Forest Lake Parkrun celebrates 5th birthday
Caption: Image: Parkrunners gather for a group photo
The weekly local Parkrun celebrated its fifth birthday in March, and its organisers have never been prouder.
At 7:30 on a Saturday morning nearly every week since March 17 2018, anywhere from 120 to 150 runners and walkers have participated in the Parkrun.
In the beginning, it was no easy task for event organisers Shirley Wienand and Rauiri Lakes to set up the event.
“Getting set up was pretty demanding. There were a lot of walks, a lot of measuring out and liaising with the council and the Pparkrun officials,” Ruairi said.
Caption: Image: The parkrun’s fifth birthday cake
After about a year of organising and negotiating to get it up and running, things eventually settled down.
“Since then there’s been a lot more room. At about 7 on a Saturday morning, we get set up, put the flags and cones in place to stop runners getting lost,” Rauiri said
“The run is about an hour, so you’re looking at two to two and a half hours every Saturday morning.”
Ruairi said managing the Forest Lake Parkrun has had a big impact on his life, and helped him to embrace the community.
“It opened a lot of doors for me to meet people socially, and it gave me something to look forward to on weekends,” he said.
“Really, it’s great to have the community come on board to take part each week.”
As a part of the international Parkrun organisation founded in 2004, Forest Lake makes its impact on the international community every weekend, in the unofficial ‘Parkrun Alphabet’ challenge, where participants try and run in a Parkrun in every suburb starting with a particular letter of the alphabet
Forest Lake is one of only 38 Parkruns globally beginning with the letter ‘F’, and one of only four in Australia, out of the over-1000 total Parkruns across the world.
“We have a steady base of 120 to 150 each week, but a lot of runners are tourists from around the place here to collect their ‘F’,” Rauiri said.
“It’s a great show of community spirit, people coming together…It shows we’re more than the sum of our parts…there’s a lot of magic around each Saturday morning.”
Since 2018, in Forest Lake, 5,124 participants have completed 28,756 Parkruns covering a total distance of 143,780 km, including 4,279 new Personal Bests – and 475 people have volunteered a total of 2,744 times
Forest Lake Parkrun meets at 7:30 am every Saturday at Forest Lake Sports Fields, 310 Forest Lake Boulevard, Forest Lake, QLD, 4078.
To find out more, visit the Forest Lake Parkrun Facebook page.