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Traralgon Parkrun has celebrated its 6th birthday with a dress-up run.

Running for fun & fitness

Running for fun & fitness

Traralgon Parkrun has celebrated its 6th birthday with a dress-up run.

Traralgon parkrun celebrates 6 years

Traralgon parkrun has celebrated its 6th birthday with a dress up theme of ‘Covid leisurewear’ in acknowledgement of 2020 and the lockdown that stopped parkrun literally in its tracks.

Over its 6 years, Traralgon parkrun has welcomed 3415 participants, covered 36,116 parkruns, and has had 430 individuals who have volunteered 2,783 times.

parkrun is a free event, completely run by a core group of volunteer Run Directors, and relies on parkrunners to nominate themselves to various roles each week to help bring the event to the community. "Volunteering is a great way to learn new skills such as timekeeping and barcode scanning, as well as to meet new people", said Run Director Eudora Walker.

COVID-19 shut down parkruns globally, and in many countries, parkrun is still not able to return.

"Victoria was the last state in Australia to re-open parkrun after COVID shut us down for 10 months in 2020," said Event Director Tanya Rong, "but we have worked closely with Latrobe City and parkrun Australia to implement covid guidelines to ensure that we deliver a safe event each weel for our parkrunners."

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New processes such as ‘no-touch’ barcode scanning, hand sanitiser and check-in codes have been added to the weekly event, as well as washing vests and disinfecting finish tokens each week.

There may be some additional tasks required for COVID safety, but it hasn’t stopped the fun at Traralgon parkrun.

"We love dressing up and having fun," laughs Run Director Annette Blythman. "Any excuse for a dress up or tutu, it adds colour and we can all have a laugh together."

Traralgon parkrun has welcomed many newcomers to the course since re-starting on 16 January. With one brief pause in February for a 5 day lockdown, Traralgon parkrun has averaged more than 100 attendees each week, all keen for their parkrun fix. Families and friends participate, with all levels of fitness and ability, especially walkers or those wanting to complete fitness goals.

"parkrun is a wonderfully inclusive event," Event Director Paul Rollandin said. "We support all participants, from walkers and joggers to serious runners. Nobody comes last as we have a volunteer Tail Walker who ensures everybody completes the course safely."

The physical health benefits of walking and running are well known, but parkrun is also about social connection and inclusion.
"parkrun is like one big family," said Event Director Tanya. "We support each other, we welcome newcomers, and everybody is encouraging. There is such a positive vibe, we are immensely proud of our friendly parkrun community."

parkrun is a free 5km walk or run that takes place every Saturday morning at 8am. To register and find out more, go to www.parkrun.com.au

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