The Northparkes Oval Parkrun volunteers had a pleasant surprise on Saturday when former Olympian Scott Westcott turned up for the 22nd event of the weekly 5km run.
Surprise soon converted to excitement when Scott set off at a blistering pace and finished the two laps of the set course in a new record of 15:51. He improved the record of Keith Macpherson, which he ran at the second event in February, by 55 seconds.
Scott said he was aiming for a record. “I wanted to put something out there that could take a while to break. It was extraordinarily tough actually,” he said of the Parkes course, which is fast gaining a reputation for being one of the toughest in NSW. “They found every hill they could around Pioneer Oval I reckon.”
He was planning on running the Gold Coast Marathon last weekend, but it was canceled. “We came to Parkes instead, a week early, and had a perfect little morning with the family. All my cousins, my kids and Glen’s kids were running today, with Mum watching on.”
The Westcott family made a clean sweep of the first three places with Scott’s son Noah taking second place in 21:09 and his brother Glen crossing the finish line one second later to take third place.
Scott said he was not a regular at parkrun, but enjoyed doing it whenever he visited Parkes. “I was here over Easter last and ran it with my son. I won’t always go that hard and reckon next time I will run with my young bloke to help him get a personal best time.”
Other participants on Saturday were as excited to see Scott, who took part in the marathon at the previous Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. “Not surprised his time was so fast! It was insane to watch,” said Zarna Gould.
By Maggi Barnard