January 18th, 2023Off to a flying start: Creswick’s new Calembeen parkrun
Words & Image: Eve Lamb
THE new year has got off to a cracking start at Creswick with the town joining the
nation’s list of locales to host a regular Saturday morning parkrun.
Parkruns are free, weekly, 5km community events that take place all around the world, with more than 450
different parkruns registered Australiawide.
Others in Central Victoria alone include parkruns at Maryborough, Castlemaine and Ballarat, and while they’re called parkruns, walkers are also very welcome to participate.
Calembeen parkrun director, Creswick’s Adam Crutchfield, is one of the main driving forces behind the
establishment of this new parkrun and says there are a couple of reasons he was so keen to see it become reality for the town.
“Two reasons,” he says. “To engage with the community and also for tourism.
To invite more tourism, because parkrun is well known in Australia.
“We’re keen on attracting visitation and encouraging other parkrun people
from other towns.”
And so it was that, following a couple of initial practice runs last month, the new
Calembeen parkrun had its very first official date on Saturday – January 14 – to the
delight of the throng of keen local and visiting runners, walkers and volunteers.
As the name suggests, the location for this new addition to the global parkrun
listings is Creswick’s own uniquely scenic Calembeen Park with its twin central water
features and leafy bushland ambience.
“It reaches out to people on a weekly basis and I think it’s important that it’s a
consistent event, but a great thing about it is that there is no commitment,” Adam
This means you can participate as a runner, walker or volunteer when it works for
Volunteers are a vital part of making parkrun the international success story that
it is, and Creswick’s Chrissy Austin is one such volunteer whose husband Chris is a
keen runner and parkrun enthusiast.
“It’s very exciting,” she says. “The course here at Calembeen is a couple of loops.
It meanders off into the bush for a bit and it’s got a couple of undulating hills.
“If you want to register a run it’s really easy.
“You just go to the parkrun website to register and they will email you your own
unique barcode which you can then use to register your time at any parkrun that you
participate in, anywhere.
“Even if you don’t want to run or walk you can volunteer. It’s only for an hour
and it’s got a really good vibe.”
Among the new parkrun’s eager participants, Creswick’s Kerry McKenzie says the
health benefits of parkrun are a top reason to be part of it.
“I think it’s really good for mental health,” she says. “The main thing is just to get
outside, and it brings people together.”