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Information for New Jogalong Starters
Welcome to the YMCA of Canberra Runners Club's Women's and Girls' Jogalong.
It is great that you are able to join in the Jogalong and, we hope to see you on the first Sunday of each Month except April, in Weston Park. The Jogalong is all about participation. It aims to encourage women and girls to do just what you will do, hopefully on a regular basis each week, as well as becoming regular participants of the Jogalong.
What is it?
The Jogalong is a 6km walk jog or run on tracks and the bike path from Weston Park to, and along part of Dunrossil Drive and return. It is a handicapped event, with walkers starting off first and faster runners leaving progressively from higher groups. The course is marked by witches hats. So, look out for the witches hats along the way. It is a challenging course so when you finally reach that last section along the track near the Nursery, you should feel a sense of achievement.
The 3km Mixed event
This is for all female ages and boys to 12 years. The course initially follows the Jogalong course, but turns at 1.5km just before the footbridge, and returns to the Jogalong start line. This event commences with Group 1 of The Jogalong.
The Minijog for girls and boys to 12 years, is a handicapped event over 1.6km.
Barrel prizes are on offer as well as medals for the first three eligible placegetters on handicap. The 'Robert De Castella' and 'Lisa Martin (Ondieki)' trophies are awarded at the end of the year to the boy and girl who top the point score.
The Jogalong has grown from strength to strength. It started informally back in the 1970's when a small number of women met on a Sunday morning and ran the 6km course. From this the numbers have increased, sponsors have been gained and the event is held every month except April when ActewAGL Women's & Girls' Fun Run is held.
The Jogalong has expanded its focus to raise awareness of other aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Nutritious refreshments are provided and articles relating to health issues are placed in the "Jogalong Jottings", our monthly newsletter - Make sure you pick up a copy at the event or read it on the Web site.
Why is the Jogalong a Success?
A key to the success of the Jogalong is the emphasis on enjoyment, combined with an opportunity for improvement of personal performance, and links to other running events if you wish to pursue them. The only pressure to perform is from you!
There is a chance to socialise with other participants, partake of the refreshments available and have an opportunity to win one of the many barrel draw prizes on offer.
One of the advantages of running/walking for exercise is that you don't need a special place such as a tennis court or swimming pool. No specialist equipment is required besides appropriate shoes, nor is coaching necessary to get one started.
In fact, you can start from your own doorstep, but you do need to set aside some time to fit it into your daily routine. Regular exercise is the key to a healthy lifestyle. If you play another sport such as netball, tennis or squash, or compete in triathlons/duathlons/aquathlons, running can be helpful in improving your overall fitness level and strength.
The Handicap System
The Jogalong uses a handicap system. If you are new, report to the registration tables before the Jogalong begins. The volunteers here will help you establish a handicap group to start in. It work's like this.... You estimate how long it will take you to walk, jog or run a kilometre - or 6km. It is up to you! You will then be placed in the relevant group, according to our 'sheet'. For example, if you expect to complete the 6 kilometres in 30 minutes (that is a rate of 5 mins per km) you will be in group 40 which will leave at approximately 33 minutes after 9:00 am. The first handicap group (walkers) usually leaves at 9:00 am and the last group at 9:45 am.
The aim is to cater for all abilities from walkers and joggers through to elite runners, and to allow you to complete the course at a pace that you are comfortable with. The benefit of the handicap system is that everyone finishes at about the same time. If you improve you will be placed in an appropriate group, so you can measure your improvement. Once you have been to a Jogalong your name and start group (it may change, depending on your performance!) will be listed on the handicap boards. One is usually placed against a tree and the other near the start. So, next time you arrive at the Jogalong simply check in at the registration tables (free to YMCA of Canberra Runners Club (YCRC) members, others complete a one day membership form, and pay $6 adults $4 children, as at January 2011) and check your start group on the board. You will be handed a place card at the finish line and you take that to the recording tables where your name and start group will be recorded. Results are published on our Web site sometime during the following week. They may also be in the next Jogalong Jottings.
The Points score System
The Jogalong also offers a point score system where regular participation is recognised, as is an improvement in performance. You must be a financial member of the YCRC to score points and win awards. The first, second and third eligible placegetters at each Jogalong are rewarded with medallions which are handed out at the presentation. These places are not necessarily the first persons to finish as to be eligible it must be your fourth Jogalong (of the last 7). Also, to be eligible you must have started from your correct group. The 'winner' takes the Jogalong trophy home and brings it back the next month. Points are awarded to the first 100 eligible participants. A prize is awarded at the Christmas Jogalong in December to the woman who has the best six Jogalong results over the year. It is not the fastest people who win but those who consistently come to the Jogalong and improve their performance.
The Jogalong is conducted in Weston Park. Free childcare is available whilst you complete the Jogalong as well as refreshments. In fact, all the family can enjoy the ambience of Weston Park on a Sunday morning. Your baby can be looked after at Jogalong childcare and your son/daughter can take part in the kids' minijog which is a handicapped 1.6km run open to boys and girls up to the age of 12. There are also barrel draw prizes available for the kids who complete the minijog.
The Jogalong is always looking for volunteers to help us set up, register new starters, take names at the finish and help with the refreshments. If you are able to help out once over a 12 month period we would be very grateful. If we have sufficient helpers you can still run! Please choose a month that you would like to help and write your name and phone number on the roster board.
The Jogalong is very grateful to our regular sponsors who have supported us each month for quite some time now. They are the The Runners Shop 76 Dundas Court
Phillip ACT 2606 Phone (02) 6285 3508
Baker's Delight, Cooleman Court Weston 6288 2239
Massage by Maria, 6231 4168
Where to from here?
If you enjoy the Jogalong and think that you would like to participate in other running events, you couldn't be in a better place as Canberra has so much to offer the runner. The YMCA of Canberra Runners Club (YCRC) holds regular runs each Saturday over the winter. There is also a series of runs held in the evening during spring and summer. Calendars of events and contacts are available at the Jogalong or at our Web site. A suggestion is to choose a run you think you would enjoy, pay the entry fee (currently about $6) and try it out. If you think you may like to do it on a regular basis, then you are welcome to join the Club or just come along whenever you wish. Just ask one of the Jogalong organisers for more information.
The ACT Veterans Athletics Club also offers a great calendar of events for women & men 30 years and over. More details at their Web site.
For the kids there are regular school cross country events conducted each Saturday morning during winter as well as track and field events in summer. For further information please contact ACT Athletics, SportsHouse, Maitland St, Hackett ACT 2602. Phone 6247 1504.
If you have any questions look for the people at the Jogalong either wearing a Pink Polo-shirt or an "ASK ME" badge and they will be happy to help you.
We look forward to seeing you at the next Jogalong