welcome to this week's newsletter
In this edition of the parkrun newsletter, you can earn 500 Vitality points at every parkrun - Discovery Vitality announces their official partnership with parkrun SA! Our first parkrunner to reach his Club-100 status on South African soil celebrates at Roodepoort parkrun. We take a look at the success of two of our new parkruns and the display of talent at Root 44!
All South Africa’s event directors were invited to a cocktail party last Friday afternoon where it was announced that Discovery Vitality was to become official partners of parkrun SA. The following morning we celebrated the good news with a special run at Delta Park parkrun. It was a truly festive and happy morning as a record field of 260 parkrunners enjoyed coffee, breakfast, music, and of course, a parkrun. The adidas team were there in full, and board members Ashley Ally and Kabelo also ran. Other excited participants included Craig Nossel and Gidon Novick from Discovery Vitality who had experienced the magic of parkrun several months ago and recognised that the Discovery Vitality parkrun partnership made perfect sense. Without partners like Discovery Vitality adidas, and Blue Label Telecoms it would be impossible to bring parkruns to South Africans everywhere.
PRESS RELEASE – DISCOVERY VITALITY
"Today at a special event at Delta Park in Victory Park, Johannesburg, Vitality, together with sponsors adidas and Blue Label Telecoms announced their new partnership with parkrun South Africa, run by multiple Comrades winner, Bruce Fordyce. Marathon runners and Olympians, René Kalmer, Irvette van Zyl (née van Blerk) and LJ van Zyl, South Africa’s 400m hurdle champion were present.
"Anyone of any ability, age and any fitness level is welcome at the parkrun events, whether you are a runner, jogger or walker," says Dr Craig Nossel, Head of Discovery Vitality. "Vitality is proud to be associated with parkrun South Africa and to support them in encouraging more South Africans to get physically active and fit, as this is something that is core to Vitality."
The exciting news for Vitality members is that every time they run a parkrun they will receive a 500 point reward for every parkrun (15000 maximum a year). To claim their points - they must simply just edit their details on the right hand side of any parkrun newsletter. To activate their Vitality point they only need to do this once.
Under your profile – Click ‘edit your details’; Click ‘Discovery’; Add your South African ID number; Click ‘update’. This will automatically send your details to Discovery Vitality.
Ebotse parkrun will be celebrating its first birthday on Saturday. Please bring cake and celebratory eats and remember those party hats. Congratulations to Iain, Gary and Darryl for the wonderful job they have been doing out on the East Rand.
From birthday parties to birthdays! Shongweni/Hillcrest parkrun inaugural run was held two weeks ago. 116 parkrunners were there to run on the very testing course. 1979 Comrades Champion, Piet Vorster was among those braving the Shongweni Hills. Congratulations to Pete and Erita Garthwaite on the launch of their parkrun.
There were some jaw-dropping times run at Root 44 parkrun last Saturday. So much so, that some eyebrows were raised as it was noticed that a 4 minutes a kilometre pace was only good enough for 20th place.
These fast times were run by the elite members of Elana Meyer’s Endurocad athletes. Elana will use SA parkrun results as a means of identifying and nurturing talent in future Olympians. This reminds us that parkruns are for everyone, walkers, joggers and even future world champions.
Cheers for now,
Bruce (get in touch)
It was another glorious morning for event six at Uvongo parkrun. While some places in SA were experiencing cold conditions, we had a beautiful sunrise on a clear morning. All set up and ready to go, the parkrunners started coming in and we had another record attendance.
Our oldest parkrun member, 85 year old Martin Tibbett, was once again in attendance and achieved another personal best. At Martin's first parkrun he was having a coffee with us and we recall saying to him “we hope to see you next week". His reply was "keep hoping". Needless to say, he has been back twice in the three weeks following and has now even brought his daughter, Judy along and she too, is becoming a regular. It is wonderful to see how our South Coast is fervently receiving their parkrun and it is encouraging to see our community members bringing more and more or their friends along.
We were fortunate to have Tim from adidas attend our event to hand out 2 prizes. Tim and I decided to give one of the marshals on the course two specific times and whoever passed him at those times were handed a business card and collected their prize at the finish.
We are also pleased to announce that C-Bali Restaurant is offering all our parkrunners a 10% discount on coffee and breakfast when presenting their barcode after the parkrun.
Remember, Keep Calm and parkrun.
Until next time,
On Saturday, 8 June, Willem Loison became the first person to celebrate his 100th parkrun on South African soil! Ann Boniwell baked a chocolate cake to for Willem’s 100 parkrun milestone. Willem finished his run, ushered in with a big ‘100’ flag to mark his achievement. Congratulations Willem! We will soon see many more parkrunners following in your club-100 footsteps soon.
feedback from the field
I want to thank EVERYONE at Roodepoort parkrun for making my 100th parkrun so special!
Also a special thank you to Ann for getting up very early to bake a lovely cake! (It was delicious!)
Drop us an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.
parkrunner of the week
Name: Willem Loison
Club: Not Associated
Home parkrun: Roodepoort parkrun
Occupation: Full-time student – ACCA
Number of runs: 101
Number of times volunteered: 7
What do you do at parkruns: Run, chat, drink coffee, and sometimes eat cake when there's a special event!
How has parkrun changed your running: If it hadn't been for parkrun, I wouldn't be a runner. I was into cycling at the time when I discovered parkrun in England at Bushy Park, April 2010. From my first parkrun I felt completely welcome, everybody was so friendly and it motivated me to turn up every Saturday morning no matter if it's raining or snowing there is always a great atmosphere at every parkrun. The volunteers, organizers, old people, kids, runners and walkers make parkrun the seed for all to grow. parkrun helped me to now get up every morning and go for a run, no more sorry excuses!
What do you like about parkrun: You don't have to give up your weekend to be at parkrun, it starts early in the morning and you can still have the rest of the day planned with friends or family! It's not a competition, it doesn't matter if you run at 18 minutes or 50 minutes everybody can run together on the same field and are all equal. You will be congratulated for tuning up and not just for being first to complete!
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: It has to be one winter when the park was covered with snow and all the pathways completely ice-frozen! Nobody expected to have a good running time or improve on a PB, don't think anybody cared though! It was great to see 500 runners turn up in zero temperatures and have so much fun on slippery pathways! Also memorable moments are every time I improved on my PB, when I know I did well it's exciting to wait for my results email and share it with friends! I introduced a lot of friends to parkrun and it's great for them turn up Saturdays and have fun too.