Runners celebrate one year of the Rooty Hill Parkrun

FUN RUN: "Parkrun is a free event for all ages. It's beneficial to community members because it encourages everyone to get out for a walk, a quick stroll or a run," Rooty Hill parkrun director David Otte said. Picture: Isabella Lettini
FUN RUN: "Parkrun is a free event for all ages. It's beneficial to community members because it encourages everyone to get out for a walk, a quick stroll or a run," Rooty Hill parkrun director David Otte said. Picture: Isabella Lettini

Start stretching and prepare to get your joggers dirty for Rooty Hill Parkrun’s first anniversary on December 9.

First established on December 10, 2016, the event already attracts more than 100 runners and walkers every Saturday morning.

Founders Mischelle and David Otte set up the event after moving to Rooty Hill last year.

Mrs Otte said the event was the only one in the Blacktown area, with the closest Parkruns held in Parramatta, Penrith, The Ponds and Rhodes.

“We needed another Parkrun in the area,” she said.

“The only Parkruns available to people in western Sydney was a distance drive for some and more of a hassle to get up and exercise. We wanted somewhere close that our local people didn't have to travel 30 minutes for some exercise.

“My husband and I started at the Parramatta Parkrun in 2013 because we wanted to lose a bit of weight. I never thought I’d be a runner but we thought, ‘What the hell let’s give it a go’.”

Four years on, the directors never miss a Saturday morning run.

Our motto for parkrun is ‘it’s a run, not a race'.

David Otte

The fun and free fitness craze began in Britain more than a decade ago, and its popularity quickly spread across the world.

There are 222 Parkrun locations across the country, with more than 300,000 participants.

Mr Otte said the Rooty Hill event brings anywhere from 80 to 180 participants together.

“Participants can run, walk, stroll or skip – you don’t have to run,” he said. “Our motto for Parkrun is ‘it’s a run, not a race’.”

“It’s been proven that walking or running on a regular basis improves your health and wellbeing,” Mrs Otte added. “Any exercise is always good for you.”

To commemorate the event’s first anniversary participants are asked to wear the colour red or something beginning with ‘R’, and walk or use public transport when attending the event.

Although it costs nothing to take part, runners need to register before their first run and bring a printed copy of their barcode so their run can be timed.

Rooty Hill Parkrun is organised by volunteers and are always on the hunt for new helpers. If you would like to volunteer email: rootyhillhelpers@parkrun.com.

  • 8am, December 9 off Eastern Road, Rooty Hill behind Blacktown Football Park. Free. Bookings essential: parkrun.com.au/rootyhill.