The flight of the Scottairplane

They came about as a means to stand out from other runners and enable his wife to spot him a bit more easily.

But they’ve taken on a life of their own and can now be seen at parkruns up and down the country.

Scott tells us how the Scottairplanes took off (pun intended) pre-parkrun and how they have kept on soaring.

“I used to run a bit but got out of it with work and put on some weight. I’d started jogging again in Albany with a running group associated with the local Shoe Science store.

“About three or four years ago there was a Run Auckland Series in the winter.

“I’d entered an event at Western Springs. My wife Anna comes along to take photographs. She said she found it hard to pick me out in a bunch. The airplane was for her to spot me. The first time I went past the people around me were frowning ‘who’s that silly idiot’.

“Then I noticed that we all took ourselves far too seriously. The second time round I was playing around more, those frowns were turning into smiles.

“By the time we had gone around again three or four other people were doing them.

Scott doing what he does best.

“It started out as fun, for the sake of Anna taking photos. After that event some of my friends I run with kept on doing it. You can’t do it without smiling. It lifts the spirits of everyone.

“Make sure you have fun, smile and you’re enjoying being with the people you’re running with – the way to do that is to do airplanes together. It’s just gone viral.”

He says he’s not sure how the name came about but it’s stuck and now there’s a community group on facebook where people share airplanes from far and wide – including while walking in the Himalayas.

It’s a bit of a buzz for me, I’ll go to a parkrun now and see Scottairplanes.


His parkrun history goes back around the same time to joining the running group.

“I knew nothing about parkrun and one of the other runners asked if I’d done a parkrun yet. I didn’t know what it was. They explained it to me and said to come along one Saturday. 

“Most of them were going to the Western Springs event at that time.

“As soon as I went I was hooked. I thought it was amazing and was kicking myself that I didn’t know about it before then. Then I got a bit more obsessed with it and all the different challenges.

Millwater parkrun Scottairplanes

“My goal is to run all the events in New Zealand. I’m up to 25.

“Because parkrun is so fantastic for people in communities I want more parkruns to be open but at the same time I don’t want there to be too many to start yet because I’m so close!”

He says he loves everything about parkrun – the atmosphere and inclusivity for starters.

“I love that you can turn up and do it at your own pace. 5km is 5km”

Scottairplanes and parkrun

“Hobsonville Point sort of adopted it. It was previously an airforce base so it fits in there.

Hobsonville Point Scottairplanes

Andy Mears and Martin Harrap at Whangarei parkrun often do them. The Saturday before lockdown I went up there for my second time and they were right into it.

“I always say to people that you can’t do them without smiling.

“What I love about visiting other parkruns is you just have to turn up and you’re accepted straight away. You end up having coffee or breakfast with them and they’re offering you tips on where to go and what to do. The whole community is fantastic.

East End parkrun mass Scottairplanes

“I’m a Run Director at Hobsonville Point and I’ll usually get there early and introduce myself to the Run Director of the day. I don’t expect other parkruns to do them but it’s always fun when they do.”

Invercargill Scottairplanes

You can join in with the Scottairplane fun at any running event, photos are posted in this facebook group.

9 replies on “The flight of the Scottairplane”

I hadn’t but I will now! Thanks for reading. I love speaking with parkrunners so if you’ve got a story or you know someone who I should chat with please get in touch.

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