Wondering what all this parkrun business is about?
Quite a few of the KiA families have become avid parkrunners, even Julie who is a self confessed anti-runner!
parkrun is a positive, welcoming and inclusive experience where there is no time limit and no one finishes last. Actually. that’s one of our fave parts – knowing that there are dedicated volunteer ‘tail walkers’ who follow behind the last participants. Everyone is welcome to come along, whether you walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate.
parkruns are a free, weekly, community 5km running/walking event that happen every Saturday at locations all over Adelaide.
Junior parkrun (a shorter 2 km course) in Adelaide is located at Thorndon Park on Sunday mornings at 8am and is aimed at kids aged 4-14 years. And, while the junior parkrun is pretty cool, most families actually hit up the regular parkruns too, so don’t feel like you “should” only be at the junior one. Feel free to bring your furry friends along too. Dogs are totally welcome, but please keep them on a leash. Oh, and here’s another thing we love… parkruns are all about community, this includes volunteering. Families, kids, everyone’s invited to pitch in! You won’t believe the benefits of lending a hand—building skills, making new friends, and taking on responsibilities. It’s a win-win for everyone. So, whether you’re running, walking, or putting your hand up to help out, parkruns have got something awesome for you. In fact, Thorndon Park has become a shining example of volunteering success.
To participate in parkruns around the world, you simply need to register (free) and print a barcode. Turn up at 7:50am (for most parkruns in SA (different times in other states/countries) for the pre-event briefing (to learn about the course or local guidelines). Run, jog, walk or skip the 5km course. Once you complete the 5km you’ll be given a token – take that token and your parkrun barcode to a volunteer to scan and a few hours later you’ll be sent a friendly emailing congratulating you on your effort, and detailing the number of runs you’ve done and the time. Pretty cool!
Tips for parkrun with the family
Top 5 tips :
- DON’T FORGET YOUR BARCODE, no barcode, no result! Many parkruns don’t allow scanning of barcodes off phones etc
- You’re never last!!! There’s always a tail walker, so no matter how slow you feel, or kids wish to be – fear not, there’s someone behind you.
- If you’re bringing kids and aren’t sure how they’ll go, bring your pram, kids can jump in and out as needed to encourage them just to try for a little bit. They don’t get a time till they do it on their own legs tho
- Cheer, smile, encourage and have fun. That’s the whole reason you’re there, and so is everyone else!
- Pre-run wee is essential. Otherwise you’ll find yourself finding a bush for your 4yo who has drunk too much water because they’re SOOOO thirsty!
- Distract your kids, play games. We count dogs, talk about Pokemon, and discuss at length the best milkshake flavours ready for our post run shake. Park run is dog friendly, you can bring your well behaved pooch on a short leash.
- No bikes, skateboards etc parkruns are usually too crowded and wheels create obstacles and injuries.
Our favourite parkrun venues
There are over 42 events in South Australia from Clare to Renmark, Kangaroo Island, Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Fleurieu and a number of locations in Adelaide. You can find your nearest parkrun here
Shiraz Trail at McLaren Vale is a great excuse for a short vacation (especially if you’re not close) and is one the best!
Oaklands Wetlands is one of very few ‘O’ parkruns. If you’re not in the know, the parkrun alphabet is a fun and unofficial challenge for runners. It involves completing a parkrun at locations that start with every letter of the English alphabet. What’s cool is that there’s no pre-determined list of parkruns to choose from—you can pick any A, B, or C that you want! There’s also no set time limit or required order to complete the challenge, so it’s entirely up to you how you go about it.
Pakapakanthi (Victoria Park) in the CBD parklands is a lovely, completely flat course near the Victoria Park grandstand. It starts out running under the glorious old gum trees and finishes only 100m from Kiosk 16 which serves a mean coffee and milkshake (and has totem tennis etc for the kids to play while you relax).
Cleland is hilly, so good for walks and animals, but not fun for prams or encouraging little people to run a full distance
Clare is lovely, its over the road from the caravan park and on the reisling trail. Good for a holiday tourist run (a tourist run is parkrun speak for somewhere that isn’t your “home” venue)
West Beach is great as well – as it is all on paths (no sand/gravel) and along the beach and river Torrens – the kids love seeing the horses. Fairly flat and has a playground at the finish line!
Reynella East runs loops around the wetland area behind the college. Its really lovely, almost like running trails, but a family friendly version!
Mawson Lakes has a big RMA (Running Mums Australia) presence out there, and as such are really family friendly event, with lots of inclusively and fun.
Registration is completely free and only needs to be done once!
Simply complete the registration form, print your barcode and head down to your local event.