Nulkaba parkrun organisers were overwhelmed by the success of the event’s launch at St Philip’s Christian College on Saturday.
Of the 491 people who ran, jogged and walked the five-kilometre course, 137 were brand new to parkrun.
The free, weekly, timed running event takes place in 1000 locations worldwide every weekend, including 300 towns across Australia.
Nulkaba is the Cessnock local government area’s first parkrun.
Co-event director Steve George said Saturday’s run had an unbelievable turnout with an awesome atmosphere.
“It was great to see so many families – I can’t remember seeing so many dogs, prams and kids at a parkrun before,” he said.
“I’m so stoked to have been part of such an awesome community event.
“Wine Country finally got its parkrun. Can’t wait to see everyone again this Saturday!”
Co-event director Caitlin Bialek said they were blown away by the success of the launch.
“Steve and I want to extend a huge thanks to the St Philip’s community, for the use of their excellent grounds and to our amazing parkrun volunteers who helped make the morning stress-free,” she said.
“And of course, another huge thanks to every runner, walker and their dogs who helped to kick off our weekly event.”
Parkrun first-timer John McGain said it was a great community event with a friendly atmosphere.
“I love the no-pressure attitude to race – just get out there and have a go to your own ability,” he said.
Nulkaba is the 23rd of 40 new parkruns to launch in Australia by August 2018, thanks to Medibank’s Free + Active program, which aims to tackle physical inactivity and promote community connection.
The Nulkaba parkrun will be held at St Philip’s every Saturday at 8am.
Participants can download and print their barcode at parkrun.com.au/register.
See more photos from the launch in the Facebook post below.