Railway Park parkrun volunteers gathered in Proston on Saturday morning for the inaugural run (Photo: Ros Heit)

October 6, 2021

The South Burnett’s third parkrun event – officially known as the “Railway Park” parkrun – began in Proston at the weekend.

The 5km Proston walk/run joins the successful Wondai and “Ros Gregor Trail” (Nanango) parkruns which attract keen participants every Saturday morning.

Forty-five eager runners tuned up at 7:00am on Saturday for the inaugural event, held at Railway Park in Rodney Street.

The Wondai parkrun was started in January 2017 by local resident Ros Heit and a small team of enthusiasts. It recently celebrated its 200th weekly event (not counting the COVID-forced closures) and attracts an average of 50 runners or walkers every Saturday.

The Ros Gregor Trail parkrun began in 2019 and will be celebrating it second birthday this Saturday. Its usual roll-up is about 45 participants.

So why are the two latest parkruns named after parks rather than towns?

“Up until 2019 parkruns were named after the town where they were located but as the numbers of events grew exponentially, parkrun HQ made the decision to name each parkrun by the park or area the event starts in,” Ros said.

“Wondai was started before this rule came in.”

She said there were two main advantages to having parkruns in the area.

“Firstly, for locals it is an opportunity to socialise, get out in the fresh air, get those steps up and enjoy meeting friends old and new,” she said.

“In good times and bad the exercising and social networking can only be of value. For those that don’t want to walk or run there are opportunities to volunteer and help make parkrun happen each week.

“Secondly, over seven million people worldwide have registered for parkrun and many are devoted parkrun fans who love to visit new parkruns.

“These visitors enjoy parkrun but also will stay in our region, eat and drink locally and bring much needed funds into our local businesses.”

Organisers expect that visitors holidaying in the region at Boondooma Dam will often join local residents at the Proston event.

Runners register on the parkrun website with all the Australian events featured on a special map.

“In the South Burnett we have been lucky that the three parkruns are spread across the region, sharing the love and providing three different venues to enjoy,” Ros said.

“Its totally free and participants register once and take their printed barcode to each event.  Have you tried one or all of our local parkruns yet?”

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Wondai parkrun veterans Ros Heit and Craig and Claire Kapernick at Proston on Saturday (Photo: Ros Heit)

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