CELEBRATION: Phil Dunkley and friends are excited that Parkrun has been given the green light to host events at Bargara from January 2018.
CELEBRATION: Phil Dunkley and friends are excited that Parkrun has been given the green light to host events at Bargara from January 2018. Mike Knott BUN131217PARKRUN1

Bargara Parkrun gets the green light

BARGARA is about to be swept up in the Parkrun fun, a movement that sees thousands of people across the country start their Saturday morning with a 5km run.

Founded in England, the Parkrun concept launched on Australian soil at Main Beach on the Gold Coast in April 2011, and has since gone on to host weekly events in every state and territory.

Bundaberg Parkrun has been up and running since earlier this year and Phillip Dunkley and his wife Maria Dunkley have been negotiating with Bundaberg Regional Council to offer local participants, and visitors, a second event location in the region.

"We've been talking to local council and showing them what we wanted and marking out different courses,” he said.

"We probably had four different courses that we put forward ... we've got one now that seems to be workable.”

The course will start in the park area beside the Bundaberg Surf Lifesaving Club then head north towards Mon Repos through Barolin Nature Reserve with runners turning around at the third footbridge before heading back past the surf club towards Bargara. The course will then see runners turn around just before the barbecues along the foreshore before heading back to finish where they started.

"We get to see a bit of the nature reserve as well as the foreshore, which will be good,” Mr Dunkley said.

"We've had great support from the locals and since it's been all approved we've had the Facebook site and there's been support there too with people already looking to volunteer.

"We've got the support of the Bundaberg people as well because I know there are some days we won't be able to run because of other events and vice versa in Bundy so we'll be able to work together to give the locals more options.”

Run in more than 360 locations around the country, Mr Dunkley said Parkrun appealed to everyone.

"It's for all ages, it's not just focussing on hardcore runners who like to get their fast time, it's for families and the older generation who are trying to get out there,” he said.

"Watching some of the people from Bundaberg, it's just amazing to see their change in attitude to life.”

Free to join and take part, the events are run by, and rely on volunteers.

The Bargara Parkrun aims to kick off in late January, with two trial runs expected to take part before the official launch date.

For more details head to the Bargara Parkrun Facebook site.



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