welcome to the newsletter
In this edition of the SA parkrun newsletter, we continue to see large numbers of people joining the parkrun community, as well as lots of people enjoying parkrun tourism. We hear the remarkable story of Aiden Connold, who has completed eleven parkruns at Modderfontein Reserve parkrun after spending 2.5 months in an ICU. We also hear from a family who have all joined the 50 club.
The arrival of spring has not only brought warmer weather and more sunshine to our parkruns but it has also brought with it a marked increase in registrations and participants. This increase has happened despite the fact that we have started no new parkruns in September.
While some of us have been content to run at our home parkruns, a number of parkrunners have used the kinder weather to visit other parkruns. I visited Piggly Wiggly, Root 44 and Naval Hill parkruns. All three are superb parkruns and have grown into important contributors to their respective communities. I know that the South African parkrun tourists have been busy visiting parkruns as far afield as Lebone, Mogol and Ballito. Werner Morkel-Brink, Hartenbos parkrun event director, ran at Krakow parkrun in Poland and the Blounts from Voortrekker Monument parkrun have been running parkruns in Denmark.
The Roodepoort Raiders “raided” Kraalkop parkrun last Saturday and this photograph of their run must be one of the most amazing parkrun photos ever taken.
I intend to visit more parkruns in the next few weeks, when not busy attending parkrun openings and I look forward to some very special runs.
This weekend I will be attending the country managers’ conference in Cork, Ireland. At this conference the leaders of all 11 parkrun countries gather to exchange ideas, strategize, but most importantly to keep the parkrun experience the special one we all enjoy no matter where in the world we are running or walking.
Oh and we will be running the inaugural Cork parkrun…on Saturday 26th September.
We drew breath in September but next month we will welcome new parkruns in Wellington, Pongola, Cape Town (Constantia Green Belt) and Hermanus.
Bruce (get in touch)
Modern Athlete Magazine
Good luck to all Cape Town Marathon runners!
On Sunday, 20 September 2015 thousands of runners will be taking to the streets of the Western Cape for some fitness fun as part of the 2015 Cape Town Marathon. Will you be one of them? If so, we wish you the best of luck.
If you aren’t already a member, you still have time to sign up for Team Vitality in order to get 50% off your race registration fee paid back to you upon completion of the marathon as well as access to our VIP hospitality on race day. For final race prep, follow our ambassador Elana Meyer’s last minute training advice: Thursday rest; Friday 20min Easy pace with 4 x strides; Saturday10min easy jog, 5 x 30s fast with 1min rest. Sunday: Cape Town Marathon!
Our training programme for the last few days before the 10km race: Thursday 10 times 1min run 1min walk = 20min; Friday rest; Saturday Easy parkrun or rest; Sunday10km at CT Marathon.
Welcome back to Robert Boulle, the lucky winner of the Team Vitality parkrun competition, who really had a fun-filled adventure with his wife in Australia.
Greenpoint parkrun 19 September 2015
Lebone parkrun 19 September 2015
Botanical Garden parkrun 03 October 2015
parkrun Anniversaries :
Middelburg parkrun 19 September 2015
Grahamstown parkrun 26 September 2015
Voortrekker Monument parkrun, Pretoria 26 September 2015
Mashishing parkrun 03 October 2015
feedback from the field
Aiden Connold succeeded in her goal of completing the 5km parkrun in less than 1 hour on 22nd August 2015. To understand why this was such an important goal, you need to understand the challenge. Aiden was involved in a motor vehicle accident in April 2014. She suffered a traumatic brain injury in the accident and spent 2.5 months in ICU. The accident left her with paralysis on the right hand side of her body and until December 2015 Aiden was not able to walk unaided.
After months of therapy and dedicated exercise, Aiden finished her first parkrun on 18th April 2015. Unfortunately, as she was not registered, this walk did not count. She did the walk with the aid of her father (holding her hand) and a walking stick. Her second walk, which was the first official walk was completed in 1 hour and 24 minutes. Over the past three months Aiden has completed walks every weekend, if not at parkrun, then on weekends away in the Drakensburg and she even managed to complete the 8km 702 Walk the Talk.
On 29th August 2015 she did her first completely unaided walk, with no walking stick and no hands to hold. She completed this in an unexpectedly fast time of 1 hour 8 minutes and 31 seconds.
Her next challenge is to finish a parkrun in under an hour walking unaided.
We would like to thank parkrun and their volunteers for providing a safe area for Aiden to complete her walks and for their patience in waiting for her to finish when she was coming last. Their encouragement and the timed record of her achievements have been a huge encouragement to Aiden in her recovery.
On 12th September 2015, Adri Gerber became the first Limpopo-based female parkrunner to join the parkrun 50 club. She became only the fourth parkrunner at Mogol parkrun that can now wear the much sought-after red t-shirt. The other 50 club members at Mogol parkrun are Neels and Divan Gerber and Andre Stevens.
Divan was the first junior and Neels the second male from a Limpopo-based parkrun to join the 50 club, Andre Stevens was the first male. Neels is Event director at Mogol parkrun and both Divan and Adri are regular volunteers as well. Although a junior, Divan assists with the pre-event setup at Mogol parkrun every morning at 06:00 (Mogol parkrun starts at 07:00).
This achievement highlights the fact that the whole family can enjoy taking part in parkrun. They don’t have to be serious athletes and can just use the parkrun as a fun activity to enjoy a Saturday morning exercising together.
The Gerbers have completed thirteen different parkruns and are keen to complete as many other parkruns in SA as possible. Being based in the Limpopo province makes this more of a challenge than for parkrunners in other parts of the country, but we have our sights on running many more different parkruns!
Drop us an email if you have an interesting parkrun related fact, happening or comment that you would like to share with all parkrunners.