Recognising milestones, in one form or another, has been a hallmark of parkrun since 2006 when Darren Wood became the first person to complete 100 UK parkruns. They represent an achievement of persistence over performance, and are achievable by all.
However, as parkrun has grown in popularity over the years, the sheer number of people qualifying for milestone t-shirts has meant that ensuring we have enough stock available of all milestones, in all sizes, and at all times, has been almost impossible to manage.
In South Africa, over the last three years, 25,000 parkrunners have joined a milestone club, and our forecast suggests that another 22,000 South Africa parkrunners will do so in 2018. Looking even further forward, and as a result of parkrun South Africa being the fastest-growing parkrun territory in the world, we are forecasting that over the next five years almost half-a-million South Africans will join a milestone club.
Looking forward, we are aware that we have created a culture where people are hugely dedicated to their pursuit of joining our various milestone clubs. We are also aware that we have set the expectation that everyone who reaches a parkrun milestone is able to claim a t-shirt to mark their achievement.
MRP Sport have done a wonderful job of providing our milestone t-shirts through 2016 and 2017, however the demand has now outgrown our arrangement with them and we have therefore mutually agreed that going forward we will look to source an alternative solution.
Importantly, we would like to thank them for the thousands of milestone t-shirts they have given to our community to date. MRP Sport will continue to support parkrun as a top-tier sponsor, where their continued financial support will help us keep parkrun free, forever, for everyone.
Until we have a solution in place there will be no milestone t-shirts available in South Africa. Whilst we know that this will be disappointing to many of you, I hope you can also understand that this decision was taken with the ambition of finding a solution that supports the t-shirts going forward. Importantly, this needs to be done in a way that is sustainable and therefore does not create unmanageable financial burden.
We appreciate that many of you have been waiting some time for your t-shirt, and some of you may not receive yours for a while yet, and for this we can only apologise. Nevertheless, we wish to assure you that we are working as hard as we can to find a solution that resolves any outstanding orders and ensures the future of the milestone t-shirts.
In the meantime please continue to order the shirts while we still have some stock available in some sizes. And we will announce more details as soon as we have more information. Thank you for your support, patience and understanding.
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