Saturday, 2 May 2015

Excerpt from the Parkrun newsletter

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, May 02, 2015 with No comments
The photo below was taken at Menai parkrun on April 18 and it quickly went viral throughout the parkrun world. The photo shows Olympian Eloise Wellings high-fiving first timer Wayne Ward and was taken by 10 year old volunteer photographer Matthew Wilson. Eloise is usually at Menai parkrun every 2nd week. She rarely runs but helps out by marshalling and supporting our parkrunners. Matthew has taken photos for us 2 or 3 times now and is a lovely kid. Below are some words from Eloise, Matthew and his Mum Julia.

Matthew – “I like to spend time taking photos at parkrun because it makes me feel special and I get to hang out with my Mum. It's rare that an Olympian would come to parkrun and I feel proud to have taken a photo like this. This shows that the heart of an Olympian can not only be competitive but kind and welcoming.”

Julia – “I heard about parkrun via a running friend and visited my first one last winter looking to improve my 5km time. I was immediately welcomed into the parkrun family. Matthew started to tag along as his favourite teacher urged him to participate (she is a regular at Sandon Point parkrun). He preferred taking photos to running, but loves the attention he gets from the parkrunners. This one in particular captures what parkrun is all about - everybody is equal, fast or not, we're all in it for our love of running.”

Wayne – “OMG!!! Last week was my very first time with parkrun! Tonight, as I am reading my very first Newsletter – I can't believe my eyes. That is me offering Eloise Wellings a high five as she ran past. She was wonderful. Super-friendly and super-fast. I was already excited about joining parkrun, now I am even more excited! THANKS Matthew for taking the great shot. Your timing was awesome! THANKS Eloise for joining us on Saturday. It was a pleasure to run with you, and I wish you every success in August! I look forward to doing hundreds more parkruns and introducing many of my friends as well.

Eloise – “I first heard about parkrun when I was training in London a few years ago. We would be doing 1km reps in London's Bushy Park on a Saturday morning and out of nowhere there would be literally hundreds of young, old, fast runners and just everyday plodders coming straight for you! I asked my coach Nic where all these people were coming from and he told me about a new movement called parkrun. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves so much! I was delighted when Damon (Menai parkrun Event Director) told me the Sutherland Shire Council had approved a parkrun in Menai. I'm passionate about running. It's enabled me to challenge myself, physically, mentally and spiritually more than any other thing in my life. It's created opportunities to build and make lifelong friendships. It's helped me to learn about the strength of the human spirit and just how much you can achieve when you don't give up. parkrun, in essence creates the opportunity for all of these things. It is, I believe, how sport was meant to be. Pure, challenging, engaging and fun!”

I emailed both Julia and Eloise in the same email requesting some words. Julia let me know that Eloise had already sent an email to Matthew thanking him for the photo and, as Eloise's husband is a photographer, she let him know he had wonderful talent and wished him all the best.  

- copied from the newsletter.


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