Nuriootpa parkrun celebrate first anniversary

Nuriootpa parkrun event director Karine Meadley, Eden Valley, with son Mackenzie and volunteers Trevor Miller and Peter Horsely, both from Nuriootpa.
Nuriootpa parkrun event director Karine Meadley, Eden Valley, with son Mackenzie and volunteers Trevor Miller and Peter Horsely, both from Nuriootpa.

Since ‘Nuriootpa parkrun’ took off in September 2017, 460 participants have collectively completed 1547 runs, clocking up 7735km and achieving 341 new personal bests.

Pleased with the statistics is event director Karine Meadley and her merry band of volunteers who look forward to highlighting the parkrun's first anniversary on Saturday, September 15.

Kicking off from Coulthard Reserve each Saturday from 8am, Mrs Meadley explained how the free social fitness gathering came after she moved to the region four years ago and was in search of a park run.

“It's a nation wide event which started in the UK with park runs now held all over and in regional areas like the Barossa,” she said.

After seeking funds from ‘parkrun Australia' and The Barossa Council, Mrs Meadley was able set up with laptops, scanners and other equipment, such as flags and volunteer shirts, to support the program.

A year on and she explained how she is delighted with the park run's popularity.

“We average between 20 and 50 participants each week and it's open to all ages and caters for prams, walkers and those in wheelchairs,” the Eden Valley woman said.

The run is also attended each week by her son Mackenzie, aged 15 months.

Mrs Meadley explained how the event has seen people step out of their comfort zones which she said assists with better mental health and wellbeing, and brings about social inclusion. 

“People can choose to finish in 20 minutes or take their time. It's as much as a challenge as you want it to be.”

The length of the run, held in the safe and picturesque reserve, travels two by 5km loops.

Participants are encouraged to register online where they can download bar codes to bring, which are then scanned by the volunteers following each lap to help track personal progress. 

Of course the event wouldn't be possible without the support of dedicated volunteers including Trevor Miller and Peter Horsley, both from Nuriootpa, plus junior participants.

The crew assists with cheering entrants on, scanning bar codes, stop watch duties and help people cross the finish line.

“Participants never have to worry about coming last because the volunteers are always right behind them,” Mrs Meadley said.

“They (volunteers) certainly are a valuable and jovial bunch and we generally head to Fleur Social after the event for a coffee and chat.”

However, the team is keen to see more volunteers jump on board and support the healthy cause by making their services known.

Meanwhile, Nuriootpa parkrun's first anniversary will include the cutting of a cake and a visit from Barossa Council mayor Bob Sloane.

Participants are encouraged to further help mark the occasion by wearing red and white colours.

They are also urged to show up each Saturday at 7.40am to give themselves time to walk from the car park to the start line and be part of usual briefing at 7.45am.

For more details or to become a volunteer visit www.parkrun.com.au/nuriootpa/ or theirFacebook page.