Gayle is a retired accountant and a photography enthusiast living on Victoria's beautiful Bass Coast. Gayle is passionate about writing and keen to showcase Aussie culture to a global audience. Gayle loves her family, dogs, sunsets, and chocolate.
Published August 30th 2016
It's Free, It's Easy, It's Social and It's Fun
Would you get some more exercise if it was fun? If instead of the tedium of a treadmill you could join family and friends on a lovely morning in picturesque park grounds, would that pique your interest? If instead of expensive gymnasium subscriptions you could do this for free, would you be sold on the idea?
Running at lake's edge (Photo from Albert Melbourne parkrun Facebook Page)
The parkrun organisation recognised a need to provide a fun, free and no pressure exercise opportunity in great surrounds. Parkrun organises, with the help of volunteers, timed 5km runs in urban and regional parks. Skill level is irrelevant. Would-be champions can race the clock, while at the other end of the spectrum participants are free to walk the course. Don't worry if you can't do the whole course, everybody starts somewhere, and every step you take is a personal achievement.
The parkruns can be a family affair (Photo from Altona Beach parkrun Facebook Page)
These parkruns have become family events. Children jog or walk alongside their parents, mums and dads run behind baby's pram or pusher, and you may even come across the four-legged family members running (on leash) with their owners. As well as getting some exercise you will become familiar with the beautiful parklands in your area and will meet other families and like-minded people. You and your children may strike lasting friendships here.
Fun and good health in the great outdoors (Photo from Diamond Creek parkrun Facebook Page)
Why not give one or more of these a go. Click on the links for full details of each run including registration instructions, course maps, locations and public transport details. The runs start at 8am every Saturday but participants should arrive a little earlier.
The Albert Melbourne parkrun takes place around our iconic Albert Park Lake (Photo by Tim Serong (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
1. The Albert Melbourne parkrun takes place in Albert Park. The follows the Albert Park Lake path. Take in the beauty of Melbourne's most iconic lake and you make your way around. After the run gather at the Daily Grind Café for coffee and a chat.
2. The Altona Beach parkrun starts and finishes in Apex Park. You will run through a number of parks along the route and part of the run is along the foreshore where you can appreciate the sea air and ocean views. After the run join in foe coffee and a chat at Runkle Dell Rouge in Altona.
Getting ready for the run (Photo from Altona Beach parkrun Facebook Page)
3. The Berwick Springs parkrun is a two lap circuit around the beautiful lakes and wetlands at Berwick Springs. Wave to the swans and pelicans as you go past. There is a post parkrun get together at Gloria Jean's in Berwick.
4. The Coburg parkrun takes place at the picturesque Coburg Lake Reserve, Lake Grove. The course goes around the lake and heads along the Merri Creek Trail before returning the same way. The post parkrun coffee is at The Boot Factory.
What a beautiful place for a parkrun (Photo from Coburg parkrun Facebook Page)
5. The Diamond Creek parkrun takes place at Marngrook Oval. The course heads along the Diamond Creek Trail to Allendale Road before returning to the start. Meet for coffee after the run at Degani Café.
6. The Frog Hollow parkrun takes place in Frog Hollow Reserve at Endeavour Hills. This out and back course throws in a loop of the lake. The post run coffee is in a local café to be advised on the day.
They're off and running (Photo from Frog Hollow parkrun Facebook Page)
7. The Jells Park parkrun takes place in Jells Park at Wheelers Hill. The course on bitumen paths crosses open lawns, passes through bushland and runs along the side of the lake. After the run meet for coffee in Madeline's, the café in the park.
8. The Lalor parkrun takes place at Whittlesea Public Gardens. The course which starts near the rotunda accords great views of the wetlands before moving to the Craigieburn bypass shared path. The run returns to the gardens to finish. The post run coffee and get together is at a coffee van.
Your bar code is used to record your times (Photo from Lalor parkrun Facebook Page)
9. The Maribyrnong parkrun takes place at Burton Crescent/Raleigh Road. It is an out and back course that follows the Maribyrnong River, passes Pipemakers Park and loops Burndap Park before returning to the start. Grab a coffee and a chat after the run at The Boathouse.
10. The Parkville parkrun takes place at Princes Park, Carlton North. The course starts south of the Carlton Football Club stadium and laps the park one and a half times. Coffee and catch up after the run is at the Naughty Boy Café in Lygon Street.
The Saturday run (Photo from Berwick Springs parkrun Facebook Page)
11. The Point Cook parkrun takes place at Arndell Park Community Centre in Truganina. This out and back course meets up with and follows Skeleton Creek Linear Reserve before returning to the start. The post run coffee is at Degani's in Point Cook Shopping Centre.
12. The Studley parkrun takes place at the Studley Park Boathouse in Kew. The course follows a 1km loop of Studley Park then crosses into Yarra Bend Park before returning to Studley Park. Wander into Studley Park Boathouse Café for the post parkrun coffee.
Crossing the bridge (Photo from Studley parkrun Facebook Page)
13. The Toolern Creek parkrun takes place at Toolern Creek Park in Melton South. This is a linear course run on a concrete footpath, starting in the park and heading south for 2.5kms before turning and heading back. Meet at Gloria Jean's near Woodgrove Shopping Centre for coffee after the run.
Volunteers contribute significantly to the runs (Photo from Maribyrnong parkrun Facebook Page)
14. The Westerfolds parkrun takes place at Westerfolds Park in Templestowe. This is a circuitous course within this rather large park that for a time runs parallel to the Yarra River. The post run coffee and get together is at the Manor House Café.
15. The Wilson Botanic Gardens parkrun takes place in the gardens at Berwick. The course starts at the Amphitheatre and follows the perimeter paths with an added loop to take in Basalt Lake. After the run have a chat and grab a coffee at the Wilson Botanic Coffee Cart.
Enjoying the scenery during the run (Photo from Maribyrnong parkrun Facebook Page)
16. The Wyndam Vale parkrun takes place at Presidents Park. The course loops around the lake and heads for the Werribee River which it follows until turning back along the same route to the start. The post run coffee is at Cody's Café.
This is a great article, except parkrun is written incorrectly quite a few times. It is always written completely in lower-case and as one word, unless you are writing about runs in parks that aren't part of parkrun.