A record 84,000 people participated in Parkrun on Easter Saturday at 468 different events across Australia.

A national and regional record of 1200 people across the Illawarra attended the events at Sandon Point, North Wollongong, and Shellharbour Parkrun.

Regular participant of the North Wollongong Parkrun since 2022, Colt Phillips said attendance numbers have been increasing each week.

“We had over 300 [attendees] last week, and a couple of weeks before that, there was around 350,” Mr Phillips said.

“It sits around that now, instead of just 250 people each week.”

Source: Parkrun.com

The participation numbers at the North Wollongong Parkrun are steadily growing, with an average turnout of almost 340 so far in 2024.

Mr Phillips lauded the “friendship and camaraderie” of Parkrun, attributing the event’s popularity to its welcoming culture.

“It’s a great way to interact with other people,” Mr Phillips said.

“You don’t really see a single person by themselves during Parkrun.

“It’s either a group of people, or friends, or just family, it’s a great way to start a weekend.”

Mr Phillips said consistent turnout across the Illawarra’s three current Parkruns locations could lead to more locations, such as Lake Illawarra.

He said more runs could be a way for the event to become more accessible to people across the Illawarra.

“A lot of people in Wollongong don’t have cars, especially uni students,” Mr Phillips said.

“If someone in Shellharbour wants to do Parkrun in Shellharbour, that would be good for them, it’s just a walking distance.

“The more Parkrun [locations there are], the more people will join, and it will keep expanding.”