As the kids get back to school, and we all get back into our routines, it's good to look back at the enjoyable festive season we've had, as well as look forward to the future.
December has been a bumper month, with Roodepoort holding additional events on Christmas day and New Year's day, one of only 5 parkruns nationwide to do so. Both events proved successful, attracting first-timers and visitors alike. On New Year's Day, about half of the field was made up of visitors from other parkruns in Jo'burg, and many of those managed to do 2 parkruns on that day, the first time we've ever done that in this country. Also, our friends at The Sweat Shop kindly donated a monthly prize that we gave away on Christmas day to the most Christmassy runner. Congratulations to Larisa Liebenberg for winning this gift.
Since then, things have gone a bit crazy. On the 10th and 17th of January, we successively broke our attendance records, now being more than 540 runners. Wow! It's certainly heart-warming to see so many people out in the park getting their weekly exercise.
There have been so many runners completing milestone runs in recent weeks that I can't mention them all, but there are a few that deserve a special mention. Thelma Fouche is probably the first octogenarian in the country to reach 100 parkruns, and even received a special mention in the national newsletter. As far as we can tell, Bets Taylor is the first walker in Roodepoort to complete 100 parkruns by walking only. The number of juniors joining the 50 club is growing steadily, with Chloe Vine being the latest member, joining Cate Walker-Campbell and Mornè van Jaarsveld in this somewhat exclusive club. We've also witnessed a number of juniors completing 10 parkruns, but none quite like Mikayla Prando, who was the first lady in 7 of the 10 runs that she has done. Congratulations to everyone who has completed milestone runs recently.
Please note that we will still be collecting for Angel's Place until the end of January. Please refer to our Facebook page for a wishlist of the items that they most need. One thing that they have mentioned they have a particular need for is prepaid electricity. Their meter details will also be on the wishlist on the Facebook page.
As organisers and volunteers, we really enjoy hosting parkrun, and we really like to see people taking part, so it isn't too much to ask that our runners also come to the party and play their part by sticking to these simple guidelines below:
- No barcode = No result: No Exceptions. We've yet to see a parkrunner 'forget' their running shoes, so it shouldn't be too difficult to remember your barcode as well. Keep a spare one in every car you're likely to use. Also, please ensure that you fasten it securely, as we've seen a lot of people losing their barcodes on the route.
- Dogs: Personally we have nothing against dogs, and we really enjoy hosting our furry friends, but they must be kept on a Short leash and be friendly. If your dog is known to be snappy or responds badly to large crowds, then parkrun is probably not for them.
- 2 Laps: The Roodepoort parkrun is a 2 lap course. Only cross the finish line if you have completed both laps. If you only complete 1 lap, please stop short of the finish line.
- Other park users: One of the rules of parkrun handed down to us from the head office is that we are to share the park with anyone else that is using it, and that we do not have any preference. That refers to other parkrunners. Nobody has any right of way in the park, and we'd like everyone to be considerate to other parkrunners. Notwithstanding, we'd ask that slower runners and walkers stick to single file in order to allow faster runners the chance to get past. It just makes sense from a 'traffic control' view point.
- Only finish once: Please only cross the finish line once. If you have finished and you are accompanying another runner on their finish, please veer off before the finish line.
- We start at 8am sharp! As our number have been steadily growing, we've noticed that it sometimes takes a bit of time to find parking, so please make an effort to be at the park 15 minutes early to allow time to get to the start line in time.
- Volunteers: We have been very lucky, in that there is often no shortage of volunteers, and we all appreciate the work that they do. However, now that our numbers are growing, we will likely need a few extra volunteers each week to help out at the finish area, including a marshal to remind the first-timers that they need to complete 2 laps. Please fill in your names on the volunteer roster on Saturdays if you'd like to help us out, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
It looks like 2015 promises to be an exciting year for running, and in general. We hope to see you all in the park, and hope that you all achieve all your personal goals throughout the year.