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10 February, 2022

Kilcoy Parkrun reaches new milestone with third birthday

THERE was plenty of colour and festive spirit at Yowie Park last Saturday morning as the Yowie Parkrun marked its third birthday.


Visitors came from Warner Lakes, North Lakes, Logan, Stanthorpe and Wondai to join the regular locals, with 65 people (including 21 first timers) running, jogging and walking the 5km course.

Just before last Saturday’s milestone event began, it was announced that there had been 3604 participants and 1164 volunteer positions at the Yowie Parkrun over the three-year period.

At the completion of last Saturday’s event, the participants enjoyed an icy pole or a piece of cake.

For the record, the first placegetter was Stanthorpe’s Jamie Debnam with a time of 21 minutes and 18 seconds, while second was Kilcoy’s Josh Harbidge with 22:15.

Josh and his mum Esther Graves were instrumental in starting the Yowie Parkrun; Esther saying there was a grant through Somerset Regional Council to get it up and running.

Esther said 228 people took part in the first Yowie Parkrun in February 2019, and that there were often 20 to 30 people at the weekly event since then.

Although Covid had caused the weekly Parkrun to be cancelled on a number of occasions in the past two years, Esther said there was still a mix of locals and visitors when the event was held.

With the Parkrun being held across the country, Esther said some participants travelled to numerous locations including interstate for various challenges, such as the alphabet challenge or compass challenge.

Esther and fellow volunteer Diane Lacey said the Yowie Parkrun attracted a number of visitors due to the letter Y not being a common first letter of the name of a Parkrun.

“A lot of people do the alphabet challenge, and come to Yowie Park to get their Y,” Diane said.

Diane and Esther said the weather wasn’t usually a deterrent at a Parkrun, with Diane saying “we run rain, hail or shine”.

Esther said she and many others enjoyed running in the rain.

“When it’s hot, you want anything to cool you down quick,” she said.

Esther and Josh said the Parkrun was a way of bringing the community together, Esther saying: “Parkruns do really well for small communities. You see the locals all the time.”

Diane said it was also about “promoting mental health benefits, getting out and socialising, social interactions, and making connections”.


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