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Community & Business

13 December, 2023

Parkrun is coming to town

A GROUP of avid runners have banded together with the Mareeba Mental Health Champions to create a Parkrun in Mareeba next year.


Kevin Davies, Nina Grant, Nathan Walmsley, Ella Mayes and Ash Mayes are encouraging locals to join Parkrun.
Kevin Davies, Nina Grant, Nathan Walmsley, Ella Mayes and Ash Mayes are encouraging locals to join Parkrun.

To ensure the event is free for the community to enjoy, the Parkrun committee is looking for interested runners and volunteers.  

Proving popular in Atherton and Cairns, Parkruns are a 5km walk or run every Saturday morning, promoting community and fitness. 

Local doctor Nathan Walmsley and IronMan competitor Kevin Davies teamed up with the Mental Health Champions to help put the word out there that Mareeba would start a run in 2024. 

Dr Walmsley tends to many patients struggling with their mental health every day and has seen firsthand the positive impact exercise and socialising can have on people. 

“I know that exercise is half the time more beneficial than medications and treatments for depression but it’s hard for to say ‘go exercise’ but now I hope I can say ‘join the Parkrun’,” he said. 

“My vision is to become a community event, where whether you run or walk, we would love you to turn up because it’s about getting people together.”

Mr Davies said going for a run was vital for his and many other people’s mental health.

He hopes with an upgraded track, they can bring in people from across the region to participate every Saturday morning. 

“It all about getting out there and getting away from everything and thinking about nothing – just one foot in front of the other,” he said. 

“Now that we have the new Bicentennial Lakes upgrades, it looks like we will be able to use that area and get people away from their computer screens and active.”

To start the event, the group will have to raise $7500 to set up insurance and purchase a defibrillator. The committee is also searching for volunteers to help with the setting up of the event.

Without donations and volunteers, the free community event cannot go ahead. To get involved, email mareeba4880run@gmail.com

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