welcome to the newsletter
In this edition of the SA parkrun newsletter, we hear about the the launch of the Boksburg and Harrismith parkruns. Root 44 celebrates their second anniversary in style while Alberts Farm celebrates healthy living! Don’t forget to take note of the upcoming anniversaries and launches!
This weekend nearly 20000 runners from around South Africa and the World will be gathering to run the 90th Comrades marathon over a distance of 87 kilometres from Durban to Pietermaritzburg. Among them will be many parkrunners, and I would like to wish them all the best of luck. There will be some faster runners such as Shaun Mieklejohn (Dusi parkrun) David Ashworth (Bryanston parkrun) Liezel Meyer (Dusi parkrun) and many others who could do really well. Indeed Shaun is one of the favourites to win the masters (50-59 category) Shaun won the Comrades in 1995. But Comrades day will be littered with the presence of parkrunners of all abilities both running and seconding from the side of the road. Many of these folk began their Comrades marathon journeys with a 5km run at a parkrun. I am particularly proud of those runners. I wish them all a happy and exciting day at South Africa’s most famous race.
I will be commentating for the SABC on the day and will be on the lookout for parkrun friends. If there is a television camera pointing at you don’t even think of walking!!
If last year is anything to go by there will be a bumper turnout on Saturday at the KZN coastal parkruns as well. Last year Comrades marathon parkrunners from all over the global community gathered at North Beach parkrun the day before Comrades and it was a pleasure to welcome them to a South African parkrun. This year there are several parkruns from which visitors can choose. North Beach, Umhlanga, Amanzimtoti, Shongweni and Dusi parkruns are all popular choices.
These last two weeks have seen the introduction of two new parkruns to the South African parkrun family. The first of these was the Boksburg parkrun under Massimo and Frank showing outstanding leadership. Boksburg is a fun, challenging route winding across fields, past a lake and over a delightful bright blue bridge which was donated to the parkrun (thank you Burger and Burgess)
One of the motivations for starting Boksburg parkrun was to take some of the pressure off Ebotse and Modderfontein parkruns but I fear that parkrun has become so popular that all we have done is to create another large parkrun.
It was a chilly misty morning in Harrismith when we launched Harrismith parkrun last Saturday in a nature reserve below the famous Platberg Mountain. A crowd 0f about 60 local parkrunners and parkrun tourists gathered to meet event director Brenda and the team to run through the mist and occasionally bump into a startled Mountain Reed buck or ostrich. Afterwards all agreed the course was challenging but great fun and the mist lent a “Hound of the Baskervilles” feel to the whole experience.
It was fun to check the Albert’s Farm parkrun results this Saturday and spot the name of my old running friend and rival Brian Chamberlain in the results. Brian ran with members of his family. For those who don’t know the name Brian is a former top class marathon runner who won many races in the 70s and eighties including the SA marathon champs and the Two Oceans in 1977 and 1978. He’s not running too badly now as finished 7th overall on the tough Albert’s Farm course.
Cheers for now,
Bruce (get in touch)
Modern Athlete Magazine
WIN with adidas at this week’s parkrun – 30 May 2015!
adidas is giving you the chance to win a pair of adidas technical running footwear to the value of R1700 each.
Come down to your local parkrun this Saturday and enter the competition at the adidas technical running stand at selected parkrun’s nationwide - Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban.
Don’t forget to ask an adidas brand coach about expert advice on our technical running footwear. They will be offering runners an opportunity to test adidas running shoes with boost technology for free and provide personalized fittings, allowing you to get the best solution for your unique running style.
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parkrun Launches :
Prince Albert parkrun 6 June 2015
Ballito parkrun 13 June 2015
Aliwal North parkrun 27 June 2015
parkrun Anniversaries :
Mogol parkrun 13 June 2015
Shongweni parkrun 13 June 2015
Ebotse parkrun 20 June 2015
Kidds Beach parkrun 27 June 2015
St.Francis parkrun 27 June 2015
Cannibals Cave parkrun 28 June 2015
Alberts Farm parkrun
On Saturday 2nd May 2015 Albert’s Farm parkrun decided to have a fun morning and create a lot of excitement and activity! Blessed with the most beautiful winter’s morning, the event was used to ‘celebrate Life’ and create awareness as to a healthy living lifestyle with the assistance of CANSA.
Lucy Balona, a regular Albert’s Farm parkrunner provided all the activity for the morning. Runners were encouraged to get their hair spayed by CANSA and at the same time were educated about causes cancer.
After a good run, coffee and cupcakes were provided to celebrate my 50th parkrun. It was a goal that I had set myself last year and I am committed to our parkrun being used to educate and promote a healthy lifestyle. It was very fitting that my grandson, Adam Confait, also completed his 10th parkrun on the day.
A very big thank you to all my volunteers and folk that made the morning such a success. This parkrun has truly become a community event!
Root 44 parkrun
930 parkunners joined in to celebrate Root 44 parkrun turning 2 on Saturday! Even though the weather turned cold, most stayed after parkrun for cupcakes, luck draws and prizes. The family prize went to the Leuvennink family, all 9 of them! Finishing in top spot of the annual Root 44 parkrun points table for the men, was Wilco Strydom and for the ladies, the lovely Carli Jacobs. We also had a fun prize for our identical, but talented twins, Alvin and Sylvin Dirkse, called ‘Double Trouble’. And we always honour our 80-84 age category record holders, this year it is Granny Naomi Leuvennink and Oom Daniel Strydom!
As parkrun is part of the community we try to give back as often as we can. This year we did a drive to help out our local Animal Welfare Society of Stellenbosch. Thank you to everyone who supported! As I forgot to bring a knife to cut the cake, we decided to donate it to AWSS, which they auctioned on their Facebook page. Luckily quite a few parkrunners had slaved away baking cupcakes!
Thank you so much to all our supporters and parkrunners who sponsored prizes. Thank you to adidas for coming out every Saturday with their awesome trial shoes and to our local sponsor for a monthly surprise! A very special thank you to Carmen from Queen of Cupcakes who made our stunning cake! Most importantly to all our parkrunners for your love and support over the last 105 parkruns, thank you! You make it worthwhile to volunteer every week! And lastly to my core team: Chris, Kobus, Ilse, Mariska, Lisa, Robyn and Kim, you are all superstars! Please have a look at our news page on for all the birthday details!
We will do again next year! 28 May 2016
feedback from the field
I would like to acknowledge someone who must be South Africa's most committed parkrun volunteer, Mariaan de Lange. She is the sole volunteer at the Mashishing (Lydenburg) parkrun and I had the pleasure of meeting her when I did a 'visitor' run there recently. There are very few regulars (average 10) at this event and my wish is that all of her campaigning for support starts to pay off and that many new volunteers and participants step up.
Not only does she keep it all going, and get the local press out to promote the event, but she is also an awesome person. When I ran there I had my little dog in tow and after the event my curious canine became over excited at the beckoning open farmlands and decided to add a few more kilometers on to her earlier 5.
Mariaan helped me search the neighbouring farms for her for two hours until a contrite pooch turned up. Above and beyond the parkrun volunteer duty I'd say.
I encourage parkrunners to pay Mashishing's venue a visit when in town and if you know anyone there who could help by getting involved some Saturdays, please send them Mariaan's way.
Taryn van Olden
I was introduced to parkrun by my daughter, Jenny while visiting in Margate on the Natal South Coast and so on Saturday, 16 June 2013. I ran/walked my very first parkrun in a time of 55:50 at the Uvongo parkrun. The following week I decided to see what the Shongweni parkrun was all about and ran my second parkrun joined by my son Geoff for his first parkrun and his daughter Aimee joining us a few weeks after that. I am thrilled to have been instrumental in getting some of my family to join me on Saturday mornings. Hardly a Saturday goes by that I am not there for the 8 o’clock start. parkrun certainly grows on you and little did I know that very soon I’ll be part of a three generation achievement here at Shongweni parkrun. Now I need to get Jenny and her husband, Ty, to get us to a second three generation achievement at Shongweni.
Shongweni parkrun has lovely park like surroundings and is a very well organised event and growing in numbers by the week due to the dedication and hard work and lots of encouragement by Robin, Jason and the Team.
Volunteering is particularly interesting as you get the opportunity to meet the Team when setting everything up for the day and you also see each parkrunner/walker as he or she comes through the tunnel to be barcoded.
I was fortunate to do nine parkruns in Australia of which seven were on the Gold Coast’s Main Beach and two at Augustine Heights, Brisbane. It is a lovely feeling knowing that you are part of this ‘worldwide family’ having one aim and that is to pitch in time to run/walk 5km on a Saturday morning.
I have made some lovely friends and it is all due to being part of the parkrun family
Drop us an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.