South Aussie Statesman Errol Poole

High on Errol Poole’s bucket list is a parkrun with his name on it.

Poole parkrun and Bushy parkrun are the two places this Australian uber tourist would like to get to.

“Bushy Park as that is where it all began and it’d be a great experience running with so many other parkrunners. Also I’d like to do Poole parkrun as that is my surname.”

Adelaide-based Errol has run 343 parkruns and 175 different events. It all started because he wanted to meet new people.

“My very first parkrun was at the launch of Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills in March 2014.

“I read about the start of Mount Barker in the local newspaper. 

“I wasn’t a runner at the time but I thought it would be a good social activity and a way of meeting new people – I had recently moved to the area and didn’t know anyone.”

Five months later he had his first tourism experience – and interstate parkrun – with a run at Albert parkrun in Melbourne. 

First challenges

“I’m originally from Victoria so whenever I went back home for Christmas holidays I would find a parkrun to go to.

“Although I had already been to a few different parkrun events, it wasn’t until about two years into my parkrun journey that I started to take on some of the tourist challenges. 

“My daughter, Khloe, and I started working on the alphabet challenge.

“Planning to tick off most of the letters for the alphabet involved a lot of travelling because most of the letters needed were interstate parkruns. 

“At the time I started there weren’t many parkruns in South Australia. Fortunately I still had family in Victoria where I returned quite often for Christmas and special occasions.  

“I also was working in Northern NSW for a while, which enabled me to tick off the final alphabet letters needed, as well as tour to many other different parkruns. 

“I’ve actually completed the alphabet challenge almost twice now, just needing another Z.”

They travelled to Western Australia in 2017 to collect their Q, Errol says this is the furthest they’ve travelled specifically for a parkrun.

“Visiting Quinns Rocks parkrun and touristing in general,  gives you a chance to explore areas where you may not normally visit. 

“I also visited Manjimup parkrun south of Perth while I was there. 

“Quinns Rocks parkrun is on the coast so it was lovely to run beside the beach. It surprisingly has a few little hills on the turnaround points. 

“Some of the Mawson Lakes course goes around a lake and is pretty much a flat course.”


Errol says his parkrun tourism is restricted to a drive of less than two hours on the day, otherwise it’s an overnight stay. 

He has two older children who live in Adelaide and Melbourne and they rarely run together, but Errol’s biggest parkrun tourism highlight involves a family holiday where everything came together.

“My biggest highlight was when I organised a trip to Cairns for my birthday with my three children. It was great to attend a parkrun with them.

“It gives me much joy when one or more of my kids visit a parkrun with me. Sadly it’s just me who regularly parkruns now.”

At Newborough for Christmas 2019

Top three

Errol’s top three parkrun visits cover a variety of terrains. His three are The Beaches and Merrimbula in New South Wales and Kate Reed parkrun in Tasmania.

“The best parkrun experience I would recommend is at The Beaches parkrun when it’s high tide.

“It is so much fun trying to run in knee-deep water when a wave hits you. 

Kate Reed parkrun in Tasmania is a great parkrun if you enjoy trails. It’s in a beautiful area and most of the course is on singletrack. 

“It has a few technical sections and is a good challenge.  

“I found some cheap flights over to Tasmania during the Christmas/New Year period so I jumped at the chance to attend two more parkrun events. 

“I hadn’t actually planned on going to Tasmania for a holiday. I think I was only there for four days but managed to do two different parkruns, one being on New Year’s Day. 

“Merimbula parkrun in New South Wales is a unique experience as a lot of the course is run on a boardwalk over the water.

“It takes a bit of planning if I want to complete a particular parkrun challenge but these days I just like to visit different parkruns and hopefully pick up a Wilson Index number as well. 

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a few months off from working which has enabled me to travel around some of Queensland visiting different parkruns while staying with family.” 

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