Event Profile

Mosman parkrun

When Mosman parkrun started it immediately hit a hurdle.

The initial course at Balmoral Beach in Sydney welcomed 102 parkrunners to its launch in October 2013.

By the start of the next week the event was cancelled. Mosman co-event director Simon Mackley has been involved from the beginning.

The event was started by Kathryn Hodgkinson, who Simon says caught the parkrun bug after only running a few times at Curl Curl.

Getting involved

“Mary Botto and myself saw a post put out by parkrun Australia and they put us all in contact.”

Simon and Mary – now co-Event Directors – both volunteered at that launch event, along with Kathryn and Megan Hopley.

“Council approached us the next week and said we didn’t have the right approvals and they wanted to help us find another place to run,” says Simon.

“It was at a time when a lot of personal trainers were using the park for profit.

“Council soon realised that parkrun met their objectives of a free community activity and in March we had a new location at Spit West.

“Mosman Council have been very supportive.”

Volunteers at Christmas, Mary is RD, Simon third left

The event

Mosman parkrun meets on the land of the Cammeraygal people of the Eora nation.

It averages 50 parkrunners a week, and is therefore one of the smallest Sydney events.

All of the 10 nearest parkruns have averages of more than 100 parkrunners, with some in the 200s.

The course is three laps, by the water “with a sting in the tail”.

“We have a small, sharp hill at one end of the course. We get a few reactions about the hill and people asking for a photo with the view.

“We run most of the course next to a quiet part of Sydney Harbour.

“Being three laps you are always passing participants and able to encourage each other.”

Simon’s parkrun story

Simon has been a parkrunner since 2012.

“I was lucky enough to be bet by my stepbrother to run my fastest 5k at St Peters’ inaugural event in 2012.

“It was New South Wales’ first parkrun.

“I managed to beat my previous fastest time and was hooked from day one. In the early days I couldn’t go that often as we had a new baby.

“When Curl Curl opened up much closer to me, I moved there and then took the opportunity to be on the core team at Mosman for the past six years.

“I had been closing in on my 250th run before COVID hit and only have 11 to go.

“Before Covid hit I had an overseas trip booked to run in Singapore on my way to run my 250th at Bushy.

“I love trying to knock off the challenges.

“Three years ago I joined the Event Ambassador team and am so lucky to work with some amazing teams across the North Shore/Northern Beaches of Sydney and Dolls Point (just south of the airport, along Botany Bay).”

Simon says the current café of choice for Mosman parkrun is Chaos Café, and he recommends the pancakes.

“They really do look like cakes.”

While at Mosman

Balmoral Beach, home of the first Mosman parkrun, is a lovely harbour beach that looks out to the heads of Sydney Harbour.

Taronga Zoo is another big crowd pleaser as it has an awesome view of Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The zoo is in the suburb of Mosman so you don’t have to travel far. Also in Mosman is the Sydney Harbour National Park, which is made up of five small harbour islands, rugged sandstone cliffs, bushland and beaches.

Mosman is home to many beaches and parks, as well as the Mosman Art Gallery.

What’s in a Name…

Mosman is the name of the suburb.

It’s named after Archibald Mosman (1799–1863) and his twin brother George, who moved onto land in the area in 1831.

They were involved in shipping, and founded a whaling station on a bay in the harbour, which became known as Mosman Bay.

Event Profile

The Terrace parkrun

Set on the picturesque Hunter River, The Terrace parkrun offers parkrunners a flat run in serene surroundings.

But one of the perils of being so close to the river is flooding.

Event director Paul Tooney says the return from the Covid pause has been hampered – there were no events in April.

However, The Terrace is an event that shouldn’t be discounted.

“We have a great community vibe and the location by the Hunter River is beautiful,” says Paul.

“There is something peaceful about running or walking by water.”

The start

The Terrace parkrun launched on January 30, 2016 with 693 finishers. After 234 events it averages 110 finishers.

The run is at Raymond Terrace, in the Hunter region of New South Wales.

There are eight other parkruns within 30km.

It all started with founding Event Director Brenton Pobjie who felt like Raymond Terrace could do with a parkrun, Paul says.

He says Jodi Crane had the same idea.

So they talked and then after Jodi contacted parkrun Australia, Brenton felt like it was something he should lead.

“He then set about making out the course (with the help of Matt Rarschke) who had thought about The Terrace for a while too.

“Lettice Gamer joined Brenton as the inaugural Event Directors.

“They launched The Terrace on January 30, 2016 with what was at the time a record launch of 693 finishers and an amazing 31 volunteers.”

The course

The Terrace is set on the riverfront of the Hunter River at Raymond Terrace where the Williams and Hunter Rivers meet.

It’s a mostly flat, two lap course with some mixed terrain of grass, cobblestone and concrete paths.

Paul says visitors say the riverfront location is “beautiful and peaceful”.

“It’s an easy course to follow and the parkrun community at The Terrace are very welcoming.”

Paul’s story

Paul has been a parkrunner since May 2014.

“My daughter wanted to do Newy parkrun but she couldn’t drive at the time or was on her Ls.

“I had to drive her to Newy (about 30 minutes) or supervise her driving there.

“At first I just sat in the car and waited for her, which is a source of laughter when I tell this story.

“I thought it was crazy to drive 30 minutes to run 5km and then drive 30 minutes back home when I could run 5km at home in under 30 minutes.

“She convinced me to do it a couple of times.

“It wasn’t until The Terrace started and it was closer to home that I started going regularly.

“I had some neighbours who did it and we started going for breakfast at Cups N Saucers and met more people and then I was hooked.

“The people are so welcoming at The Terrace and the breakfast is always great so we just kept coming back.”

Cups N Saucers is “a great café” at 5/43 William St, Raymond Terrace.

Paul recommends the eggs benedict with a hot cup of your favourite beverage.

While at The Terrace parkrun

The Hunter Region Botanic Gardens at Heatherbrae is about a five minute drive away.

A little further you can see Fighter World at the Williamtown Air Force Base where you might get to see one of the new F35 Lightning II fighter jets flying about.

To the north is the beautiful Nelson Bay with great beaches, whale watching, fishing and restaurants with great views.

South of The Terrace is Stockton on Newcastle Harbour where you can catch the ferry across to the city of Newcastle.

To the west is the Hunter Valley and the vineyards. – Paul Tooney

What’s in a Name…

The town Raymond Terrace was named after Lieutenant Raymond, who had explored the Hunter River in 1797 and described the terraced appearance of trees in the area.

Governor Lachlan Macquarie camped in the area in 1818, using “Raymond Terrace” as the name for the place where his party had camped.

Raymond Terrace is sometimes referred to as the Terrace.

This was originally published in Issue 3 of the Runs With A Barcode magazine.

Event Profile

The Ponds parkrun

In the middle of suburban Sydney lies The Ponds parkrun.

It started off on May 30, 2015 with 235 runners at its launch.

Now six years old the event has an average 364 finishers. Its highest attendance was leap day last year with a whopping 708.

Looking through event photos you can see that this event has a diverse group of parkrunners.

Co-event director Charina Giron says the parkrun is unique in that it is centrally located in The Ponds suburb.


Householders can look out from their bedroom or living room window and see a throng of runners on the 3m wide footpath each week.

“Locals can walk to the start line quite easily,” Charina says.

“This is why our event attracts families with very young children, mums and dads with prams, every man and his dog, grandma and grandpa.

“There’s a shopping centre with several cafes just a stone’s throw away. Despite all the modern amenities, the 5km route meanders through a park with nice tall trees in a bushland setting.”

The event was founded by Rio Lambino and her husband Jun, who used to run 10km around The Ponds.

They saw a newspaper article about parkrun so went to Parramatta parkrun, that was January 2014.

Charina and Rio

The vision

Rio was amazed to see how it operated with fantastic volunteers plus it was free.

She told Jun, “if we can bring parkrun to The Ponds, we don’t need to travel for 30 mins to Parramatta”.

And that’s how The Ponds parkrun came to be, from Rio’s vision and desire to bring it close to home, literally.

Charina also started her parkrunning at Parramatta in 2014.

She and her husband Ariel moved to Sydney from the Philippines in 2000.

She said that volunteering, ie giving service for free, was an alien concept for her prior to the move but parkrun has opened up a whole new world.

The background

She was keen to share Rio’s story of how The Ponds came to be, this was originally published in a run report.

“We contacted parkrun in January 2014, then submitted a council application the following month,” said Rio in a story about The Ponds parkrun’s beginnings.

“We had two trials in March and April 2015, then a launch in May 2015.

“First we had to convince Blacktown Council about the safety of a weekly event.

“Running events are traditionally held once a year and a weekly parkrun was a new concept.

“The second challenge was finding a sponsor. SuperCharge Batteries came to the rescue.

“They understood the concept and positive impact of parkrun to the community and agreed to sponsor the event.

“The third challenge was when we launched it. My husband Jun and I were not members of any running clubs.

“We were really fortunate to meet Lachlan Oakes at Parramatta who became the third member of our event team.

“It was a challenge for the three of us and my two teenage kids to operate for the first three months.

“Fortunately, the community kept growing and now we have a steady stream of volunteers. Our core team of run directors and supporters are very passionate and dedicated.”


Like Charina, Rio’s family also migrated to Australia from The Philippines.

“I am happy to say that our circle of friends have grown exponentially since parkrun. My family is happy to support The Ponds’ for as long as you folks keep coming!”

Charina says that visitors always mention how well organised The Ponds is, as well as being “friendly, warm and welcoming”.

“They are surprised how much fun they have, 5km need not be painful at all.”

There are several cafes at The Ponds Shopping Centre, Charina’s pick is the cinnamon scroll from Silverleaf Artisan Bakery.

While at The Ponds parkrun

If parkrun wasn’t enough you can explore nearby Rouse Hill Regional Park.

It’s home to biking and walking trails and a children’s adventure playground.

There’s a 1km trail that takes you through the grounds of the historic Rouse Hill Estate.

The house was built between 1813 and 1818 and is open for guided tours.

Also in the area is the Muru Mittigar Aboriginal Cultural and Education Centre.

This offers an authentic Australian indigenous cultural experience. Celebrate the rich history of Aboriginal Darug culture.

The Parklea Markets are about 3km from parkrun and are the largest indoor markets in the Southern Hemisphere.

Set aside at least an hour, this is a treasure trove of food, fashion and flair with everything from toys to fresh flowers, computer goods to cosmetics. There’s also fruit and vegetables, seafood, deli, a butcher and a bakery.

What’s in a Name…

The Ponds was a name designed to reflect the geography of the areas and was derived from the nearby creek, Second Ponds Creek.

This was originally published in Issue 3 of the Runs With A Barcode magazine.

Event Profile

The Entrance parkrun

If you like to run beside water then The Entrance is an event that should go on your list of parkruns to visit.

It’s located on New South Wales’ Central Coast and was the area’s second parkrun to open.

Mt Penang parkrun pre-dates it by almost two years.

The Entrance launched on May 14, 2016 with 194 finishers and 11 volunteers. It averages 121.8 finishers.

The course

Event director Meg Pye says The Entrance is a small coastal town but with a big heart.

“We have a great parkrun community,” she says.

“Our parkrun is a beautiful and gentle course that runs right alongside the lake providing great scenery, the most beautiful and wonderful volunteers and such supportive runners who’ll encourage everyone.

“It’s a near-flat parkrun starting at the beautiful The Entrance and running out to the Long Jetty boat shed.

“There you will get to pass two of the iconic extra long jetties that gave the area its name.

“The course is set on a concrete footpath the whole way following the lake with an almost rainforest-like small section around the 800m mark. It’s an easy out and back course.”

Meg says a lot of first-timers and visitors comment on how beautiful the course is.

“As well as how nice and encouraging everyone is and how good and clear our briefings always are.”

Meg’s story

Meg was encouraged to come along to parkrun when she happened to walk straight into the event three years ago.

“One of the parkrunners took the time to stop and ask me to come and join.

“The friendliness of that parkrunner really stuck with me.

“I went home looked up parkrun, registered and went along the following week to find everyone was super friendly.

“After a few weeks I decided to help out and give volunteering a try and have been hooked ever since.

“I went from doing every volunteer position to becoming an RD and now an ED.

“I’ve had the pleasure to see parkrun grow in our community with an additional three events in the area, as well as an increase of participants at The Entrance, especially over summer with all the visitors that come.

“The friends I’ve made from parkrun have to be the best by-product of parkrun.

“I love that parkrun gathers people together from all over the world and makes you feel like you’ve got a second family.”

Coffee afterwards is hosted at The Entrance Lakehouse, just around the corner from the start line.

“I like the Smashed Avocado, scrambled eggs, or the favourite for most seems to be the double bacon and egg roll. Drink favourites are coffee or cold-pressed orange juice.”

While at The Entrance parkrun

The surrounding area is all beautiful, there’s plenty to explore at The Entrance, including the baths.

There is a beautiful bay just south called Toowoon Bay and another five minutes south will land you at Bateau Bay.

Here you can take the coast to coast track through Wyrrabalong National Park up to Crackneck Point Lookout where you can see from Terrigal to Norah Head Lighthouse.

If you head north from the Entrance there are bush walks all the way from The Entrance north all the way to Norah Head where you’ll find a working lighthouse.

Head west and you can take a visit to the Central Coast wetlands and while you’re nearby, a visit to the Wyong milk factory would be a must.

– Meg Pye

What’s in a name?

The Entrance parkrun is named after the town where it starts.

The name of the town was originally Karagi, meaning The Entrance, for the point on the south bank of the channel at the Pacific Ocean.

The name Karagi was changed on November 15, 1911 and The Entrance was adopted.

This was originally published in Issue 3 of the Runs With A Barcode magazine.