These last two Saturdays have seen us launch two contrasting parkruns. While both are on the highveld the first is a rural, country parkrun, the second an urban City parkrun.
On the 24th of last month we started the much-anticipated Roses parkrun in the Ludwig’s Roses farm in Pretoria North. Part of the motivation for starting Roses is to try and give the runners at the very popular Botanical Garden parkrun a Saturday morning alternative. As its name suggests, Roses parkrun is run in a rose farm and sections of the route wind themselves around enormous beds of roses. When we ran the air was heavy with the delightful smell of roses and the route was given a big vote of confidence by the nearly 500 runners and volunteers who arrived for the inaugural run. They particularly enjoyed the trail and dirt road route that took us past dams full of water fowl and even a few antelope and buck. All agreed Roses had to be the sweetest smelling parkrun in the country! Congratulations to Halmar Taschner, Ilana Wait and the team at Roses for creating such a special parkrun.
By way of complete contrast, this last Saturday we started Atholl parkrun in the small Winston Ridge park in one of the busiest parts of Johannesburg’s Northern suburbs. Over 800 participants joined us in this small park and experienced a unique run which wound its way past electricity pylons, under giant billboards and alongside Johannesburg’s busiest motorway. People seemed to really enjoy the parkrun and my early concerns that it would be too small to cope with a large field proved groundless. The parkrunners were wonderfully disciplined and despite some tight out-and-back sections there were no embarrassing collisions and everyone seemed to have fun. Thanks are due to Jean Bailey and Beverley Warnasuriya for acting as very efficient joint event directors in this community. My thanks are also due to Chris and Heidi Sutton for all their hard work. I would also like to thank City Parks and the ward Councillor for sterling work in mowing the grass and picking up loads of litter and rubbish. This further proof of how parkrun is helping to rehabilitate our parks.
As our parkrun community grows it is inevitable that there will be cancellations and that this will become a more frequent occurrence. I would like to urge all parkrunners to consult the website of any parkrun that they intend visiting to check for cancellations.
Cheers for now,
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