Uvongo parkrun in Margate, KZN, is among the oldest of the South African parkruns, with the inaugural event held on 11 May 2013. The attendance that day was just 26 parkrunners. Of those 26, over half have gone on to reach the 100 parkrun milestone.
Now attracting hundreds of parkrunners each week, with a record field of 574 and over 250,000km run, jogged or walked on the coastal course, Uvongo is more popular than ever!
Core Volunteer, Mark Smith shares more about Uvongo:
Who are the key volunteers at Uvongo?
Jason and Nicci Morsink are the parents of our parkrun. They set the course up and ran the route tester. They both remain involved in volunteering at Uvongo. Our current Event Director is Willie Bergh, who has been a stalwart volunteer since the first event, having now volunteered at over 90 events.
We have such amazingly committed volunteers. There is never a problem getting people to step up. We usually have too many! Our most amazing volunteer would have to be Malcolm Warland. He is the friendly marshal at the turnaround point on Uvongo beach and has volunteered on 90 different occasions!
What is Uvongo like?
Uvongo is unique as it has a little bit of everything. Beach, bush, brick paving, single track and rocks to jump over. The route starts just off the St Michael’s on Sea parking lot, then continues adjacent to Orange Rocks Road on grass, past Orange Rocks through the costal reserve and onto the grass verge between Stafford Avenue and the sea, onto brick paving leading down and onto Uvongo Beach, turning onto sand under the cliffs at the gorge and leads onto Saints Walk path, before finishing up on the grass in front of the lifeguard tower.
Who comes to Uvongo parkrun?
Our runners are from all over. It ranges from age 3 months (in prams of course) to 90 years. We have families as well as athletes looking for a challenge. We have had Bruce Fordyce by us a few times as well Who could be more noticeable than that!
We have quite a few runners that started at parkrun and have progressed onto marathon running. Lou Schoeman who has completed 213 parkruns (186 at Uvongo) started off in 2013 as a total novice to running. She has progressed to running marathons and ultra marathons. She already has 2 Two Oceans under her belt and is going for her first Comrades Marathon this year.
What should visitors to Uvongo know?
There is loads of parking available at our parkrun. The car park is only a few 100 metres from the start. We have toilets right next to the finish. There is also a restaurant with a takeaway section 100m from the finish.
First timers should know that once they have visited our parkrun there will be no turning back. They will become part of our family and before they know what happened they will be reaching their 50 and 100 parkrun milestones. The parkrunners at Uvongo are the friendliest bunch around.
Most parkrunners took the news about our problem with milestone shirts quite stoically and I would like to thank the many who offered advice and encouragement. There were however a handful who didn’t understand my message and for that I apologise. My message did not herald the end of the milestone T shirts. It merely…
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