welcome to the newsletter
In this edition of the parkrun newsletter, we gear up for the 10th international anniversary of parkrun. We hear how the power of parkrun saves lives, substituting one addiction for another! Achieve your next PB with a few simple tips. Don’t forget to catch the Modern Athlete magazine online and Discovery Vitality’s health tip of the week.
Ten years ago Paul Sinton-Hewitt C.B.E. started the first parkrun with 13 parkrun pioneers in London’s famous Bushy Park. Even he could have no idea that a decade later parkrun would have grown to the worldwide phenomenon that we see today.
Now nearly 1.2 million people worldwide have registered for parkrun. These parkrunners run in 9 countries, at over 500 different parkruns worldwide and more than 10000 new runners join parkrun every week. It is too exciting and overwhelming to contemplate parkrun prospects for the next decade.
parkruns around the World will be celebrating this 10th birthday in a variety of festive ways. Even though parkrun South Africa is a mere toddler and is not yet 3 years old it should be fun to acknowledge this special birthday on October 4th. I would like to encourage all our parkruns to celebrate International parkrun day.
If there are enough parkrun participants on the 4th October we may well break the Guinness Book of records for the most participants in a mass running event!
You will all have received an email announcing that parkrun global has launched the parkrun online retail shop. My first purchase will be a pre-ordered parkrun books. (One on the history of parkrun the other a coffee table book of beautiful parkrun photographs.) We can also order parkrun branded adidas kit.
Congratulations to Lerentia Strydom and her dynamic team on the launch of their lovely Middelburg parkrun. Grateful thanks to Oluf Eriksen for allowing Middelburg parkrun to be run through the Glen Cullen estate and for the stone and log lined path he constructed for parkrunners. Oluf even built a roofed building at the start and finish of the Middelburg parkrun to protect the volunteers on rainy days.
This Saturday sees the launch of the Grahamstown parkrun under the guidance of Nicola Brown and her team. Judging from the flurry of registrations it seems that the academics and students in this city of education are keen to get both physically and mentally fit.
It seems it was just yesterday the Rhoda du Plessis started our first Pretoria parkrun in the famous Voortrekker monument grounds. Now this parkrun will celebrate its first birthday on the 27th September. One of the most spectacular sights at this time of the year is the view from the top of the Voortrekker parkrun hill (Fort Schanskop). In October the Jacarandas are all in bloom and it seems that Fort Schanskop is floating in a mauve ocean. Visiting parkrunners are encouraged to plan to run Voortrekker parkrun in October or November to experience the parkrun at its best.
Bruce (get in touch)
Hi, my name is Sean
I would like to share a little story of how Piggly Wiggly parkrun has had an amazing effect on my life.
A few weeks ago a very good friend of mine asked me if I would join her for a run on Saturday (even though she thought I would decline). Anyway, I went along thinking to myself, 'I just have to do it this one time to make her happy'.
I was a complete cocaine addict and border-line alcoholic also enjoying ecstasy on a regular basis. I was depressed with suicidal tendencies and have attempted suicide 3 times.
I registered and did my first parkrun that Saturday. I had such a good time and felt so good and revitalised afterwards. My addiction has gone from drugs and booze to running and I don’t have to challenge anyone but myself to better my own times and get fit. Thanks to the great organisers of the Piggly Wiggly parkrun, and my amazing friend, I am now 5 weeks drug free. Ok, I still drink but only half of what I used to and I have a completely new outlook on life; no more depression and thoughts of suicide but just good happy thoughts and the most amazing healthy feeling.
Please share my story and hopefully it will inspire more people to join this amazing event that has totally changed my life for the better and a massive thank you to all involved in making this possible. You have truly changed my life and, I'm sure, many others’ lives.
Modern Athlete Magazine
Discovery Vitality brings you health tips
Discovery Vitality brings you all the health tips you need to know on your parkrun journey.
As your body starts ageing, your immune system becomes weaker, making it easier for infections to occur. Ensuring that you are having the correct immunisations at the right time and getting enough dietary vitamins and minerals, will prime your body’s self-defence system to fight off infections more effectively.
Celebrate Woman’s Month with adidas
The adivan will be visiting Nahoon Point parkrun this Saturday, 27 September, for the final leg of their Woman’s Month celebration. Everyone is welcome to test out the stylish range of adidas running shoes. See you there!
parkrun Tip of the week
How do I improve my parkrun time / set a new PB?
There are many ways of improving your parkrun time. The first and simplest answer is run a flat course at sea level. In South Africa, many of our parkrun courses offer a challenge of some sort, for example, a slightly hilly course or a stretch that runs along the beach sand. Obstacles such as narrow bridges can also slow your time significantly.
The second way to achieve a faster parkrun time is by entering into a 5km training programme. To improve your pace, you need to train several times a week and include an interval session. Warming up before setting off at the start of parkrun will ensure that your muscles are already in a state of readiness and it will help to avoid strains or pulled muscles.
feedback from the field
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: Pam Stark
Home parkrun: St Francis
Number of runs: 53
How did you end up at parkrun?: I saw an advert in the local press about this coming attraction and went along to see what it was all about. (and haven’t stopped since!)
Have you run all your life?: I started walking every morning about 20 years ago but never thought I was fit enough to run. I started running when I started parkrun and I continue to surprise myself by going further and faster every day.
What makes you get up every Saturday morning for parkrun?: I know I am going to meet up with wonderful friendly people who all enjoy running or walking.
Do you live in St. Francis, or do you have to travel far each Saturday?: I’m lucky enough to live in St. Francis Bay and very close to the parkrun course.
What would you say to other parkrunners to keep them motivated?: Life is precious and short, so look after your body and health – parkrun is the ideal way to exercise and have enormous fun. My first parkrun’s time was: 37:59, and my Personal Best last week was: 30:42. My aim and target is to achieve a time of less than 30 minutes by November 2014.
My health and sense of well-being has never been as good as it is right now, and that’s mainly due to the fact that I run at least 3kms every day. There are so many parkrun courses all over the world, and I’m such a keen participant, that I have parkrun in Cape Town and London – but nothing beats St. Francis Bay’s course and the people who volunteer and organise it every week for making it a friendly, happy parkrun no matter what the weather.