by Roger Childs

‘Let’s been havin’ ya!’ the big man cries

the tumult and the chatter dies.

Visitors welcomed, messages given

the big field lines up, primed and driven.

Youngsters, oldies, dogs and strollers,

the track is smooth and has no boulders.

The dash is on to reach the bush

the winding path is quite a push.

Under the bridge and on the bank

must keep plenty in the tank

to try and break out from the pack

and catch some folk while coming back.

Now they’re on the final dash

running for pride and not for cash.

Then the usual post-race banter

about the Kapiti Parkrun canter.

Be part of a free world-wide fitness movement

If you can run or walk 5 km you can do Parkrun. In Kapiti the venue is the Otaihanga Domain every Saturday starting at 8.00 am, and the course is out and back along the Waikanae River bank.

It started at Bushy Park in England back in 2004 to get people exercising. Fifteen years later, tens of thousands of people at over 1700 parks in 20 countries do the Saturday Parkrun. And there is no charge!

Before the start, everyone is welcomed, especially new runners, people from overseas and elsewhere in the country. All these folk are warmly applauded.

The technology is a key part of the efficiency of the events. You can do the run or walk, then drive home and find an email waiting for you. In the email you get your time and a full set of results.

The results package provides heaps of information: all the placings, age categories of all competitors, a percentage value on your performance, how many park runs people have done, whether there have been PBs (personal bests) and so on.

This is all possible because when you finish, volunteers zap your place disk and your personal bar code.

Give it a go!

Park run provides a personal challenge: to run, or walk if you wish, 5km.  You can race it, jog it, go with your kids, push a stroller, take the dog, whatever.

It’s easy to register and it costs nothing. Go to

Once you’re registered, the key thing to remember is to take your bar code to the event! You’ll receive six.If you forget, no worries, one of the volunteers will take your name and place. Tip: Laminate your bar code so it will last longer. Park run is a great way to get fitter, lose weight and feel better. You also get to know plenty of interesting people. It’s got to be good for you!