Lower Hutt parkrun, New Zealand, Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Angela Coates

Basically, see last years report for Lower Hutt parkrun, December 2012 but imagine Santa outfits, Christmas hats and a 9:00 am start.

Angela, Santa and Paul.

We arrived early at the course and met the race director Richard McChesney. Richard, a very keen runner, had been living in the UK for a number of years and was very excited to bring the parkrun concept back with him when he returned. Richard, with his younger son, Zac, another keen runner, were ‘parkrun tourists’ around the UK so are well aware of the ethos and practicalities of being involved with parkrun. Richard was instrumental in getting the Lower Hutt parkrun started and it has proved to be very popular – information from parkrun.co.nz pages.

We also met a couple of ex-pats before the race. Well we spotted a T-shirt saying ‘Sunderland Strollers’ which kind of gave the game away. They had moved to New Zealand a few years back and now lived nearby. Paul, the ex-Stroller, invited us to a barbie for Christmas Day but unfortunately we couldn’t make it, but a lovely thought.

We were off, it’s a great course along the Hutt River, a bit up and down in places and still a headwind on the return journey but scenic and good paths. Like last Christmas it was very warm considering it has been raining and gale force winds the day before, we were very lucky with the weather.

Paul beat last year’s Christmas time and so did I, so all those fish and chips and burgers haven’t done too much damage I guess. Another parkrun done, another great course and fantastic volunteers. Who knows where we’ll be next year, come on South Island get your parkruns on (although one is starting in January, hmm).

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