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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bruce (get in touch)
Sign up for Bruce Fordyce’s running club!
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Join Team Vitality Running for 2016 and get the rest of this year for free – with all the perks.
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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!
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 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
Three Silos parkrun 05 December 2015
Nahoon Point parkrun until further notice
Voortrekker Monument parkrun 28 November 2015
Botanical Garden parkrun 05 December 2015
Greenpoint parkrun 12 December 2015
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
Name: Billy de Kock
Club: Varsity Kudus
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.