Caped crusader on the run
HEROES don't have to wear capes but sometimes even the unsung ones like to try them on for size, as health advocate and avid runner Trish Davis proved.
She donned a cape for a prize-winning run in Tasmania this month - and who could blame her!
A double hip replacement in 2018 wasn't even enough to keep Trish, who is the health promotion officer with the Area Health Service at Port Macquarie, from her love of running.
While she was off the parkrun course as a runner, she spent her time volunteering at the event.
Her effort saw her nominated for the national Medibank parkrun hero award.
She won the title for May, and received a trip for two to run in Tasmania.
Every month until March 2020, a chosen parkrun hero of the month is given the opportunity to attend one of the 40 new parkrun events recently launched by Medibank Free + Active.
In April 2020, the Medibank parkrun hero of the year will be announced, with the winner receiving a trip for two to Bushy parkrun in London, the spiritual home of parkrun.
As one of the run directors of Port Macquarie parkrun, Trish loves to run (almost as much as she likes to volunteer) and was one of the founders of the local group.
"I've always been a runner - always done it just to keep fit and healthy," said Trish, who completed her first marathon in her 60s.
So when she found out about parkrun through work several years ago, she knew she had to be involved.
Parkrun is a free community event, with a timed 5km run (or walk), with versions of the event taking place across Australia every Saturday.
And it's run entirely by volunteers.
Trish said working in health gave her the chance to help support people to make healthy lifestyle choices and parkrun fitted that bill perfectly.
"You can walk or run, you don't have to have any level of fitness, kids and families can do it," she said.
"And, of course, Port Macquarie is beautiful - we've got a great parkrun course.
"I encourage lots of people to come and try it out. I love it and I love to volunteer."
She describes parkrun as "addictive", with some people even travelling all over Australia to complete the ABC of parkruns.
In Trish's case, she has completed more than 100 parkruns and volunteered more than 70 times.
The only thing that has kept her off the parkrun course over the past 17 years is bad hips as a result of an accident when she was in her 20s, and when she couldn't walk any more due to her hips, she volunteered every week at parkrun instead.
She had both her hips replaced this year... and was back at Parkrun within 10 days both times. She also spent her time in hospital recruiting staff and patients to sign up for parkrun -which prompted her friend Liz Brennan to nominate her for the award.
"I had a car accident in my 20s and I always knew I would need two new hips but they had never bothered me at all until September last year," she explained.
Port Macquarie parkrun is held at Town Beach Park near the breakwall each Saturday from 7am. Find your local parkrun online.