Since it started in August 2013, Port Elizabeth’s PE Hobie Beach parkrun has gone from strength to strength and is now a familiar part of the Port Elizabeth beachfront activity on a Saturday morning. For some time now it has been argued that the general Port Elizabeth area needs another parkrun or two and so two new parkruns were proposed. One of these is a parkrun at Sardinia Bay (starting on 18th March) and the other is at Lady Slipper Mountain about 30 km outside Port Elizabeth.
Eastern Cape parkrun ambassador, Tammy Ellis, and Werner de Lange mapped a route on the trails and through the bush of the Lady Slipper Mountain below Falcon Rock. Event directors Cindy and Craig Bester brought their Hobie Beach volunteering experience with them and spent many weeks preparing the new parkrun.
Last Saturday an enthusiastic crowd of over 400 local and visiting parkrunners gathered to run the new parkrun. Resplendent in their kilts, the Algoa Caledonian Pipe band played “Sarie Marais”, “Flower of Scotland” and “Chariots of Fire” as the runners were sent on their way. On a difficulty rating, Lady Slipper ranks with the toughest. The route winds its way up and down trail paths traversing the mountain. The notorious SARS hill reduces even the fittest to a walk, yet everyone who completed the parkrun seemed to have enjoyed themselves.
On Saturday we will start another Free State parkrun in Ventersburg. The team at Ventersburg have been very patient as there have been one or two delays, not of their making but they are now ready to introduce our 6th Free State parkrun. Regional Director Manie Esterhuizen tells us that event directors Keith Rohde and Amanda Potgieter have created a really interesting parkrun in the centre of town on an empty park-like area dotted with large eucalyptus trees. Since Ventersburg is only 2 ½ hours away from Johannesburg and even less to Bloemfontein its inaugural run could attract a large number of visitors and parkrun tourists. I have heard that several envious groups from neighbouring towns will also be visiting so that they can start the process towards creating their own parkruns.
Cheers for now,
To all parkrun teams, volunteers, and ambassadors, this is just a short message to thank you for your amazing contribution to parkrun this last year. Words cannot sufficiently illustrate how overwhelmed I am about the magic that has happened in parkrun SA this year. The bare facts are that our total registrations have grown…
Unfortunately and happily, only very occasionally, parkrun Event Directors sometimes have to decide to cancel parkruns at the 11th hour. This happened at a couple of parkruns two weeks ago when severe and dangerous electrical storms forced the hands of our ED’s and parkruns were cancelled as parkrunners were lining up and indeed, in…