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"
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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 www.mrpsport.com or in-store at your nearest MRP Sport store!
Prince Albert parkrun 04 June 2016
Ballito parkrun 11 June 2016
Mogol parkrun 11 June 2016
Shongweni parkrun 11 June 2016
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.
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.
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: Lyn Easom
Club: Born 2 Run
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!