While getting up early and running five kilometres might not be everyone’s idea of a good time, more than 150 Traralgon-ites begin each Saturday morning with the parkrun.
Held at Agnes Brereton Reserve, the timed run or walk is operated by a small group of dedicated volunteers who have “found family” alongside their fellow parkrunners.
Volunteer Annette Blythman said she made “160 new friends” when she began participating in parkrun a few years ago.
“I always thought I wasn’t a runner and I didn’t know anyone at all,” she said.
“But I just came along and joined in … now we’re like family.
“Most people that come along have the same story.”
Ms Blythman said first-timers were “always welcome” and “you don’t have to be a runner” to join the fun with many people choosing to walk the course.
“There are plenty of people running with prams,” she said.
“It’s good socialisation for dogs – you just have to have a lead.”
Ms Blythman said the Traralgon parkrun used to attract up to 300 people on a Saturday, however, as other parkrun events had popped up around the Valley, the Traralgon event had stabilised at around 150.
“Just come along and join in,” she said.
“Everyone says hello, you always get high-fives and you don’t have to run if you don’t want to.”