ON what should have been a first birthday celebration for the Grand Ridge Rail Trail parkrun team, it was a quiet occasion shared by co-event directors Jodie Pincini and Stacey Harriage.

The morning started as a normal parkrun day would, with the run director acknowledging the traditional owners of the land. On the special day, we also acknowledged the ANZACs who served in Gallipoli and remembered those who had served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations for our country.

From here, things went a little bit differently!

On a live stream to the Facebook page, the co-event directors thanked the community that supported and embraced parkrun in its first year in Mirboo North.

They thanked the Mirboo District Community Foundation and Community Bank for putting forward the funds to start parkrun in our community.

They thanked parkruns major sponsors: Medibank, the Athletes Foot and Blackmores, who keep parkrun free every week.

But most emphatically, they thanked the members of the Mirboo North community and the broader parkrun community for all their support in the first 12 months. Many weeks, the volunteer roster was supported by volunteers from neighbouring parkruns such as Koonwarra and Inverloch as well as Churchill, Warragul and Newborough.

As Jodie and Stacey departed for their ‘freedom run’ along the trail, they shared a beautiful birthday cake made by RD Katrina and asked the community to head down and walk the trail for their daily exercise and to grab a piece of cake to celebrate!

The local parkrun community was invited to share photos of them on the trail and eating the cake onto the GRRT parkrun Facebook page!

The team look forward to welcoming our community back to parkrun, hopefully in the not too distant future!