welcome to the newsletter
In this edition of the SA parkrun newsletter we reflect on the years parkrun progress as number of registrations reaches well over the 40 000 mark and launch of more parkruns contiues.
Some may be taking a break in the December holidays but we at parkrun SA have been as busy as Santa’s reindeer. Last Saturday we launched Hall’s parkrun in Nelspruit. It was exciting to see a large crowd of nearly 100 Lowvelders arrive at the start in the Halls grounds. There were also keen visitors from some of Johannesburg’s parkruns and it was good to welcome to the start Andre and Ilse van Heerden, the Summerfields parkrun event directors. It has been a while coming but now Summerfields is not the only Mpumalanga parkrun on offer. Tracy Cresswell , Ian Toomey and Toy Dupper the Hall’s event directors have assembled a dynamic team of volunteers and have created a tough but exciting run. The course takes runners over three bridges, past orchards of Litchi trees and over the swirling brown waters of the Crocodile River. Your writer was leading as the runners started the return journey but young Madri Wiid, a first timer, taught him a solid tactical lesson and was first home.
This Saturday we return to the Mother City to launch the Fish Hoek parkrun. Having liaised closely with event director, Richard Healy, we know that Fish Hoek parkrun will be another popular Cape Town event.
Bryanston parkrun will launch on 25th January with Event Directors Ann and David Ashworth at the helm.
Several South African parkruns passed significant landmarks this month. As registrations in South Africa topped 42000 Uvongo parkrun registered its 1000th parkrunner. Durban’s North Beach parkrun topped 4000 and Nahoon Point soared to over 6000 registrations. As East London’s Bob Norris says, “I don’t know where they are all coming from! East London’s population just isn’t that large! But every week another 100 sign up”
We will soon be celebrating two parkrun first birthdays. The first is Sunrise-on-Sea which reaches this milestone on the 4th January. Congratulations to Danie Bessinger and his many loyal volunteers. Special congratulations to Tia Taljaard who has run every single parkrun since inception and who has become the first Sunrise parkrunner to earn her red club T-shirt.
A week later it is Modderfontein Reserve parkrun’s turn to celebrate a first birthday. Sadly event directors Jo-Anne Buchner and Chris Midlane have decided that they have done their time at the helm and it is time to move on. We thank them for all their efforts in starting this beautiful and very popular parkrun and for building it up to the vibrant parkrun that exists today. A new team will start in January. If anyone is interested in volunteering please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheers for now,
Bruce (get in touch)
A message to our Sponsors and Volunteers
As we approach the end of another very successful parkrun year I would like to thank our sponsors Blue Label Telecoms , adidas and Discovery Vitality for their invaluable assistance and belief in us. We would also like to thank all the regional directors, event and run directors and all the volunteers without whom no parkrun would happen in South Africa. To all of you and all our 43000 registered South African parkrunners have a great holiday break.
P.S. Remember, parkruns will continue throughout the holiday and perhaps in a spirit of giving I would like every parkrunner to consider volunteering during the festive season.
Discovery Vitality brings you health tips
Discovery Vitality brings you all the health tips you need to know on your parkrun journey.
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you should take an active interest in managing your disease and this includes exercise. Before you start a regular exercise programme have a comprehensive medical check-up, which may include an exercise stress electrocardiogram (ECG). The check up must confirm that your blood glucose levels are under control.
Optimal nutrition for runners means taking the healthy approach when it comes to eating for better running. Avoid fad diets, especially low-carbohydrate ones such as the Atkins diet. Apart from affecting your running, they can compromise your overall health.
Darryl Goosen, Louwrens Greeff and the Ebotse parkrun team repaired a leaking water valve at their parkrun start.
Darryl, a plumber by trade, took the initiative at his own cost to undertake the repairs. The Ebotse start has been waterlogged and flooded for the past few months. Despite repeated requests the local municipality had done nothing about the problem. So Darryl took the task of parkrun volunteering beyond the call of duty. I think that the guy’s did a great job. Next maybe they will repair some potholes on our roads (only joking).
10 club news
Some of our event managers have noticed that we have been struggling with kiddies sizes for our 10-Club shirts. With our numbers growing beyond our wildest expectations, together with adidas, we have decided to discontinue the 10-Club T-shirts. Instead, the juniors will be presented with a 10-Club certificate. This will come into effect from 1 February 2014
North Beach parkrun
North Beach parkrun is hosting a celebrity guest this Saturday – SANTA IS COMING TO TOWN! We are so excited to have Father Christmas with us, ready to spread some cheer and interact with the kiddies. Rumour has it that he wants to collect some prezzies for the less fortunate families and kiddies in Durbs. (Obviously it is not compulsory for you to donate) If you have the time to go shopping for a small gift we would love for you to bring it with on Saturday or drop it off with the Lungile Health team (54 Balmoral Drive). If you are like us and are so busy running around getting things done but still want to help out, we will have a box for collections to help the shelters with food and school fees for next year. We are hoping for a HUGE turnout so bring the family and even the pets! Don’t forget FREE parking at Suncoast is official between 7am & 8am but only if you show your parkrun barcode.
Dress in your MOST FESTIVE gear and let’s kickstart Christmas with a Fancy 5k!
Hobie Beach parkrun
Every Saturday, we are so fortunate to see a fantastic group of runners take-on 5km along Port Elizabeth’s most beautiful scenery.
It amazes us each week to see each participant get better & better, and watch them bring more friends who all get hooked on this incredible concept.
As of today, we have just over 2 222 registered parkruners at PE Hobie Beach, aged 5 to 80, who are all so excited to improve & get fit. Surprisingly, the majority of our runners are not part of running clubs, they are just doing this because they can & they are very quickly realising that they are able to run better and faster each week.
I have always found running to influence my life in such positive ways – being a healthy, sociable, safe and fun experience; you are always bound to meet wonderfully happy people along the way. Each person who completes parkrun has this beautiful sense of achievement all summed up in a big smile. It is genuinely fantastic, and so motivating to see this every Saturday.
This can all occur thanks to our super group of volunteers & sponsors. We appreciate you all so very much!
Merry, festive and smiley parkrunning,
feedback from the field
My wife and I were invited by Oliver Ive to join Nahoon Point parkrun late in 2012, little realising what a life changing experience that would be.
I am passionate about running, but have always struggled with injuries and had quite literally got to the point where I was going to give it a last frustrated try, or finally give up hope of ever running again and find another way to keep fit. Olga has never been an athlete and in 33 years of marriage had shown no interest in running.
Well, one year later Olga recently completed her first 10km run very comfortably, and I am going from strength to strength, all because of parkrun.
We have not just joined some running club, but really feel like part of a family. Every week I look forward to starting the weekend with our parkrun running community, stretching myself towards a new PB, but also being strengthened and encouraged by the camaraderie, genuine friendship and some practical advice, of a very diverse and wonderful group of East Londoners, plus the frequent visits by guests from all over the parkrun world.
We have watched so many lives being changed by parkrun ( new friendships formed, fatties slimming down, non-runners starting to get their legs moving, families spending wonderful quality time together, etc. ) that it is no exaggeration to say that parkrun really is having a significant impact on the community.
So, Olga and I want to sincerely thank you for bringing parkrun to SA - you have done many people a great service. Well done to you and your whole wonderful team!
Alan Ter Morshuizen
Drop us an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.