Fish Hoek parkrun started less than five years ago. Horst Schiffer was one of the inaugural runners. It was also his first parkrun. Incredibly, he has reached his 250 milestone within five years, the first Fish Hoek parkrunner to do so.
Since our start, there have been 253 runs at Fish Hoek (and 258 parkrun days in South Africa). So Horst has been extraordinarily consistent, always running somewhere on a Saturday morning. He is keen parkrun tourist, having completed parkruns at 21 different venues.
There are at least three lessons to be learned from this inspiring runner:
Congratulations to Horst on you fabulous achievements in running, you have shown everyone in Fish Hoek that consistency and persistence pay off in the long run.
The concept of the “Dash ‘n Splash” was engineered by one of the passionate parkrun Tourists, Chris Reeler with the help of Leighanne Imbert. A local airline company were offering discounted airfares to travel on Saturday and as they had a flight leaving Johannesburg at 6:00 am and the flight itself being around 55 minutes, all that was needed was for an equally passionate group of parkrunners to be ready on stand by to pick up the visitors and get them to parkruns within a travel radius of 20 to 35 minutes from Durban Airport! LeighAnne contacted me and asked if they could also assist by volunteering at the events and so the “voluntourist” become part of the Dash ‘n Splash routine.
The local Durban group was headed by one of our Ambassadors, Charli Wiggill, who mustered up a group of volunteers to host the traveling tourists! It was a type of “parkrun Amazing Race!” as Chris aptly puts it! February 10th 2018 saw the first Dash & Splash event. All worked perfectly to plan and the tourists spent the day on the beach after parkrun before catching their flights home.
The concept was a great success, creating great new friendships and experiences, so much so that a second event was planned for the following quarter! And so the second event, May 27th, took place this time to Tinley Manor with the day spent on the beach on the North Coast! 27 tourists from Johanesburg and 1 from Cape Town.
The third Dash ‘n Splash took place 3 months later on September 1st, this time to Ballito parkrun. Chris was on crutches, but that did not stop him joining the group! The system was working so well and there were still quite a few parkruns within range for the group to conquer! LeighAnne, by now an accomplished voluntourist, lent a hand to assist with processing results.
The new Durban Point parkrun was selected as the final Dash ‘n’ Splash event for 2018. This was a bit more challenging as it was on the fringe of the time limit to get the athletes to the event on time! Once again, LeighAnne had to complete a volunteer task and assisted by sorting tokens. Needless to say, the team worked under the guidance of Charli Wiggill and event number 4 proceed successfully! The bond between the participants on both sides continues to grow and strong friendships are being nurtured.
Chris and LeighAnne are busy planning events for 2019 and no doubt going to have exciting adventures on hand.
This newsletter’s volunteer heroine is Madz Loots. Madz is married to Jacques and has three children. She has run 159 parkruns and has volunteered in numerous roles over 150 times. She was originally a Kimberley parkrunner and Kimberley is her home run. Now she is one of our most energetic and enthusiastic ambassadors working…
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