Northparkes Rotary Fun Run to benefit local people and Autism Spectrum Australia

0316Run2016

Mayor Ken Keith (centre, back) will fire the gun on May 22!

Local people of all ages will have the opportunity to get active, have fun and support local work by Parkes Rotary Club and Autism Spectrum Australia at the Northparkes Rotary Fun Run on May 22.

Entries will be declared open at a launch held at Harrison Park on March 16. The Fun Run will start and finish at the park and will feature ten and five kilometre events and a two kilometre kids’ event.

The fun run is one of 11 RunNSW community fun runs being held across NSW, sponsored by the Greater Building Society.  Parkes born Olympic marathon hopeful Scott Westcott is the event organiser and RunNSW recreational running manager. Mr Westcott will run in the race and is hoping it will be good training for the Rio Games if he ends up being selected for the Australian Olympic team (he will know in late April).

“The course is mostly flat and I think quite fast,” Mr Westcott said

“It is all on sealed roads so it prepares runners well for the bigger events later in the year too,” he said.

The major sponsor for this event is Northparkes Mine. Northparkes People, Safety and Environment Manager community engagement officer Stacey Kelly said the event will also be raising funds for Rotary projects as well as Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect). She said that Northparkes Mines has a strong focus on health and wellbeing and is encouraging their staff to take part.

Parkes Shire Council Mayor Ken Keith will again fire the starting gun as he has done at the past two events. Cr Keith said the fun run is a great, fun event for the local community to join in. He said having a fun run of this calibre in Parkes was great for the local athletics community and residents.

Parkes Rotary Club secretary Ken Engsmyr said Rotary, as in past years, will use some of the funds raised to assist local schools and sports clubs invest in new equipment. He said a large part of the success of the fun run is the enthusiastic support from local schools. Schools in Parkes have contributed to the event by either sending volunteers to assist with drink stations or by entering school teams.  Several young runners from Middleton and Parkes Christian School will be at the launch.

Athletics NSW and Parkes Rotary Club began the fun run in 2013. Dubbo’s Jane Fardell holds the record in the 10km run for women of 36:25 (2013). Len Darlington of Dubbo holds the men’s 10km record of 35:58 (2014). Dave Matthews from Sydney holds the 5km record of 16:08 (2013) and Kailyn Klein of Lake Macquarie the women’s 5km record of 19:57 (2015).

Early bird entries are just $10 for kids and $20 for the Greater 5k or $30 for the 10k (10k runners receive a t-shirt). Every participant receives a certificate and there will be medals for major age categories in each of the three runs. More information is available on the event website www.parkesrotaryfunrun.com.au