parkrun SA newsletter 2nd June 2016

welcome to the newsletter

In this edition of the SA parkrun newsletter, we look at a record-breaking parkrun event that took place over Comrades weekend and birthday celebrations at Root 44 and Boksburg. We also hear some great parkrun success stories and congratulate our parkrunner of the week, Lyn Easom from Three Silos parkrun.

Understandably, South Africa's most famous race, the Comrades Marathon, dominated running matters these last two weeks. Comrades fever was everywhere as thousands of runners descended on the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg in the KZN province. Congratulations to all those parkrunners who finished the greatest ultramarathon in the world. My favourite Twitter message arrived on my phone the morning after Comrades. "One year ago my first parkrun, yesterday the Comrades Marathon. #parkruntoComrades. Thank you parkrun"

Hundreds of parkrunners set a new record attendance at North Beach parkrun

As has become customary the day before Comrades, thousands of parkrunners descended on KZN parkruns. There were record attendances of over 400 at Umhlanga and Richards Bay. There were also big attendances at other parkruns nearby. North Beach parkrun recorded the largest parkrun attendance ever. 1,874 parkrunners from around the world came to run and walk the flat beachfront route. There were 64 volunteers managing the big crowd at North Beach. Those running the Comrades the next day jogged gently, especially in the Thousand Hills parkrun, parkrunners walked the steep up and down inclines on the route.

Not to be outdone, Stellenbosch's Root 44 celebrated its 3rd birthday with a large turnout of enthusiastic runners. Root 44 is renowned as being a very beautiful parkrun, especially at this time of the year. In autumn and winter colours, it is certainly spectacular. As if to emphasise the point, Root 44 baked this amazing cake.

A spectacular birthday cake to celebrate Root 44 turning three

The week before, Boksburg parkrun celebrated its first birthday. Event Director Massimo, and his volunteer team threw a special birthday party and many of the parkrunners arrived dressed in pink. It was a typical cold winter’s morning in Boksburg but there was a warm welcome for everyone. After making my way over the Boksburg blue bridge and running up to the highest point on the course I looked back to admire the solid unbroken stream of colour as runners made their way along the course. It was a truly memorable sight of over 1,000 runners.

Boksburg parkrun celebrated its birthday in colourful style

Cheers for now,

Bruce (get in touch)

Get in on the underwater action with Finding Dory

Guess who’s back with a memory intact? Did someone say “blue tang fish”? On Thursday 16 June, Disney welcomes Dory, Marlin and Nemo back to cinemas for “Finding Dory”, the highly anticipated sequel to the hugely successful, aquatic adventure, “Finding Nemo”.

Vitality members can watch movies at discounted prices, plus kids watch movies for free before 7pm once their Kids Vitality Health Review has been completed.

Make sure your kids stay healthy and happy all year round!

You can take your kids for a Kids Vitality Health Check at your nearest Vitality Wellness Network pharmacy to ensure they are developing at a healthy rate.

You can also celebrate healthy, happy families with Discovery Vitality and Disney Healthy Living. Visit the Disney Healthy Living website to check out the latest fun arts and crafts, mouth-watering recipes, educational articles and videos, and so much more.

MRP Sport

It has been an amazing few days for us with the excitement of the Comrades Marathon! Of course, there was the ultramarathon itself on Sunday, and the days that followed, with brilliant news all round for us at MRP Sport.

The weekend started with a massive pre-Comrades parkrun on the scenic North Beach promenade, where a world record number of parkrunners made it a run to remember. The atmosphere was unforgettable, and the heroes of the day were each of the runners who took part.

We are extremely proud to announce that David Gatebe’s unbelievable Comrades finish was completed in our very own Maxed Marathon Racer! Its ultra-lightweight construction is designed for maximum speed and comfort, and at just R499.99, we are proud that it helped the record-breaking champion!

And just in time for summer, we will be launching our official parkrun merchandise range! Watch this space for details!

And don’t forget to get kitted out for your next parkrun or active weekend online at or in-store at your nearest MRP Sport store!

Forthcoming Events

parkrun Anniversaries:
Prince Albert parkrun 04 June 2016
Ballito parkrun 11 June 2016
Mogol parkrun 11 June 2016
Shongweni parkrun 11 June 2016

parkrun Cancellations:
Nahoon Point parkrun until further notice
Botanical Garden parkrun 11 June 2016

feedback from the field

It is said that parkrun is not a race, but if this were true, why is my vision greying as I plunge deep into oxygen debt in a desperate attempt to keep ahead of the young parkrunner flying up behind me? “Good morning, Sir”, the greeting is clear, respectful and confident, and with that, Heinrich Kamffer cruises past to claim yet another first position. With 79 first finishes out of 100, Heinrich is, despite his youth, a real parkrun legend.
Heinrich is not only a talented runner; this young engineering student is also an accomplished singer, cage fighter, bi/tri-athlete and obstacle course racer. Oh, and the politest and humble young man you could hope to meet.
Apparently his “perfect six pack” has contributed the popularity of Ebotse parkrun among the ladies in the field (After finishing, Heinrich often takes of his shirt and jogs back to meet his sister Anzelle, much to the delight of the aforementioned ladies). The Kamffer family are founding members of the Ebotse parkrun, with dad, Johan, well on his way to his 250 shirt (169 parkruns).
Congratulations Heinrich, we look forward to you clocking up your 100th first finish.

Heinrich Kamffer celebrates 100 parkruns

My friend, Gustav Heunes, is 46 years old. He had a kidney and pancreas transplant on 31st December 2011. He was a diabetic for 25 years, but the transplant cured this. However, after the transplant he was in and out of hospitals and was very unfit and unhappy. We have been friends for many years and last year we met up again and he joined me at parkrun as much as he can. Our goal is to do as many parkruns as possible and we have done 11 different parkruns so far. I have achieved my 50 parkruns and Gustav did his 22nd on Saturday, with his goal to reach 50 as soon as he can. He is so healthy and happy at the moment and with every parkrun he is improving.
We love the vibe, the energy and just everything about parkruns. He motivates me every day with his positive attitude and energy.
Kim Meyer

Gustav, Bruce and Kim at Boksburg parkrun

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

Lyn Easom

Name:  Lyn Easom

Club:  Born 2 Run

Age:  42

Home parkrun:  Three Silos / Nahoon Point

Occupation:  B&B Manager

Number of runs:  122

Number of times volunteered:  88

How has parkrun changed your running:  I moved to East London 3 years ago doing no exercise at the time. My sister got me back into running and parkrun was one of the ways to get there. Since starting, parkrun has been become addictive. In fact, I recently ran a 15km road race as a warm up to parkrun!

Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment:  Running a freedom run at Nahoon Point with parkrun founder, Paul Sinton-Hewitt. There was another “memorable” day at Nahoon Point - someone drove off with the finish tokens in their car and we could not get hold of them for a while. Our volunteers were writing down positions, names, and barcodes on any scrap of paper they could find! I think we recovered the tokens by about position 600. What was so wonderful was the way the volunteers all just pulled together after the initial panic and everyone just pitched in to help.

Trail or Road Running?:  Mostly road, but also do run a few trails

Favourite volunteer role:  I have probably volunteered in most of the different roles and I enjoy the variety. I enjoy the tasks at the finish funnel, which give me the opportunity to talk to people as they finish.

What do you like about volunteering at parkrun:  The camaraderie among the volunteers – we have a wonderful group of volunteers and we have such fun together. The laughter and the support are fantastic. The camaraderie of parkrun - it doesn’t matter whether you are the fastest runner or the slowest walker, everyone is encouraged and made to feel special when they have achieved a PB – whether the PB is 20 mins or 60 mins.

Why should others volunteer at parkrun?:  It is fun!

What her fellow volunteers say about her:  Lyn has been a rock! She manages a lot of admin behind the scenes, keeps track of our club member status so we know when a 50 or 100 milestone is going to be reached. Add this to her roles as run director, results processor and all-round parkrun wonder woman!


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

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

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!