The (not)Peel Club

Visiting parkruns based on song lyrics, or virtually revisiting places of significance has led to two Aussie parkrunners completing (not)parkrun challenges.

Sam and Luke Schroder are among the hundreds of parkrunners recording (not)parkruns while on pause.

And like Bruce Purdie and Nadine Crawford, they are doing it with a twist.

Neither are close to completing the official Peel Club, but thanks to (not)parkrun they have the virtual version under their belts while on lockdown in New South Wales.

“Bruce Purdie suggested the alphabet (not) challenge in a comment somewhere.

“I had just hit serious Groundhog Day blues in week whatever of lockdown 2.0 and it was just the idea I needed to lift my spirits.

The challenge

“Luke and I chose different parkruns for most letters of the alphabet and when I realised I had inadvertently gone everywhere except the Northern Territory I locked in Nightcliff for the (not) PEEL.”

Luke logged a (not)parkrun at Palmerston for NT and Main Beach for Queensland to join Sam in the club a few days later.

“For me it’s been quite personal. I’ve chosen places I lived growing up, places where people I love live, extra special courses I’ve been to, etc.”

“For Luke, he’s trying to choose every course based on an Australian rock song. He’s doing very well, he’s ‘visited’ towns that appear in songs or towns of special relevance to his favourite bands.”

These include Applecross (Applecross Wing Commander by You Am I), Benalla (it’s featured in the song Long Load by The Fauves) and Devonport (Lights of Devonport by Weddings, Parties, Anything).

“Proper parkrunners like you and me think it’s cool, but I do think some people think I’m a bit too obsessed with my spreadsheets!”

How it started

Sam’s first official parkrun was at Bowral, NSW, on March 11, 2017.

“Several years before we ever tried it, a friend told us about Parramatta parkrun.

“We didn’t know until later they happened all over the place.

“Our first tourist run was in November 2018. We did Bathurst parkrun the day before my first time running Mount Panorama Punish, which might just be my favourite running event besides parkrun.

“If we were away somewhere near a parkrun, and it suited, we would do it, but for Luke and I, serious parkrun tourism and a passion for the challenges kicked off on November 23 2019, the first Saturday of our 16 week road trip around Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.


“We’ve had many memorable experiences, including my PB at my home course of Picton in 2019, where so many of my beautiful running friends were there to watch me vomit and cheer me on.

“And meeting beautiful people who have become friends on our road trip at Meningie, Lochiel and Port Lincoln in SA.

“My top three are Picton, Mount Gambier and Merimbula.

“Picton because it’s my home run and I’ve been involved since the start, helping with trials and tail walking on launch day.

“Mount Gambier, because it’s the most stunning location, around the rim of a crater lake located in a dormant volcano. And when they say blue, they mean the bluest blue you ever saw.

“Merimbula, because part of the course is run on the most amazing boardwalk with no handrails. At high tide it feels like you’re running on water.”

What parkrun means to Sam

“I didn’t call myself a runner until I found parkrun. I didn’t know there were whole communities of people who would make me feel welcome and confident as a runner.

“But the thing I value the most about parkrun is that I get the chance to show other people that same welcome when I volunteer.

“The wonderful thing about parkrun is that it truly is for everyone. Walk or run, on your own or with your friends, pushing a pram or walking your dog – parkrun is for you. All of you.”

On Sam’s parkrun bucket list are The Beaches, NSW, Nambour to meet Fluffy and Beach Strip in Canada.

“It’s 40 minutes drive from my son’s house in Niagara Falls, USA, and if I’m running it that will mean I’ve hugged my son, Julian, for the first time since March 2019 and it will also mean I’ve met my three grandkids, Sofia (7), Julian Junior (JJ) (16m) and Apollo (5m) and my beautiful daughter in law, Shannon.”

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