Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

Parkrunning across the hills of Maleny can save your sanity

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

Parkrunning across the hills of Maleny can save your sanity


Maleny Trail parkrun: Running wild across the hills can save your sanity

Do you have a news tip? Click here to send to our news team.

New jobs for Coast as manufacturer expands

Around 80 new full-time jobs will be created as one of Australia’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of steel building products expands into Sunshine Coast More

Money trees: Senator slams eleventh-hour plan to ‘make a buck’ from loved forest

Greens senator Larissa Waters is urging the State Government not to log a native hardwood forest on the Sunshine Coast just as it's about More

Grey power: see nation’s ‘most elite seniors gym’

A new health and fitness venue on the Sunshine Coast has been dubbed 'Australia's most elite seniors gym'. The Avanti Health Centre has opened its More

Noosa rates rise, new fees in ‘unprecedented’ times

Noosa ratepayers will be hit with a five per cent increase on their annual rates bill, rising to an average $1637, after council handed More

‘Soothe the soul and heal the body’ at celebration of wellness

The second biggest wellness festival in Queensland is expecting to draw thousands of people to the Sunshine Coast this weekend. The Conscious Life Holistic Wellness More

How new mobility maps will change people’s lives

The Sunshine Coast’s new mobility maps are turning heads - and wheels. The maps, available online, display paths and trails that are accessible for people More

The hills are alive with “happy mad” runners after Maleny became the latest community to join the global ‘parkrun’ cult.

Every Saturday morning, running enthusiasts lace up for a free 5km timed sprint – or walk – across the rolling hinterland countryside.

The Maleny Trail parkrun is one of nine on the Sunshine Coast as parkrun fever grows, with hundreds of diehard devotees turning up religiously each week.

“parkrun is such a simple activity that has amazing and far-reaching consequences,” Maleny Trail parkrun event director Jo Turner said.

“It sounds so simple, running 5km, but it changes people’s lives; it gives people a family, it saves their sanity and it creates this great community through a shared activity.”

The Maleny Trail parkrun includes some footpath.

The largest parkrun on the Coast is on the esplanade at Golden Beach which broke its own attendance record on the New Year weekend with more than 400 runners bolting up the footpath.

Others are held at Brightwater, Kawana (running from the surf club to Point Cartwright and back), Mudjimba, Nambour (on the trails of Parklands), Glass House Mountains and the Baringa Sports Ground at Aura. There is also one in Noosa.

Another new parkrun will be launched at Bribie Island on Saturday 16 January.

Get more Sunshine Coast stories to your inbox by subscribing to our FREE daily news feed: Go to SUBSCRIBE at top of this article to register

golden beach parkun
Hundreds of running enthusiasts bolt up the footpath at Golden Beach esplanade.

parkrun is a free, timed 5km “race” which is held at 7am every Saturday in parks, reserves, beaches, esplanades and urban streets all over the world.

Runners pit themselves against each other – and against themselves – as they run, jog and walk the distance to smash their own personal best times (and take a few scalps).

Ms Turner said devotees on the hinterland used to have to travel down the range to the nearest parkrun to take part.

“If you wanted to go to parkrun you had to drive 35 to 40 minutes and get up so early. The nearest parkrun was Nambour or Golden Beach,” she said.

All ages, fitness levels – and even dogs – are welcome at parkrun.

Ms Turner said she had always dreamed of one in her home town to give the community a free fitness activity and show off the town to visiting runners.

“There are not many free healthy, family friendly events. Most sporting activities cost money and there are some families that can’t afford the costs.”

Maleny Trail has attracted between 44 and 131 runners each Saturday since launching on December 19.

Ms Turner said the 5km out-and-back course included varied terrain such as concrete paths, a bridge and rooty trail.

“Maleny is a beautiful place to come and run and have a coffee afterwards,” she said.

“It’s half under trees and there are roots and rocks and it skirts the edge of the golf course so you can see all the balls flying.

“You get to see the beautiful rolling hills and there’s even a horse in the paddock with a brand that looks like the parkrun symbol.

maleny parkrun sunshine coast news
Maleny Trail parkrun is held rain, hail or shine.

“It’s Maleny, so it’s not flat but it’s a nice beginner trail because it’s not rocky and hardcore but just watch your feet and if you’re tall, don’t hit your head on a tree branch.

“All the people who have come, the feedback has been that it’s spectacular, it’s beautiful and it’s beautiful trail.

“And anyone can do it.”