Just a run in the park
THE worldwide craze of parkrun will soon be up and running in Mackay.
The first run gets under way at 7am on April 16. The course is still to be finalised.
Mackay parkrun organiser and Tri-ActiV8 triathlon coach Nikki Giles said everyone was welcome to register for what would be a weekly event.
Once a person had registered they would receive a barcode that was linked to a token, Ms Giles said.
Then, every time a person finished a run their token would be scanned and uploaded onto the parkrun website.
"That means you can compare your times and see if you are improving," she said
The concept originated in the UK and there are now 140 parkruns across Australia.
When a person is registered they can be a part of any parkrun, worldwide.
"Some people travel the world doing parkruns, so they have been to Mackay, Arlie, Hamo, Townsville, Cairns, Darwin," Ms Giles said.
Mackay parkrun is working with Mackay Regional Council to secure the botanic gardens as their preferred location but is also looking at three other courses.
Ms Giles said they had applied for two start-up grants for the program, which relies heavily on volunteers.
"parkrun Australia has given us permission to go ahead with the event based on the demand and excitement," she said
"The Facebook page went ballistic and it had 210 likes on the first day."While triathletes would be at the Mackay event in April, Ms Giles had said people at all levels of fitness participated in parkrun.
""... there is no pressure on them and it's a timed event so people can better themselves," she said.
Mackay parkrun is not just for athletes and you do not need expensive running shoes to register.
Mackay Road Runners president Tim Magoffin, who has been running with the club for about seven years, expects other members to also register with parkrun.
"I'm not sure how many will come along because it's up to them.
"But I do think there will be plenty of our members who will not only take part in the club run on Sunday but in the parkrun on Saturday," he said.
Mr Magoffin said Mackay Road Runners encouraged people to be active and take up running.
"I have been a part of parkruns elsewhere and have also been aware of the parkrun phenomenon for quite a while," he said.
The event has Mr Magoffin's support because it encourages people in the community to be more active.
And once people got started they realised how easy it was, he said.
"They get a bit of fitness and realise what's possible, and I think the parkrun does that.
"People can walk, run or bring their dog along."
Mr Magoffin said Mackay Road Runners had a very active schedule from February through to October every year, so it was great that a separate community of people had gotten together and started the parkrun."
- People will be able to register from March 25 through the Mackay parkrun site (when it is live)
- Mackay parkrun is on Facebook
- To view other parkrun courses visit: http://www.parkrun.com.au