First of all I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to all those brave parkrunners who ran the 93rd Comrades marathon on Sunday. I am so proud of all of you. #parkrun2comrades. Even those who didn’t make it can be proud that they had the courage to try. The parkrun presence was everywhere at the Comrades as hundreds of parkrunners ran, spectated or volunteered at some of the 48 seconding tables on the way. Someone even pointed out that it took the SABC commentators just 4 minutes and 28 seconds after the live television broadcast began to mention “parkrun” for the first time. It is always tricky to single out individual performances in a race so full of heroes, but special congratulations must go to Ann Ashworth who won the ladies race in a very fast 6:10. Ann and her husband David were the original Event Directors and founders of both Roodepoort and Bryanston parkruns. By the way the men’s race 3rd place was Englishman Steve Way, himself an avid parkrunner in the UK.
Among the other parkrun Event Directors who ran were Lordrick Manthosi (Nkomazi) and Danny Kamona (Mofolo) (pictured above), but of course there were many others and I ask your forgiveness if I have neglected to mention you.
The throng of runners and supporters who flocked down to KZN for the race also included hundreds of parkrunnners in their ranks so there were large fields at some of our KZN parkruns, most notably Amanzimtoti, North Beach and Umhlanga (with a record field of 950).
A week earlier, parkrun SA witnessed an incredible parkrun performance which was almost overshadowed by the all the action at the Comrades marathon. Amos Nyongo (above) ran a new course and SA record of 14:02 at PE Hobie Beach. I know all parkrunners are equal and last finishers are treated the same as first finishers but as someone who has run a few 5000 metre track races with spikes on a tartan track I have to acknowledge Amos’s incredible time. I have no doubt that on a faster, firmer surface Amos will easily break the 14 minute barrier.
We launched Ashburton parkrun at the Ashburton stables this weekend. Comrades runners will recognise Ashburton as the name of the little village which stands at the top of the infamous “Little Pollies” hill. (10 kilometres to run when Comrades is run in the “up” direction). Congratulations to Mark Mann and his team for the lovely run they have created. This parkrun is going to prove very popular as it runs past stables, around ponds and through KZN bush. On Saturday there were over 350 participants and this was despite all the other Comrades and parkrun distractions around the province.
This Saturday we welcome Vryheid parkrun to the parkrun family. Vryheid parkrun has been a long time in the making and event director Smuts Van der Nest and his team have held many informal 5km. runs in the past but now Vryheid parkrun is about to start and looking at the number of registrations it is going to prove be a very popular parkrun.
Cheers for now,
Autumn is upon us and for many of us, this season is our favourite time of the year to run. Autumn is often right in the “Goldilocks zone”. It’s not too hot and not too cold. The arrival of Autumn has reminded me that some parkruns will be changing their seasonal starting times at…
Atholl parkrun in Northern Johannesburg launched in March 2018. Over 4,000 parkrunners completed the course in the first year. Event Director Jean Baillie tells us more. How did Atholl parkrun come about? I am spearheading a campaign to restore the park in our area and approached parkrun SA with the idea that bringing the community…