GOOD SURPRISE: When parkrun first came to Wondai, local diner owner, Dan Radunz believed it wouldn't last.
GOOD SURPRISE: When parkrun first came to Wondai, local diner owner, Dan Radunz believed it wouldn't last. Matt Collins

Cafe owner eats his words after parkrun brings in big bucks

WHEN parkrun first came to Wondai, the local cafe owner believed it wouldn't last.

As the popular free running event closes in on 150 weekly events, Dan Radunz from Dan's Diner has had to eat humble pie.

The start/finish line of Wondai's parkrun is directly across the road from Mr Radunz's diner that he runs with his wife, Chris.

FREE COFFEE FOR VOLUNTEERS: Wondai parkrun volunteers, Jodi Chamberlayne, Helen Kratzmann, Neena Love and Winston Burrows can grab a free coffee from Chris and Dan's Diner.
FREE COFFEE FOR VOLUNTEERS: Wondai parkrun volunteers, Jodi Chamberlayne, Helen Kratzmann, Neena Love and Winston Burrows can grab a free coffee from Chris and Dan's Diner. Matt Collins

It has become the go-to stop for tired runners to refuel with coffee and breakfast following their morning exercise.

After nearly three years of weekly parkruns, Mr Radunz worked out just how much business parkrun has brought into his doors.

"Let's say we average 30 people each week and they might spend around $8, that's $240 each week,” he said.

After 145 parkruns, this brings the total to $34,800 since the 5km running event commenced.

Even the Mr Radunz was surprised with this amount.

"I wouldn't have thought it'd be anywhere near that,” he said.

On some mornings, there can be in excess of 100 passionate runners at the Wondai parkrun event.

The spike in cafe traffic on Saturday morning has meant a significant change to the roster.

"For two hours on a Saturday we have six staff to handle it,” Mr Radunz said.

"They (parkrun participants) all walk in at once.

"We have two at the coffee machine, they can be stuck there for two to three hours straight without moving.”

South Burnett councillor and regular parkrun volunteer, Ros Heit said the Wondai event was a huge plus for lots of Wondai businesses.

"This is just for one business. People also get their fuel, go to the markets or to the IGA,” she said.

Considering he didn't think it would last more than a couple of weeks, Mr Radunz is more than happy to stand corrected.

"I thought it would be a fizzer, I said, 'it won't last',” he said.

"I had to eat my words.”

South Burnett

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