On the 9th of June everybody who attended our “Pyjama Run” had loads of fun and many people supported the theme. How else, because what is easier than to jump out of bed and come straight to parkrun without having to get dressed?
Of course there were some people who could not come exactly the way they sleep and borrowed some sleeping attire from family and friends. It was also very special to host a number of parkrun Tourists from far and wide – from Gauteng, Cape Town and the North West province. We invited people to bring clothes, shoes and blankets that they do not use anymore and it was donated to people in need.
This initiative was also well supported and some donations even made their way by airplane to their new destination here in the Garden Route. Looking at the amount of things received, there might be quite a few hoarders who have extra space in their wardrobes now. Thank you to everybody who made this event so special.
One principle that stands central to parkrun is making physical outdoors activity accessible to everyone. That was embodied on the weekend of 16 June 2018 when a
large number of parkrunners participated in the various distances of the George Mountain Ultra Trail (MUT). The event offered races over 60km, 25km and 9km, taking runners over the majestic mountains and through the pristine forests of the Outeniqua mountain range.
Every parkrunner that participated in the MUT started their trail running journey with parkrun. Douglas Stanley, Event Director at George parkrun, completed the grueling 60km route with 122 parkruns to his name. Following close behind him was 59-year old Willem van der Waal, a cancer survivor who finished the course under 11 hours.
Ross Welsh, a regular Run Director at George parkrun (with a PB of 18 minutes), participated in the 25km race, finishing an astounding third place in a fast, highly competitive race. Further back in the 25km field was the parkrun ambassador for the Garden Route/Karoo region, Werner Morkel-Brink, who took time out of his hectic schedule to enjoy the beautiful views and lung-bursting climbs. Another Hartenbos parkrunner, Steve Phelps, joined in the fun, completing the run in 6 hours 44 minutes.
The 9km route also posed its unique challenges as Gavin Warner, who sets a brisk pace walking his parkruns in the 70-74 age category, found out while navigating the course over tough climbs and a stream crossing.
The MUT showed that parkrun enables anyone to push beyond the limits they thought were impassable. Well done to you all!
After earning 3 bronze Comrades medals, 1989 saw me “earn” a Comrades DNF (Did Not Finish) at age 29. Apart from odd random bits of running I entered a “couch potato” stage and abandoned my dream of running the Comrades with my son, Jarryd.
2018 saw my previously non- running wife, Sharon, becoming addicted to parkrun as a fun way to exercise with friends, Eddie and Petra, and, at the same time, combating the onset of her osteoporosis! I joined in the fun on Saturday mornings (albeit at a very slow pace) and parkruns re-ignited my enjoyment of running. I am proud to say, that next year, 30 years after my Comrades DNF, My son, Jarryd and I will be together at the start line (God willing) of the 2019 Comrades! Thanks to my wife and the not insignificant influence of Parkrun SA
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…
I know that feeling – it’s hard enough to get out of bed and participate at parkrun (and accumulate points) so you think volunteering isn’t really for you… This past week was my first volunteer day and I loved it! There has always been something special about sporting events, the way participants from all walks…