Paul Williams and son Rhys did the first parkrun and will do the 200th on Saturday. Picture: Allan Reinikka.
Paul Williams and son Rhys did the first parkrun and will do the 200th on Saturday. Picture: Allan Reinikka.

Father-son to be part of Rockhampton parkrun milestone

RUNNING: Father and son Paul and Rhys Williams took part in the first Rockhampton parkrun on March 19, 2016.

They will lace up their runners and head to the city’s Botanic Gardens tomorrow for what will be the 200th parkrun.

Rockhampton has embraced the global running phenomenon, which is held every Saturday morning in more than 1400 locations in 22 countries.

Paul, 54, and Rhys, 17, are both keen runners and were keen to get involved when the free 5km timed event started.

Paul has since done 75 parkruns, while Rhys has done 70. Paul’s daughter Holly has done about 30.

Runners flock to the city’s Botanic Gardens for Rockhampton parkrun every Saturday morning.
Runners flock to the city’s Botanic Gardens for Rockhampton parkrun every Saturday morning.

Paul said as well as the health and fitness benefits it offered, parkrun was a great community event.

“It’s a really friendly atmosphere and I prefer running if there’s other people around,” he said.

“It’s good that people are walking, people are running. It’s not a competition so everyone is just out to do better against themselves.

“My motivation is mainly just to stay fit but it’s always good to have a chat to people when you’re there.

“It’s a very social atmosphere and a lot of people catch up for a coffee or have breakfast at the gardens afterwards.”

Paul said he and Rhys ran together initially but Rhys was now one of the event’s leading performers.

He has won several times and his PB is 19.40mins. Paul’s best time is 26.07mins.

Event director Craig McCormack: “It’s a casual 5km run/walk but being surrounded by energetic people is an uplifting experience.”
Event director Craig McCormack: “It’s a casual 5km run/walk but being surrounded by energetic people is an uplifting experience.”

Event director Craig McCormack said the attractions of parkrun were its simplicity and its inclusiveness.

It also catered for people of all ages and all abilities.

“It’s a casual 5km run/walk but being surrounded by energetic people is an uplifting experience,” he said.

“Even if you don’t speak to anyone you will sense the enjoyment of belonging to the parkrun community.

“We have a few serious runners that complete the 5km in less than 25mins, but the majority of participants are just there to do something positive for themselves or their families.”

Rockhampton parkrun stars from the playground area in the gardens and participants are encouraged to be there about 15 minutes before the 7am start.



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