Name: Martin Bok
Occupation: Senior Planner
Home parkrun: Kimberley
Running club: Vodacom Kimberley Road Runners
Trail or Road Running? Both
Number of parkruns completed: 72
How has parkrun changed your running / fitness? I was not a runner at all but rather a soccer player until February 2010, when I ended up in Bloemfontein Medi Clinic and Universitas hospital with a celebral aneurysm that left me paralysed. I had to learn to walk again. When I tried to run my legs would just give way. In 2016 two fellow parkrunners and colleagues of mine, Sarel Loots and Shuaib Toffar, invited me to Kimberley parkrun. With weak legs and at 84kg I start by walking the 5km, 41min 13sec, after a while I start to run 1km, 2km, 3km, 4km and later 5km. One year later, 50 parkruns and 10kg lighter my legs could carry me to a PB of 24:01. Now I am a member of a running club (VKRR) and ran 10km (55min), 15km (1h23), 16km (1h28) and most recently 24km Fish Eagle Trail Run (2h50). I am training now for next years Comrades Marathon.
Favourite volunteer role: Marshal
Number of volunteering occasions: 19
Why should others volunteer at parkrun? I said to a fellow volunteer the other day, you have not experienced the best of parkrun until you have volunteered. The spirit among the volunteers is just on another level. I believe it is the responsibility of all parkrunners to volunteer at least once for every 10 parkruns done.
Most memorable or funniest parkrun moment: Kimberley parkrun is hosted on a nature reserve and we are privileged to see wildlife on many occasions. This winter I ran before the event at 06:00 in the morning. It was still very dark outside and I was running with a headlight. About 800 metres into the course there was a huge tree on the side of the road. My headlight shone through the branches of the tree and I suddenly noticed a pair of eyes staring at me from behind the tree. I was caught off guard and had to stop since my legs felt numb. I then noticed there were more pairs of eyes staring at me and then realized that it was a herd of Gemsbok standing behind the tree watching me as I ran. Feeling relieved and privileged to meet these fellow “runners” on the course I continued my run and unfortunately did not clock a PB
What fellow volunteers say about them: Martin started volunteering fairly recently and has already made a huge impression on fellow volunteers. He is such a gentleman and is always willing to help with a smile on his face. His passion for parkrun is inspiring and we love having him around.
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…