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    EVENT HELPERS: From left, Wendy Davies, Jill Roberts, Leeann O’Beirne and Jackie Exell were some of the volunteers helping run Horsham’s Wimmera River parkrun at Sawyer Park at the weekend, where 94 people ran, jogged or walked the course. Picture: LOTTE REITER

Parkrun directors building on goals

By Lotte Reiter

At a time when many people might be using Horsham’s weekly Wimmera River parkrun to help fulfil their New Year’s fitness resolutions, they are also helping the growing event to hit goals of its own.

Event co-director Andrew Sostheim said park-runners, joggers and walkers had officially clocked up 30,000 kilometres in distance covered, amounting to about 150 full days of activity since the event’s launch in August 2018.

Mr Sostheim said this was the result of about 1200 participants completing about 6900 parkruns along the course, which starts at 8am every Saturday at Sawyer Park.

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He said it was a proud achievement for the growing event, which welcomes new participants each week.

“We seem to be kicking goals at the moment,” he said.

“It’s good to see achievements being made and to see people getting into the habit of coming along each week.

“We’ve also had 148 individuals volunteer on 584 occasions filling the super easy weekly roles, such as tail walker, where one of our volunteers comes last each week so that no-one else has too. It’s all running really well.”

Mr Sostheim said tourism was an important part of parkrun events, for Horsham and across the world, with people travelling to participate on different courses. He said Wimmera River parkrun welcomed participants from the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand, as well as Western Australia and Queensland.

He said a high level of tourists also attended a special New Year’s Day parkrun last week.

“We had a parkrun on New Year’s Day which was really well received and lots of tourists were there too,” he said.

“All are blown away by the friendly Wimmera community and our beautiful city and river precinct.”

Mr Sostheim said co-ordinators would continue to build on the event, including more dress-up days and community engagement.

“We have a few things in the pipeline,” he said.

“One of them is that we’re thinking of combining a parkrun with Horsham police and having a cops and robbers-themed event. 

“We already have a few police members involved, so that will be a good event to dress up and have a bit of fun.

“We are also thinking about having a junior take-over day, where the kids who participate are given volunteer roles.

“We’ll just keep building on what we have.”

People can register free of charge online at

The entire January 8, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!