Event Profile

Mount Ainslie parkrun

Mount Ainslie is known in Canberra parkrun circles as being the only trail parkrun in the territory.

It’s also known for its kangaroos, which have been making their mark since the first event in April 2018.

Co-Event Director Kate Potter says one of the faster runners at that inaugural was taken out by a kangaroo hopping across the track.

“We have kangaroos all the time. Part of our briefing is to keep an eye out for them.”

Kate and her co-ED Ed Hutchinson took over the reins in June, though they have both been parkrunning a number of years.

Their daughters are school friends and thanks to that friendship Kate has made parkrun a big part of her life.

“Ed and I have been running regularly at Mount Ainslie since it started.

“Ed and I are old friends because our kids are at the same school.

“We started parkrun to build everyone’s fitness for snowsports and parkrun quickly became an essential part of our lives.

“We like Mount Ainslie for the wide trails and open spaces and we’re a comparatively smaller parkrun.

“Before that we used to run at Ginninderra, another nice Canberra location.

“We both live closer to Ginninderra, but like us, plenty of people travel a little further to Mount Ainslie each week for the trail running.”

Awesome community

When Mount Ainslie started on April 28, 2018 it had 453 finishers. That attendance remains a record (and is just over twice their second highest attendance to date).

These days the average finishers is 128. Martin Dent’s course record of 15:42 at the launch still remains, over three years later.

Mount Ainslie is an out and back trail run with a couple of challenging inclines.

Kate says their “awesome” parkrun community makes it a great place to be on a Saturday morning.

“We have a great range of super fast runners to walkers and everyone in between.

“We have plenty of kids and families and parkrun dogs.

“We have enough regulars to make a welcoming community for first timers and visitors. And of course we have an amazing group of dedicated volunteers.

“We’re Canberra’s only trail run and that makes us special.

“We’re also centrally located. Being so close to the Australian War Memorial makes it special as well.

“We also love our dress up days and get into the spirit of being creative and having fun!”

After parkrun they head to Poppy’s at the Australian War Memorial.

Kate recommends the caramel slice.

While at Mount Ainslie parkrun

For picture-perfect views of Canberra, you can’t go past a visit to Mount Ainslie.

Walk, cycle or drive to the lookout and enjoy the impressive scenery, lovely at all times but a particular treat at sunrise and sunset.

Take in Lake Burley Griffin and many of Canberra’s national attractions, framed by picturesque mountain ranges.

See how Walter Burley Griffin’s vision for the city has been brought to life from the summit.

The War Memorial is nearby, entry is free but timed tickets must be booked.

There are other memorials, museums and galleries nearby.

What’s in a Name…

Mount Ainslie is named in honour of Jaimes Ainslie, a 19th Centrury settler, who was the overseer on Duntroon, a large property in the area.

The suburb of Ainslie, originally part of Duntroon, is also named after him.

After 10 years at Duntroon he returned to Scotland. He died in jail aged 60 while awaiting trial on a charge of assault.

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