MOTHER-DAUGHTER DUO: Leanne and Sienna have kicked off 2019 with their 50th Parkrun.
MOTHER-DAUGHTER DUO: Leanne and Sienna have kicked off 2019 with their 50th Parkrun. Meg Gannon

Hit the ground running for new year

THOUGH it's normally a hallmark of Saturday mornings, the Dalby Parkrun made an exception on Christmas and again on New Year's Day.

It was a particularly special day for Leanne Gillbard and her 10-year-old daughter Sienna Harris who had more than just the new year to celebrate.

Celebrating their 50th parkrun on Tuesday, Gillbard and Harris achieved their goals in 2018 and are gearing up for the new year.

Gillbard said the achievement was massive because the duo hadn't been able to participate every weekend.

In order to make 50 runs by New Year's Day, the pair had to get serious.

"We had to do the last four: Christmas day in Brisbane, the two Saturdays and then today to make 50,” she said.

"Sienna's 2018 goal was to do under 30 minutes. She did achieve that once and she's been close to 30 ever since.”

Gillbard's goal for 2019 is simple.

"I want my daughter to be able to run without winging and to know she can do it, even if other people say she can't.”

Event director Myfanwy Schenk said the event kicked off at 7am with about 45 runners from around Dalby hitting the pavement to bring in the new year.

"It's the holidays and a lot of people try to amp up the excitement a bit by participating in an extra parkrun.”

Mrs Schenk said the weather on new year's day may have influenced the number of people who turned up to take part in the run.

"It's a bit more than you're average Saturday morning run because it is that first run of the year,” she said.

New year's resolutions may also have played a role in the attendance, with the participation rate spiking in January 2018.

"It definitely comes into it,” Mrs Schenk said.

"January and February saw our numbers go up at the beginning of last year. A lot of events around Australia find they get a boost in their numbers as people are making their resolutions.”

The parkrun event in Dalby has been running since February 2017.

Last year's New Year's Day event attracted over 30 runners, walkers and joggers and 8 volunteers.


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