First Picton parkrun a huge success

Hundreds of experienced and inexperienced runners descended on Picton Botanic Gardens for the launch of parkrun.

Participants ran, jogged or walked in the event which is organised by parkrun, a not-for-profit organisation which provides free, weekly, five-kilometre runs in local parks.

Organiser Melanie Kelly said 331 people participated and 100 of those were first time park runners.

“It seems that Wollondilly has welcomed parkrun with open arms,” she said.

“We had a huge number of supporters from other parkruns, including three deaf runners and their interpreter from Penrith Lakes.

“We also had a large contingent of parkdogs.

“Autumn turned it on with a cool, crisp day and the rain graciously held off until we were all happily enjoying our post-run coffee at RCC.”

Mayor Judith Hannan, councillor Michael Banasik, Cr Matthew Deeth and Cr Blair Briggs represented Wollondilly Council on the course.

The male course record was set by David Baker from Campbelltown with a time of 16:47 

The female course record is shared by Sue Powell from Campbelltown and Rachel Sylvester from Sandon Point who both recorded a time of 22:55.

An unofficial wheelchair course record was set by Robert Carlin from Picton who recorded a time of 44:57.

The age grade course record was set by Norma Wallett from Bowral who recorded a time of 38:36.

The first parkdog across the line was Bear the Border Collie with the unofficial time of 22:22.

Organisers Peta Davies and Melanie Kelly thanked all the volunteers who helped make the day a success.

“A huge thanks to Medibank, which aside from providing the grant that made Picton parkrun possible, also provided us with hot drinks, yoghurt, muesli, fruit, and giveaways,” Ms Kelly said.

The run will be held every Saturday morning from 8am in the gardens.

The full results can be found here.

The organisers are still looking for more volunteers. They can contacted by the Picton parkrun Facebook page.