LAST year, Rachael Finlayson encountered a group of joggers in Canning River who had something she’d never experienced when pounding the pavement alone — camaraderie.
While she ran by herself, often tuned out to the rest of the world thanks to her earphones, they shared stories and joked with each other while making their way round a timed 5km course as part of the global Parkrun movement.
The chance meeting inspired her to last year start Bibra Lake Parkrun with Chris Hoy Poy.
She was instantly attracted to the idea of Parkrun, open to all ages and fitness levels, and is run globally by volunteers.
“I thought gosh, that’s a really great idea, it’s free, it’s every Saturday, you meet people within your community with similar interests.”
Parkrun came out of the UK in 2004, but has since expanded to 11 countries. “I thought, how perfect would Bibra Lake be?” Ms Finlayson says. Almost 300 took part in the first local event.
Ms Finlayson says Parkrun gives, “a sense of community that you just don’t have when you go out and run by yourself or only with a couple of people”.
“It does feel like a significant milestone to have got this far, we’ve put in a lot of time and effort to try and get it started, and then to build that community.”
Ms Finlayson wants runners to wear orange as it “symbolises endurance, determination, and motivation”.
The run starts 8am on January 23 across the road from the Adventure World entrance on Progress Drive. For more information about Bibra Lake parkrun, visit its Facebook page.
by LUCINDA PEARSON