Run Report

Sherwood Reserve parkrun recap

A few years ago, while living in the UK and preparing to return to New Zealand, I thought it would be awesome to run all the parkruns in the country.

That was December 2017.

This week I finally did it.

I ran my 34th different New Zealand event at Sherwood Reserve, and I’m going to recap that run here, and share my countryman musings in another post.

About the parkrun

Sherwood Reserve parkrun is the seventh event in Auckland. It’s on Auckland’s North Shore in Browns Bay.

It’s a three lapper through two parks and is designed in such a way that you run past the start/finish area six times.

I heard it described as a kite, rather than a lollipop. You start at the bottom tip of the kite, around the edges and then down the string, turnaround and repeat twice.

For this event I drove up to Auckland on the Friday and stayed overnight with Claire Taylor, co-Event Director at Millwater parkrun. She lives just around the corner from Sherwood Reserve, which was very handy.


There had been a lot of rain the day before so the grass underfoot was a bit boggy – there is a grass section on the course so if you don’t like running on grass much keep this course for dry weeks.

Before we started we acknowledged the donation of a defibrillator from local businessman and athlete Garth Barfoot. I’m sure he won’t mind me calling him an athlete; in spite of his 85-89 age category he remains fairly active.

We also did a group Scottairplane at the start to celebrate the return of Sherwood Pines parkrun in England.

And then we were off.

The run

As well as being three laps this course is also a bit bumpy. There are some downs, and some ups and also some flats. Most of it is on concrete path but there’s also the grass section (at Stonehenge) and a wooden bridge.

The course highlight though was Eely bridge. Sherwood Reserve is home to the short-finned eel, which is a protected species. You don’t need to stop and look for them, they were very apparent even while running!

When I ran it was the run directing debut of Helen Watson, who is known in parkrun circles for her baking.

We were treated to chocolate cake and a Victoria sponge, but volunteers had a cake of their own once the tail walker (Claire with Garth) had finished.

We headed to the café for the main event, where I enjoyed a slice of chocolate roll and a flat white. The café had a wide range of gluten free offerings.


There are many other things that made this a great day. Dan Joe brought the book tour copy from Kapiti Coast; meeting Fudge and his human James; hanging out with other parkrun EDs from around the country (Liz Henry flew up from Invercargill, Julie Collard from Owairaka was also running); doing Scottairplanes on the course and achieving a number of unofficial achievements.

I scored a new stopwatch bingo number (45), a Wilson Index number (this was event 6, I’ve now increased my WI to 7) and first woman to run the Sherwood double on top of the countryman status.

After the café I went back to Claire’s before heading back to Rotorua. The drive was a great opportunity to reflect on the journey and ponder on what next.

Meeting Fudge and his human James

It’s a question I’ve been asked a lot, and the main answer is to stay on top of all new parkruns in New Zealand.

It’s inevitable that new ones will start and that’s what we want as it means it’s growing.