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 without our amazing volunteers who willingly volunteer in all weather conditions. Once again I would like to thank every one of the volunteers and put a call out for more parkrunners to volunteer especially when spring arrives and our numbers start to exceed 40,000.
We launched two new parkruns in warmer climates this last fortnight. The first was a challenging but fun parkrun through the sugar cane fields of Tinley Manor in KZN. Kim Blevin and her team of volunteers worked tirelessly to devise the route and to give visitors and first timers a warm welcome. Highlights of the run include a long stretch through an avenue of palm trees and the two tunnels which take runners under the busy N2 highway. Nearly 300 runners and volunteers arrived for the inaugural run on a delightfully warm KZN winter’s morning. Tinley Manor parkrun was also graced by a couple of celebrity participants as 1958 Miss World Penny Rey Coelen and World Champion paddler Hank McGregor participated.
Hazyview parkrun, in the Mpumalanga Lowveld, joined the parkrun family last Saturday. Hazyview has taken over from Summerfields parkrun and the database has been incorporated into Hazyview so runners will not lose their statistics. We would like to thank Andre and Ilse Van Heerden and everyone at Summerfields for nearly 5 years of hard work and for their contribution to the Hazyview community. The new route is really exciting. How many parkrunners in the world run past a spectator group of very large hippos and crocodiles? (Thankfully the wild animals are kept at bay by behind electric wiring!) Event Director, Cindy Thomas was a passionate Summerfields parkrunner (she has 4 runs to complete to earn her 50 milestone shirt) and she brought her passion with her to create an amazing parkrun through the grounds of the Sabi River Sun. there were 56 parkrunners present at the run and they all gave it a big thumbs up afterwards.
We now have a two week break before we launch Bethlehem parkrun in the Free State. After a couple of postponements the Bethlehem team is champing at the bit to launch their parkrun.
Cheers for now,
My message in this week’s newsletter must be dominated by the recent parkrun conference from which I have just returned. Gill, Cara, and I were fortunate enough to be able to join 250 parkrun delegates from around the UK and the world at the conference at Warwick University. This annual three day event is…
I know that feeling – it’s hard enough to get out of bed and participate at parkrun (and accumulate points) so you think volunteering isn’t really for you… This past week was my first volunteer day and I loved it! There has always been something special about sporting events, the way participants from all walks…