pollen, the snakes beginning to emerge from their hiding places and the birds (maggies and plovers) all dive bombing us on our regular running routes. I personally am really thankful that I don’t have to stay in my 5km limit anymore and can now choose some more “wattle free” running tracks then I have at home!!
Sadly we haven’t managed to be able to train together recently, hopefully that won’t be too far away again, and hopefully we get to see a few more events allowed to get the motivation and competitive juices flowing again.
As always, if you have anything that you would like to have appear in the newsletter, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to get it in the next edition.
Happy reading and…….. Keep Running 😉
17 years of parkrun
While unfortunately parkrun is on hold for us here in Shepparton in the short term, this week parkrun turns 17. Seventeen years ago, on October 2, 13 parkrunners got together at Bushy park, Teddington, UK and ran the first parkrun event. They ran their event for two years before the idea caught on and a second location held a parkrun (Wimbledon). Once it was proven that it more than one location could be managed, the idea took off.
To begin with the results were all collated on paper and the finish tokens were washers from the local hardware store! But eventually the technology caught up, and so the parkrun registration and barcode result system was born. Now many hundreds of thousands of parkrunners are processed, websites updated and millions of emails sent each week.
There were five volunteers at the very first parkrun, including Founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE. Now, more than half a million people have volunteered across over 2,200 events in 22 countries around the world, clocking up a staggering six million instances of volunteering between them. This year as part of the 17th anniversary, parkrun is recognising the contributions of its volunteers.
In Shepparton we have been operating parkrun since the 11th of January 2014 when Allan and Kerry Connelly introduced the concept to our community. It has always been well supported by SRC members which has been fantastic. Since the beginning, we have averaged about 140 participants each week, although in the last few years is has been nothing to run along side 200 other runners on a nice morning. To make this happen, we have been fortunate enough to have had 498 different people that have volunteered for us at least once in one way or another. Volunteers, like are our most valued asset to parkrun, and we appreciate everyone that has put their hand up to help out. Volunteering is also a great way to get to know regulars, and meet new people visiting the area. Science has also shown that volunteering is great for your mental health and gives a fantastic opportunity to catch up with friends.
The parkrun community is growing all the time – but it’s all still based on the simple, basic principles formed from the start: weekly, free, 5k, for everyone, forever.
While we aren’t able to run together at the moment, we look forward to the day that we are able to resume our parkrun and share the wonderful event with everyone once again.
Interview with Julian Spence
Julian Spence is an elite marathoner who has represented Australia, founder of Runstrong Online Coaching, is coach of Olympic marathoner Ellie Pashley, is co-host of Inside Running podcast, event director, and owner of The Running Company Ballarat. Phew!
3k – 8:19
5k – 14:18
10k – 29:55
15k – 45:06
Half – 67:20
Marathon – 2:14:42
What are some of your fondest memories running events?
– 2017 Berlin Marathon. Had a massive bunch of friends and we all had really good races with a big party afterwards at our Airbnb.
How was the experience of watching your athlete perform at the Olympics recently in Sapporo?
– Watching Ellie in Sapporo was a very anxious experience. The nerves that you get as a coach are much harder to deal with as you can’t channel them into your performance. Everything is out of your control and all you can do is sit back and wait for it all to play out. I had some concerns for Ellie’s welfare due to the extreme heat/humidity of the event and although we’d prepared her perfectly for a warm race, Ellie isn’t the best in warm conditions. Once I’d seen that she’d executed her race with such precision there was an huge sense of relief that she got the result she deserved.
Pizza. Tell me about it.
– Capricciosa. Pineapple can work in some cases but it’s very rare.
Forgetting Covid for a minute, which races and events are you most looking forward to competing in the next year or so?
– I would love to run a Melbourne Marathon that is full capacity with crowds and finishing on the MCG. There’s a brilliant vibe at that event because we know so many runners out on course.
What to do about the Swoopy Boiz (Magpies)
It’s that time of year again…. and while Jarrod has no hope against the local bird life (even the pelicans hate him) here are some tips for protecting your self from swooping birds from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning:
- Know your local swooping hotspots
- Avoid the area
- Move quickly
- Cover your head
- Place fake eyes at the back of your head
- Do not harass wildlife
- Do not destroy nests
- Do not feed swooping birds
- Travel in a group
- Notify others
For a copy of the brochure, please refer to the DELWP website.
There is also a website that you can log swooping magpies and to alert others that they are about. Check it pout and use the data to avoid the areas where birds are known to swoop.
It is also worth remembering that most Native birds, including Australian Magpies, Magpie-larks, Kookaburras, Butcherbirds and Masked Lapwings (Plovers), are highly protective of their eggs, nest and young and will often ‘swoop’ unsuspecting passers-by if they feel threatened. Only a small percentage of birds attack during spring as a ‘warning’ to ward off intruders to their territory, which may include your local park, backyard or schoolyard. They are only protecting their young.
All native birds are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and there are serious penalties for taking, harassing or injuring native wildlife. It is illegal to kill birds, or to interfere with their nests containing eggs or young without a permit or authority.
BoTan Bridge Works
For anyone that has been out to the Botanical Gardens recently, you may have noticed there has been a bit of activity over the far side of the gardens.
The works on the bridge will allow a connection from the Lake to the Botanical Gardens and make for a pretty nifty run (if you are game for the hills).
There hasn’t been a completion date set as yet, but rumour has it there is about 5 weeks of work left to go weather permitting.
It’s fantastic to see these works in action, helping to improve our outdoor environment and experiences.