GOING PURPLE: Next weekend, the Emerald Parkrun start line will be a sea of purple, as Emerald Pharmacy Services takes over to raise awareness for epilepsy.
GOING PURPLE: Next weekend, the Emerald Parkrun start line will be a sea of purple, as Emerald Pharmacy Services takes over to raise awareness for epilepsy. Kristen Booth

Joining forces for great cause

RUNNING: Craig Drummond, one of the founders of Parkrun in Emerald, said he was proud to be part of a group that was now also able to help raise awareness and recognition for organisations promoting their causes in the region.

Mr Drummond said Parkrun on March 30 would be run by Emerald Pharmacy Services who were highlighting Purple Day for epilepsy.

"It's great. Anything that we can put time into and support and get the message out there and make people aware of is fantastic.”

Mr Drummond said the morning would be a great way to spread the word in the community and raise money for those affected by epilepsy.

He said community organisations or foundations were welcome to join forces with Parkrun to encourage support in the community for their causes.

"I feel proud that we're able to fully support causes in any way.”

He said Parkrun, which is a free event held in the Emerald Botanic Gardens each Saturday morning, was a "good start to the weekend” for people of all ages and abilities.

"It gets you motivated for the rest of the day and it's something to look forward to.

"I run every week, and I use Parkrun for training for half marathons.”

He said many people started Parkrun with a view to train and be able to run the whole 5km, a feat many managed within six weeks.

"Gradually you can increase the amount of time you're running and keep increasing it each time.

"Don't go hard in the first kilometre - go at a nice comfortable pace and breathe nice and steady.

"Once you can do the whole 5km you can pick up your pace and time your runs.”

He said people were also welcome to walk the course and improve their health and general fitness levels.

"It's endurance and fitness. And it's the community catching up with each other.

"There's also heaps of kids and Parkrun can be part of their training for other sports.”

Mr Drummond, who runs between 80-90km each week, said locals were welcome to join in Parkrun, but also talk to volunteerS about improving their lifestyles.

"Come to Parkrun and talk to us about better eating styles, try and cut down on alcohol, get rid of cigarettes - it's possible if you want to.

"There's quite a few people who come down and they're just shredding the weight.

"I'm 52 and I feel like I'm 30. I just enjoy running and I think I inspire other people to get out and do it.

"It's all about fitness and you're only here once so get out and enjoy it. I'll do Parkrun until my legs say 'no'.”

He said Emerald Parkrun had its 95th event last weekend, and was now preparing to celebrate its 100th Parkrun.

Weekly runs, he said, began with a briefing at 6.45am, the run at 7am, and usually attracted about 200 people.


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