Event Profile

Hamilton parkrun

If you fancy a “cruisey lap of a lake” then Hamilton parkrun is the parkrun for you.

This Hamilton-named event is in Hamilton, Victoria, a large town in the south-western part of the state.

It’s based at Lake Hamilton, Rippon Road, and is a clockwise lap of the lake.

Its parkrun dates back to 2014 when founding event directors Diane and Bryan Barrera first learned of the free 5km event.

At that time Diane was pregnant with daughter Amina.

Co-event director Cindy Riddle says they were inspired by the concept and completing one once Amina was born became a goal.

In May 2015 they all completed their first parkrun at Mount Gambier parkrun in South Australia.

The beginning

Four months later plans were in full swing to start the event in Hamilton with a couple of trial runs that September with around 25 people at each.

“We thought that if we could get 30 people to our launch then we would be happy,” Cindy says.

“On Saturday, October 10 our event team officially launched Hamilton parkrun.

“We set up early and waited eagerly hoping for our 30 participants.

“Smiling faces kept walking down the path, excited to begin their parkrun journey. We were absolutely blown away and completely humbled to have 123 participants at Hamilton parkrun Event #1.

“To date, this still remains our highest attendance.

“We have seen run directors come and go but Diane and Bryan have been there with us through it all.”


“It has been such a privilege to help make their parkrun dream a reality and to see Amina grow up with parkrun as part of her weekly routine.

“Not only are the Barreras the founders of Hamilton parkrun, they are lifelong friends – our parkrun family.”

Hamilton parkrun averages 61 finishers each week and Cindy says there’s a smile waiting for every parkrunner.

“No matter the weather, Hamilton parkrun always feels warm. Hamilton parkrun is extremely family friendly.

“Our event begins right next to the Lakes Edge Adventure Playground making it a great place to gather and chat while the children play.”


“So many people have shared heartwarming stories of how Hamilton parkrun has changed their life.

“Stories of overcoming anxiety and depression, making lifelong friends, feeling included, smashing health and fitness goals. We even have a local GP who refers patients to parkrun, it’s that good!

“Together we have had our fair share of lows but have also celebrated the highs.”

Cindy says she learned of parkrun in August 2015 when she saw a social media post asking for volunteers for a new health and fitness initiative in Hamilton.

She put her hand up and was introduced to Diane, who quickly signed her up as a run director.

“From our first pre-launch meeting, I knew that parkrun was something different to anything I’d been involved in before, something more.

“It felt like a little family beginning a big adventure.

“We have always had an incredible supportive event team creating a relaxed and welcoming environment for volunteers and runners alike.”

“My parkrun commitment has been adaptable to every stage of my life – running PB’s, volunteering while heavily pregnant, walking with a pram, then a double pram! And now running with a dog and my eldest daughter.

“Our parkrun family has been through many highs and lows – birthdays, weddings, babies, cancer treatment, weekly coffee catch-ups, track changes, the mystery of stolen gear, sadly funerals and now a pandemic.

“There are so many stories to be told.

“No matter what life throws at us, parkrun is always there and our team holds each other up.”

Hamilton parkrun’s post-parkrun coffee is at The Roxburgh on Thompson St. Cindy says around 20-30 people usually head there.

“I can’t go past the Smashed Avo but I think others would agree that the banana bread is the go to!

“Ask my children and they say toastie and babycino!”

While at Hamilton parkrun

Hamilton is an hour away from the seaside (Port Fairy, Warrnambool), 20 minutes from the foot of the Grampians (Dunkeld) and only 2.5 hours from the city (Geelong).

The Wannon and Nigretta falls are both less than 15 minutes out of Hamilton – a must see, especially after a big downpour.

The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is a UNESCO world heritage site and contains one of the world’s most extensive and oldest aquaculture systems built at least 6,600 years ago by the Gunditjmara people.

We are absolutely spoilt for choices here in the Western District of Victoria.

There are so many activities that choosing what to do can be tricky!

– Cindy Riddle

What’s in a Name…

Hamilton parkrun is named for the town it is held in.

The town was surveyed in 1849 and gazetted as Hamilton in 1851.

It is believed that it was named after Hamilton near Glasgow in Scotland owing to a large number of Scottish settlers living in the district.

This was originally published in issue 4 of Runs With A Barcode magazine.

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