On Every Saturday – new parkrun book

It started out as a university assignment and was never meant to become real.

Thankfully for parkrunners David Crook’s marketing project has made it into print.On Every Saturday is published next month.

It celebrates Australia’s first 10 parkrun years and outlines parkrun’s history as well as featuring some of the country’s events.

David is studying for a Masters of Arts degree in Creative Writing at University of Technology Sydney.

“We had a unit called Book Publishing and Marketing,” David says.

There were three assignments: write a pitch for a book; cover design brief and a marketing plan.

“The assignment wasn’t about a book, it was about these plans but to do it as thoroughly as possible as soon as I had the idea I contacted Tim Oberg, predominantly to get some stats from him.

“But talking about it started to feel like it was actually something good to do as a book and not just an assignment.”

This was in August last year. 

Discovering parkrun

Since then David has fleshed out a book that sounds like it’s going to be a hit with everyone who has run a parkrun in Australia.

David ran his first parkrun at Evesham in the UK while visiting friends in June 2018. Since then he’s run 28 at the time of writing, mostly at North Sydney.

He’s been a runner since around 2010 when he trained towards a half marathon. He ran a marathon in 2011, which turned out to be the first of many. 

David was an Australian diplomat working in trade and industry. He lived in the UK for a time and it was while with friends he experienced his first parkrun.

He said he immediately loved it.

“Every marathon start line is the same with all the excitement, anticipation and apprehension. There’s none of that at parkrun.

“Everything about parkrun is good, even North Sydney where we’ve a hill we have to tackle!”

About the book

The book features a chapter on parkruns overseas (and a section in New Zealand) but it’s predominantly about Australia’s first 10 years.

As a relative newcomer to parkrun it’s been an opportunity to learn more about the subculture of parkrun, including the world of tourism and challenges.

As well as Oberg he also spoke with Debra Bourne, the author of the first book about parkrun.

“She had done a history and that was the important thing for her. I wanted to communicate what parkrun was.”

He said there were three audiences he wrote for: parkrunners who wanted to feel good about parkrun and learn something that could lead to them getting more involved; the people involved with their local parkrun and people who didn’t know anything about parkrun.

“I thought this book might help them think maybe they should get involved.”


The book features parkruns from all across Australia and David says he hopes people think he’s got a good representation of what parkruns are out there.

Each state and territory is represented, starting with the first to launch in each. Then I looked at the alphabet and the only Z, there are some in the outback. 

“I wanted to surprise people with places they wouldn’t have thought of.

“I’m looking forward to people reading it but I’m nervous yet anticipating their feedback.”

He says he enrolled in his Masters not because he wanted to write about parkrun, though it’s a project that has given him a lot of joy.

“I’m not trying to become a person who writes books like this; I’m trying to become a person who writes novels but for the last eight months I’ve not been able to do that!

“It’s been a great project; I’ve got to meet and talk to so many great people.”

You can pre-order On Every Saturday from Booktopia. It’s published on November 9.

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