welcome to the newsletter
In this edition of the SA parkrun newsletter, we hear about the amazing achievements of someone who starting running with parkrun, take look at how different parkruns are marking their birthdays and celebrate not just a parkrunner of the week in Trish Botton, but also a parkdog of the week!
I wonder how many parkruns there are in the world that are still being run over the identical course and route that was run on the very first occasion the parkrun was run. It’s a fact of parkrunning that from time to time parkruns have to make alterations to their routes or, in extreme cases, move the course altogether. This can be for a variety of reasons. Weather conditions can make parts of a course too dangerous. Floods can swamp a course. Frost and ice make it too slippery. Trees can fall across a path, and building and path alterations can also interfere with the original running of a route. In some cases, the sheer volume of participants can change the character of a parkrun and force changes. I know there are some parkruns that have never changed, but there can’t be many.
There must be very few parkruns, however, which have had to change because of the start of the hunting season! This happened a few months ago at the Kraalkop parkrun in Gauteng where a change of ownership of the land on which the parkrun was run resulted in the new owner opening up his reserve area to hunters. Now we parkrunners are always keen for incentives to make us run faster but bullets whistling around our ears are not one of those. So Kraalkop parkrun had to hurriedly change venue. Congratulations to Regional Director Manie Esterhuizen and event director Elmarie Hayes for finding a new venue fairly close to the original one. According to those who ran it last Saturday, it’s a delightful parkrun and the change has actually been for the better. I can’t wait to run it one of these days.
Increasingly we are meeting parkrunners who have started running 5 kilometres at parkrun and then “graduated” to running marathons and even ultra-marathons such as the Comrades marathon. Some of these have reached these milestones in less than 12 months. This is truly astonishing and some of these brave and inspiring runners have created the hashtag #parkruntoComrades. One of these is Jo van der Walt who tells her amazing story in this newsletter.
With 80 South African parkruns in the South African family, there are significant birthdays to celebrate every Saturday but I would like to pay tribute to the team at Cannibals Cave who have overcome all sorts of problems to create a vibrant parkrun in the heart of the Zulu nation in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains. Last Saturday Lizzy and Musi Mabaso and a crowd of enthusiastic parkrunners celebrated Cannibal’s 2nd birthday with cake and juice and of course an enthusiastic parkrun. (Mention must also be made of Iain Morsehead and his early encouragement and support of the team at Cannibals. Iain also started the very popular Ebotse parkrun 4 years ago.)
Cheers for now,
Bruce (get in touch)
Earn Vitality points for getting active outdoors
Vitality members can earn up to 300 points for completing a parkrun event. All you need to do is make sure you’ve linked your parkrun profile to your Discovery membership, using your SA ID or passport number. Not sure how? Use this step-by-step guide to help you.
If you’re looking for more ways to earn Vitality points and enjoy the beautiful outdoors at the same time, you can also take part in timed and verified Vitality race events and earn up to 3 000 fitness points for each event, towards a fitness points limit of 30 000 for the year. Events that qualify include swimming, running, and cycling events on the race calendar, as well as Discovery sponsored events.
To find out more, go to www.discovery.co.za.
This weekend marks the first parkrun for July, and we can’t believe we’ve already crossed the 2016 halfway mark! With summer around the corner, now’s a good a time as any to get moving; and Maxed is the gear to do it in. From ladies printed leggings and active jackets, to men’s trackpants and Dri-Sport tees, we’ve got all the active gear to see you through this last stretch of winter.
Speaking of running gear… As mentioned before, the achievement tees are a go, and have been available for collection from your nearest parkrun event director since 11 June. Your achievement tees can be picked up from them until they’re available to order online at mrpsport.com. Once the online ordering process is in place, we’ll let you know!
In the meantime, keep accumulating those parkruns 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!
Victoria Lake parkrun 23 July 2016
Ladybrand parkrun 30 July 2016
St Francis parkrun 09 July 2016
Nahoon Point parkrun
Nahoon Point parkrun until further notice
Voortrekker Monument parkrun 02 July 2016
Knysna parkrun 09 July 2016
Halls parkrun 09 July 2016
Mogol parkrun 09 July 2016
parkdog of the week
In reply to Quinton Quait in the last newsletter regarding a dog doing 100 parkruns. I do the Rietvlei parkrun with my dog Charlie. He’s a Staffy and we have completed 113 parkruns together. We very seldom miss a parkrun.
He's an enthusiastic parkrunner. Always very keen at the start and gets very excited once the countdown starts. He loves running at Rietvlei so we do a Sunday morning run as well to keep him in shape as he refuses to do street runs.
Ivan van Onselen
feedback from the field
1,121 parkunners joined in to celebrate Root 44 parkrun turning 3. Most stayed after parkrun for cupcakes, lucky draws, prizes and to see our awesome cake! Finishing in top spot of the annual Root 44 parkrun points table for the men, was Andre Leuvennink and for the ladies, ever smiling Marelize Kruger-Vranic. We had our usual fun awards for:
‘Double Trouble’ (sisters Pamela & Beverly Natsa)
‘Family’ award (Coombe-Davis family)
‘Fastest Couple’ (Marion & Robbie Serfontein)
Regular volunteer of the Year (Minke van Zyl & Eugene Vorster),
Core Volunteer of the Year (Kobus Toua)
parkrunner of the Year – Christiaan ‘Buks’ Schutte!
We always honour our most veteran age category record set for the year. This year in VW75-79 the new record goes to Oliva du Toit. In VM85-89 a new record was set by Daniel Strydom.
Our most special award was for a parkrunner who ‘Goes the Distance’ to parkrun, who runs 18km from his home to Root 44 (roughly 18km), dashes around parkrun in 17 minutes and then runs back! We have watched Mhlangabezi Mbuntshu develop over the last 2 years at parkrun. His fellow parkrunners have gotten to know him is a humble and friendly runner who is slowly overcoming his shyness. This year Mhlangabezi has run 19 times at parkrun with 12 first finishes and has a PB of 16:49! I would like to thank all the Root 44 parkrunners in helping Mhlangabezi with his running and finding work, proving the parkrun is truly part of the community.
Thank you so much to all our supporters and parkrunners who sponsored prizes. Thank you to Dis-Chem for visiting and sponsoring some awesome hampers! A very special thank you to Chantelle Gleed from Chantelle’s Cake Creations who made our stunning cake! Most importantly to all our parkrunners for your love and support over the last 158 parkruns, thank you! 185 events, without a cancellation! You make it worthwhile to volunteer every week! And lastly to my core team: Chris, Kobus, Ilse, Mariska, Lisa, Robyn, Kim, Lindsay and Andre you are all superstars! Please have a look at our news page for all the birthday details!
We will do again next year! 27 May 2017
Torrin Theron – Event Director Root 44 parkrun
From parkrun Princess to Comrades-Conqueror!
Two and a half years ago I ran my first parkrun at Delta. I remember being a little grumpy about having to haul myself out of bed on a Saturday to go and run 5km’s. My husband had been at it for a few months more than me, and I was starting to get FOMO. So, I joined him and I loved it.
Back in those days I was the epitome of unhealthy living. I didn’t care what I ate, I loved a good party (still do!) and I used to smoke a fair number ciggies. Fortunately I’ve managed to ditch that habit.
parkrun soon became a Saturday routine. My husband and I are part of the SA parkrun tourists and it’s been an amazing way to explore this beautiful country. From singing Broadway musical hits in the Stutterheim Country Club the night before parkrun, to braving Arctic temperatures on the coldest day in the history of Prince Albert, to stirring up the Kruger pachyderms with live renditions of ABBA late on a Friday night before our 5km jaunt through the sugarcane at Nkomazi parkrun the next morning, it really has been fun.
As time went by, I entered the occasional 10km run, then took the leap and started doing a few 21km races. By the end of 2015 I ran my first full 42.2km marathon. When I crossed that finish line the seed was planted. Comrades…
At the beginning of 2016, I started with a Comrades training program. In six months I ran 5 marathons, one Tough One, one ultra-marathon and one 60km training run. I was lucky enough to have my good friend Brenda Wesi (also a parkrun fundi) as a training partner. We were mostly disciplined, with too many 4am weekday starts to even recall. We pounded the pavements of Jozi in the dark, whilst the rest of the city slept. I’m not going to lie – it wasn’t easy. But was it doable? Of course it was! And it is for so many more people like me.
I’m still not the picture of svelte wiry athleticism. I’ll never be a Charne or a Caroline. I’m your neighbour, I’m your work colleague; I could just as well be you.
So what’s the moral of the story? If you love running, and you possess even a moderate amount of discipline, you can so do this thing! Comrades was the best day and the hardest day of my life, all rolled into one. Shortly before the big day I read an article written for The Citizen by my dear friend Bruce Fordyce. It was specifically written for a Comrades runner and to quote:
“Before you know it you will be running down the concrete canyon on Durban’s Berea with just 4 kilometres to go. Then prepare yourself for the highlight and greatest moment of every Comrades, the last lap around Kingsmead cricket ground. There you will change your mind about that “never, ever, ever again” vow you made earlier. As you circle that ground, blowing kisses, air-punching or waving furiously, remind yourself that in Pinetown you met a hero, and someone you now deeply admire. You met yourself.”
Thank you parkrun for inspiring me to be more, and for being the catalyst to what has been one of the greatest achievements in my life. And to my fellow Comrades, see you at 05h30 in Durbs on 4th June. I’m ready to be humbled once more.
Joanne van der Walt
I normally run at Green Point. My son and daughter in law run at Woodlands. I was in Jo’burg to celebrate my grandson, Jordan’s first birthday on 19 June. A future parkrunner in the making!
Cannibals Cave parkrun 2nd Anniversary
At the beginning of the year, two parkrunners from Ballito parkrun ran the Cannibals Cave parkrun in the Drakensberg. Mike Dixon and Sean Fouche ran the 5km route on different days, and were in fact complete strangers. Both returned to the coast with the same vision; to collect shoes for the local kids and orphans who ran the parkrun barefoot. Most of the children ran without shoes.
When Mike announced his intention at a Ballito parkrun, a partnership was formed to collect running shoes. In excess of 200 shoes were collected from Ballito parkrunners, Crawford Preparatory North Coast and FNB CSI.
The shoes were handed over to delighted runners at the occasion of the second anniversary of Cannibals Cave parkrun and a message came for those who donated shoes.
“It was nice to see you guys coming back with such a spirit showing the Cannibals that you did not forget about them you have been thinking about them. The children were very excited indeed they have experience something new in their lives. I really thank you and your team of course, I'm running out of words to express my feeling. Please pass our appreciation to good hearted people who donated the goods"
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: Trish Botton
Club: Natal Carbineers
Home parkrun: Dusi
Occupation: Theatre PA
Number of runs: 81
Number of times volunteered: 87
How has parkrun changed your running: It motivates me especially when I see people with disabilities completing the course.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: Running my 50th with a group of my favourite people.
Favourite volunteer role: Barcode Scanning
What do you like about volunteering at parkrun: I love watching the people going from never running/walking a step to doing 5km and then onto races and watching the kids "grow" with parkrun.
Why should others volunteer at parkrun?: Because we should all put back into what we love and into the community
What fellow volunteers say about them: Trish has been a devoted Dusi parkrun volunteer. She has stepped in as event director on numerous occasions for me. Her determination and love for running and parkrun is a joy to watch. She adds fun and laughter to the event and brings the volunteers coffees after. When my husband was diagnosed with cancer last year Trish stepped and took the additional pressure off me. Trish has also completed a couple of Comrades and adds parkrun to her training. She is also a proud Granny.