Event Profile

Edinburgh Oval parkrun

Five other parkruns in the neighbourhood didn’t put off the team behind Edinburgh Oval parkrun.

Since it launched in February 2020 with 322 parkrunners it’s found its stride with an intimate group of 50 parkrunners on average.

Edinburgh Oval parkrun takes place in the grounds of Curtin University, Perth.

Mark Kerr (A830028), founding event director, had been running at parkrun since 2014 and is a Curtin University staff member.

“I guess ALL parkruns are a great place to spend a Saturday morning and I can’t really understand why anyone wouldn’t spend a Saturday morning at parkrun.

“It is awesome to see and welcome familiar faces over a period of time and to slowly get to know them in a welcoming, friendly and supportive environment.

“Also, with a smaller crowd the chance to nab a low numbered finish token can be appealing, as well as the opportunity to tick off an “E” on your alphabet challenge.”

Edinburgh Oval’s origin

Mark says a parkrun at Curtin University had been on his mind for a long time before it got legs due to the grounds and facilities available.

“However, there are five other parkruns within about 6-7km of Curtin and the University was undertaking some extensive building works so I put off the idea until the works would be completed a few years down the track.

“Just as I had put the idea to sleep I randomly bumped into a member of staff from Curtin Stadium and mentioned to her about parkrun and if they had heard of it.

“Amazingly, the topic of parkrun had been raised at one of their meetings a couple of days earlier and she was keen to meet up and explore the opportunity.

“A few days later, I sat down with representatives from Curtin Stadium as well as the Curtin Properties Place Activation team and we set to.”

Photos by Mark Baldwin

“They loved the concept as it fitted perfectly with their goal to bring community onto campus and, amazingly, were very happy to pay the start-up fee in full.

“They also very generously offered for us to utilise toilets, provided a storage locker and signed our landowner permission – we are forever grateful and in their debt.

“I promised to get the ball rolling, got in contact with parkrun and started the process of building an event team.

“Everything fell in to place and from initially putting the idea to sleep in August 2019 we launched with 322 parkrunners and an awesome event team in February 2020.”

The course

Edinburgh Oval parkrun’s main attraction is the Avenue of Trees, an out-and-back section that parkrunners experience twice.

The course is a two-lap out-and-back course around Edinburgh Oval with the Avenue of Trees dog-leg.

“We have four hairpin turns and some sharp corners so it is not a fast course, but we are pretty much pancake flat and finish on an ever so slight downhill section!

“We get feedback on how pretty the course and surrounds are as well as how friendly everyone is, which is lovely to hear.

“We also get plenty of “thanks for my E” from the alphabet tourists.”

Mark’s story

After parkrun the place to go is The Carnaby Café in the Curtin Stadium, but the building works are due to be completed soon offering another café option.

Mark says he’s looking forward to sampling the menu.

Mark got into parkrun after his wife, Ngaio, learned of it. Their first parkrun was at Canning River parkrun in March 2014.

“We slowly embedded parkrun in our lives, around kids sport and other things. In 2016 I joined the Event Team at Canning River where I RD’d for a couple of years.

“I also helped with a few RDs at Shelley parkrun when it launched and built an event team.

“Touring has always been a big part of our parkrun journey and collecting finish token number 500 at Bushy parkrun in 2016 has definitely been a highlight along with completing my 49th and 50th different events in Malaysia and Singapore.

“Obviously travel and parkrun tourism is on pause at the moment, which suits me fine, as we build a new parkrun family at Edinburgh Oval.”

While at Edinburgh Oval

Curtin University has a disc golf course but if you’re more daring why not visit Matagarup Zip+Climb?

This is a climb up to the top of the Matagarup Bridge and an opportunity to zipline 400m across the Swan River.

No visit to Edinburgh Oval would be complete without stopping in at the Manning Farmers’ Market, held every Saturday.

Mark says it is “a wonderful market for just a coffee and wander or to do your weekly shop”.

There are also boat and segway tours and bike hire but if you’re looking for something unique, go for a tour around The Perth Mint.

What’s in a Name…

Edinburgh Oval parkrun is named after the oval the course runs around.

The oval was named in honour of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh for his visit to the Western Australian Institute of Technology’s Bentley campus in March 1971.

The institution is now named Curtin University.

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