Parkrun participants wore an array of fluro costumes to celebrate one year of events at Foster Park

Marking parkrun’s first birthday

by Ann van Engelen

Foster Park attracted 132 runners, walkers and volunteers last Saturday morning to celebrate the first anniversary of parkrun in the Selwyn District.

“Foster parkrun is more than just a run, with firm friendships forming throughout our community. In its first year, parkrunners have covered a cumulative distance of 19,380 kilometres around Foster Park,” says event director Greg Petersen.

“The fluro theme ensured a lot of colour and fun between runners and volunteers alike. My wife Suzy prepared a special cake resembling a finish token, which was enjoyed by all.

“A highlight of this week’s anniversary event was Stuart Charters completing his 50th and Ross Warmington completing his 100th milestone.

Completing 50 and 100 parkruns takes real dedication — it is a lot of Saturday mornings. Stuart and Ross were both presented with a t-shirt recognising their achievement and entry into the 50 and 100 clubs respectively.”

The average finishing time for the parkrun is 32:55, reflecting that it is an event for both runners and walkers.

“The fastest time of 16:48 was recorded by Lincoln local Dan Bennetts, with Christchurch based Brit, Hannah Oldroyd recording the fastest female time in 17:48. With participants aged from four through to more than 90 years old, parkrun is welcoming of all, with everyone’s achievements and personal bests equally worthy. No one comes last as we have a volunteer tailwalker. Parkrun is a run/walk and not a race — we have no winners, only finishers.”

Internationally there are parkrunners approaching 750 parkruns every week, which has been achieved during a 15-year period.

Participant Jo Cosseboom joined the group at the first run at Foster Park.

“I feel proud that I began my parkrun journey one year ago, and have been happily addicted ever since. Thank you my fellow parkrun friends for being so supportive, friendly and welcoming,” she says.

Foster parkrun is held every Saturday at 8am and is free for all. Register at parkrun.co.nz/foster and print off a barcode.