MY FIRST EVER INAUGURAL EVENT!!
To say I was excited at the prospect of attending my first ever inaugural event is an understatement. The whole idea of parkrun is fantastic and to be part of and celebrate the birth of a brand new community is not to be shirked.
The journey is about 1-1.5 hours west of Sydney and pretty impossible by public transport unfortunately due to the nearest train station being about 6km away (about 1 hour walk on top of the 1 hour train journey). Luckily I had a trusty GoGet car for the day, so it wasn’t too much trouble to get to the course.
Arriving at the course, I have to admit that this was probably the best organised parkrun I think I have ever done. Nothing to take away from any other parkruns, but this one seemed to have it all. Signs leading up to the entrance helped you find your way, then there was organised car-parking in the field next to the start/finish straight with car park marshals more akin to a larger event, which meant that loads of parkrunners were all parking their car and walking through the fields to the start together. There was also a coffee van, a marquee/tent for the organisers giving away free t-shirts and sports drinks and a nice sheltered area of the field for all runners to accumulate. All in all, a pretty good start for a baby parkrun!
As it got to the start time, it was announced that Tim Oberg (parkrun Australia GM) had traveled down from Queensland to attend the launch, which added extra impetus to the speeches at the start. As well as the usual patter about the course, how parkrun works and details about the course, it was great to hear about the inner workings of a parkrun and how hard it is to set one up. Extra props to all Event Directors out there who have had to go through this process!
Even after the parkrun had finished, it didn’t stop, we hung around until the end to talk to everyone involved, and once that was done we stayed in the Regatta Centre to make the most of the day by having breakfast at the Whitewater Stadium while watching kayakers tackle the course (would definitely recommend this) before trying our own hand at kayaking by hiring one for a couple of hours and racing around the lake (along with many photos underneath the Olympic Rings on the very water where Sir Steve Redgrave won his 5th consecutive gold medal for Great Britain!)
All in all, this was a fantastic course, steeped in sporting history and I think one of the few courses that make me feel a little sad at the thought that this will be my one and only visit!
As mentioned before, the course is run round the Sydney International Regatta Centre and was (on this occasion) run round the main rowing lake, which is a flat and almost perfect 2 or so kilometre straight loop (see picture above). I say the route on this occasion because they have 3 different course depending on if other events are taking place in the centre). With the circuit being pretty straight forward, there is little I can say about it, and I would say it is an uneventful route but that would not do it justice. You start on a small field to the side of the track and within the first couple of hundred yards are onto the closed tarmac paths. You then have a short run to the first corner before you round the large corner to come back down the other side of the lake. Along the far side of the lake, you run past a medal podium, grandstand, judges and media tower, all remnants of when the Olympics was held here. Then just as you are about to round the bottom corner, you run over a bridge which has the Olympic Rings on the side of it, just in case you forget the relevance of where you are 🙂 Then it is a straight run through the final kilometre before a small turn into the field where you started for another sprint finish.
- Time: 25:28
- Place: 65/278
- Gender Place: 58
- Age Category Place (SM25-29): 12
- Age Graded Score: 50.65%
- Most Events Global Position: 232
Full details of my run can be found here:
And full details of the results from this parkrun can be found here:
The Facebook page for the course is:
And the Course Information page on the parkrun website is:
Information on the park can be found here: