parkrun SA newsletter 18th February 2015

welcome to the newsletter


In this edition of the SA parkrun newsletter, parkrunners are incentivised to volunteer, thanks to Discovery/Vitality. We read all about the parkrun tourists and their parkrun adventures. Frith van der Merwe tells us why she loves parkrun and we find out a bit more about Piggly Wiggly parkrun.

For a some time now we have been trying to show some form of appreciation for our wonderful parkrun volunteers and we are now delighted to announce that Discovery/Vitality have agreed to offer 500 points to those who decide to volunteer on a Saturday morning and who are also Vitality members. We all understand that the spirit of volunteerism is something that cannot adequately be rewarded and also does not anticipate reward but it is always satisfying to recognise the contribution of our volunteers.

Bob Norris running his 50th

In its infancy parkrun South Africa experienced its first growth in 3 parkruns in Johannesburg (Delta Park, Roodepoort and Ebotse). No one would have guessed then, that the 4th parkrun would start in East London at Nahoon Point. Nor would any of us have imagined that for many months Nahoon Point would be the most popular and fastest growing parkrun in South Africa. Well it was and it remains a very successful parkrun making a major contribution to the community of East London. Much of the credit for the success of Nahoon Point parkrun must lie with its founder, Bob Norris who is also parkrun Regional director for Eastern Cape. Bob and his enthusiastic team of volunteers have made Nahoon Point parkrun an example of a truly great parkrun.

This weekend it was a pleasure to run Nahoon Point again and to be able to present Bob Norris with his 100 club black shirt. Bob, thank you for what your have done and congratulations on earning your Black shirt while continuing to act as chief volunteer so often at Nahoon Point.

This Saturday sees the start of Lebone parkrun. The community of Rustenburg has been demanding a parkrun for a while now so it is exciting to see that the hard work of Beth Burrell and Sean Lindsay has finally led to the start of this very interesting and challenging parkrun.

Freedom Runs on Freedom Day, Monday 27 April 2015

A group of keen parkrunners who have decided to run at least 7 parkruns and possibly all 9 runs in the Johannesburg area on Freedom day. The plan is to arrange co-ordinated transport, drinks and snacks and a planned timed itinerary so a large group can take part and enjoy the freedom of parkrun on freedom day.

If you are interested in taking part, helping to co-ordinate or volunteering in any way, please email woodlandshelpers@parkrun.com.

Happy running,

Bruce (get in touch)

parkrun SA tourists


Like many of you reading this newsletter know, parkrun has become a bit of an addiction. You probably sometimes wake up early on a Saturday and drag yourself off to the start of your local parkrun, some mornings more bleary-eyed than others. But let’s face it – parkrun is no doubt the biggest fitness craze since Jane Fonda and her 80’s video tapes. People the world over have gone parkrun-mad. From Poland to Parys, they’re arriving in their droves at their local venue to race, run, walk or amble the 5km route.

And then there are a group of parkrun enthusiasts that have taken the 5km obsession to a whole new level. The South African parkrun Tourists, made up of a band of merry men, woman, and children from all ages and walks of life. Professors, bean counters, retirees, cleaners, procurement specialists, office managers, we travel the country (and world) with the aim of completing as many parkrun events as possible.

The obsession with parkrun amongst the Tourists started in earnest some months ago. We would arrive at an inaugural event and see a few familiar faces at the start. Then, the person you saw in Upington suddenly appeared in Bryanston, and then Grahamstown, and so it continued…

After the initial shyness passed, we got chatting and so a bond was formed between a group of people that traverse South Africa by air, car, bus or train, doing the different parkruns.

Tourists Crocodile River after Nkomazi parkrun

There are a few events that stand out as being really special, with Nkomazi parkrun being one of them. Situated some 40km south of the Crocodile Bridge Gate to the Kruger National Park, it’s an easy out and back run through the sugar cane fields.  Nkomazi is one of a handful of parkrun events that have a 7am start due to the local heat year round. (Upington and Mogol are also on that list). Because of the earlier start at Nkomazi, one of the parkrun Tourists arrived late for the inaugural run, after travelling a long way to be there,. As he pulled into the parking area way after the start, a few already streamed through the finish. So we did what any self-respecting parkrun Tourist would do. We gathered around him and, in the true spirit of parkrun comraderie, ran the 5km with him again.

A lesson learnt is to never judge a book by its cover. When we were at the Nkomazi start –  kitted out in fancy adidas running gear, having a little stretch and surveying others arriving -  some with no fancy kit, a few barefoot Zola-style.  Well they certainly showed us a thing or two about athleticism and sportsmanship. Life lesson learnt: it’s not about the flashy kit, it’s all about heart and attitude.

And that’s what the Tourists love about travelling to these events. We’ve made friends, met wonderful people making a difference, and seen so much of this beautiful country we all call home.  Whilst some are competitive, others are there for the pure joy of running/walking and adventure.  The tourists are always welcomed warmly by the local event directors and volunteers. And sometimes even interviewed by local newspapers and treated as minor celebrities!

By March this year there will be 50 parkrun venues in South Africa, some in far flung places. We are privileged to try and visit them all and support the local economies through accommodation, food and drinks, and sightseeing.  Buying a cap that says 'Cannibal's Cave' or donating old running shoes to those who have none all contributes to supporting these communities.

We salute the event directors and volunteers that make our Saturday mornings special all over the country. You are enriching our lives.  See you at the start (somewhere in South Africa!) on Saturday; we are looking forward to many more adventures and to meet more people in the parkrun family!

You can follow the tourist’s progress on the parkrun website under the “most events” tab, or click here:.   This page includes details of all the Tourists that have done 15 or more different events in South Africa.

Tourists Bellville parkrun

Modern Athlete Magazine


The February edition of our Media Partner, Modern Athlete Magazine is available online now! Subscribe to Modern Athlete here.

Ask an adidas technical expert


From 28th February 2015, adidas technical experts will be found at selected parkruns nationwide.

They will be at the parkruns to give the runner an opportunity to test adidas running shoes for free and do personalised footscans, allowing them to get the best solution for their unique running style.

Come down to one of the below selected parkruns on Saturday 28th February, and ask the experts for advice.
·         Cape Town – Greenpoint, Rondebosch, Big Bay, Root 44
·         Johannesburg – Ebotse, Rietvlei, Roodeport, Woodlands, Bryanston, Lonehill, Alberts Farm, Modderfontein
·         Pretoria – Voortrekker
·         Durban – North Beach, Shongweni, Umhlanga

Boost your run with adidas


The adidas technical experts will be running an exciting competition during the month of March. Wear your boost running shoes to parkrun, take a photo on the adidas ‘shoefie’ mat and upload it to Twitter tagging @adidasZA, and you’ll automatically stand the chance of winning adidas running hampers valued at R2000 or an adidas miCoach SMART RUN device valued at R4999.
Terms and Conditions apply

Discovery Vitality


Have you completed all your Vitality health checks? You can do these both online and at our partner networks. Earn thousands of Vitality points while you find out how healthy you are.

Not a Vitality member? Visit www.discovery.co.za or SMS “Vitality” to 48030 to join.

parkrun benefitting junior track athletes


I have become a regular parkrunner at Ebotse parkrun. I have noticed how my students’ athletic abilities have improved. Initially I ran faster times than all of them, except for one, and I announced at the start that any Benoni High athlete beating their teacher would be placed in a three hour detention the following Friday afternoon! Despite my threat, they cruise past me saying “Come on, Ma’am”.

On the serious side, the improvements in these athletes’ times have been phenomenal! I attribute this to the parkrun. A particular fourteen year-old boy, Ryan, came nowhere in the 3000m and 1500m at the inter-house sports. I noticed how his times were improving astronomically at the parkrun and I was certain that this would be manifested on the track. Yesterday, he finished second in the 3000m at the inter-school competition and shaved two minutes off his time!

Frith and Ryan

The parkrun builds strength, endurance and speed. The “off-road” terrain makes the track and road easy! Ryan is not the only athlete that has improved drastically by running the parkrun regularly. I could submit a list of names – enough to fill my class with a Friday afternoon detention!

Frith van der Merwe

(Frith van der Merwe is the greatest female ultra-distance runner South Africa has ever known. She has won dozens of shorter road races and standard marathons but is most famous for her wins in ultra-distance races such as the City to City 50km., The 56km Pieter Korkie race where she finished 10th overall) the Bergville 52km. and the Two Oceans 56km. But she is most famous for her 3 wins in the famous Comrades marathon and in particular her spectacular win in the 1989 Comrades when she became the first woman to break the 6 hour barrier and finished 15th overall)

event news


Piggly Wiggly parkrun

Piggly Wiggly parkrun was the brainchild of Greg Gibson who approached Rudi Kassier, owner of Piggly Wiggly, with his ideas of bringing fitness programmes to the Midlands. Rudi provided the machinery and staff to cut the track as well as the start and finish banners and the signage along the track and, after weeks of hard work by all concerned, Piggly Wiggly parkrun was born.

Piggly Wiggly parkrun start

The first run took place in freezing conditions (-2) on 19 July 2014. As with all parkruns, Bruce Fordyce ran the inaugural with approximately 82 finishers in total. When Greg went overseas, I took over as Event Director.

Since that first run, the numbers have increased to around 110 where we are at present. The event takes place at the well-known Piggly Wiggly, Lions River, KZN Midlands every Saturday morning at 08h00 and the scenery is beautiful. We have walkers, runners, old and young and it’s encouraging to see more and more families taking part. Piggly Wiggly also offers a parkrun breakfast to all runners with a barcode for a very nominal fee and makes for a very sociable event.

As with all parkruns, the event is managed solely by volunteers and are free of charge for anyone wishing to run or walk. The only requirement is that one registers on the parkrun website and prints out their barcode which is scanned at the end of the run.

Happy running
Rosemarie Gibson

feedback from the field


Hi Bruce
I attempted my first parkrun at Woodlands last Saturday with my three children of 7, 6 and 6. At the “halfway” mark (the first lap around the pond) the twins stopped as they were too tired and after a family “conference” decided they had had enough. What to do? Although I am unfit and carrying a few extra kilos (ok many extra kilos), my 7-year old and I decided we were finishing this! At this stage we were dead last but a kind volunteer – and I have forgotten his name L - stepped in and offered to keep an eye on them while we completed the course. His words were “It should take 10 or so minutes”. I think about TWENTY minutes later when I was dragged myself toward him and my 7-year old skipped toward him (as they do…), he patiently waited and encouraged us to complete the course. Indeed we did, and my daughter and I actually finished in just over an hour! As we finished, the kind volunteers were waiting for us, and coming down the grassy slope felt like we were completing the amazing event as FIRST finisher – hoping all the other contestants were behind us! Sadly the parking lot was already empty….
This may seem like a non-achievement to others but to me this is a HUGE step in the direction of a healthy lifestyle and I am INCREDIBLY proud of my 7-year old, who I think was one of only three under 10 year old little girls to complete the course. She is a real trouper and my little coach!
Thank-you for this incredible event!
Ciara Craul Reintjes


Drop us an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.

Reminders

Barcode reminder

TenBits barcode wristbandTenBits barcode wristband

Printed barcodes are used at all our events to record your result. Please click here to collect and print your barcode.
No printed barcode, No result.
We have teamed up with TenBits to provide a barcoded wrist-band (see the image above). This wrist-band includes your parkrun barcode and emergency contact details. In addition, a portion of the proceeds contribute towards parkrun costs. For more info and orders please visit the TenBits site.

All questions answered

Do you have a question about parkrun? How do I collect my club T-shirt? How do I get my barcode? All your questions are answered on our support site

Volunteering at parkrun

We ask every parkrunner to volunteer 3 times a year. When volunteering you receive the maximum number of points towards the yearly competition.

Children at parkrun

All children under 11 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. Guardians must ensure that children place themselves appropriately so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken at the start. This is to ensure the safety of your child.

the parkrun show

the parkrun show SAthe parkrun show SA - Jen and Stef

Download & listen to the latest South African parkrun show now on iTunes.

The parkrun show is your weekly roundup of the "goings on" at parkrun around the country. Each episode is packed full of interviews with running legends like Bruce Fordyce, celebs, your local event directors, volunteers & local parkrunners. Who knows, maybe you could be on the next show...

Brought to you by I Love Running.

Our sponsors

Blue Label Telecoms investing in parkrun

Blue Label sponsors parkrun - come and find out more at www.bluelabeltelecoms.co.za


adidas investing in parkrun

adidas has been focused on athlete's performance since the first running spikes were made in the 1920's earning the first Olympic gold medal in adidas shoes. Today, adidas is proud to be supporting parkrunners everywhere. Explore adidas running


Discovery investing in parkrun

Discovery Vitality believes that every decision that a person makes to exercise and get active is a step in the right direction, and participating in a parkrun is no exception. Living a healthy lifestyle can be rewarding, and Discovery Vitality members 18 years and older can earn 500 points for participating in a parkrun event. Children six years and older who are dependents on their parents' Discovery Vitality membership can now also earn points for completing a parkrun. Visit the Discovery website for more information.


 

parkrun SA newsletter 5th February 2015

welcome to the newsletter


In this edition of the SA parkrun newsletter, we hear about the beautiful new Knysna parkrun. We explore two of our Eastern Cape parkruns and find our a bit about the achievements of their runners.

Of course we anticipated having an upsurge in numbers at the start of the New Year but even we were caught unaware by the huge numbers who both registered, and flocked to our parkruns. Perhaps it was New Year resolutions which motivated people or perhaps it was the fine summer weather, but whatever the reason we suddenly found ourselves confronted by close to 20000 parkrunners participating at 48 venues around South Africa. In addition 6 of our parkruns welcomed over 1000 participants. Many of our other parkruns experienced record fields of over 500 parkrunners. While this seems exciting at first it is also worrying because of the burden placed on these parkruns. Luckily our experienced volunteer teams were able to cope but capacity such as parking and bottle-necking was strained.

Lonehill runners (some of the many runners who ensured Lonehill parkrun had a record attendance last Saturday)

Happily our numbers have declined a little (Though we are rapidly approaching 200000 registrations for the country) but the problem needs to be solved. We would like to encourage parkrunners to arrive earlier at their favourite parkrun and also to try to visit other parkruns from time to time. In the meantime we are exploring neighbouring venues at our most popular parkruns with City Parks and our most experienced people.

We started Knysna parkrun last Saturday and it was delightful to see about 150 enthusiastic visitors and local Knysna people lining up at the start of the fast route. And it is fast, very fast. The flat oxygen rich route is run on a firm brick and tar path which takes runners out and back along the edge of the lagoon. Somebody soon is going to run a very fast time at Knysna. Congratulations to Kenny Wilkinson and his team for creating a lovely parkrun. We are sure it will be very popular with the Knysna community.

Speaking of fast times the running at Parys has been sensational. Last Saturday there were two runners who finished in just over 15 minutes and this in the rarefied high altitude of the Highveld. Of course parkrun welcomes runners and walkers of all abilities and some of our finishers take over an hour to cover 5kms. I have been injured recently but there have been some compensation to the frustration I have been feeling as I have had the pleasure of walking with and chatting to some of our slower but no less passionate parkrunners.

Cheers for now,

Bruce (get in touch)

Modern Athlete Magazine


The February edition of our Media Partner, Modern Athlete Magazine is available online now! Subscribe to Modern Athlete here.

adidas


If you’ve registered for the 2015 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, and would like to use parkrun as your weekly 5km time trial, Dr. Ross Tucker in partnership with adidas has devised a number of training programmes for the half marathon to help you reach your goal.

There are four training programmes to choose from:

Sub 1hr 45mins, Sub 2hrs, Sub 2hr 30mins, Sub 3hrs

Download the training programmes HERE

If you not yet an adidas 3Stripes member, sign up to be the first to know about adidas events, special offers and competitions.

Get active in style with Vitality HealthyGear


Get up to 25% cash back on thousands of Vitality HealthyGear items at Sportsmans Warehouse or Totalsports to make exercise and staying physically active easier . Activate the HealthyGear benefit HERE

event news


Grahamstown parkrun

Cee-Jay Porthen ran his 10th parkrun on 27 December 2014 in Kidds Beach. Cee-Jay normally runs at the Grahamstown parkrun but has also done 1 run at Nahoon Point in East London. He is the first junior (below 18 years old) to reach this milestone in the Grahamstown community and we are so proud of him!

Cee-Jay & his dad, Harry Porthen

Here he is photographed with his dad, Harry Porthen. Together they have hardly missed a Saturday since parkrun started in Grahamstown in September 2014. They have also been involved in volunteering and for this we thank them!

This coming weekend will be our 20th parkrun!

Regards,

Grahamstown parkrun team

Stutterheim parkrun

Stutterheim parkrun is located in the picturesque little Eastern Cape town
of Stutterheim, at the foot of the Amatola Mountains, just 75kms from East
London. The parkrun takes place at the Stutterheim Country Club with the
route meandering among the fairways of the golf course and around the
cricket and hockey fields.

The Inaugural run took place on 1 November in very wet conditions with 162 athletes completing the route. Since then our numbers have fluctuated between 23 and 85. We have hosted international visitors from England, Australia and Namibia as well as athletes from the East London and Port Elizabeth parkruns. We may not be the biggest parkrun in the country but we can brag about having the fastest time on 24 January 2015, when Ntobeko Xixinwe completed the route in an amazing time of 15:09 minutes!

Happy running

Linda

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.

Reminders

Barcode reminder

TenBits barcode wristbandTenBits barcode wristband

Printed barcodes are used at all our events to record your result. Please click here to collect and print your barcode.
No printed barcode, No result.
We have teamed up with TenBits to provide a barcoded wrist-band (see the image above). This wrist-band includes your parkrun barcode and emergency contact details. In addition, a portion of the proceeds contribute towards parkrun costs. For more info and orders please visit the TenBits site.

All questions answered

Do you have a question about parkrun? How do I collect my club T-shirt? How do I get my barcode? All your questions are answered on our support site

Volunteering at parkrun

We ask every parkrunner to volunteer 3 times a year. When volunteering you receive the maximum number of points towards the yearly competition.

Children at parkrun

All children under 11 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. Guardians must ensure that children place themselves appropriately so as to prevent a situation where they are being repeatedly overtaken at the start. This is to ensure the safety of your child.

the parkrun show

the parkrun show SAthe parkrun show SA - Jen and Stef

Download & listen to the latest South African parkrun show now on iTunes.

The parkrun show is your weekly roundup of the "goings on" at parkrun around the country. Each episode is packed full of interviews with running legends like Bruce Fordyce, celebs, your local event directors, volunteers & local parkrunners. Who knows, maybe you could be on the next show...

Brought to you by I Love Running.

Our sponsors

Blue Label Telecoms investing in parkrun

Blue Label sponsors parkrun - come and find out more at www.bluelabeltelecoms.co.za


adidas investing in parkrun

adidas has been focused on athlete's performance since the first running spikes were made in the 1920's earning the first Olympic gold medal in adidas shoes. Today, adidas is proud to be supporting parkrunners everywhere. Explore adidas running


Discovery investing in parkrun

Discovery Vitality believes that every decision that a person makes to exercise and get active is a step in the right direction, and participating in a parkrun is no exception. Living a healthy lifestyle can be rewarding, and Discovery Vitality members 18 years and older can earn 500 points for participating in a parkrun event. Children six years and older who are dependents on their parents' Discovery Vitality membership can now also earn points for completing a parkrun. Visit the Discovery website for more information.


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