Ararat’s Kit Bastin achieved a personal landmark of 200 Parkruns on Saturday at the Ararat parkrun.
A parkrun is an organsied free event where participants can either run or walk around a specialised five kilometre course in a park anywhere in the world. It orginally started in England.
Bastin participated in his parkrun in Melbourne in 2004.
“(Running in 200 park runs) happened just by accident,” he said.
“Initially I joined because of the attraction of the organisation of it.”
Bastin likes the many aspects of what parkrun brings – such as the volunteers being runners themselves, the use of a barcode system where a participant scans into the event and is able to view their times, the fact the event costs nothing to participate, and the flexibility of participating.
“At the beginning, I thought I would miss (participating in) more than I would,” he said.
“If something pressing comes up at the last minute, like a dog needs to go the vet or something like that, you just don’t go and no-one is terribly upset.
“It’s that combination of organisation and flexibility that’s attractive.”
Having been involved with numerous running events in the past, such as fun runs, Bastin said he much preferred being involved in Parkruns because of the atmosphere and he got to see his results.
“The problem with fun runs was that they took a lot of organisation to get there. There wasn’t the publication of results and you just did it and then went away and that wasn’t satisfying,” he said.
“I joined the parkrun because of the social side and the engagement with competing with people and laughing about it afterwards.
“Parkruns are also very good, on its website, to have all these statistics which include your best time, worst time and average time and that for each venue you go to – and that can be a point of interest as well.”
Bastin doesn’t train for parkrun but said he is determined to run the whole course.
“I always run the whole way,” he said.
“I might run very slowly but I don’t walk.
“That’s not to say that I don’t respect the walkers at Ararat parkrun. We all have our different goals and life situations.”
With one milestone out of the way, Bastin has no intentions of slowing down.
“I like the idea of the free blue T-shirt that they give you when you get to 500,” he said.