Run Report

Porirua parkrun recap

Porirua parkrun is one of New Zealand’s older parkruns, it’s first event was July 7, 2013.

It’s now 388 parkruns old – there aren’t that many New Zealand parkrunners with that many runs to their name!

Completing all parkruns in New Zealand is one of my 2021 goals, and since I’d not yet visited Porirua that meant I had to make a special visit.

I was invited along to Bruce McCardle’s infamous bus trip. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and run one of the Wellington region events I’d not yet been to.

My weekend started early Friday with the 7am flight from Rotorua. After landing in Wellington I walked to the bus stop (about 10 minutes) and then got the bus to Courtenay Place. There I alighted and headed towards Te Papa.

It doesn’t open until 10am so I sat by the harbour, enjoying the blue skies and calm waters until then.

Te Papa has a good cloakroom facility, so you can leave weekend bags there while you enjoy the exhibits.


I’m staying in a Lower Hutt homestay (motels were in short supply!) and was offered a ride to Porirua by Brent and Gina Foster. We left at 7.15am and parked up in Bothamley Park about 20 minutes later.

There aren’t many spaces in the car park and we nabbed one of the last. There’s plenty of street parking if you miss out.

One thing I noticed about this parkrun was the art works, particularly this one (on the back of an artwork featuring native widlife).

It’s a compact parkrun in terms of the start and finish being in the same location. This makes it easy to leave jumpers. It was a bit chilly when we arrived but I knew I would warm up quickly.

I had heard a few things about this course so I was curious to experience it for myself.

And we’re off

As soon as you start there’s a noticeable up. While it peters off in places, you are definitely climbing for the majority of the outgoing run.

That being said, when you’re running in something that feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere, rather than in the middle of Porirua, then it doesn’t matter much.

Each kilometre has a post, so if you don’t have a fancy watch you can work out your splits as you go.

At the first timers’ briefing we were told that there was a noticeable rise at 2km. I would say there was a noticeable rise throughout! But at the 2km post you know you only have 500m to go before you can head downhill.

The return leg was noticeably faster than the outgoing, I’m pretty confident that most people will negative split on this course.

As we neared the finish regular parkrunners put their foot down. There were several sprint finishes ahead and behind me. Since I was already booked in to run six freedom runs the following day I didn’t feel the need to bust a gut!

Final thoughts

If your GPS watch measures this course short you won’t be alone – but it won’t mean that it’s not accurate.

Due to the trees, the fact you’re in a gully and the twists and turns, it makes it difficult to record an accurate 5km. All parkruns are accurately measured with a wheel, so no worries there.

Porirua parkrun’s cafe is at McDonalds. I didn’t get the complete Porirua parkrun experience as Brent and Gina wanted to return to Lower Hutt to farewell Lower Hutt regular Lizzi Elton-Walters who is returning to the UK.

If you’re looking for a tranquil parkrun, with a challenge, then Porirua would fit that bill.

It’s one that would be a great parkrun to visit when the wind is blowing at Lower Hutt.

One reply on “Porirua parkrun recap”

David and I did the Porirua Parkrun on New Year’s Day. We really enjoyed it. I am not very good at uphill but found it definitely runnable all the way uphill and we just let it rip and went as fast as we could for the downhill – doing 4:38 for the 4th km which is unheard of for me to do on the 4th km! Great way to start the New Year

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