welcome to this week's newsletter
In this eddition of the SA parkrun newsletter, Hobie Beach parkrun is launched in Port Elizabeth. We here from Cape Town’s Greenpoint parkrun as well as St. Francis parkrun. Discovery Vitality offers runners heathy living tips and parkrunners are reminded of the process to claim their T-shirts.
It would be hard to match the beautiful sunrise that greeted 178 excited parkrunners at the inaugural Hobie Beach P.E. parkrun. The cold ,wet weather that preceded last Saturdays launch gave way to a stunning morning and after a few words from country manager, Bruce Fordyce and event director, Rosalind Wilson the runners and walkers set off on the 5 kilometre course. What a special parkrun it is too. Afterwards the general consensus was that it is one of the best parkruns in the country and that Rosalind and her team of volunteers have done a wonderful job.
The PE Hobie Beach name has prompted us to ask for a change in the Summerfields parkrun in Hazyview to Kruger Park-Summerfields parkrun to more accurately describe its exact location.
On Sunday SA parkrun numbers exceeded 21000 for the first time. It seems that it was just yesterday that there were only 22 of us!
There will be no new events for the next few weeks as we consolidate after quite a hectic few months. However we have had enquiries about parkruns in Pretoria, Bloemfontein, and Nelspruit and we are very keen to find someone interested in starting a parkrun in the South of Johannesburg.
Cheers for now,
Bruce (get in touch)
Discovery Vitality brings you health tips
Discovery Vitality brings you all the health tips you need to know on your parkrun journey.
If you are new to running it’s advisable to start slow. First combine walking and jogging and steadily increase the time and the distances you run.
When it comes to nutrition, remember to boost your energy. Eat a healthy, substantial meal that will give you enough energy for the run. Not too heavy though – it can cause discomfort during a race. Try different meals during your training to see what works best for you.
Greenpoint parkrun parkrun
I had found parkrun last year when I was looking for running groups to join. But it was only at the Two Oceans expo that I met Gill and Bruce and was thrilled I could actually speak to someone about Greenpoint Park being the perfect location for a parkrun.
I live in Greenpoint and was training for my first Two Oceans half, and so had run all over the area while I was building up my mileage, and time and again I was astonished and saddened that having paved a route for runners/cyclists, it was being wasted as hardly anyone used it. However, it involved crossing a road close to a junction in the middle of the run, and doing one section of the park 3 times. Gill and Bruce (our dear parkrun SA parents) had been here and had tried to find a 5km previously, but with no luck, due to time constraints.
The route had to be reworked to really enjoy the park and surrounds (including the stadium, views of Table Mountain with Lion's Head and Signal Hill, glimpses of the sea and the lighthouse) and to be easier to manage logistically and keep to parkrun concepts.
After a couple of trials we managed to work out a route that would reduce the difficulty of managing it, keep the park managers happy (by starting and ending outside the park) and keep to the safety aspect of parkrun, by removing the road crossing.
I had interesting meetings with the park manager, and the local police - both of whom tried to impress on me about keeping the run 'contained', not realising that the whole ethos of parkrun is for people to enjoy the space with as little disturbance as possible and to leave it as it was found. This route is almost all paved and so quite accessible for less able people and child strollers.
Once we were clear of the City restrictions, due to Cape Town having so many events all the time, because they had also seen how low risk and low impact parkruns are, when Big Bay launched, it was onwards to our launch!
We watch the numbers rise and rise, and being the only parkrun in central Cape Town, we expect this to be huge. We expect lots of international visitors. But most of all we expect people like ourselves to come and enjoy this beautiful landscaped park.
When they built the stadium (which was contentious for various unsatisfactory decisions), the park was just a spin-off to try to keep the locals happy, as there used to be a much larger area which was designated public space. Now the park itself is a true gem! This parkrun has the potential to be really fast as it is on a solid surface with good traction, little incline and, once you get used to them, the turns are fine to manage.
But it also is so gentle that you could decide to take it easy. Finish it slowly, then grab your picnic from your car, and sprawl out on the lush grass in the park beside the water afterwards, with a couple of mates, for a whole long summer's day in the sun.
St. Francis parkrun
Five Saturdays ago, on 13 July 2013, St Francis joined the global parkrun family. We were extremely proud that we broke the launch record – I mean, we are one of the smallest communities who are part of parkrun and WE DID IT!
Two weeks later we had terrible weather - and despite that still more parkrunners than what we had a year ago for an event with cool prizes and lekker goody bags! We have welcomed visitors from the UK, who brought their friends from Dubai, we had parkrunners here from Nahoon and Modderfontein – and two of our runners braved the city traffic to attend the Greenpoint launch!
Our local parkrun family is growing rapidly. I can’t decide what is the best – to see parents running with their 4 and 8 year olds (or 4 and 8 year olds running with their parents!) or to see someone running you know who is actually very ill and should be in bed. The motivation is heartwarming and we are proud to be part of it, it is extra special to us as we know the majority of the people, as well as their circumstances.
We finish our parkrun with a well deserved coffee and bacon ‘n egg roll at the St Francis Links Clubhouse – where we say goodbye with "well, see you next week – same time, same place!"
St. Francis team
parkrunner of the week
Name: Nick G.
Club: Atlantic Athletic Club (AAC)
Age: Greenpoint parkrun
Home parkrun: Trainee Clinical Psychologist
Number of runs: 1
PB: I help with the timing and this week I'll be marshalling also.
Number of times volunteered: It's made me focus on speedwork, and each week have worked hard on improving my time and getting down to the 20-minute milestone.
What do you do at parkruns: That it's open to anyone and everyone, requires no fussy forms or entry fees, is community-driven and promotes health and wellness!
How has parkrun changed your running: Well, I finished 5th in my first two parkruns and in the 3rd, I was coming 6th with about 500 meters left. I pushed myself and passed the 5th place runner who was a few meters ahead of me and then made sure to get a bit of a gap between us. I guess I let my guard down because about 20 meters from the line, a totally different guy came past me, totally out of the blue! I wasn't going to let him steal 5th place however, and I sprinted to the line and finished 2 seconds ahead of him. That really proved to me how much 'reserve' energy we actually carry, which we can call upon when required!