Port Augusta set for first parkrun

FITNESS: John Bethell, James Clegg and Tiffany Duncan.
FITNESS: John Bethell, James Clegg and Tiffany Duncan.

Runners from all over the state are getting ready to lace up their sneakers for the official parkrun launch in Port Augusta on Saturday, June 23.

The launch kickstarts a weekly program, which welcomes people of all ages and abilities to participate in free five kilometre runs every Saturday morning.

The parkrun program was first established in England in 2004, before spreading around the world to 17 different countries.

Port Augusta is the 27th South Australian location to embrace parkrun, with the runs set to take place along the Eastside Foreshore.

Organisers are expecting a big turn-out at the launch, estimating a crowd of 150 to 200 local and travelling participants.

Parkrun Event Ambassador James Clegg said the program is a great way to meet new people.

“It’s not a race. You go out there, try to push yourself if that’s what you want to do, but it’s just a fun thing to do,” he said. “It’s great for people to get out there, be part of the community and be healthier.”

Parkrun Co-Event Director Tiffany Duncan said getting parkrun to Port Augusta had been in the pipeline for over two years. 

“It’s another option for people to be physically active, have a social outlet and use our beautiful facilities that we already have,” she said. 

“Council has been terrific in providing us with the ability to use the already-existing path.”

With parkrun enthusiasts set to travel from all over the state and country to participate in the launch, Co-Event Director John Bethell said it would be a great way to showcase Port Augusta.

“We get to show off that Port Augusta is actually a very beautiful place,” he said. “It’s really nice running along the side of the gulf.”

The program aims to improve both physical and mental wellbeing, with participants meeting for coffee after each run to encourage social interaction.

There are volunteer roles available for those who would like to be involved but cannot actively participate.

For more information and to register, click here.