Last Saturday we spread the parkrun story to our second Southern African country when we launched Mbabane parkrun in Swaziland. Readers will recall that a month ago we started Swakopmund parkrun in Namibia and now Mbabane, Swaziland follows hot on the heels of Swakopmund. You couldn’t find two more contrasting parkruns. While Swakopmund is flat and fast and is run along the edge of the Namib Desert sand close to the Atlantic Ocean, Mbabane is generally warm and humid and is run over the rolling lush green hills of the Mbabane golf course. Both are great fun and brilliantly organised.
128 eager local runners and parkrun tourists were sent on their way at Mbabane by event director Lean Drinkwater. While most runners described the course as tough, they all agreed that it was fun and interesting. The enthusiasm for parkrun in Swaziland was obvious afterwards when several parkrunners made enquiries about starting parkruns in other towns in the country. I have no doubt more parkruns will start in Swaziland in the next few months.
Darryl and Gary
I think everyone in the South African parkrun world was delighted when Ebotse parkrun’s two most famous citizens joined the 250 club last Saturday. Ebotse parkrun, in Benoni, was the 3rd parkrun we started and Gary Jackson and Darryl Goosen have been there volunteering and running since its inception. They are now the 4th and 5th South African members of the 250 club. Congratulations gentlemen and welcome to the club.
Last month, at the Old Mutual Two Oceans marathon, Tracy Rankin and Jabu Mkhize achieved one of the most extraordinary running feats when they ran both a parkrun and the 56 km ultramarathon on the same morning. One of the frustrations for parkrunners is the occasional clash that occurs when some of our major running events fall on a Saturday morning. This is the definitely the case when it comes to the famous Two Oceans marathon which is run on Easter Saturday. Most of us just have to grit our teeth and abandon parkrun on that morning but Jabu and Tracy aren’t “most people” They decided to run both the 56km. Two Oceans marathon and parkrun on the same morning. After 13 kms or so of the Two Oceans they arrived at 8am at the starting point of Zandvlei parkrun. They both ran the parkrun, had their barcodes scanned, and carried on to finish Two Oceans before the final cut-off gun. That was a fantastic 61 km effort. Well done to both of you. I hope you haven’t now started some ridiculous parkrun / Two Oceans craze.
Perhaps one of the questions I am asked most frequently on Saturday afternoons is “Why aren’t the results up?I have no result yet, I ran the parkrun this morning where are the results!?” Indirectly these questions are a compliment to our amazing volunteers. South African parkrunners have become so accustomed to the results being “up” soon after they have finished breakfast that they become annoyed and agitated when occasionally they aren’t released at the usual time.
I would like to remind all our parkrunners that the results are compiled by parkrun volunteers who are not employed by parkrun. They have other lives outside parkrun and from time to time normal Saturday activities (shopping, children’s school sport appointments etc.) prevent them from sending the results out until they, the volunteers, have a spare moment.
Please send me a query if the results aren’t “up” by Monday morning, but not until then!
Please also consider volunteering yourself. It is a lot of fun. #loveparkrunvolunteers
Cheers for now,
Despite the cold winter weather we are amazed to see our parkrun numbers still averaging over 30,000 participants each Saturday. To remind readers this is bigger than any road race in South Africa and unlike these other events we attract these numbers and more 52 times a year. Of course this would not be possible…
Name: Rex Gazzard Age: 66 Occupation: Retired Home parkrun: Golden Harvest Running club: Formerly RAC Trail or Road Running? Road Number of parkruns completed: None – unable Favourite volunteer role: Timekeeper Number of volunteering occasions: 78 officially and at least another 10 unofficially (I wasn’t registered yet) Why should others volunteer at parkrun? Every person…