NEED FOR SPEED: Luke McCaul in full flight at the first Airlie Beach parkrun on Saturday.
NEED FOR SPEED: Luke McCaul in full flight at the first Airlie Beach parkrun on Saturday.

Strong numbers for first run

RUNNING: Airlie Beach's inaugural parkrun has exceeded expectations, attracting more than 60 runners and walkers on Saturday morning.

Abell Point Marina hosted the maiden weekly run, with organiser Bob Barford delighted with how it went.

"We had 63 runners, so that was pretty good for the first go," he said.

"Part of the philosophy of parkrun isn't to be the big whiz-bang, marvellous (event) right from the beginning.

"It's about building a running base, gaining volunteers and working with the community that way.

"We had a bit of feedback on Facebook and so far everyone has been positive, so that's really good."

While Saturday's first parkrun had impressive numbers, Barford didn't expect to maintain the momentum leading into Christmas.

"The numbers will go down at this time of year. As we get into next year our numbers will continue to build," he said.

"I think we'll end up with about 100 on a regular basis."

Another factor that made Saturday's run a seamless, successful event was the presence of parkrun Australia general manager Tim Oberg, who lives locally.

"He was really happy with how it went," Barford said.

"He was happy with the whole set-up and is very glad to get it going.

"It was really handy to be able to bounce things off him and so on."

Airlie Beach parkrun, which is free to register for, takes place each Saturday from 7am at Abell Point Marina.

Runners and walkers attending parkrun, which also takes place on Hamilton Island, are asked to meet at Barcelona.

To register, visit www.parkrun.com.au.

OFF AND RUNNING

What: parkrun - a weekly run/walk held globally

When: Saturdays from 7am

Where: Abell Point Marina - meet at Barcelona

More information: To register visit http://www.parkrun.com.au


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