Global running movement comes to Launceston

Jogging woman

Launceston will be the first venue in Tasmania to join the global running movement parkrun - a series of free, 5km, timed runs which are open to anyone of any fitness level.

The parkrun phenomenon started in the UK in 2004 and has steadily spread to the Southern Hemisphere, with the first Launceston parkrun starting at 9am on Saturday 10 November from the rotunda behind Aurora Stadium, Inveresk in Launceston.

Volunteer marshals will keep everyone timed and on track as they make their way around the perimeter of Heritage Forest.

This safe, easy way to be involved in regular exercise is endorsed by Active Launceston and is organised by event director Craig Boon.

“It’s so exciting to be part of an activity that has spread around the world and includes countries such as the US, South Africa, New Zealand, Denmark, Poland and Iceland,” he said.

“Parkrun’s only been in Australia for about two years and so far there are eight parkruns in Queensland, three in NSW, two in Victoria and one in the ACT. Now Launceston joins the list – and we even have a twin parkrun in Bradford in Northern England.”

Mr Boon, who has been involved with athletics since he was a young child, competes as a member of the Launceston Athletic Club and works as a full-time personal trainer.

He explained that parkrun isn’t a race, except against the clock, and it is open to people of all ages and abilities.

“It can really be whatever participants want it to be, whether that's for fun or as part of a training plan for more serious athletes,” he said.

“You can choose to walk, jog or run the route, and it offers an opportunity for the local community to come together on a regular basis, enjoy this beautiful area of the city and get physically active and socialise afterwards.”

Active Launceston project manager Lucy Byrne said that the regular weekly timeslot for parkrun will make it easy for participants to add it to their weekly planner, involve the kids if they choose or go it alone.

“Whatever way you choose to join in you know it is going to be an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday morning,” she said.

“The commitment Craig has shown through volunteering his time for this wonderful initiative really is testament to the positive culture Launceston has seen develop over the last 10 years surrounding physical activity, we really are a hub for everything active in Tasmania.”

Active Launceston is a community-driven project aimed to improve the health and wellbeing of the Launceston community through increased participation in physical activity.

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Published on: 05 Nov 2012 12:04pm