welcome to the newsletter
In this edition of the SA parkrun newsletter, we visit Jo’burg and Cape Town parkruns on Freedom Day! The beautiful Oudtshoorn parkrun launches in the Karoo. Don’t miss the Modern Athlete digi-mag and the wonderful feedback from our runners at parkruns throughout the country!
We would like to welcome Oudtshoorn parkrun to the parkrun family. Kim Vermeulen and her team have created a really beautiful parkrun to rival the others along the Garden Route/Karoo. This parkrun has already been enthusiastically embraced by the local community and with its close proximity to ostrich and olive farms, beautiful mountain passes and the Cango Caves will attract many visiting parkrunners. Well done Kim, and thank you to Surval Olive estate for their wonderful contribution.
For the first time parkrun SA celebrated Freedom Day with a series of freedom runs in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Trevor Doyle in Cape Town and Staci Katsivalis in Johannesburg initiated and organised, with their communities, the concept of enthusiastic parkrunners running six different freedom parkruns in Cape Town and nine in Johannesburg. By all accounts the idea was well received and was a great success.
Modderfontein Reserve parkrun is celebrating ‘World Move for Health day’ on 9th May as they did last year. They are encouraging Gauteng based parkrunners to attend this special day. All the national parkrun sponsors will be present. There will be some spot prizes. Please arrive early to avoid parking problems. See you on 9th May at Modderfontein Reserve!
Cheers for now,
Bruce (get in touch)
The Jo’burg freedom runs
The 9 Freedom Runs for Freedom Day started in the dark at Ebotse and finished just as the sun started setting at Modderfontein. 45km on foot, 150km in the car and twelve hours from start to finish. 21 parkrunners completed all 9 parkruns with as many as 50 taking part at the individual venues.
The Freedom Run initiative was so well received that it might become an annual event so watch this space.
The Cape Town freedom runs
6 Freedom Runs for Freedom Day is how a group of parkrunners from Greater Cape Town area spent their Freedom Day on Monday!
When the infamous Trevor Doyle and Colin Doyle, from Root 44, saw what was being planned in Gauteng, they didn’t want to be left out! After some discussion with Torrin, to check exactly what a freedom run entailed, it was left to David Papenfus to organise the logistics. What a fantastic job he did!
The morning started with a chilly run in Fish Hoek. Luckily there were a couple of locals to lead the way or a few parkrunners might still be running around the peninsula! Then, now all awake, it was on to Rondebosch Common. After two quick laps, lots of laughs and photos we headed off to Greenpoint. Quite a few new faces joined in. Now 3 runs in, the legs were starting to tire, but everyone was still smiling. On to number 4, Big Bay. The beach run also meant lunch! But by number 5, Bellville, maybe lunch wasn’t such a good idea! At Bellville the thought of ‘ just one more’ by those who had started at Fish Hoek kept them going. The last route of the day was the organisers home run. Number 6, Root 44 and her hill. They arrived with moans and groans as they looked up at the vineyard. A young family also joined in, with our youngest freedom runner being only 5 years old. Some ran, some hobbled, but they all made it to the finish.
At the pub across the road, smelly and noisy, we were ushered to a back table. People wanted to know where we came from. Everyone was very proud to say that they are parkrunners and explained what parkrun is what they just did! Everyone who participated in 1, 2 or all 6 had great fun. We all got to meet parkrunners from other parkruns and realise that we are one big family!
In the end 15 parkrunners completed all 6 parkrun routes in Greater Cape Town area. They are already wanting to plan 2016’s Freedom Day and how to fit in a possible 10 parkruns! This was our first year organising this event. We are hoping to see more of you join us next year.
Regional Director - Boland
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Do you remember our 1st birthday party?
Now save the date for our 2nd! 23 May at 09:15
After you all have finished parkrun, we will have prizes and cake!
Who are the leaders on the annual points tables for the ladies and the men, the oldest age group record holders, the under 12's? Will the Doyles’ hold onto the family title? Adidas will be there with a lucky draw for a brand new pair spiffy shoes! Juniva will also have a surprise for you! Adventure Bootcamp, Somerset West is sponsoring a camp for one lucky lady!
As parkrun is part of the community we try to give back as often as we can. Last year we did a toy drive to help out a needy pre-school and donated all the collected toys to Gaceland in Devon Valley, Stellenbosch. This year we have decided to do a drive for our 4-legged parkrunners less fortunate furry friends. A list of what is needed will be posted on our Facebook page this week.
If you would like to help with this year’s party (cupcakes, juice, prizes, balloons, etc) please give us a shout. Please contact Torrin at email@example.com
Save the date:
Root 44 parkrun 2ND Birthday party!
Torrin Theron – Event Director
feedback from the field
My sole objective in sharing my story is the hope that it may encourage others to take up parkrun. In November 2013 at the age of 57 I was unfit, my metabolic rate had slowed to a crawl so I was overweight and in fact I was on the verge of being clinically obese. That was not a nice situation to be in, especially since I’ve always eaten healthily and there was very little that I could cut out of my diet. It was the classic case of desperate times calling for desperate measures!
But what could I do? I’d pushed weights in the gym for many years, but didn’t fancy going back to that. I’d also done a fair amount of road cycling & mountain biking in the past, but I’m put right off taking cycling up again because of the high costs involved. I live just 5 km away from Delta Park, one of my favourite places in Johannesburg. I decided to start walking and jogging there since it is convenient and inexpensive. At first I could jog no more than sixty metres at a time! Inwardly I felt ashamed that I’d let myself get so overweight and unfit; products of a sedentary, office bound, lifestyle.
I was out in the park early one Saturday morning and saw runners and walkers going around. Then I noticed the banners next to the Environmental Centre and asked one of the organisers about the event taking place. It was the first time that I’d heard the word ‘parkrun’. I went home and Googled. The next day I set off from the parkrun start in Delta Park at 8am and walked & jogged the course in about 55 minutes. From the Delta parkrun website I saw that that time would put me about 90% down the field. That was good enough for me because I knew I wouldn’t finish last! I enrolled, got my barcode and did my first parkrun the next Saturday.
Over the next few Saturdays I waddled my way round the taxing Delta parkrun course and got a few pb’s as my performance slowly improved, but I soon found out that all improvements at my age are only incremental at best. Then I suffered from a succession of lower leg cramps. I mentioned this to a friend, a keen lady cyclist who gave me good advice, and I Googled some more. Eventually I discovered I had a magnesium deficiency which I’ve cured by taking just two Slow-Mag pills a week. That did the trick and I’ve not suffered cramp since.
I’ve now completed my 50th parkrun (Yay, with a pb too!)
In the 17 months it’s taken I’ve lost 8kg. The running started off as a means to an end, but I’ve come to enjoy it and I do training circuits of the park once or twice during the week. I have more stamina in my daily life, I readily feel the improved fitness, I can walk at normal pace uphill without having to breathe through my mouth and I can feel a myriad of smaller benefits too. The message is clear; if I can do parkrun and enjoy so many benefits from it as a result, there being nothing remarkable about my story, then just about anyone can.
If I were to offer advice to parkrun beginners it would be-
· Get a pair of good trail running shoes. Apart from the good traction, support & cushioning that they provide they have a toe protector strip which protects your toe joints against compression if you kick an exposed tree root.
· Always hold a little in reserve all the way around the course; if you are overweight and perhaps a bit out of shape you are simply nowhere near fit enough to go into severe oxygen debt and this must be avoided at all times! Always ‘leave a little in the tank’ on your way round the course, relax and enjoy.
Good luck- stick at it and you will make meaningful progress over time!
I extend my enduring thanks to parkrun SA, to Bruce, to the sponsors; adidas, Blue Label Telecoms & Discovery Vitality and especially to our wonderful Volunteers who together give us parkrun in South Africa.
Dave Buckerfield, Delta parkrun, April 2015
I am writing to you a couple of days before my wife Rose Rawstron,s 50th parkrun to honour her as my role model. She encouraged me for many years to walk/run for excercise for which I was not interested for various reasons. However in November 2013, I started walking the Hobie beach parkrun. In January 2014 (at the age of 58) I began to jog and have subsequently become a keen runner and especially a parkrunner, having completed 62 myself. I now run up to 25kms a week, have joined a club, and hardly miss a parkrun. Along with my gratitude to my wife, I want to thank you all for your incredible enthusiasm and support for what I think is the friendliest and best run venue in which I have participated, and am delighted to encourage all I know to come and try-out.
Keep up the good work,
Just want to say many thanks to all the event organizers and especially the volunteers who come out every Saturday what ever the weather.
The HOBIE beach run is such an awesome event that we had over 700 people last week and it is wonderful to see people of all ages and sizes enjoying this event
4 years ago I would not have attempted anything like this but after having a gastric bypass and losing 52Kg I had to ensure that I get my body and mind into some type of shape
The parkrun was just the thing….
This week I am completing my 50th walk and really just want to thank you and all the team members
May PARKRUN go from strength to strength .
p.s. I have been asked by many if they are going to have a second venue in PE
Shirley Zietsman, Port Elizabeth
It would seem that the parkrun wave is gathering momentum and soon there will be a parkrun in most of the towns. As this happens it is more and more difficult to track the the growth and happenings. Is there any possibility that a 100 club page could be created to list all the 100 club members in SA?
As I approach my second fifty runs at a parkrun (63 at Nahoon and 49 as Sunrise) I was wondering if there are other parkrunners (in SA or worldwide) that have achieved the double (or triple) other than Henry Pienaar at Kidds Beach?
Drop us an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.