New NZ Countryman Sarah Jantscher

On May 15 Sarah Jantscher (A1048005) completed all parkruns in New Zealand.

Invercargill is about as far away as you can get from Riddlesdown parkrun in the London Borough of Croydon.

For parkrunner Sarah Jantscher the two places are the book-ends in her parkrun tourism journey to date.

Sarah is the newest member of the parkrun New Zealand Countryman club (which Runs With A Barcode is calling Alltearoa).

This means she has run every parkrun event in New Zealand.

She completed this feat on May 15 with a flying visit to Invercargill parkrun.

Her parkrun story began in 2013 but took a while to get going. She’s now on just over 300 parkruns.

“I read about parkrun in a free magazine on the train in London. I registered but didn’t turn up for months.

“Then I found a parkrun very close to the house I moved to and it still took me six months to go there. My first parkrun was at Riddlesdown parkrun on August 2, 2014.

At Riddlesdown parkrun

“My first tourist parkrun was to Roundshaw Downs parkrun on New Years Day 2017.

“I had a car by then and was able to drive between parkruns for the double. At Riddlesdown there were a couple of uber tourists and they talked about going to other parkruns.”

Getting started

Despite that encounter it was only when Sarah moved to New Zealand in 2018 that she decided to tour parkruns.

She’s only run at Riddlesdown and Roundshaw Downs in mainland UK, plus one at Guernsey.

But she must have caught the travelbug now as she’s also run in the US, Australia and Germany. Most recently she travelled to Brisbane to run South Bank.

“I only started my parkrun tourist journey when I moved to New Zealand. I wanted to complete all parkruns here as it would be a nice way to explore the country and a goal for my time here.”

She says she’s not one of those tourists who sets an early alarm to travel.

“I’m not a morning person so I avoid getting up early and travel the night before.”

Her trip to Invercargill from Wellington is the furthest she’s travelled specifically to run a parkrun.

“I found an amazing place for bagels on that trip!!

“I also won a competition with Healthspan, who were a UK parkrun sponsor at the time. It was for a trip to Guernsey to attend parkrun. They even booked me taxis to and from the hotel to parkrun.”

Celebrating 250 parkruns at Western Springs

Two of her top three experiences involve family.

“Staying an extra day in San Francisco to attend Crissy Fields parkrun with my brother – it was totally worth it!

“It had the view of the Golden Gate Bridge and of San Francisco, loads of other tourists for a post-parkrun chat and exchange of stories.

“Alstervorland parkrun in Hamburg, Germany, for personal reasons. My brother lived in Hamburg and the trip there was my mum’s birthday present. The parkrun was just a short walk away from the hotel we stayed at.

“I was running with my brother and my mum was cheering us on.

“My third would be East End parkrun in New Plymouth. It is an amazing course by the ocean, the highlight was Te Rewa Rewa bridge and the option to have a dip in the ocean afterwards – loads of parkrunners went in full running gear!

“There are two parkruns on my bucket list. Mole Valley parkrun because it is in a vineyard. I did a half marathon there and it was beautiful. And Bushy parkrun – don’t need to say why!”


Sarah has a few tips for parkrunners looking to explore other events.

“Check the course map carefully the night before and check for parking– alast minute panic never helps with running.

“I ran around Palmerston North trying to find the start, I was on the other side of the bridge!

“Don’t be shy and strike up a conversation. Commenting on a milestone t-shirt is usually a good way as everyone is proud of wearing one.

“Just go for it – it will be fun and you will learn something new!

“It took me almost 2.5 years for my first tourist trip – and then it was only to do the New Year’s double.”

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