Name: Bernelle Verster
Occupation: Bioprocess Engineer
Home parkrun: Zandvlei
Running club: SA Orienteers
Trail or Road Running? Prefer trail
Number of parkruns completed: 81
How has parkrun changed your running / fitness? I used to be very active, but finishing my PhD made me gain 20kg! At the time I also started a new relationship, we are both quite busy and unfit, so we started doing parkrun together to spend time together, outside. We can
both run the whole 5km now, which took us a year! I’ve lost about 8kg already, my core is stronger, and I feel a lot more confident, I’ve started wearing my old clothes again.
Favourite volunteer role: Run Director
Number of volunteering occasions: 23
Why should others volunteer at parkrun? If other people volunteer I can run more often, then I get less fat! It’s great to volunteer, you meet new people which makes your community more welcoming. You also make new friends and can start running and getting fit together. On a serious note, volunteering is the basis of grass-roots democracy.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: It’s nice to get to know the people at the run, and their stories, and see how their times
improve over time, I feel like I am a part of their journey. Cheering at the finish is great. I would say the most memorable was at Zandvlei’s second run: The launch was great and sunny and everything, and then the next week it was pouring with rain. I was so scared that we’ll be in the rain and no one would show up, but about 120 people did show up and we all felt very proud of ourselves for running in the rain. I was marshalling at the 3km mark and the camaraderie ‘in the trenches’ was amazing.
What fellow volunteers say about them: She has always taken pride, and is generally a great all round person, barefoot runner, one of the Run Directors and a reliable volunteer who is always willing to step up whenever possible. Bernelle is a great asset to Zandvlei – and is very tolerant and patient.
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