welcome to this week's newsletter
In this edition of the SA parkrun newsletter; Sunrise-on-Sea together with CANCA promotes men’s health month by offering free prostrate and testicular cancer tests for all male runners. St. Francis parkrun is officially launched. Big Bay parkrun continues to attract numbers - could this be the most picturesque parkrun setting?
It has been a lot of fun this week to study the parkrun registrations wiki site. South African registrations have placed our parkruns very prominently at the top of the World list with Woodlands, Delta, Modderfontein, and St. Francis parkruns - all taking turns to hold the “gold medal” position. In addition we have constantly held the 5 positions all week. South African parkrun registrations are climbing by over 100 a day now bringing us to over 17000 registered parkrunners. Of course parkrun is not a competition and the parkrun experience is much more important than competing for numbers but it is still very gratifying to see the enthusiasm growing. Without a doubt this growth spurt has much to do with our new partnership with Discovery Vitality and we look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership.
Last Saturday we launched a parkrun at St. Francis. It was a stunning morning with 226 parkrunners tackling the St. Francis links course. It was very humbling to experience the enthusiasm and spirit of the St. Francis community. Congratulations to Esti and Eric Stewart and their volunteer team for a brilliant job well done! We follow this launch with Greenpoint in Cape Town this week. Further exciting news is that at last we have interested parties looking at potential parkrun sites in Pretoria.
Please remember to bring your barcode with you for your results when you run or walk a parkrun.
Chris Midlane the event director of Modderfontein reserve parkrun has created a humorous barcode that sums up the parkrun experience so well.
Cheers for now,
Bruce (get in touch)
All is well at Sunrise-on-Sea parkun, numbers are averaging well above our initial expectations for the event. Nahoon Point, Kidds Beach and Sunrise-on-Sea are located in an area with a radius of +/- 35 km. Considering our small population, compared to other major centres we enjoy great support from our locals. The camaraderie and spirit are healthy. Our locals arrive every Saturday, come rain or shine, it is as if they do not want to let each other down. The “gees” of parkrun is reflected in the following Facebook post from one of our participants that I wish to share with you.
"Suppose I can put up the parkrun results. :). 35.37 mins. New PB! Thanks again to all those who support me in this almost inhuman effort to start running after a lifetime of couching. I honestly hope my "progress reports" will encourage someone out there to join parkrun. Apart from being a great way to get fit (or stay fit) it's a super social event! We start to know each other and it becomes like a whole big family. You may think you ain't a runner but if you can walk un-aided you can do it! There are lots of walkers... And a lot of runners (like me) still walk bits of it. We also always need volunteers! Start by volunteering... It will help you gather the guts to participate. Also a great way to meet people!"
Two weeks ago we had CANSA doing prostrate and testicular cancer tests for our male runners in conjunction with men’s health month. Many of our male participants were surprised to only be subjected to a finger prick test and not the old traditional method. Nevertheless they had their status within a few minutes. Thank you to Michelle and Glynnis from CANSA.
Well done to Alex McQuirk, Stella Swart and Abigail van Vugt who achieved their Club-10 parkrun status over the past few weeks. To those who experienced a realisation of your goals however big or small, well done, keep going. Our volunteers and friends of Sunrise-on-Sea parkrun enjoyed a lovely braai at Murambi Country Kitchen on Wednesday, 10 June. Lots of ideas were shared and it was an ideal opportunity to interact with each other in a less formal manner. Thanks all, your support is appreciated!
Watch the press for details about the Jumbo Beach2Beach Half Marathon launch that took place at Nahoon Point parkrun last week. By the time this newsletter is published there will be a new addition to the Eastern Cape family namely Cape St. Francis parkrun. Welcome aboard! Indeed, exciting times.
Big Bay parkrun
The Big Bay parkrun has been going for 11 weeks now. The setting is ideal with the sun rising over the Atlantic Ocean; the beautiful west coast beaches and the majestic Table Mountain in the background. In spite of some chilly winter mornings and even some rain, we are seeing more and more eager runners and walkers coming out each week as word is spreading around the community.
79 year-old Don Oliver is a regular volunteer. He is a comrades veteran (19 medals); a renown comrades coach; author and a double amputee who has been selected to represent the Achilles South African team in the New York Marathon this year in the hand-cycle event. Don said he loves two things about the parkrun. Firstly, he loves the fact that children of all ages are encouraged to participate in what he called a “grown-up gathering,” where they are expected to obey the rules; hand in their own tokens and receive their results, without the pressure from coaches and teachers that accompanies so much of our school sports these days.
The second aspect of the parkrun that he thoroughly enjoys is the social side and camaraderie of people with the same interest before, during and after the event, including the weekly gathering afterwards at one of the many coffee shops that overlook the finish.
We wish Don the very best for the New York Marathon next month. A special thank you must go to our very enthusiastic weekly volunteers. You guys are amazing! Thanks to all our runners and walkers for supporting the parkrun. We look forward to seeing more and more people, both young and old, fast and slow being bitten by the parkrun bug!
parkrunner of the week
Name: Dave Mac Callum
Home parkrun: Woodlands parkrun
Number of runs: 10
Number of times volunteered: 1
What do you do at parkruns: When volunteering, distribute position bar-code tags.
How has parkrun changed your running: Induced discipline to complete weekly training with the view to improving times
What do you like about parkrun: Relaxed Saturday morning social running environment
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: Was running on my first lap around the park, when I heard, what at first, I thought was Alan Rob about to overtake me on his second lap, at the gallop. Then I was absolutely amazed when two buck burst out of the foliage about ten metres ahead of me, galloping across the path. To see nature close up, right is the heart of urban Jo’burg, and to feel almost involved with these graceful gazelle as the romped in the park, hit home as to how privileged we all are to be running in the wide open spaces that is parkrun.