New fun run gaining its feet

It’s taken off overseas and now Bay of Plenty local Alison King is hoping the trend of “parkrun” will get families on their feet here.

Parkrun is a free weekly timed 5km run suitable for runners of all capabilities which has been creating a storm of popularity overseas. The global sensation has been running since 2004 and gets people in the local community up and active in a family friendly environment.

Rotorua has now joined the ranks of international parkrun venues with one being established at the Puarenga Park area commencing on Saturday, June 25. Parkrun is a free, weekly, timed 5km run that takes place every Saturday at 8am and is suitable for runners of all capabilities as the only person you are competing with is yourself.

Alison who is helping to organise Rotorua’s first event says more than 1.5 million runners take part in an event each week.

The Puarenga parkrun will start at the MIGS gym beside the car park and heads north along the Sulphur Track for several hundred metres before turning right and following the Sulphur Track towards the Puarenga Stream. It will be a two lap course to make up the 5km distance.

Parkrun New Zealand’s Lian and Noel de Charmoy say they are pleased to see Rotorua get involved with the event.

“We are really excited about having a parkrun in Rotorua with its wonderful cultural heritage and which holds the iconic Rotorua Marathon annually.

“We’re sure it will be very popular with local runners from complete beginners to the more experienced and it’s another way for people to get out on a Saturday morning and exercise in a very social, community environment,” says Lian.

“We have seen from other parkruns that there is such a mix of people that come along and everyone likes that it happens every Saturday at the same time, is well organized, social and free.

“All you have to do is register online and bring your personal barcode to the event. All of your times are then recorded so you can track how well you are progressing or simply know how many times you have run.”

Puarenga parkrun will be the 14th event in New Zealand, with others from Whangarei in the North down to Dunedin in the South.

The establishment of the Puarenga parkrun was facilitated by Alison who is a really keen runner and has been very enthusiastic to get Rotorua on the parkrun map.

She says part of the parkrun ethos is it is run by runners for runners and we encourage parkrunners to volunteer at least three times a year or more, because volunteering is as much fun as taking part and extremely rewarding.

For information on the run and registration people can go to

Registrations for Puarenga parkrun will open by June 3.


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