welcome to the newsletter
In this edition on the SA parkrun newsletter, we launch possibly the most beautiful parkrun in SA - George parkrun. Modderfontein parkrun invites all to attend a special celebration on 10 May. St.Francis and Woodlands offer their latest news.
Another exciting parkrun fortnight has sprinted past and it is almost impossible to keep pace with parkrun developments here in South Africa.
There are many claims for which parkrun in South Africa is the most beautiful and of course these judgements are always very subjective, but George parkrun must have a very strong argument for being named the South African parkrun beauty Queen. Run through the beautiful George Botanical Gardens in the shadow of the Outeniqua Mountains, the George parkrun route includes secluded forests lakes and lush open grassland. The most intriguing part of the route is the spiralling run up and then down the “Medicinal Mound” Viewed from a distance runners are seen streaming around the Mound which is densely planted with medicinal and therapeutic herbs and indigenous fynbos.
365 delighted parkrunners ran the inaugural George parkrun and new registrations have continued to keep George parkrun top of registrations worldwide.
Well done to Chantelle Liddell and her hard working team for their hard work in making George parkrun such a success. Thanks are due to the Garden Route Botanical Garden trustees for their insight and wisdom in understanding the benefits of parkrun to the greater George community.
From next week the Kidd’s Beach route will change to one which is run along…. While the old route had its charms it was very tough and considered too gruelling for beginners and those who are not so fit. The new route promises to be lots of fun and should draw lots of parkrunners back.
Modderfontein parkrun is planning a very special morning on the 10th May so we would like to encourage Johannesburg and Pretoria parkrunners to visit Modderfontein parkrun on the 10th May. There will be adequate parking, arrive early. Join Modderfontein in welcoming special guests and surprise gifts from our national sponsors. See you there Roodepoort parkrun Raiders !
parkrun South Africa would like to welcome Lian and Kelly de Charmoy to South Africa. Lian is the country manager for New Zealand and is doing a wonderful job promoting parkrun in New Zealand. Kelly is most famous for being the parkrunner who was bitten by a snake at Delta Park a couple of years ago. Of course she was rushed off to hospital that morning where luckily there were no complications. This meant she failed to complete that parkrun. She and Lian successfully ran the Delta Park parkrun last Saturday. Does this make Kelly de Charmoy the record holder for the slowest ever parkrun? ((She took 2 years and 3 months to finish her run at Delta Park!!) We are only joking Kelly. It is great to see you both running parkruns in South Africa.
This weekend parkrun South Africa has reached two very significant milestones; the first is that we now have over 75000 registered parkrunners in South Africa. The second is that these parkrunners have now recorded over 1 million completed kilometres! That is very exciting when we consider that just two years and 2 ½ years ago there were just 22 registered parkrunners. The future looks very exciting
Bruce (get in touch)
The April edition of our Media Partner, Modern Athlete Magazine is available now! To read the Digi-Mag, simply click here or, subscribe to receive it to your inbox on a monthly basis.
Discovery Vitality brings you health tips
Discovery Vitality brings you all the health tips you need to know on your parkrun journey.
Regular exercise is beneficial to blood pressure. Physical activity combined with weight loss and positive dietary or lifestyle changes, such as reducing your salt intake or quitting smoking, will have a marked impact on lowering blood pressure.
It’s important to get enough omega-3 fatty acids through the foods you eat to help your body function optimally and prevent chronic disease. Try to include at least two servings of oily fish a week into your diet. If you’re a vegan and your diet doesn’t allow enough omega-3 rich foods, you can opt for marine algae supplements.
St. Francis parkrun
It just happened. St Francis parkrun has an (un)official Mr and Ms parkrun. It is an earned title, with only one disadvantage – they are the ones with the target on their backs, they are the runners to beat. And don’t think it is any of our J-bay runners like Lindi Meyer (SW30 – 34) who held the top ladies score for many weeks, or Jannie Venter and Kobus Joubert (both VM 35 – 39) or even Seb Barret (SM18-19) with their sub 18’s...
No, our respected Mr parkrun is Felix Muchika (61) and Ms parkrun is Yvonne Robb (63). Felix has moved into the top 10 within the first 6 weeks of parkrun, and Yvonne’s name is often listed as top age graded for the week. Felix always finishes ahead of Yvonne, waiting for her at the finish line shouting “come, aunty! Shall I get the car?” Although it’s Yvonne’s car and Felix is the one depending on the lift!
Then you hear the conversations - runners comparing where they last could see Felix, trying to catch him, or the ladies knowing they were not too far behind as they still had Yvonne in the eye. Both in their 60’s, but the ones to beat! Yvonne lived in Malawi for the past 17 years, and Felix’s wife and young children still lives in Zimbabwe. Yvonne joined the Blantyre Hash House Harriers, “not really an athletic club, but a very social group who met every Monday at 17:00 for a HASH run. It was about 5km in total BUT you stopped at least every 100m to find the trail - a different trail set each week in a different area – lots of chatter went into this run as well.” Yvonne says the main aim of all this ‘so called’ running was definitely social – in many ways it was similar to parkrun, although our parkrun breakfast has replaced the beer! “Not sure which is better for the waistline?” With parkrun being timed and all results methodically kept – we have “pressure, pressure!!!”
Felix started to work for Yvonne’s sister, Colleen Butler, mid 2012 as domestic worker in St Francis Bay. “So he is part of the family and a polite nice man with the most wonderful sense of humour.” He is “legal guardian for the Butler’s three youngest ‘children’, and known by many in the Village as he walks them every day - three Scottish Terriers!” In December he won the “dog/owner look-alike competition” held by the local SPCA! Felix started to run again after moving to St Francis, and was entered by Colleen’s husband Tony (watch out Cape Epic 2015) into a 10km race that he finished well, despite little training. He then started to train 2 – 3 times a week with little opportunity to do more events.
“The advent of parkrun has been profound in Felix’s life,“ says Tony. “This is the highlight of his week, not only to better his time, but to socialise with the many friends he has made since doing parkrun.” Felix loves Saturdays and trains very hard to run a better time each week. Yvonne says “I get great pleasure in going over to congratulate him late Saturday afternoon when I discover he has ‘yet again’ run a PB.” At 61, his times show that he is an amazing athlete for someone who has not done any running since leaving school. “If you ever needed an example of what parkrun has done for someone, you only need to look at Felix… it has been wonderful for me to see how our parkrunners/walkers, mostly in the over 60ies bracket, who in July 2013 were certain they could not even get around the 5km course are now out each week – chatting, getting fitter and so enjoying themselves, just what sport of any nature should be. The photos also show what a diverse community we have – oldies, youngsters, dogs, prams and the odd super fit person – all having fun for an hour a week in our beautiful surroundings.”
St. Francis parkrun team
Woodlands parkrun celebrated their first birthday. Staci (Event Director), Ian and Zoe receiving a glass plaque from the community as an appreciation of thanks for all their time and work in making Woodlands parkrun the success it is today!
feedback from the field
Dear SA parkrun team,
Well done on what you have achieved in such a short time here in SA with parkrun! I just love it – even though it is at 8 in the morning and we miss the beautiful sunrise run – and I have given up my run around Midmar Dam for it!!! I divide my runs between North Beach and Duzi parkrun – both completely different, and soooooo super! I am by no means a great runner – a steady plodder, and wouldn’t miss my morning run for the world!
I am hoping to do my first Volunteering this month . I am on 34 runs, so aiming for my 50th!
Drop us an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.