parkrun SA newsletter 28th January 2016

welcome to the newsletter


In this edition of the SA parkrun newsletter, we sadly announce that Huddle parkrun was permanently cancelled before it began. However, we do see record attendances at parkruns across the country, welcome our new sponsor to the family and look at our parkrunner of the week; Mark Fuller.

As always, the New Year has started off with an explosion of new registrations and a number of extremely large parkruns. We first noticed this tendency two years ago when our registration and attendance records suddenly sky-rocketed. I discussed this phenomenon in our last newsletter but even I was surprised by the upsurge in numbers we experienced in the first three weeks of January. We aren’t certain if this growth is driven by over- enthusiastic New Year resolutions or simply by the lovely Summer weather but what we see each January is that 6,000-7,000 new parkrunners join the family each week and several of our parkruns have attendance records or attendances of over 1,000 parkrunners. In addition we are being inundated by requests to start new parkruns at venues scattered all over South Africa.

Huge numbers of parkrunners line up at the start of Modderfontein Reserve parkrun
Lots of parkrunners celebrated Modderfontein Reserve parkrun’s 3rd birthday

If we look at past patterns, next month things should start to calm down and our registrations will drop to a “reasonable” 3,000 per week. Luckily our wonderful volunteer teams are ready for this tsunami and generally things are well managed.

Crowds have been flocking to North Beach parkrun

This Saturday at North Beach we may unleash another tsunami next to the Indian Ocean as we announce Mr Price Sport as a new sponsor. Last Saturday over 1,500 parkrunners ran the familiar out-and-back North Beach route. This Saturday even more could descend on North Beach as many of our new sponsor’s employees could feel the urge to discover what parkrun is all about. We are delighted to welcome Mr Price Sport to the parkrun family and look forward to some exciting new developments with them. Mr Price Sport will also be at Root 44, Greenpoint, Delta and Modderfontein Reserve on Saturday.

Parys parkrun

Things don’t always run smoothly at parkrun and sadly we had to shut down our Huddle parkrun before it had even got off the ground. I won’t go into the details but suffice it to say there was a misunderstanding. Our ex Huddle team is working flat to look at a new venue at Gilloolys Farm which is close by and residents in the Linksfield / Huddle area should soon be able to enjoy their own parkrun.

With the cancellation of Huddle parkrun, January has been a quiet month for new parkrun openings; but this is set to change markedly in February as we see inaugural runs starting every Saturday of the month. We start first on the 6th February with the inaugural Heron Banks parkrun near Vanderbijlpark. Our North West regional Director, Manie Esterhuizen, is very enthusiastic about Heron Banks, which is situated in a golf estate on the banks of the Vaal River. Event director Frikkie Van Rensburg has suggested that parkrunners bring binoculars so that they can enjoy the abundant wildlife and birdlife.

parkrun is for everyone - crutches couldn’t stop this parkrunner from joining in at Parys

Hot on the heels of Heron Bank’s opening come “King Williams Town” on 13th February, Hartbeespoort on 20th and “Thousand Hills” (Botha’s Hill, KZN) on 27th. There is also an exciting queue developing with some very interesting venues; but that’s the subject of a future newsletter.

Cheers for now,

Bruce (get in touch)

Keep running with Team Vitality


We would like to thank all our Team Vitality running and cycling members who spent our first year with us. It was a great year for running and cycling, with a huge number of Team Vitality members showing up in their orange at some of the best races in the country. Our members got to enjoy some complimentary hospitality at many of these events and this year will be even better.

We’d like to invite you to join us again this year and be part of South Africa’s biggest (and most popular!) running and cycling club. We’re looking forward to hosting you at fantastic events like the Comrades Marathon and Two Oceans.

Team Vitality members will be pleased to hear that if you activate or renew your Team Vitality running or cycling membership, you’ll still be paying 2015 fees with ALL the perks.

Renew your Team Vitality membership by logging into www.discovery.co.za and clicking the renew/activate button on the Team Vitality page. Keep an eye on our weekly newsletter for more information about this amazing Vitality benefit.

See you on the road!

Don’t miss out on earning 300 Vitality points for each parkrun

If you’re a Vitality member, you can earn 300 Vitality points for every parkrun you complete, by making sure you’ve linked your parkrun profile to Discovery. Not sure how? Use this step-by-step guide.

parkrun Launches:


Heron Bank parkrun 06 February 2016
King Williams Town parkrun 13 February 2016

parkrun Anniversaries:


Knysna parkrun 30 January 2016
Rondebosch Common parkrun 13 February 2016

parkrun Cancellations:


Nahoon Point parkrun until further notice
Huddle parkrun permanent cancellation
Durbanville parkrun 30 January 2016
Voortrekker Monument parkrun, Pretoria 06 February 2016

feedback from the field


A very happy and prosperous New Year to you, your fantastic team and all parkrunners. We as the Gey van Pittius family decided to do the Langebaan parkrun one December morning. It was great as Granny, daughter, daughter in law, two grandsons and a boyfriend joined...what a privilege.
Kathy Gey van Pittius


I should be completing my 100th parkrun this weekend, and with that in mind would like to thank Werner, Tamarin, and the PE Hobie Beach parkrun team for your unselfish and dedicated support and input into this fantastic event.
I started this fun/free event in November 2013, as a keen walker but by January 2014 (having turned 58) gradually started jogging, having always had a negative block towards running. Well almost exactly 2 years later I will reach this milestone, aged 60, and can say that this event has assisted me in becoming an avid runner, participating in parkruns countrywide, joining a running club and doing  the Knysna half marathon.
I am a huge believer in the parkrun concept as it is an event for everyone, young and old, healthy and not so healthy and I encourage all I meet to participate.
Rose and I run as a team and will make volunteering a priority when we can contribute.
Phil Rawstron


I am 10kg lighter, run parkrun 10 minutes faster than the beginning of 2015 and fell 100% more positive in myself. I have not been ill since the first Highland Trout Marathon when I first met you. A very big thank you to the best fitness cause I have ever been part of.
Nerine


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


Mark Fuller enjoying a parkrun

Name:  Mark Fuller

Club:  None

Age:  55-59

Home parkrun:  Woodlands

Occupation:  Management & Lean Consultant

Number of runs:  72

Number of times volunteered:  16

How has parkrun changed your running:  I was never a runner, preferring cycling as a sport. A friend of mine challenged me to run and not being one to turn down a challenge did my first run at Woodlands. parkrun has not only got me into running but my friends too. We have noticed that we are fitter for cycling too.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  First Soweto parkrun with my nephew from the UK and a bunch of local kids. These kids joined in the run when they saw 'old' people running and thought they would show us how to do it properly. I still laugh when I think about that day. Huge fun.

Trail or Road Running?:  Trail running is much more fun because you're out in the woods and communing with nature between deep breaths.

Favourite volunteer role::  Timekeeper because you can give the runners 'stick' when they come in and generally they're too tired to chirp back.

What do you like about volunteering at parkrun::  It is such fun. Meeting new people and making new friends. And ending the morning off with a breakfast. My friends and I have formed a volunteer team and generally manage the day when we are on. We try to volunteer at least every three months.

Why should others volunteer at parkrun?:  Firstly it gives back to parkrun and helps the day to run smoothly...but mostly its lots of fun.

What fellow parkrunners say about them::  Mark is the one who organises coffee vouchers and always manages to get us a fantastic deal. He is also the guy who will obtain sponsorships from local businesses for money to buy the things we need to put on a fantastic parkrun.

Reminders

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 www.bluelabeltelecoms.co.za


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 300 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.


MRPSport investing in parkrun

MRPSport is the proud apparel sponsor of parkrun South Africa. We love the idea of partnering with social initiatives like parkrun because it adds value to peoples lives which is what we’re all about. We believe in healthy active living through sports at all levels. School goers, family and friends have the opportunity to join in a fun activity every Saturday morning at one of many parkrun venues around South Africa. Our mission is to encourage this active lifestyle with authentic products, great value and trendy designs. MRPSport will be alongside parkrun every step of the way! We will keep parkrunners updated with all the initiatives in 2016 and beyond. Stay tuned to our newsletter for all the weekly updates. - come and find out more at www.mrpsport.com

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! dischem.co.za


 

parkrun SA newsletter 13th January 2016

welcome to the newsletter


In this edition of the SA parkrun newsletter, we look back at a successful holiday season as attendance records fell in the New Year. We look forward to Modderfontein Reserve parkrun’s 3rd birthday celebrations and celebrate our parkrunner of the week; Simon Yates from Voortrekker Monument parkrun.

Luckily last years’ experience prepared us for the new 2016 parkrun season. We learnt last year that there is a New Year explosion of interest in parkrun. Last Saturday we set a new attendance record as more than 23,000 ran and walked at parkruns around South Africa. In addition 5 parkruns had attendances of over 1,000 participants and there were 5,500 new registrations in South Africa in one week. Of course we shouldn’t focus simply on large numbers and it was pleasing to see enquiries for new parkruns coming from around the country and from some small communities. parkrun has the ability to make a positive difference no matter the size of the community. Nevertheless the numbers who participated last Saturday were large and we expect them to grow more this Saturday. I am sure some of this enthusiasm is driven by New Year’s resolutions and the guilty feeling of a holiday spent overindulging.

But there is also a genuine desire among many new parkrunners to join a group where people want to exercise and improve their health and have fun while joining a friendly and welcoming community. With this in mind I thought it would be an inspiring way to start the New Year with some motivating and positive experiences from South African parkrunners. We have included this photograph taken by Tsholo Moraba at Modderfontein parkrun last weekend which I think is one of the most evocative photographs ever taken at a parkrun.

“A most beautiful sighting on this mornings @parkrunSA. In any language, in any culture, this is success! #Love #Live”

Several South African parkruns celebrated the holidays with an extra run on Christmas Day and on New Year’s Day. This was entirely at the discretion of each parkrun team and community. As you can see from our photo there was quite a festive holiday spirit at those runs.

parkrunners at Delta got into the festive spirit on Christmas Day

Modderfontein parkrun will be celebrating its 3rd birthday on Saturday and like all things “Modderfontein” this will be special. Wayde Morsink and his team are busy preparing for a bumper birthday. Some of our sponsors will be attending and it should be an exciting morning at Modderfontein parkrun. Those planning on attending need to be prepared to come early because the parking will fill up rapidly. I know the Modderfontein team will have prepared adequately but it is still a good idea to get there early so parkrunners can enjoy more of the party.

The recent heatwave has made running tough for all of us but even more so for our dogs. Please make sure that you have water for your dogs and if it’s really hot consider leaving your dog at home.

This parkrunner and her dog enjoyed a New Year’s Day parkrun at Golden Harvest
parkrun the Aussie way – this is how they cope with the blazing sun in Australia

Cheers for now,

Bruce (get in touch)

Comrades 2016


Comrades 2016 runners are invited to join Mofolo parkrun in Soweto on 23rd January. Mofolo parkrun will be hosting the ‘Comrades Road Show’ after the parkrun. The Road Show will start at 9:00am. The venue is across the road from Mofolo parkrun at Mofolo Community Hall (opposite Mofolo Five Roses Bowl). Event Director Boitumelo Mofokeng will be in attendance with more information.

DisChem Vouchers


Our National Supporter, Dis-Chem recently donated vouchers for parkrun volunteers. Here they are seen being handed over at Mofolo parkrun.

Bruce hands over the Dis-Chem vouchers

Vitality members can now take their kids for the new Kids Vitality Health Check


If you’re a Vitality member, you can now make sure your children are developing at a healthy rate by booking them for a Kids Vitality Health Check at a pharmacy in the Vitality Wellness Network. You’ll also earn 2 500 points for each child.

What the Kids Vitality Health Check includes

The Kids Vitality Health Check consists of a Body Mass Index (BMI) and blood pressure measurements, as well as a health behaviour and developmental questionnaire. A trained nurse will discuss any health concerns with you and you’ll also get a personalised feedback report after completing the assessment.

All you need to do is take your child to a Vitality Wellness Network pharmacy with your Discovery Health membership card (if you have a policy with Discovery Health) or proof of your Vitality membership, and your children’s ID numbers and pay the R65 fee to complete the assessment.

Don’t miss out on earning 300 Vitality points for each parkrun

If you’re a Vitality member, you can earn 300 Vitality points for every parkrun you complete by making sure you’ve linked your parkrun profile to Discovery. Not sure how? Use this step-by-step guide to help you.

parkrun Cancellations:


Nahoon Point parkrun until further notice

Fish Hoek parkrun 23 January 2016

parkrun Anniversaries:


Belville parkrun 16 January 2016
Bryanston parkrun 23 January 2016
Knysna parkrun 30 January 2016

feedback from the field


As I write this I am feeling very sad because I ran my last parkrun this Saturday at Aliwal North.  My mum, sister and I are leaving to live in Japan and there aren’t any parkruns there!
On 27th July, 2013 my dad and I did our first parkrun at Delta, after we were told about parkrun by a cousin, who had just run the North Beach parkrun. We walked, and ran a little, to finish the 5km in 41:45. My mum, sister and I weren’t very keen on doing a parkrun the next Saturday (we wanted to sleep late) but my dad persuaded us by offering to take us out for breakfast after the run.  My feelings about parkrun changed when we went to the inaugural parkrun at Cannibals Cave. It was very exciting to go on a road trip on the weekend and to run a different route.  We met Gill and Bruce Fordyce there as well as the Thatcher family.  Since then we’ve been to many inaugurals and different parkruns. We have met many people who are also trying to do different parkruns around South Africa – I have so enjoyed it.
As we went to different parkruns we began to see different parts of the country, going to places we wouldn’t normally go, we got healthier and fitter, and most of all we enjoyed doing it all together as a family!
We volunteered each Saturday for a few months, and I realised how important the volunteers are to make the events happen each week. It made me really feel that I was a part of parkrun.
We have run parkrun nearly every Saturday, trying not to miss any.  I eventually got my 50 shirt, and I was so proud of myself.  The next target was the 100 shirt, and I managed to reach the target a few weeks ago – just in time before leaving South Africa.  Thank you parkrun!
Kiara Millerd – 14 years old Delta parkrun

Kiara Millerd at parkrun with her family

After being introduced to parkrun by Gill Fordyce in Durban in 2013, it took me 2 years to find my home event, Rondebosch parkrun. What a revelation it has been! The organisation is enthusiastic and highly efficient. The course is off-road, flat and perfectly safe for young and old. It may be the safety aspect that has produced such a rich diversity of parkrunners. Every Saturday, we see teenagers and pre-teenagers, former marathoners and walkers, dog-owners etc.
A highlight is the weekly duel between my 87-year-old friend Alex Jones and his 90-year-old rival Jack Urmson.  Mr Two Oceans, the legendary Chet Sainsbury, is using the parkrun in his efforts to overcome serious illness. I recently met a young couple pushing a pram. Their passenger was just a couple of weeks old. Last week, I had the most touching experience imaginable. I encountered a youngster with Down’s Syndrome who cheerfully greeted everyone in his vicinity and completed the entire course.
In my opinion, parkrun is the greatest innovation in our sport since modern running shoes. The Rondebosch parkrun is particularly special.
John Cameron-Dow


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


Simon Yates celebrates his 100th parkrun

Name:  Simon Yates

Age:  54

Home parkrun:  Voortrekker Monument

Occupation:  IT Consultant

Number of runs:  107

Number of times volunteered:  51

How has parkrun changed your running:  When I first started it encouraged me to take my training more seriously, so as to achieve my PBs. Now it's a great weekly time trial, which lets me compete against myself, and encourages me to keep up the training even when I'm feeling less motivated.

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  The Saturday in September this year when we had the coldest, wettest winter's day for Pretoria that I remember for a long time (it shouldn't rain in Pretoria in September!). In spite of the fact that it had been raining on and off since early morning and was bitterly cold, we still had 13 volunteers shivering under umbrellas, and 84 brave souls completed the course. We started the run from under the carports, and had to move the finish onto the road because the usual finish was waterlogged. By the time the volunteers had packed up and we got home, the first item on the agenda was a hot bath, even before the results processing.

What do you like about volunteering at parkrun::  We have a great core team at Voortrekker Monument, which sometimes feels like a second family (in a good way, of course). There is great satisfaction when your efforts are acknowledged by the parkrunners. It's also good to feel you are giving something back and ensuring that the parkrun continues to thrive.

Why should others volunteer at parkrun?:  It's a good opportunity to get to know other parkrunners. It also gives you a better understanding of the challenges the volunteers have to overcome each week and the behind-the-scenes processes involved. There are volunteer roles which don't require you to miss a run, so even if you are gunning for that red (or black) T-shirt, don't let it stop you from volunteering.

What fellow volunteers say about them::  Simon is so patient and dedicated and helpful. When his only car was smashed by a bus he went to the trouble of hiring a car just so he and his wife could get the equipment and the water to parkrun each Saturday. His wife of 25 years is a wonderful support to him. As Simon is one of the early finishers at Voortrekker he often takes over as back up timer and helps sort out little problems.

Reminders

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 www.bluelabeltelecoms.co.za


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 300 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! dischem.co.za


Older Posts this Month ⇒
⇐ Newer Posts this Month