The Nambour parkrun has celebrated one year in operation with a special birthday cake and a jungle dress up theme. It’s a great achievement for a successful community event that might never have eventuated if not for the determination of organisers. Pictured enjoying the cake at the event are Gareth Davison, Peter Roser, Ellen Schumann and Kepler Schumann. Photo: Richard Bruinsma
By Richard Bruinsma
The first birthday for the Nambour parkrun was celebrated by a massive turnout of runners – some of them in whacky jungle-themed costumes – cake and, of course, a run along the gruelling Radar Hill Road parkland course.
The parkrun phenomenon has swept Australia, providing free 5km runs to promote fitness in a friendly and fun social environment – the Nambour course is reportedly the most challenging in the nation.
Caption: Regular Nambour parkrunners Jason and Anna Collett of Mudjimba, dressed up special for the birthday event.
Around 80 runners turned up to help celebrate the one-year milestone. They were encouraged to have fun, with some dressing up in costumes, including a monkey outfit, lady (man) bug, a zebra costume, a bumble bee, a tree with snake and birds in a hairpiece, and even Tarzan made an appearance.
Caption: David Neighbour, of Palmview, and Paul Chant, of Twin Waters, help the Nambour locals celebrate the parkrun birthday.
The fun might never have eventuated if not for the community persistence to launch a local parkrun.
Event director and founder Melissa Taylor said they had searched every park in the Nambour area and Bli Bli for a suitable run venue. As a last resort they checked out the Radar Hill Road parkland and, although they were drawn to the venue, they feared it would not be approved due to the trail nature of the track, the lack of water and toilet facilities, and a creek crossing.
Photo caption: Gareth Davison, Lisa and Troy Kenny, Brian Cross, Peter Roser and Pauline Lyon.
The site was in fact given the green light and then the necessary sponsorship from Anytime Fitness, Elders Nambour and Sunshine Coast Council.
“It’s been a wild ride; we never thought we’d get it up and running in the first place because it’s so different to every other parkrun,” Ms Taylor said.
Caption: Julia O’Sullivan, Dom Ryan, Lady (man) Bug Rob Wallace and Hawaiian-shirted party animal Reece Eberhard. Photos: Richard Bruinsma
Over the year, the Nambour event has recorded 902 registered runners completing the course, total run hours of 76 days, 10 hours, 51 minutes and 8 seconds, a total distance of 14,630km and 713 personal best times. The course records were 19.16 for the men (recorded by Ryan Devlin) and 23.21 for women (Kate Maslen).
The event could not have been successful without regular runners also taking turns to volunteer as time keepers, marshalls, photographers and other roles.
Caption: Kiti Bruinsma, Janelle Pears, Sara Chesney and Steve Dunn.
“The community here is so good,” Ms Taylor said.
“We’re the smallest parkrun on the Sunshine Coast yet we never have to worry about volunteers; everyone just gets behind it.
“It’s a really tight community here; I’m just so proud of them all.”
The Nambour parkrun is free and starts at 7am each Saturday at the entrance to Radar Hill Road national park.
Caption: Cheryl Lanagan got into the jungle spirit of the event by dressing as a tree with snake and two birds in her hairpiece.