welcome to the newsletter
In this edition of the SA parkrun newsletter, we take a look at how many people are taking part at parkruns across the country, we see how Mr Price Sport introduced themselves to the parkrun community and celebrate our parkrunner of the week; Jenny Page from Delta parkrun.
Our newest parkrun sponsor was welcomed to the parkrun family on Saturday 30th January at Durban’s North Beach parkrun. Simultaneously we announced our new sponsor at several other parkruns around South Africa (See Chantal Donnelly’s write up below). Over 1,600 parkrunners set off to run the parkrun route alongside the Indian Ocean and it was a truly inspiring site to see hundreds of bright red Mr Price Sport peak caps streaming off down the esplanade. Congratulations to Chantal Donnelly and her team from Mr Price Sport and to Stefan and Jenna van der Merwe and the dozens of North Beach volunteers who worked hard to ensure everything went smoothly. We are looking forward to a long and happy relationship with the exciting team at Mr Price Sport. Because Mr Price Sport is our apparel sponsor they will also be manufacturing the new milestone shirts. We ask for your patience as they await the arrival of the first batches. I promise the wait will be worth it.
parkrun continues to grow very rapidly in South Africa. We are still welcoming about 5,000 new registrations each week, with 25,672 participants last Saturday in South Africa. Last month 106,281 people ran at parkruns around South Africa. More importantly 3,016 people volunteered at these parkruns.
Last Saturday the Heron Banks parkrun was launched on a lovely one lap loop course which includes a long stretch along the banks of the Vaal River. Over 300 eager parkrunners listened to event director, Frikkie Jansen van Rensburg welcome them to the Vanderbijlpark parkrun before setting off on a glorious late summer’s morning. Frikkie’s parkrun is going to be a popular one in future as the 300+ participants arrived despite there being a major road race nearby. Some parkrunners first ran the Sasolburg 10km and then ran the parkrun.
This Saturday we will launch the King Williams Town parkrun in the Eastern Cape. Mike Webb and his team have been very patient and have waited many months for their special Saturday birthday. We have also been champing at the bit to watch another Border community enjoy its own parkrun.
It will be a busy February for new parkruns, as these two launches will be followed by new parkruns at Hartbeespoort (20th) and Thousand Hills (KZN Botha’s Hill) (27th).
Cheers for now,
Bruce (get in touch)
Last week MRPSport officially announced and launched their apparel sponsorship of parkrun South Africa at North Beach parkrun, Durban and they also featured at Greenpoint, Root 44, Delta and Modderfontein parkruns. It was an astounding, record-breaking success. MRPSport will activate at 3 parkruns this weekend, namely: Rietvlei, Umhlanga and Bellville. Look out for their Maxed giveaways and enjoy a bit of shade and refreshment, compliments of MRPSport.
A friendly reminder that the achievement club tee shirts will be available from the end of May, so please be patient, we will do our best to get through the backlog and delivery of your shirts. MRPSport is also assisting with delivering your achievement shirts to a store near you for collection. Further details to follow for our new ordering process soon. Visit www.mrpsport.com for your latest fitness and outdoor gear.
The NEW Vitality online support page
To date, Vitality Active Rewards is our fastest-growing benefit and this engagement has exceeded our expectations: Vitality Active Rewards members are exercising 25% more and have earned hundreds of thousands of smoothie and coffee rewards. This record level of engagement has led to an unprecedented spike in call centre queries and for this reason, many of you are not receiving the high service levels you are accustomed to from us. This is unacceptable in our view, and we are doing our utmost to rectify the situation as soon as possible.
Please only phone our call centre if your query is urgent
Please note that even if your Vitality fitness points aren’t reflecting, we will retrospectively award points and ensure that your weekly Vitality Active Rewards are not affected.
Even if your points aren’t currently reflecting, you won't lose out
We have set up a Vitality support page on our website for all queries related to fitness devices, apps and achieving Vitality fitness points. You can also view your Vitality status and see how many Vitality points you have and access our Vitality Active Rewards FAQs online.
Get active. Get rewarded.
If you’re not already enjoying a FREE weekly coffee or smoothie, you should be! Activate Vitality Active Rewards to get active and get rewarded.
King Williams Town parkrun 13 February 2016
Hartbeespoort parkrun 20 February 2016
Thousand Hills parkrun 27 February 2016
Rondebosch Common parkrun 13 February 2016
Lebone parkrun 20 February 2016
Potchefstroom parkrun 20 February 2016
Nahoon Point parkrun until further notice
Huddle Park parkrun permanent cancellation
Hermanus parkrun 13 February 2016
Boksburg parkrun 13 February 2016
Laudium parkrun 13 February 2016
feedback from the field
On Saturday, December 5th, 2015, the Hartenbos District of the Western Cape gave birth to a healthy new, 5km parkrun venue.
Our Event Director, Werner Morkel-Brink, together with the invaluable assistance of Barend Jordaan, cannot be praised too highly for their tireless efforts in, firstly, finding a suitable venue and, secondly, organising and working with the small, but enthusiastic, band of volunteers preparing the course for the opening.
It was not only the route which had to be created from just about nothing but also the administration. Risk assessments, website and Facebook page changes, marketing initiatives, and finding sponsors for equipment and materials required for the new route. It all had to be attended to - it was, indeed, a hectic few weeks!
The opening was a huge success and it is believed that the number of runners will continue to grow and the venue itself will continue to develop and cater for the runners' needs and desires.
We, as a Hartenbos parkrun family, rightly feel proud of what has been achieved but it would not have been achieved without the enthusiastic and able leadership of Werner and Barend.
My husband decided we should join a parkrun in East London (Nahoon Point parkrun). I was not happy as I am not a runner, and was not even a walker at that stage. I went along and completed it as red as a tomato and was stiff the next day. I loved it and have never looked back. I am currently completing parkruns at Kidds Beach, hoping for Nahoon Point to open again. My husband’s confidence in me and support is something I can’t explain. He keeps me motivated and keeps me going as well as the special friends I have made and shared laughter and tears with. I can’t imagine getting up on a Saturday and not running parkrun.
I was 20kg heavier at the time, now I am healthier and loving the running. I do all the events I can. Thank you for your newsletter and for parkrun. It changed my life, our 5-year-old daughter Emily is also now doing parkrun and loving it, so it’s family time as well.
I completed my 100th parkrun on 30th January.
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: Jenny Page
Home parkrun: Delta
Number of runs: 56
Number of times volunteered: 48
How has parkrun changed your running: It has helped me improve my fitness tremendously. I have changed my eating habits and the weekly event ensures that I cannot slacken with my fitness regimen. I enjoy that it is international and that I have friends that do Delta and other parkruns, and we have this in common. I like seeing where I am each week relative to others in my age group, locally and internationally. A number of my students do Delta parkrun and this group is growing. It gives us something in common and allows us to see each other in a different light.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: On one of my very first parkruns, I was totally focused on not tripping over dogs or children, when I heard a desperate plea coming from some distance behind me ‘noooooo, stopppp, noooo, stopppp’ getting rapidly closer and closer. Finally I realised what was happening; the biggest dog I have ever seen was hurtling down the hill with a proportionally small man attached to the end of her leash, trying to rein her in. He disappeared into the distance still yelling ‘noooooo, stopppp, noooo, stopppp’ and I have never seen either of them at parkrun since.
Favourite volunteer role: My walking partner and I do parking duty each week which does allow us to leave early.
What do you like about volunteering at parkrun? parkrun could not happen without the volunteers, and I like giving back. The volunteers are like a family and it is great to not just be another barcode but to be part of that family. I also appreciate that if I do parking duty I can get away early.
Why should others volunteer at parkrun? We rely on volunteers for parkrun to take place, so we really need people to come forward.
What fellow volunteers say about them: Jenny is fundamental to Delta parkrun and we value her input enormously. Having parking marshals is a condition of using the park, so her role is pivotal to running our event. She handles the sometimes colourful language of participants who are running late with great grace and aplomb.