On Saturday 11th November parkrun South Africa celebrated its 6th birthday and the 6th birthday of Delta Park parkrun. It was a very special occasion in so many ways. First of all we were delighted to welcome special guests and parkrun founders, Paul and Joanne Sinton-Hewitt to the birthday celebrations. Paul started parkrun in the UK at London’s Bushy Park 13 years ago. In April 2011 he persuaded me to start parkrun in South Africa and even flew out to South Africa to help with training and with finding a suitable route at Delta Park.
The birthday occasion also attracted parkrunners from around South Africa and four other special guests Noel and Lian de Charmoy and their daughters Caitlin and Kelly. The De Charmoys are the country managers of parkrun New Zealand so it was a pleasure to welcome them to the celebrations.
And then finally there was a record field for the anniversary with over 1,700 participants, a far cry from the 26 who arrived at the first parkrun 6 years ago and the 13 who came the following week. While I was running I took the time to stop briefly and look back at the truly magnificent sight of hundreds of brightly coloured runners forming a bobbing unbroken line ahead of and behind me. What a long way we have come, and we are still only 6 years old. Our special thanks must go to all the parkrun volunteers and event directors who have contributed to the growth of Delta parkrun.
We have regularly been getting over 40,000 runners at our 126 SA parkrun venues on a Saturday morning and we added another very successful parkrun to the parkrun family when we launched Meyerton parkrun in the Midvaal region last Saturday. Roland and Anel Du Plessis have created a challenging but fun two lap parkrun which circles the sports field and runs alongside the banks of the Klip River.
This Saturday we will start another parkrun in the Free State with the launch of Jacobsdal parkrun, but more about that in our next newsletter.
Cheers for now,
Today has brought back so many memories of the great man – my Twitter feed has been flooded with images of Madiba at different stages of his life along with friends, fellow athletes, politicians and so the list goes on. Some of us were fortunate enough to meet Nelson Mandela and none of us…
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…