Event Profile

Mount Isa parkrun

If there’s a world record for the parkrun that got approved in the shortest time Mount Isa might be it.

This Queensland event is one of 20 that came about through the Embracing 2018 Commonwealth Games initiative.

It was so quick off the mark that within 100 hours of learning of funding event director Sarah Choyce (A823227) had everything in place.

The event launched on March 31, 2018 with 102 finishers and 11 volunteers. It averages 52 finishers.

“Our Saturday mornings are a great start to the weekend,” says Sarah.

“In the cooler months (approximately April to September) we often have quite a few visiting parkrunners from all over the country.

“In the warmer months it’s just our core group of runners, walkers and volunteers.

“Mount Isa is a pretty transient town so while our crowd changes a little, we are a welcoming bunch and many great friendships have blossomed at our parkrun.”

“I’m told we have one of the quickest times from application (including from the landowner) to approval in under 100 hours.

“The rush was to meet a funding deadline to ensure Mount Isa parkrun could be one of the 20 new parkruns to be supported by the Embracing 2018 – Commonwealth games initiative.”


“I started parkrunning in 2013 in Toowoomba, encouraged by a friend who was already part of the parkrun family in Townsville.

“I had small children and to get out of the house by myself, be active and have a coffee afterwards sounded like heaven!

“From there my parkrun love began, and when we moved to Mount Isa at the end of 2017 and there wasn’t a parkrun, I joked I’d start one, and well, the planets aligned and I did.

“I’ve met some great people I never would have if it wasn’t for parkrun and I’m so grateful to be part of the parkrun family.”

The Mount Isa course goes along the Leichhardt River.

Sarah says there is only ever water views for a couple of weeks of the year – most of the time it’s just the riverbed.

It’s a two lap course, all on the footpath which is mostly flat.

“It’s pretty kind.

“Our parkrun is fairly remote, apart from Cloncurry (about 1.5 hours away) so visitors are usually pretty happy to find us on their travels.

“For locals, like any parkrun, people are often surprised how easy it is to be involved.”

There’s no dedicated café, find out on the day which one of the locals they are visiting.

“Any coffee always tastes better after a run!”

While at Mount Isa parkrun

With a rich mining history dig deep with a mining tour.

There are plenty on offer, including a visit to the Mary Kathleen Mine, an old uranium open cast mine. When it closed in 1981 the whole town was dismantled.

Visit Lake Moondarra and the hatchery that keeps the lake stocked with fish.

There’s also an underground hospital and Mount Isa is home to the southern hemisphere’s biggest rodeo.

An hour’s drive east is Fountain Springs, where water bubbles through the quartzite fault line.

What’s in a Name…

It’s most likely named after the Mount Ida gold mines in Western Australia after prospector John Campbell Miles was taken with friends’ stories of the mines.

In 1923 he was on an expedition when he found mineral deposits, he and four farmers staked out the first claims in the area.

Mount Isa is on Kalkadoon country.

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