I would like to congratulate all the parkrunners who ran the Old Mutual Two Oceans in Cape Town this weekend. It isn’t easy to sacrifice a Saturday morning parkrun for another event but when it comes to the Two Oceans half marathon and 56km ultra-marathon the sacrifice is both understandable and forgivable. Apart from those running the two events there were also plenty of parkrunners volunteering on the course as marshals or volunteers at watering tables. Once again congratulations and thanks to all those who ran and volunteered. I wonder how many runners were aware that while running the 56km race route they passed close to parkruns at Zandvlei, Fish Hoek and Hout Bay.
Of course, parkruns still went ahead both in Cape Town and around the country, and despite it being a long holiday weekend we still had close to 40,000 people running and volunteering at 127 parkruns. Congratulations to Langebaan parkrun for attracting a record field of 422 participants. Now we know where people down in the Cape like to holiday at Easter! As predicted in the previous newsletter, the number of parkrun participants this weekend drove the figures for the total number of SA parkrun runs to over 5 million, and according to Alberts Farm parkrunner, Jim Brown, South African parkrunners have now run and walked enough parkruns to have completed 30 odd return journeys on foot to the moon.
I was delighted to see Frith Van der Merwe earn her milestone 50 shirt at Ebotse parkrun a couple of weeks ago. For those who don’t know Frith’s claim to fame she is the women’s record holder for the Two Oceans (3:30:36) which she set in 1989. It is a record that is likely to stand for many years to come. However Frith is even more famous for her 3 Comrades marathon wins and her record (5:54) which she set in 1989 and which is also destined to remain untroubled for a long time to come. It is wonderful to see Frith still running and apparently enjoying her parkrunning. We once shared the Comrades winners podium (1988) and now we have both discovered the fun of parkruns.
I am very excited to be about to attend our 4th Southern African parkrun conference which will be attended by all our parkrun regional and event ambassadors and key personnel, as well as Tom Williams, COO of parkrun global. The theme of our conference is; “Future-proofing parkrun South Africa”. As everyone knows, parkrun is growing at a phenomenal rate and we need to ensure we are ready to meet this exciting challenge head-on. I would be misleading you if I denied that we are going to have a lot of fun at the conference, but we are also going to get a lot of hard work done.
The Easter weekend and our upcoming conference has meant that for a fortnight we have not started any new parkruns but we will be launching three more parkruns in Ceres, Brakpan and Vaal Marina before the end of the month. Please look at the parkrun website in a couple of weeks when these sites go live.
Cheers for now,
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