Alphanotties – Making a Challenge of (not)parkrun

While in locked down Victoria Bruce Purdie found another way to keep on parkrunning around Australia and achieve a running challenge.

Every (not)parkrun he and fellow parkrun adventurer Nadine Crawford have visited a parkrun starting with each letter of the alphabet.

Of course they’re not visiting for real, and not together either as the pair live three hours apart.

Instead it’s by changing their home parkrun so as to appear in that event’s (not)parkrun results.

Bruce and Nadine logged (not)parkruns with Zillmere on October 13. On Saturday, October 30, the pair again “attended” Zillmere parkrun in Brisbane, along with several other adventurers they rounded up along the way.

The challenge

The pair are both parkrun event ambassadors and it was during lockdown in September that Bruce says Nadine was after a challenge.

They were already doing Streaky September – a parkrun Adventurers challenge to run or walk 2km a day.

“Your challenge could be multiple (not)parkruns this week. How about alphabetically?” Bruce offered.

“I spoke with Mel Ellis the following day who scratched her head for a bit, then, realising the potential for a nottie catch up in Zillmere, jumped on board with gusto.

“Nadine and I have been totally amazed at how many other have joined in and their logics for choosing the letters.

“I guess if you asked me how I feel about the seed of our idea growing and inspiring others it would be pride.

“Proud to see so many who have had a real tough 18 months getting out each day with real purpose. Pride also that we are all happier and healthier.”

Choosing courses

Bruce says he chooses his parkruns from places he would like to visit for a real life parkrun or “if the course makes me smile”.

“I think it’s a real pity that our barcodes are linked to our countries because that limits any international Adventurers from visiting Zillmere for a nottie on the 30th.

“To that end though I have emailed UK HQ and asked if notties could become international. We could then all become Global Tourists.”

Bruce’s background

Bruce has been a parkrun adventurer from his very first parkrun, having discovered the free, weekly, timed 5km while on holiday in Perth.

His first event was at Claisebrook Cove in 2014. He says he was looking for a fun run while on holiday and from there he was hooked.

“I met other parkrunners from all over the world and my passion was started.”

Bruce notched up his 200th parkrun just before lockdown.

He’s run 76 of Victoria’s 95 events, as well as completed his parkrun alphabet and is a member of the Peel Club – he also made up his own version while (not)parkrunning.

“I’m just happy to slowly tick off my state however long it takes.”

He says he’s had many early morning starts on the day, “though there have been many flights, train rides and car travel earlier in the week”.

Mystery adventure

One of his wildest trips was not knowing which parkrun he would travel to until arriving at his destination.

“Our ultimate parkrun adventure was to book a three day Mystery Getaway which included flights and accommodation in an unknown city.

“Our flights were booked for Friday to coincide with parkrunday. We discovered at the airport that our destination was Brisbane and the location of the motel.

“There were feverish searches using the Tourist Tool and the public transport system however walking 40 minutes to South Bank parkrun was the best option.”

Top three

His top three events are all in Victoria.

“Wallaby Track parkrun has such a range of scenery, nature and urban views. It is like five great parkruns in one.

“Nhill parkrun – when the average age of the volunteers is over 80 it says unique. It also has pretty views and a strong community.

“Then Birdsland Reserve parkrun; it’s pretty and surprising. It’s hidden away in an area that I never would have discovered if it wasn’t for parkrun.”

His parkrun bucket list features Bushy for his pilgrimage, Puarenga parkrun in Rotorua, New Zealand for the geothermal activity, “it sounds unique”, and Coomera, Main Beach, New Farm and Ginnindera to finish off his First 10 Aussie parkrun list.

“I am always amazed at the adventures and opportunities that a simple barcode can provide.”

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