parkrun SA newsletter 10th June 2015

welcome to the newsletter

In this edition of the SA parkrun newsletter, we visit North Beach parkrun for the Comrades Marathon warm-up. The Karoo’s Prince Albert parkrun is a must for parkrun travellers and Ballito parkrun launches this Saturday! From parkrun to Comrades, Roodepoort parkrun’s director, Philip Gray, talks about his journey.

The last week of May saw thousands of runners descending on Durban for the Comrades marathon. Runners came from all over South Africa and the World to run South Africa’s famous ultra-marathon and quite a few of these were parkrunners. Many of these parkrunners ran the KZN coastal parkruns the day before Comrades. Those who were apprehensive about the challenge of the 88 kilometre Comrades walked or jogged their parkruns very slowly.

North Beach parkrun
International runners at North Beach

At the Comrades itself parkrunners from all over the world distinguished themselves with their running. For many it has been an amazing transition from tentative 5km. runner to brave ultramarathoner. parkrun achievers and achievements at our great race are too many to mention individually but a couple that must be mentioned include Tom William’s wife Helen who ran 10:03 (Tom is country manager for the UK and supported Helen this year. He ran Comrades a few years ago. ) We also have to mention the nail biting run of Phillip Gray. Phillip is the event director at Roodepoort parkrun, our second oldest parkrun. He had a truly astonishing run and he tells his story below.

Prince Albert parkrun

The weekend after the Comrades marathon we launched Prince Albert parkrun. Prince Albert is a town/village deep in the Karoo and is famous for its olive plantations and the breath-taking Swartberg Pass which tourists love to drive over on the way to the town. Prince Albert has particular meaning for me as my Great Grandfather was the first doctor at Prince Albert and owned the only car in the hamlet, as it was then. He lived in what was known as “die Doktor’s se Huis”. Apparently my Grandfather was born in that house. Prince Albert parkrun is run along paths in the Karoo scrubland and is quite unique. Zelia Mullins and her team organised a very entertaining launch and even organised some coal fires to stave off the chill as well as music to which people were dancing when the parkrunners arrived. Chariots of Fire boomed across the big sky of the Karoo as 74 excited runners started the run. Great fun was had by all and Prince Albert parkrun will be very popular with locals and visitors alike.

This Saturday we will start another KZN coastal parkrun in the sugar cane of Ballito’s Sugar Rush farm. Dwayne Swiegers and his team have designed a course that includes sand roads (traffic free!) and track and will be plenty of fun. Most importantly it will provide a lovely parkrun to the Ballito community who have been clamouring for their own parkrun for some time now.

Happy running,

Bruce (get in touch)

Comrades Marathon!

In March 2012, when David Ashworth called me and invited me to try out a new run, I was quite excited. I wasn’t what you’d call a runner, but the idea wasn’t entirely foreign to me. To that point, my running career consisted of a single 10km race, once a year, and the occasional jog when I felt inspired. But when I was introduced to parkrun, it gave me the opportunity, and the excuse, to wake up every weekend, and run regularly. The beginning of the next year, I joined Florida Running Club. Now, I was a runner!

My first 21km nearly killed me, but I got used to them after a while, and my times steadily improved. 2014 saw me take on my first 32km, and then I did something very rash, I entered Comrades. Everyone thought I was mad. I thought I was mad, but I did it anyway. Perhaps it was time for me to start getting really serious. I found a great support group in the form of the Road 2 Comrades team, led by Laurie Lewis, and together we all worked, and played, hard in preparation for the big “C”. From there, things spiralled. I completed my first full marathon, and then another, and then I qualified. It wasn’t a brilliant time, but I was in.

On 31st May 2015, I completed my first Comrades Marathon! I think I’ll be well remembered as the last man in, my official time being 12:00:00. But I’d done it. I’d survived the gruelling 12 hours on the road, the heat, the hills, and I’d come out on top. My mother told me later that this was probably the finest achievement in the family for decades.

It’s still hard to believe how far I’ve come, but it certainly wouldn’t have happened without the weekly routine of getting up every Saturday and running my local parkrun, and the grounding that gave me. I am immensely proud to be involved with parkrun, and eternally grateful for what it has allowed me to achieve.

Philip Gray in the pink colours of Florida Running Club

Now, it’s time to start training for my next Comrades Marathon!
Philip Gray

Modern Athlete Magazine

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

Speak to an adidas brand coach

Come down to your local parkrun this Saturday and receive expert advice from an adidas brand coach on technical running footwear. They will be offering runners an opportunity to test adidas running shoes with boost technology for free and provide personalised fittings, allowing you to get the best solution for your unique running style. The brand coaches will be found at selected parkruns nationwide – Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban.
The winners from the adidas parkrun competition are Louise Ynclan & Martin Herselman. Well done.

Discovery Vitality

All Discovery Vitality members earn 500 Vitality points for every parkrun you complete and for the entire month of June. Children six years and older (who are dependants on their parents' Discovery Vitality membership) will earn an extra 250 points for completing a parkrun. This means that kids earn 750 Vitality points for every parkrun they complete.
Not sure how to link your Discovery membership to your parkrun profile? Use this step-by-step guide to help you.

parkrun Cancellations :

Voortrekker parkrun has been cancelled this Saturday, 13 June 2015

parkrun Launches :

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

feedback from the field

Dear parkrun
My dad, Francois (Frans) Mostert, who turns 87 on 20 June, is probably one of the oldest parkrunners. He did his fourth consecutive parkrun at Naval Hill, Bloemfontein last Saturday. I invited him with to the anniversary parkrun on 2 May. I am with him in the photo after completion of his first parkun. When he also completed the Comrades marathon when he was younger. He says many athletes stop running when their times start dropping with age. He, however, still walks/jogs almost every day. His sports heroes are Bruce Fordyce and
Gary Player.
Ester de Beer

I don’t really have an interesting story as such! I just underwent lung surgery last year and parkrunning has proved difficult for me, so I have been limited to walking for the last few months, which is just as fabulous because walkers (and dogs!) are always welcome.  What I would like to do though is encourage other parkrunners to join the volunteer community, especially when they experiencing sports injuries or unable to take part! It’s the perfect time to give back. Many people may feel frustrated that they cannot compete, but being part of the volunteer community is so rewarding and encouraging and really motivates one to return to fitness! I hope my little story can inspire others to volunteer.
Thanks again for the good work you do!

Third from the left: Pearl Potgieter - volunteering at Albert’s Farm parkrun last weekend

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


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.

Our sponsors

Blue Label Telecoms investing in parkrun

Blue Label sponsors parkrun - come and find out more at

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.