Turns out pounding the pavement at ParkRun isn't what motivates most runners to get up, lace up their joggers and get moving on a Saturday morning - it's actually the delicious hard-earned breakfast they get to enjoy with friends afterwards.
“It’s not Saturday unless I’ve been to ParkRun … there’s definitely a social aspect to it,” Belinda Jones, Petrie event director says.
“I can say that in six years of doing ParkRun I think I have missed about seven weeks.”
Belinda launched the Petrie ParkRun in Sweeney Reserve with some help from other local running fans, after catching the running bug.
“ParkRun is a huge part of my life. If you want to get into running, this is your starting point.
“None of my friends could understand why I wanted to start running. But at ParkRun you find people who are into (running) too.
“Always a big part of ParkRun is breakfast afterwards, so it’s good for the local economy. It’s also great for tourism and businesses in the local area too … and meeting new people.
“I used to walk around this area all the time and I would never know anyone, but now I see people I know all the time. It’s a community.”
Thanks to its friendly atmosphere and hills, Belinda says lots of walkers are attracted to the 5km run in Petrie.
“I think that’s what is good about ParkRun, it’s for everyone. We had a mum pushing triplets up a hill in a pram … we have people in their late 70s participating. There are lots of children running too.
“Different ParkRuns have different demographics, but they are all very friendly and welcoming,” she says.
“Because I know everyone who comes along to our ParkRun, I can usually spot a new person and help them feel welcome.”
ParkRun at Sweeney Resrve has been running for four years now and even held special dress up runs on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
“We do like dress-ups here. It’s our fourth anniversary in October and we are having a party.
Belinda is well on her way to the coveted green 250 runs shirt after already clocking up an impressive 220+ ParkRuns.
She recently drove to Emerald to participate in a ParkRun beginning with E, as her and her friend Simone Biddle work their way to ticking off all 26 letters of the ParkRun alphabet. Finding a ParkRun for X may prove difficult, however they are taking each new letter as the perfect excuse for another new breakfast excursion.
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