If you don't already know Parkrun – let me introduce you. Parkrun is a free, timed, 5km run, organized by volunteers and run in various parks and open spaces. Parkrun originated in the UK back in 2004 before starting in Australia in 2011, where the first run was on the Gold Coast, at Main Beach. Fast forward to 2022 and there are now 9 Gold Coast Parkrun locations.
It is very much an event for everyone. There is no emphasis on your placing, just a record of your time and the challenge to better your own time as the weeks go by. So it's a race against yourself. You can walk, jog, run, volunteer, spectate – whatever, just come along. As I mentioned, it's free, so there is no excuse for not taking part. If you are not a runner, you can start walking and work your way up to a run, as your fitness improves. It's a perfect way to help with any fitness goals. The people are a friendly bunch. I met my running friend on my first few runs and we've run and chatted more than 1,000kms since then. Now that I have run over 200 Parkruns, I'm working my way around all 9 of the Parkrun events on the Gold Coast.
Paradise Point absolutely lives up to its name. The backdrop of the seaway, with a safe swimming area bordering the shore path and board walk, is a picture perfect setting for a Parkrun. The route is wonderfully flat – a north out, followed by a south out and back and a funny little north out and back, at the end to make up the distance. The views are just great. The early morning sun sparkling off the water made me grateful for my peak, as it was quite dazzling. There is some tree shade but also sections in full sun. The people, as at all Parkruns I've run, were friendly and happy to have a chat. As usual, there were a mix of abilities and ages, with an assortment of prams and dogs and lots of kids joining in too. The netted swimming area looked so inviting I went straight in after the run, clothes and all.
There are a number of cafes along the strip opposite the park for a post-run coffee. It's fairly busy, even at 7 am, with many people out enjoying the early morning. Jet skis streamed past, boats relaxed on the water, swimmers were making their way back and forward along the edge of the sea pool and others were walking their dogs. The whole area has a lovely positive vibe with residents enjoying the wonderful location. The day I ran Paradise Point, there was also yoga in the park that started at 8 am. So it was possible to run 5km, have a swim in the sea and then join a yoga class ($10). What a wonderful start to a Saturday.
Golden Moments: The sun sparkled off the water and the boats lazily moored. Seeing the community enjoying the location in a variety of ways. Swimming - despite not having swimmers - was an enjoyable throwback to childhood days.
Start: The run starts and finishes back on Esplanade North Park at Paradise Point. Find The Esplanade and Bruce Ave road intersection, walk towards the pier and you will be right there.
Time: Every Sat at 7 am.
Parking: Street parking over about a kilometre stretch along the edge of the park
Facilities: Covered BBQ, great playground, swimming area, toilets.
Post run coffee: At one of the many cafes just across the road from the park.
Don't forget your barcode. No barcode = no time. Your time gets emailed to you after the event. You need to register before you go for the first time and carry a barcode with you. If you have a printed one, it helps to laminate it, as when it gets damp with rain or sweat, it tends to fall apart or you can use your phone. I was gifted a Parkrun wristband with my barcode on it, which is one of the most useful gifts I've ever received. Click here to register.