welcome to the newsletter
In this edition of the SA parkrun newsletter, we see the launch of two new parkruns in two weeks, at Kraalkop and Golden Harvest. We also take a look at how parkrunners are helping an athletics club in KZN and hear from a proud father who tells us how parkrun helped his son beat bullying.
It seems we are in for an early spring, as there has been glorious weather at the launch of our last two parkruns. We launched Golden Harvest parkrun two weeks ago on a beautifully sunny morning in North Riding, near the Dome in Johannesburg. Kim MacCallum and her team have laid out a tough but beautiful parkrun in a park so many of us have never heard of, let alone run in. Over 400 eager parkrunners tackled the hilly route, which winds around a dam, over a bridge and up some steep hills. Afterwards, the consensus among experienced parkrunners was that Golden Harvest could be the toughest South African parkrun. However all agreed that is a challenging but fun parkrun and will be very beautiful once the first summer rains have fallen.
On the 15th we started Kraalkop parkrun, our first Gauteng parkrun, under the guidance of Manie Esterhuizen and event director Elmarie Hayes. Manie is our regional director for North West Province parkruns but Kraalkop parkrun is so close to the provincial border that we consider it as being under his jurisdiction. It was windy but warm on launch day and the 150 parkrunners (both newcomers and experienced parkrun tourists) were delighted to run past herds of blue and black wildebeest, eland, zebra, springbok and giraffe. It was also quite inspiring to realise that the mining headgear visible near the start was proof that 4500 metres below us miners were busy mining gold in the world’s deepest mine. Kraalkop parkrun will draw many parkrunners from the mine itself and from the neighbouring towns of Fochville, Parys and Carletonville.
This Saturday we look forward to starting our first parkrun on the West Coast at Langebaan, organised by Chantal van der Nest and her team of volunteers. They couldn’t have timed their launch better. It’s flower season on the West Coast and hundreds of tourists are flocking to the area to view the flowers at their peak.
After that there will be time for us to all draw breath as there is a break in September for the country managers’ conference in Cork, Ireland before some exciting new parkrun launches in October and November.
Robin Archer has written to us from Shongweni parkrun in KZN to tell us about an exciting initiative at this parkrun. Robin is the event director at Shongweni and his parkrunners were able to donate running shoes to the Inanda Qadi athletic club and their coach Lonwabo Magwa. Kylie Griffin, chairperson of the KZN Cross-Country Commission, was also present at the handover. The club members of Inanda Qadi operate under challenging circumstances, so the donated shoes will be a wonderful encouragement for the club.
Bruce (get in touch)
Modern Athlete Magazine
Team Vitality parkrun Competition
Robert Boulle, the lucky winner of the Team Vitality parkrun competition, is off to Australia with his wife this month for a fun-filled adventure ‘Down Under!’ He’ll be jetting off on Qantas with brand new adidas kit worth R5000. Well done again to him for being an avid Team Vitality member and a supportive parkrunner.
You can still join the Team Vitality movement and get up to 25% or 50% cash back on registration entry fees for selected events, a premium Team Vitality starter pack with race gear and vouchers worth over R1 000 for selected fitness devices. You’ll also earn Vitality fitness points for completing selected races on the Team Vitality race calendar.
For more information, visit the Discovery website.
parkrun Launches :
Langebaan parkrun 22 August 2015
parkrun Cancellations :
Alberts Farm parkrun 5 September 2015
feedback from the field
When I heard that my son, Nathan, was being teased and bullied at school it bothered me as it would any parent. On one occasion Nathan was told “why don’t you roll down to the tennis courts; you’ll get there faster.” That hurt me, so I could only imagine what was going through his mind.
Having his own challenges like everyone does, Nathan tackles everything with enthusiasm. Occupational therapy for his low muscle tone was a challenge that he embraced. Not being a sporty kid, we parents needed to find something to do to help. Nathan went along with his mom to Run Walk for Life, and enjoyed the structure and that fact that he was competing against himself.
While Nathan was still in Foundation Phase the head teacher, Mrs Wakefield (a regular parkrunner herself) tried to inspire the children to do their 10,000 steps a day. This message struck a chord with Nathan and he would often suggest walking the dogs with me after work to make up his 10,000 steps.
We heard about parkrun via Discovery Vitality, registered, and the rest is history as they say.
parkrun has been a revelation to Nathan. Often I get woken at 06:30 on a Saturday morning by a young boy already dressed for parkrun. This doesn’t happen on school days, by the way.
On more than one occasion doing the parkrun I’m told “Thanks Dad, this is our time and I love it.”
We have also done many Fun Runs and two 10kms along the way, inspiring friends & family to join us.
We had a big scare when Nathan was diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter Disease, but luckily our family GP has allowed him to continue running, but not doing more than 5km’s and avoiding tar roads as far as possible. Halls parkrun is allowed, as it is a mix of dirt and tar roads, so we are there every Saturday we can be!
Most of the bullying has now stopped and Nathan has much more self-confidence. He has also gained the respect of his peers as a result of his determination in completing 50 parkruns before his 10th Birthday. Now he can’t wait to get to 100!
Thank you one and all for your role in parkrun. Much appreciated!!!
Carl De Klerk
On Saturday 15th August, I started running again after a few months break. I was really excited to do the Bryanston parkrun. Around 2 km into the run, I tripped and fell on my left arm. This caused the shoulder to pop out of the joint as well as cuts on my arm and left thigh. I want to give a heartfelt THANK YOU to the two Good Samaritan women who assisted me through this agonisingly painful moment. I was hurt physically, emotionally and mentally. They helped me in all these spheres.
Drop us an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.
parkrunner of the week
Name: Kobus J Toua
Home parkrun: Root 44 parkrun (Stellenbosch)
Occupation: Project Manager – Mechanical, Civil & Construction Engineering
Number of runs: 59
Number of times volunteered: 43
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: The realisation on the day that we had more than 1000 parkrunners at a single event this January!
What do you like about volunteering at parkrun:: The smiles, the ‘family feeling’ and team spirit.
Why should others volunteer at parkrun?: It’s fun, and it feels good to do something for other people, the community and fellow parkrunners.
What his fellow volunteers say about him:: Kobus is an instrumental part of our core team and looks after the logistics of parkrun. He can fix anything! Kobus is always first to offer help, from printing to signs to building a platform for the Run Director to stand on for the pre-run notices. Root 44 parkrun would like to thank him for all the work, time and effort that he puts in to make our parkrun such a success.