Hundreds could soon lap it up at the Seaford Wetlands for a timed, 5km running event each Saturday that will have all abilities aboard.
Under proposals, Seaford Wetlands would join more than 1700 event locations as part of the global parkrun network, but setting it apart are the swans, spoonbills and sandpipers accounting for some of the 7000 birds calling the internationally recognised 158ha wetlands home.
Event director Hannah Littler says the sealed trail near public transport made it the perfect choice, after being contacted by a vision-impaired athlete. “The wetlands seemed like an ideal location — a flat, wide course accessible to wheelchair and vision-impaired athletes,” Hannah says. “Every section is different, from avenues of native trees to open wetlands, with the sounds of frogs and birds providing a lovely soundtrack for your walk or run.”
Hannah first attended a parkrun event almost six years ago, and after 227 events she says the secret to success is sociableness. “I have made friends and connected with people that I never would’ve met if it weren’t for parkrun. I now run with them throughout the week at social runs as well as in fun runs.”
A permit awaits for the Seaford Wetlands and for a second location at the Frankston Nature Conservation Reserve. Each has estimated establishment costs of $7500 and would join locations at Chelsea, Dandenong, Hastings and Rosebud.
Frankston Mayor Sandra Mayer says: “Council officers have spoken with organisers about the proposal and are preparing a report to be considered. Depending on the potential financial contribution required by council, the proposal may also need to be considered by councillors.”