parkrun SA newsletter 25th November 2015

welcome to the newsletter

In this edition of the SA parkrun newsletter, we celebrate four years of parkrun in South Africa, with Delta parkrun the first event in the country leading the party. We look forward to the launch of a new parkrun in East London, and look at our parkrunner of the month, Billy de Kock, from Delta parkrun.

parkrunners turned out in force to celebrate parkrun South Africa’s 4th birthday

On the 14th of this month we celebrated the 4th birthday of Delta Park parkrun and more importantly the 4th birthday of parkrun South Africa. Over a thousand eager parkrunners gathered to mark the event and to join in the festivities. All our sponsors were present and were acknowledged for their wonderful support for the last 4 years. Blue Label Telecoms, adidas, Discovery/Vitality and Dis-Chem have been much more than sponsors to us. They have been friends. They have been drivers in our tremendous growth which has seen our numbers swell from one parkrun and 26 parkrunners to 69 parkruns and over 300000 registered parkrunners. Some of the original 26 Delta runners were present and these parkrun pioneers were recognised in front of the other runners. (Chris Midlane, Joanne Buchner, “Delta” Dieter Meyer, Robert Huberts and Elton Clothier- Huberts and of course yours truly) Some of the original volunteers were also present and everyone thanked Gill and Cara Fordyce.

6 of the original 26 Delta parkrunners. All 100 clubbers. From left Bruce Fordyce, Chris Midlane. Jo-Anne Buchner, Dieter ‘Delta’ Meyer, Elton Clothier- Huberts &Robert Huberts.

Caley and Cara Reynolds had made a spectacular cake and I had the honour of cutting it with event director Gillian Findlay. There were also snacks, drinks and plenty of gifts provided by our sponsors and generous donors.

Delta parkrun Event Director Gillian Findlay and Bruce cutting the cake
Winner of the best-dressed dog competition at the Delta parkrun party

Everyone is aware that we have been having problems with the iconic Nahoon Point parkrun in East London. Nahoon Point is close to our heart as it was the 4th parkrun started in South Africa and was our first parkrun outside Johannesburg. Bob Norris and subsequent teams of volunteers have built Nahoon Point parkrun into a vital part of the East London community so we are distressed that it has, temporarily, closed. However negotiations are underway to reopen Nahoon Point, although this will take some time.

In the meantime there is good news for East Londoners as a new parkrun is to be opened on the 5th of December at the Three Silos farm. Mark Oberem has generously allowed the parkrun community to run on a 5km route he has mapped out on his property. This route winds its way through forest, over grasslands and past ponds and lakes. It was nearly named the “Two Cranes” parkrun as two magnificent Crowned Cranes were hunting for prey on an open field at Three Silos when we first arrived. Thanks to the team at head office in the UK (four blokes in a shed with a kettle) and Jane Niven for going that extra mile to process Three Silos as quickly as possible as a result of the problems at Nahoon Point.

Crowned Cranes at Three Silos parkrun

parkrunners flying to other parkrun destinations or travelling on holiday this month are advised never to pack their Tenbits barcode wristbands in their luggage. We have noticed that the baggage handlers are breaking into bags which are carrying wristbands. We have been told that when these bags are scanned by security the bands show up as watches, hence the large number of break-ins. Please wear your Tenbits wristbands (They do not trigger the metal detectors) or pack them in your carry-on bags.

Happy running,

Bruce (get in touch)

Sign up for Bruce Fordyce’s running club!

Still working towards your 2015 health and fitness goals?
Let us help!

Join Team Vitality Running for 2016 and get the rest of this year for free – with all the perks.

For R300, get:

1.               A Team Vitality welcome pack which includes a premium running vest and vouchers worth over R1 000 for fitness devices and sports gear;
2.               A complimentary one-month subscription to Runner’s World;
3.               Up to 50% cash back on race entry fees for some of SA’s most popular races;
4.               Exclusive access to our VIP hospitality at certain events on our race calendar.
5.               A R500 voucher for a pair of headphones.

See you on the road!

Hartenbos parkrun

We, the Hartenbos parkrun family, have become very attached to our venue at the ATKV Hartenbos for many reasons including the scenic views of the sea, shipping activities, and seeing whales and dolphins at times whilst parkrunning.

Unfortunately, we have to say goodbye to our current venue and embark on a new voyage.

The timing of the change in venue coincides with the beginning of the festive season because one of the main reasons for the move was necessitated by the influx of visitors expected from early December. We are understandably not allowed to use the campsite road during the holiday season and this road is essential to make up the 5km as prescribed by the rules of parkrun. The start and finish area is also a prime spot during the holiday season and people erect their gazebos early in the mornings to “claim their space”.

The Core Volunteer Team, led by Event Director Werner, considered different venues, taking into consideration not only parkrun rules but also the needs of our participants. Around 35% of our participants are 55 or older. Our oldest participant is 86.

We are pleased to confirm that we have found a new “home” for our parkrun.

We are indebted to Kleingeluk's owners for allowing us to use their grounds for the route. It is situated off the R328 (Oudtshoorn Road), 5 km away from the current route and is a beautiful working farm. The owners are still in the process of developing the farm and are willing to take our needs as a parkrun into consideration in their plans. Eventually, when the owners’ vision for Kleingeluk has come to fruition, we will be able to run/walk between camps containing wildlife and in some of the existing vineyards.

Another benefit of the new route is that it is quite level. The feedback we received from a number of our parkrunners since we announced the anticipated move is very positive.

Kleingeluk is situated in a lush environment with beautiful views of the hills surrounding it and eventually, there will be refreshments where the runners may enjoy a post-parkrun coffee. There will also be sufficient, safe parking for all attendees.

Although the sea views shall be missed, the new route offers other benefits; we will run in a more country-like environment, not between chalets and along camping-sites and it will be novel to run between game-camps and a small vineyard.

On 05 December we start our “Groot Geluk” journey at Kleingeluk and we look forward to many more lovely parkruns for years to come. Find the map and details on our news page.

Hartenbos Core Volunteer Team

James Sweeney

James Sweeney celebrates his 50th parkrun

James Sweeney was encouraged to take part in a parkrun by his daughters, who live the United Kingdom and Australia. Mr Sweeney lives on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal close to Margate and participates regularly in the Uvongo parkrun. Having fought World War 2 in the skies over Egypt and Italy, it is an honour to have this great man take part in our parkruns. Congratulations to Mr Sweeney for completing his 50th parkrun on Saturday 31st October 2015 at 92 years of age. The community showed true parkrun spirit by making this day a special occasion with post run bubbly.

Jason Morsink, Event Director, Uvongo parkrun

parkrun Launches:

Three Silos parkrun 05 December 2015

parkrun Cancellations:

Nahoon Point parkrun until further notice
Voortrekker Monument parkrun 28 November 2015
Botanical Garden parkrun 05 December 2015
Greenpoint parkrun 12 December 2015

parkrun Anniversaries:

Rietvlei parkrun 28 November 2015
Nkomazi parkrun 05 December 2015
Halls parkrun 12 December 2015

feedback from the field

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

Billy de Kock

Name:  Billy de Kock

Club:  Varsity Kudus

Age:  30

Home parkrun:  Delta

Occupation:  Site foreman

Number of runs:  69

Number of times volunteered:  51

How has parkrun changed your running:  It started with a single parkrun and now I am running road races. The half marathon is my favourite distance.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  When I did my 50th parkrun, I brought cake to share with everyone. There were two young boys each eating a slice and the one turned to the other and said: “You see, I told you that you would enjoy parkrun, we even get free cake!”

Favourite volunteer role::  Barcode Scanning, Pre Event Set-up and Post Event Close Down

Trail or Road Running?:  Road

What do you like about volunteering at parkrun?:  I enjoy the people and the camaraderie.

Why should others volunteer at parkrun?:  We always need volunteers and they ensure that parkrun can actually take place.

What fellow volunteers say about him::  Billy is amazing. Every Saturday he arrives at 7am and within about 10 minutes he has set everything up. Then he goes to help the adidas team with their set-up. He is always amongst the first finishers, so he then gets stuck in with barcode scanning – he has the ability to scan even the most difficult wet or damaged barcodes. He waits until the last runner is in and then he quickly packs everything away and checks that we have left the park clean. Billy is also a spectacular parkrun ambassador, telling everyone he meets about the event and encouraging them to join in the fun.


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.

Our supporters

Dis-Chem supporting parkrun

As a brand committed to and grounded in the basic principles of good health, Dis-Chem Pharmacies is proud to partner with parkrun as a means to healthier living. Our brand values and ethos are positively aligned with proactive health ambassadors such as Bruce Fordyce and the parkrun team. We see, endorse and appreciate the efforts of parkrun to improve the health and activity levels of all South Africans. Stay tuned to both Dis-Chem and parkrun websites and social media channels for communication on seasonal and unique offers and promotions, exclusive to parkrunners in South Africa!