welcome to this week's newsletter
In this edition of the parkrun newsletter we explore the meaning of parkrun and show the diversity of the first runners home. adidas visits parkruns around the country with their adivan to showcase their product line. The new Uvongo parkrun is off to a great start in KwaZulu Natal as is the first Cape Town parkrun in Bloubergstrand named Big Bay parkrun.
We at parkrun deliberately avoid referring to our Saturday morning runs as races. We prefer to allow every parkrunner to run or walk at the pace they feel most comfortable with and to enjoy their own parkrun experience. So recently I have been nursing a bad knee injury but in the true spirit of parkrun I have found a great deal of enjoyment at parkrun by just jogging along slowly or indeed even walking. Thanks Valerie Maclean for your great company at the back of the field at Roodepoort two weeks ago. It was a wonderful autumn parkrun experience walking along, chatting and being lapped by the huffing and puffing frontrunners.
That said, it has been really interesting to take note of some amazing runs in recent parkrun results. Understanding that everyone who completes a parkrun is a winner, in recent weeks the first to finish have incluced a runner in the 60-65 age category, oldest finisher, a female runner and a junior!
Congratulations “JP” Deris for charging home in 25:20 on the extremely testing Nahoon Point course. 25:20 is a quick time for anyone but for a runner in the 60-65 category that is an extra special run. We expect great things from Ann Boniwell in the Comrades marathon in a week’s time and she underlined her state of readiness by trouncing the whole field at Roodepoort parkrun last Saturday.
Not to be undone our juniors have consistently surprised us at various parkruns around South Africa. 14 year old Kaid Morsink has two great performances at Uvongo parkrun.
Uvongo parkrun was launched a couple of weeks ago in lashing rain. This still didn’t deter some hearty South Coast parkrunners from braving the elements and helping to launch this very scenic parkrun. Well done to Jason and Nicci Morsink and their enthusiastic team of volunteers and thanks to Deputy Mayor Johnny de Wet for his kind words of encouragement.
Speaking of scenic! The week before the launch of the Uvongo parkrun Graeme and Bev Powell launched the Big Bay parkrun at Bloubergstrand in Cape Town. Cape Town has been crying out for a parkrun and at last it has happened. To add some athletic talent to the occasion, Elana Meyer (Olympic silver medallist) and Ryan Sandes (World Class trail runner) made an appearance and took part in the run. Ryan ran with his dog on a lead. Elana will shortly be joining the parkrun event director family tomorrow as we launch the new Route 44 parkrun in Stellenbosch. Read more about this fantastic parkrun in future newsletters.
Next weekend sees the running of the Comrades ultra-marathon between Durban and Pietermartizburg. Best of luck to those parkrunners taking part in this auspicious event! parkrun will have a stand at the Comrades expo at the International Convention Centre in Durban from Thursday, 30 May to Saturday, 1 June. Please pop in to say hello and encourage all of your running friends to register at the stand.
Cheers for now,
Bruce (get in touch)
The Modderfontein Reserve parkrun course record was shattered once again this last weekend, not for the first time, nor the second, but for the third time by a parkrunner debuting at Modderfontein Reserve parkrun.
At the Inaugural event the course record was founded by non-other than the “Fordyce Assassin” Anrich Zimmerman, who cruised through the field, pipping country manager Bruce Fordyce by a mere fifteen seconds. Then came along Gustav Roos who after a 25 kilometre training run, to the start of event # 10, trotted out nineteen minutes and twenty seconds making history by being the first to break the twenty-minute mark at the Reserve. Six weeks later, Quintin van Zyl breezed through the field and reset the record to nineteen minutes and two seconds.
Event # 19 saw Modderfontein Reserve’s first sub nineteen minute as Glyn Allen scorched through the field to drop thirty-six seconds from the previous record, finishing in eighteen minute and twenty-six seconds. In the Juniors, Kyle Arendse reached the prestigious milestone of achieving Ten parkruns, all of these at Modderfontein Reserve parkrun. Congratulations, Kyle!
Nahoon Point parkrun
We were delighted to welcome the adidas team along with their adivan at Roodepoort parkrun last Saturday. adidas offered a range of shoes that runners were able try out on their run, as well as free foot scans. parkrunners were encouraged to sign up to the adidas three stripes programme to enjoy special offers and notification of new products. A lucky winner was drawn from those who signed up on the day. Well done to Lauren Tippet for winning and being awarded with a pair of adidas shoes!
Congratulations to junior parkrunner Ethan Gray for completing 10 parkruns! Not only has Ethan regularly taken part in a parkrun event, he and his brother Tristan have become regular volunteers at our events. Many thanks to them both!
It is unfortunate that on a few of our parkrun Saturdays we have been met with a litter-filled park. A huge thank you to Morne Van Jaarsveld and his father Neil, for noticing the mess left by others and for organising a litter cleanup of their own! You are absolute stars! We hope to organise a collective effort in future.
Name: Ann Boniwell
Club: Nedbank Running Club Central Gauteng
Home parkrun: Roodepoort parkrun
Number of runs: 10
Number of times volunteered: 33
What do you do at parkruns: Usually time-keeping… and I hurl abuse at the more regular parkrunners
How has parkrun changed your running: I have replaced an occassional weekly timetrial with a parkrun event. It adds an “off-road” dynamic to my training and gives me a reason to get out of bed early on a Saturday morning.
What do you like about parkrun: I enjoy sharing an event with people of different ages and levels of speed and fitness. Parkrun isn’t about who is out in front setting the course record… its about the young families participating in an event together, runners (and walkers) keen to exercise their furry friends and a community gathering together to share a fun-filled hour or half hour of good clean entertainment (weather permitting).
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: My first parkrun at Delta park. I was out from London (where I first heard about parkrun) to visit my boyfriend (now fiance). My boyfriend and I arrived 3 minutes late for the start of the run, but decided to run anyway and ended up finishing front of the pack. Needless to say… we haven’t been invited back to Delta park since