Yzerfontein parkrun started in February 2018. In it’s first year, over 1,200 parkrunners have completed the challenging Western Cape course.
The core team take time out from their first anniversary celebrations to tell us more:
How did Yzerfontein parkrun come about? During 2014 Hennie Zaayman moved to Yzerfontein with his family. Being keen social runners they would always take a trip to either Langebaan or Malmesbury parkrun to participate in their events. One day after one of these trips he and his family thought it will be a great idea to have a parkrun closer to home but more importantly to be able to offer something back to the small community of Yzerfontein and all their keen runners and walkers.
What have been the highlights of your event so far? No matter what the weather is like, be it 35°C or rainy, windy, and freezing we have always had parkrunners showing up and a full team of volunteers. One rainy morning we had only 3 participants but still the volunteers were as energetic as always. Our inaugural run will always be special. On the day we had a young foal on the farm who decided that he wanted to join the event and participants had to side step the foal on the route.
One of the most special moments has to be when we were in the position to handover a pair of running shoes to a youngster who is also staying on the farm where his dad works (the same farm where our parkrun is situated). We also had the special occasion where Michael Rix from the UK travelled all the way to Yzerfontein parkrun to complete his “Alphabet”.
Who helps to make Yzerfontein parkrun the success it is? All our volunteers are exceptional, but if we have to single out a specific one, I think the whole team will agree that it is Paul Smit. He allows us to use his farm and he is most Saturdays there willing to help out where needed. If there is any need Paul will ensure that if is fulfilled by the next event.
What makes Yzerfontein unique? The wind turbines the parkrunners go past on the route is surely something unique and then the view from the top. You can see Table Mountain, Dassen Island, Meeurots and Langebaan Lagoon all from one spot.
What is the route like? Apparently, we have quite a difficult route with the first 2km being uphill and the last 500m during the summer extremely sandy. Also, being on a farm, we have different types of dirt roads and sometimes see farm animals on the course.
What is the typical Yzerfontein parkrunner like? It is a mix between families, couples and individuals. The age ranges from under 11 to older people above 65. It is about a 60/40 split between walkers and runners, but very few people complete the parkrun without walking along our route.
Have you had any notable visitors? Bruce Fordyce, Michael Rix (UK) completing his “alphabet run” at Yzerfontein parkrun and Cass Castleton who did 300+ runs, volunteered more than 300 times and has done a parkrun in each country where parkrun is hosted.
What are the success stories at Yzerfontein? At Yzerfontein parkrun we have a few people that has never run before. For them running was a completely new sport. We have one parkrunner who is over 60 and started the parkrun by walking the route in almost 50 minutes and today that same person is running it in 35 minutes. For those who have done our parkrun before will know that a time of 35 minutes is good for our route.
What are the facilities like? We have plenty of parking right at the start/finish line. We also have ablution facilities 40m from the start/finish point. Our parkrun does not have a café on site but is supported by the West Coast farmstall about 2 kilometres away from the venue.
What is the one thing a first timer to your parkrun should know? Due to the venue being a working farm we do not allow dogs. You also need to accept that your time will be about 2-3 minutes slower than what you are used to.
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