Event Profile

Timboon parkrun

For a small parkrun, Timboon has lots to offer parkrun tourists.

Event director Dean Whitehead mentions the wildlife and the community.

parkrun tourists who have got in contact with Runs With A Barcode espouse the gourmet food trail – and the ice cream in particular.

Aside from its launch event numbers are below 100, the average is 45, so Timboon promises to be an intimate event.

Timboon is in the Shire of Corangamite, in the Western District of Victoria.

It’s around 213km southwest of Melbourne. In the 2006 census it had a population of 871.


Dean took over as ED in February from Donna Ellis, who was in the role from its 2017 inception.

“With our return from COVID she was unable to continue with the role. I grew up in the Timboon with my parents owning a dairy farm.

“I’ve been a part of this community my whole life. Our small community has a strong culture of volunteering and helping others when in need.

“My parents have particularly been a big influence as they volunteered a lot of their time to organised many sporting clubs and events when I was growing up.

“I saw this as an opportunity for me to be able to do my bit so that our community can keep this great event going.”

Getting started

It was Dean’s wife Ellen who got her barcode first.

“I then got involved, using parkrun to improve my fitness so I could continue to play football.

“A lot of my involvement has been during the summer months.

“I’m a PE teacher at Timboon P-12 School and have enjoyed some good spirited rivalries with some of my students, many of them I cannot get near now.

“I volunteered a few times, however I was more focused on trying to improve my PB.”

The course

Timboon is an out and back along a rail trail.

“It has a gradual slope, winding down hill to the turn around then a slow incline all the way back to the finish.

“This makes it enough of a challenge to mentally push yourself to the finish, but the consistency makes it achievable.

“Under foot is compacted gravel with a small covering of leaves from the trees that line the course.

“The course can be a little slippery after rain, although the tree canopy often protects runners and the track from the elements.

“The sun often shines through the trees lighting up the track with streams of golden light.

“We regularly spot birds and koalas along the track with the odd kangaroo sharing the course.”


Dean’s still relatively new to parkrun, he’s yet to earn his 50milestone but isn’t far off it.

“I have been Event Director for a little over a month and enjoy the volunteering just as much, if not more than participating as a runner.

“Another reason for me taking on this role was to encourage my family to continue to live an active healthy lifestyle.

“I had the pleasure of running with my son, Parker, who is 4, for his first parkrun a few weeks ago.

“My eldest daughter Stella, 9, is loving being involved improving her times, and being so proud that she can run the distance.

“Thea, 6, enjoys the social side either walking/jogging with her mum or other young friends she has encouraged to join in.

“The local community has been so supportive of me taking on the role, volunteer roles have all been filled without chasing people to help.”

Timboon parkrun meets at the skate park and playground which allows the children who have been pushed by their parents in prams a time to play.

There is a toilet block towards the main shopping centre.

“Timboon is a very small town. The rail trail runs all the way from Timboon north to Camperdown (40km).

“A track is currently being constructed south to join Port Campbell (18km).

“My suggestion is to bring your bike, or hire one, begin from Glenfyne and ride back towards Timboon, which is around 12km).”

The cafe venue is Timboon Provedore on Main St.

“I’m just a quick coffee after parkrun, but they do have nice breakfast options. My go-to is the Moroccan spiced pie for lunch.”

While at Timboon parkrun

Timboon is on the 12 Apostles Gourmet Trail.

This gives visitors to the 12 Apostles Coast and Hinterland the chance to experience amazing artisan food and beverage destinations.

As well as Timboon Ice Cream, the town is also home to Timboon Railway Head Distillery, where you can discover single malt whisky, and Berry World.

There are also boutique stores and an art gallery.

Visit the unusual and historic Timboon Trestle Railway Bridge, which is Heritage listed.

This was built in 1892 and one of the few surviving railway structures of this type in Victoria.

What’s in a Name…

It is believed that the name Timboon comes from the local Aboriginal word “timboun”, which was a word to describe pieces of rock to open mussels.

Timboon is on Girai Wurrung land.

This was originally published in Issue 2 of the Runs With a Barcode magazine.

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