A worldwide phenomenon, parkrun is a free, weekly, timed 5km run on some of the most scenic courses in the world. New Zealand parkrun had its inaugural start in Lower Hutt, Wellington on the 5th May 2012. Since then 5 more have been added throughout New Zealand, including two in Auckland, one in Porirua, one in Hamilton and one in Dunedin, with still more in the pipeline.
Paul Sinton-Hewitt who started his 'parkrun' phenomena in 2004 at his local park near Twickenham, could not have predicted how something so simple could evolve into a way of life for so many. It's just mates meeting for a run, but that's exactly how Noel and Lian De Charmoy met Paul 30 years ago now, in Johannesburg. As old running mates and friends it was easy to keep in touch, even in separate hemispheres, so when approached to help get 'parkrun' New Zealand on the map, Lian agreed. With the support from Noel, plus their daughters Caitlin and Kelly, it should prove to be a welcome feature in the community.
“We have found from other parkruns that there is a real mix of people that come to run and that they all enjoy the fact that it occurs every weekend, is well organized, social and free. All you have to do is register online and all of your times are recorded so you can track how well you are progressing.” said Lian De Charmoy of parkrun NZ.