Kapiti Parkrun Turns 100

Whether you’re young or old, male or female, fit or unfit, able-bodied or not, you’re always welcome. It’s not about racing, it’s about running (or walking). www.parkrun.com

Great day for the centenary

By Roger Childs

Happy parkrun finishers!
Happy parkrun finishers!

It was a classic Kapiti summer’s day for the century run: fine, warm and calm.

Back in late January 2015 parkrun had its first outing from the Otaihanga Domain. An amazing 205 folk turned up to run 5km out and back along the south bank of the Waikanae River.

Parkrun is a world-wide movement which began at Bushy Park in England. The idea was to get people out exercising with the opportunity to do it every Saturday morning. And it was free!

It’s now happening in 17 countries around the world with 3 million people registered! Later this month the new Taupo parkrun will make it 16 venues for New Zealand.

Same time, same place, same course….

No Parkrun from Otaihanga!!
No Parkrun from Otaihanga!!

The beauty of parkrun is that participants run (or walk) the same route each time and can measure their progress. Full results are emailed out within two hours of the event finishing.

Kapiti Parkrun has only had to be cancelled twice when the Waikanae River washed over the track and the Domain.

Over the two years the magical course through bush and along the river, has seen some interesting developments.

The native vegetation has grown up and a new bridge has been built over the Waikanae River. To their credit, the expressway bosses kept the path open during construction with only minor changes in the runners’ line. The Kapiti Coast District Council have played their part and put in Start, Finish and Kilometre posts.

Unless the course is under water, it’s always on!

The smallest field was 17 on a shocking winter’s morning last year which was cold, wet and windy. I was there and splashed through for my only top 10 finish!

Beautiful day for a run!

Zoe in full cry
Zoe in full cry

There were 75 starters today and stalwart coordinator Andy Jenkins briefed the field in his usual humorous and laconic manner.

Regular volunteer Jude Wadsworth was also in attendance, along with other people who helped with setting up, bar-coding, handing out place disks and time keeping.

In the field there were the usual suspects: Kate and Bruce Jenkins, three generations of Farmers, Izzy, Zoe, Tom, Philip, Matthew, Hannah, Anna, Jasmine, Craig, Hazel ….

Ages ranged from single figures to over 70, and there were heaps of kids and a couple of push chairs.

Water is always provided afterwards and most folk hang around for a chat which usually goes beyond why they didn’t do better!

There is always next week!

Give it a go!

parkrun-1Park run provides a personal challenge: to run, or walk 5km.  You can race it, jog it, go with your kids, push a stroller,  start at the back with the dog, whatever. And it’s free thanks to the sponsorship of NZ Home Loans – Kapiti Coast Branch.

It’s easy to register: go to  https://www.parkrun.co.nz/register/

Once you’re registered, the key thing to remember is to take your bar code to the event! You’ll receiver six. However, if you leave it at home, it doesn’t matter as your name will be recorded.

Tip: Laminate your bar code so it will last longer.

Park run is a great way to get fitter, lose weight and feel better. You also get to know plenty of interesting people. It’s got to be good for you and may become addictive!






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