Recently three firefighters ran the Soweto Marathon in full gear, all in memory of their fallen comrades that had lost their lives in the tragic Johannesburg building fire. With the recent fires in the Western Cape and California I am sure that we are all hyper aware of the devastation caused.
On Saturday the 10 November Gillooly’s parkrun were honored to host 5 firefighters that ran the 5km parkrun. The temperature on Saturday was approximately 26 degree’s celcius and these outstanding people ran dressed in their full gear which can easily weigh 15kg excluding helmet and radio. These men and women put their lives on the line and it was a privilege to share the field with them.
Saturday the 1st of December saw another team at another Ekurhuleni parkrun, Victoria Lake. The Emergency response team from Netcare 082911 joined in the 5kms in their uniform.
It’s an honour and a privilege to have these brave men and woman join in the parkrun spirit.
On the eve of my husbands 100th parkrun, I want to look back and reflect on what parkrun has meant to us as a family.
My husband, Warren Bartholomew, ran his 100th parkrun at Hazyview on 1 December 2018 after having won his battle with colon cancer. Many operations, chemotherapy and radiation he would volunteer as a tail walker at the Hazyview parkrun – previously having completed 50 parkruns, and not believing that running was ever possible again! For his return to parkrun I must thank Hazyview with special thanks to Cindy Thomas and her team for their ongoing and tireless organization of our local event. I know that for Cindy personally it has meant so much to her, after her husband lost his battle to brain cancer (a once avid parkrun participant himself ) to start a parkrun at Sabi River Sun.
So to all the Hazyview parkrun volunteers and to parkrun SA a huge thank you – you may never know how much this event means to individuals – an event without loads of rules and regulations, without monetary constraints, with friendly rivalry and lots of community spirit, whoever and whatever you are you can feel like an athlete – may it remain forever so!
To you Warren Bartholomew – you are an inspiration to all of us.
I want to say a heartfelt thank you for introducing Christmas and New Year’s Day parkruns a few years ago. What a game changer! While my friends and colleagues are spending the holidays eating, drinking and socialising, for the past few years, I have spent happy times combing the list to find out which venues are hosting holiday events and planning an interesting outing around the run I choose.
It gives me something to look forward to, and afterwards I am comfortably tired and feel great, having done something worthwhile on a day that I would previously have wished away. Doing two consecutive runs on New Year’s Day means I have an excuse to go to bed early on the 31st and walk from the finish funnel feeling upbeat, knowing I have started the year on a healthy, energetic footing.
Thanks so much to the volunteers who give up a piece of their precious holiday to make sure Christmas and New Year’s Day have meaning for those of us for whom parkrun is a lifeline. And hey, as a bonus we get to move a few more steps closer to that next coveted parkrun t-shirt!
George Clancy of Ireland, a top international rugby referee, recently participated at the Sunrise-on-Sea parkrun, on the east coast of East London, along with his wife Evelyn and his cousin Mary Wrench, a local resident who has participated in 155 parkruns, 145 of them at Sunrise.
It was a hot and humid day, so given that Clancy would be refereeing the PRO14 clash between The Kings and Connacht, in Port Elizabeth the next day, it was logical that the outing at Sunrise would be treated with caution.
Clancy not surprisingly donned a vest with a good deal of Irish green in it and strode the tough sunrise route comfortably.
Speaking after the event he compared the flat nature of his home parkrun at Oranmore in County Galway with the farmlands of South Africa’s hilly East Coast.
On the referee front Clancy has numerous big games to his name inclusive of the opening game of the 2011 World Cup between New Zealand and Tonga. He has refereed South Africa twice, once against Italy and another against Australia.
Pressed on Ireland’s chances for 2019 in Japan, he comes across as mildly confident, though he cautions that Ireland have never made it passed the quarter finals at a Rugby World Cup. He further stresses that New Zealand will still be the team to beat. A week later Ireland would beat the All Blacks at home for the first time.
A clash of his Emerald Green and that of our Bottle Green, somewhere through the stages to the final, is an equally enticing and possible option.
Clancy may well have handed out a good few cards as a rugby referee, but he would never have imagined a “no result” which sadly is what he and wife Evelyn received for not having the one card that would have ensured a finish – a parkrun barcode.
Compliments of the season and a happy New Year to all parkrunners. I know 2019 is going to be a wonderful year for us all. We certainly started the year in style with hundreds of parkrunners enjoying the New Year’s double runs all around South Africa. Certainly, those who ran the rain-soaked and waterlogged…
The out and back course along the promenade at uMhlanga parkrun has proved to be a hit with locals and holidaymakers since it launched in November 2014. Since then, the course has been completed over 100,000 times. Geraldine Farinha-Ferreira tells us more: How did uMhlanga parkrun come about? Ray de Vries was our first Event Director, and…