READY, SET: A large field of participants assembles for the start of Rockhampton parkrun at the city's Botanic Gardens on Saturday morning.
READY, SET: A large field of participants assembles for the start of Rockhampton parkrun at the city's Botanic Gardens on Saturday morning. ROCKHAMPTON PARKRUN

Rockhampton parkrun off to a flying start in 2019

RUNNING: Rockhampton parkrun is off to a flying start in 2019, with a spike in attendance signalling the prospect of a bumper year.

In the past two weeks 244 and 274 participants have attended respectively, covering a collective distance of 2590km.

Parkrun is a free, timed 5km walk/run event held each Saturday morning in more than 1400 locations globally.

There are 342 parkrun venues in Australia, including Rockhampton, where the run is held at the Botanic Gardens.

Local director Craig McCormack plans to make an effort to maintain the momentum.

"I'm not surprised by its popularity,” he said.

"The hardest part for most people is putting on the sand shoes and getting to the Botanic Gardens before 7am, then you are swept away by the atmosphere and get to enjoy one of the best parkrun venues in Queensland.”

McCormack acknowledged that school holidays, new year's resolutions and favourable weather had played a part in recent attendance but he believed Rockhampton parkun should regularly exceed 300.

Rockhampton parkrun director Craig McCormack prepares the course for the weekly event.
Rockhampton parkrun director Craig McCormack prepares the course for the weekly event. CONTRIBUTED

"Parkrun is not about how fast you can run 5km, it's about doing something positive for yourself and being part of something special,” he said.

"People attend for their own reasons but collectively there is an incredibly uplifting mood.

"I can't imagine a better way to start my Saturday and most of the time I don't even get to run.”

More than 3500 individuals have attended a Rockhampton parkrun in the past three years, completing more than 30,000 runs, which equates to 150,000km.

Despite being fascinated by the figures, McCormack likes to keep it simple.

"First and foremost, parkrun is about the smile you get on your face when you know you have done something special,” he said.

"You can't help but smile when you realise an accomplishment and parkrun delivers that for hundreds of people every week.

"We see the young, the old, mums, dads, grandparents and pram-pushers. There are a lot of middle-aged adults that realise it's time to start looking after themselves and also those that need the lift that comes from being surrounded by a positive mindset.”

For more information, go to the Facebook page or website or contact Craig McCormack at rockhamptonoffice@parkrun.com or 0477 711 152.



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