Nine years ago today 46 people lined up at Lake Eden (pictured above), in North Lakes, for the first parkrun in the Moreton Bay Region.
It was a humble start for the free, weekly, timed 5km events which now attract thousands of walkers, joggers and runners, in this region, every Saturday at 7am.
New parkruns have opened and the region reached double figures when Nathan Rd Sports Ground, Kippa-Ring, was launched 18 days ago with 152 starters.
In between, Warner Lakes, Petrie and Central Lakes (2015), Redcliffe (2016), North Harbour (2017), Ocean View (2018), Harris Ave, Narangba (2019), and SS Koopa Trail on Bribie Island (2021) have opened.
Some had one of their biggest entries on launch days with ‘parkrunners’ joining for the novelty of the occasion. However, many become regulars.
North Lakes grew to more than 300 a week (pre-COVID) - though it now averages 160 following lockdowns. Some of its regulars have done 250 runs, others more than 300.
Mark and Kelly Chapman started the region’s newest parkrun at Nathan Road Sports Ground this month.
“We moved to Newport recently and have found there to be an incredible sense of community in the area,” Run Director Mark said.
“We saw parkrun as an opportunity for residents to come together, meet one another and get active.
“The Nathan Road Sports Ground parkrun also highlights how stunning Newport is to runners who may be coming from far and wide.”
Petrie Parkrun was the third in this region with 402 at it’s first event. The average is now 110 having built a “wonderful” parkrun community, Event Director Belinda Café said.
“Now, through the connections from parkrun, have started the Sweeney Runners who also meet regularly for runs during the week.,” she added.
Harris Ave Parkrun began two years ago. “Despite trying to keep it quiet and have a soft opening, 342 participants turned up!” Event Director Tony Martin said.
“Weekly numbers were 100-150 before COVID, but are now 80-100.
“Parkrun is an important part of the community, in regards to mental health and community awareness as there are volunteer roles every week, as well as the exercise component.”
Pre-COVID, Redcliffe was averaging 220-230 finishers each week. That has since dropped to 160 since restarting last year, but includes octogenarian Beryl Doocey.
SS Koopa Trail Parkrun started 10 months ago with 381 participants and averages more than 100 per week. During school holidays figures lift with visitors to Bribie Island.
“Parkrun is a very social activity with something for everyone,” Elaine Rogers said, “and there is always coffee afterwards.”
North Harbour averages 25-30 participants each week on a cross-country course by the Caboolture River, regularly having entrants from the age of four to 84. Many are walkers.
Parkrun actually started October 2, 2004 at Bushy Park, London with 13 runners. The first in Australia was at Main Beach, Gold Coast on April 2, 2011. There are now more than 2200 parkruns in 23 countries around the globe.
Park Runs have no age restrictions, entrants register only once for a barcode. Free for everyone. Visit parkrun.com.au
North Lakes Parkrun
Started: October 20, 2012
Meet: Lake Eden, North Lakes
Warner Lakes Parkrun
Started: May 9, 2015
Meet: Dragonfly Park, Pallas Pde, Warner Lakes
Started: October 3, 2015
Meet: Sweeney Reserve, Old Dayboro Rd, Petrie
Central Lakes Parkrun
Started: December 12, 2015
Meet: Central Lakes Drive, Caboolture
Started: September 16, 2017
Meet: Suttons Beach Park, Marine Pde, Redcliffe
North Harbour Parkrun
Stated: November 25, 2017
Meet: North Harbour Heritage Park, Moreton Bay Boulevard, Morayfield
Ocean View Parkrun
Started: May 12, 2018
Meet: Ocean View Estates, 2557 Mt. Mee Road, Ocean View
Harris Ave Parkrun
Started: August 31, 2019
Meet: Harris Avenue Sports Centre, Harris Avenue, Narangba
SS Koopa Trail Parkrun
Started: January 16, 2021
Meet: Bribie Island Lions Park, Sylvan Beach Esplanade, Bellara
Nathan Road Sports Ground
Started: October 2, 2021
Meet: Nathan Road Sports Ground, 30 Nathan Road, Newport