welcome to the newsletter
In this edition of the SA parkrun newsletter, we round up the year with a few extra parkruns – don’t miss out! Root 44 shares their planned festivities with us and Bryanston parkrun has your dog’s best interest in mind. We hear from a few parkrunners who share their experiences with us. SA launches the parkrun Show Podcast, don’t miss out!
This is an exciting time of the year for parkrunnners because it is possible for us to run a couple of bonus parkruns. There are some parkruns that will be holding Christmas and/or New Year parkruns despite the fact that these holidays do not fall on a Saturday, The decision to stage holiday parkruns is up to each parkrun community and some have opted not to run these extra parkruns. Please look at the link to see which SA parkruns will be hosting extra events.
It is always special when a parkrunner reaches the 100 club, black shirt milestone and we are delighted that so many South African parkrunners are joining the club. We would like to single out Thelma Fouche however because she has recently run her 100th parkrun at the age of 80. A loyal Roodepoort parkrunner since the very early days, she has also run the Voortrekker Monument parkrun and at Albert’s Farm. We have been informed that Thelma’s trip and tumble at Albert’s Farm would have earned her a 9.75 in the Olympic gymnastics but despite this mishap she still soldiered on bravely to the finish. Congratulations Thelma, and welcome to the club.
Lordrick Mathonsi and his team launched their Nkomazi parkrun last Saturday. Run through sugar cane fields bordering the Nkomazi Township this parkrun is close to the borders of Mozambique, Swaziland and the Kruger National Park. There was an enthusiastic crowd of runners at the start including some whose journey to the start had been delayed by a pride of lions on the Lower Sabie road.
A particularly enthusiastic group of parkrunners at Nkomazi were the parkrun tourists who travel to as many different parkruns as they can. They are seen at many of the new parkrun launches but also at our more remote parkruns scattered all around the country. Some of them have run every South African parkrun and are now attempting to do this for a second time. This is a fascinating challenge and quite lucrative for many local economies!
Ever since Rhoda Du Plessis started the Voortrekker Monument parkrun in Pretoria we have been aware that one parkrun was never going to be sufficient for the nation’s capital. The demand escalated despite our launching a parkrun in Laudium. The demand has told us that the” Eastern flank” of Pretoria was badly exposed and so we are delighted that on Saturday we will welcome Botanical Garden parkrun (Pretoria East) to the Pretoria parkrunners. Ilana Wait and her team have measured a beautiful two lap course through the fascinating gardens. The stretch through the Madagascan forest is particularly interesting. We would like to thank the Garden authorities for their invaluable help.
For those who have been in doubt please rest assured that parkruns WILL take place on the 27th December. We would like to wish all our volunteers, parkrunners and sponsors a joyous and restful holiday and happy parkrunning in 2015. (DONT FORGET YOUR BARCODE!)
Bruce (get in touch)
Modern Athlete Magazine
The parkrun Show
Our very own South African parkrun podcast show is now available to download.
The parkrun show is enthusiastically brought to you by Stefan & Jenna van der Merwe who are also the event directors at the North Beach parkrun in KZN.
Each show is your roundup of the "goings on" at parkrun around the country and is packed full of interviews with running legends like Bruce Fordyce, local celebs, your event directors, volunteers & fellow parkrunners. Who knows, maybe you could be on the next show...
This week we talk to Bruce Fordyce about how parkrun started in South Africa, his most embarrassing sporting moment and we get to quiz him on his parkrun knowledge.
Join Team Vitality – Discovery Vitality’s new running and cycling club.
Gear up and join the Team Vitality movement. Get an awesome starter pack which includes a Premium Team Vitality kit, over R1000 in vouchers for race gear and fitness devices, up to 50% cash back on registration fees for some of SA’s best races ,up to 5 000 Vitality points for each event you complete . PLUS the coolest race club experience around. Go to www.discovery.co.za for more information.
Not a Vitality member? Visit www.discovery.co.za or SMS “Vitality” to 48030 to join.
Root 44 parkrun
What an eventful 2014 it has been for Root 44! Petitions were signed by parkrunners to keep our route on Audacia. We received loads of emails in support and learnt what parkrun really means to our community. We hosted Australia parkrun Country Manager, Tim Oberg, and he went home excited to start parkrun in a vineyard! Next was a fun Easter Egg Hunt Event, with an appearance from the Easter Bunny himself. Our 1st birthday was an awesome morning, lots of cake and cupcakes. Through the toy drive leading up to our birthday brought in some great donations which went to the very deserving and appreciative Graceland pre-school in Devon Valley. Winter brought lots of rain, mud and fallen trees, but that didn’t stop the fun, some ploughed through, others tipped toed around the muddy patches, but they all got to finish. After rain, comes the Spring Event and Chris (Run Director) in his green suite making the parkrunners smile. In November, Root 44 supports the cancer awareness campaign of MOvember. And now our last themed event for 2014:
Save the date:
Root 44 parkrun Annual Christmas Fancy Dress Event!
DRESS UP & you could win a prize!
I would like to thank all the Root 44 parkrunners, Root 44 Market and Audacia Wine Farm for their continued support of our beautiful parkrun. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered this year. A special thank you to my regular volunteers and especially to my core team for all their help over the last year: Gaenor and Alistair Hartenberg, Kobus Toua, Ilse Langhout, Sarah Shaw, Melinda Morgan and Robyn Scott. Last, but not least to Chris Visser, Run Director, thank you for being at parkrun every single week and taking the reins when I cannot be there.
May we all have a fantastic 2015!
Torrin Theron – Event Director
The Bryanston East Community Forum has installed a permanent water bowl for our dog walkers. During the past few weeks, we have experienced blistering hot mornings at parkrun and now your fury-friends can enjoy some well deseved water at the finish!
feedback from the field
I loved Giselas' mail on Cannibal parkrun in the last newsletter. Such a nice letter, thanks for sharing.
I would like to share my parkrun experience as well. February 2014 I was on the Gautrain from Kempton to Sandton and as we passed Modderfontein I saw an advertisement of new developments. I got to work and Googled the area where I came across the Modderfontein parkrun. I then saw there was one closer to home - Ebotse.
I registered myself, my husband, my brother, my mom and dad. Then I shared my first results on Facebook where 6 of my friends saw this and registered. It's like spreading a disease... a highly contagious, but not life threatening disease.
parkrun has now became a fun, free, family affair. We've done Modderfontein, Delta park and Woodlands.
Even after my dad was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, he still runs parkrun and it makes me so happy when he tries to improve his time. You guys help us be more healthy and active!
And then finally... just to say that I absolutely love the competitive nature and the camaraderie you experience at each and every parkrun!
I grew up with a love for the outdoors in the Eastern Cape (and not much interest in computer games or TV watching as it became available through the mid-70’s onward). I’ve been something of an admirer from the fringes’ of powerful athletes – especially the endurance marathon runners. I am a great fan of your remarkable running legacy and always wished for more disposable time to get involved. The years pass so quickly and now at 52 those teenage / young adult years are long passed. I’m still overly busy with still too-many irons in the fire, but I have made the decision and have picked up running, which I last left off in army days (1981-2). I have watched many of my friends over the years get out of shape, lose their vitality, and accept the gradual slump into poor health and all the diseases and poor quality living that goes with such loss. Having made the commitment to achieve the red ’50-Club’ parkrun T-shirt, I am running every day before work to build up my strength. I feel rejuvenated and can’t wait for Saturdays to compete against my previous modest PB. I am making progress – I made it into the upper 20’s and now I’m aiming for sub-25 minutes. 10 runs behind me: 40 to go. Thanks for this great athletic initiative. Maybe I’ll get strong enough to set the goal for a marathon.
Kind regards (and with appreciation of your service to the rest of us lesser running mortals)
Gary Human Sunrise-on-Sea parkrunner (East London)
A five time Umhlanga parkrunner who has turned her back on alcohol confided in Ray "parkrun has, and is, changing my life. It gives me a reason to wake up on Saturday mornings and, more importantly to go to bed before midnight on Friday.”
“Wow” says Ray, “I have been involved in events for 27 years all over the world I have managed winners of the New York City Marathon, and 14 winners of the Comrades Marathon as well as 84 Comrades gold medallists and no-one has ever said that to me. I have NEVER seen anything quite like parkrun. I see human beings transformed from being human doings. I see humanity in action. I see people who ARE the difference. I see a massive swell of people who are celebrating, enjoying, loving, and appreciating just being.
I love every Saturday morning particularly when I observe the volunteers. I notice that everyone who has volunteered once has volunteered again. This speaks volumes for humanity as parkrun reminds us that there is a wonderful future for all of us.”
Ray de Vries, Event Director at Umhlanga parkrun
Drop us an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.