Yzerfontein parkrun has been over 3 years in the making, so I was delighted to be one of the 362 runners who ran the Yzerfontein inaugural last Saturday.
Event director, Hennie Zaayman first approached us in 2015 to discuss the possibilities of starting an Yzerfontein parkrun, but as so often happens, other priorities and problems with finding a suitable route interfered with his plans and so it was only when farmer Oom Paul from the farm, Windhoek, offered his land for a parkrun venue, that the parkrun became a reality.
And what a parkrun it is!! It’s tough and has some steep ascents and descents, some of it through thick west coast sand but for a “Vaalie” like me the run was very special. There are spectacular views of Table Mountain, nearly 100 kilometres away and we ran through flocks of sheep and small herds of donkeys. Towering over all of us were giant wind turbines that deliver wind power to the area. The wind wasn’t blowing when we ran but apparently the “wooshing “noise of the turbines in motion busy converting kinetic energy to electrical energy is an amazing sound.Congratulations to Hennie and the team for creating a special parkrun, oh and congratulations Hennie to your daughters who earned their 10 certificates. I was delighted to present those certificates before our run.
This Saturday we will be starting the Roses parkrun, at the famous Ludwig’s Roses rose farm. Situated on the Northern Pretoria border we are hoping it will take some of the pressure off some of our Pretoria parkruns. Having helped to map out the route I can say it’s a special parkrun that winds its way past dams and lakes which are teeming with birdlife and it continues past small herds of game. And yes, it does run through along some extensive rose beds.
As the Southern African running scene hurtles head first into its silly season I am continually reminded of the contribution that parkrun is making to the formal, conventional running scene. The main training and racing drive to our major races, such as the Two Oceans and Comrades marathons starts now (In fact I’ve just completed a newspaper column on that subject) and I keep meeting parkrunners who thank parkrun for introducing them to running. The conversation often goes something like this:
“6 months ago I had never run a step, then I started running and walking at parkruns, and now I’m running my first 10km, half marathon, marathon, Comrades.”
This is becoming a common refrain and it is no ideal boast to realise that the #parkruntomarathon group is growing very quickly.
I am extremely happy about this because I remember that initially parkrun was greeted with some suspicion by the formal running world. Were we some kind of threat? Would we steal runners and events from the formal programmes? Now most running structures, clubs and athletics bodies have understood that we are a similar to a running kindergarten, a nursery for runners who go on to join formal running clubs and enter serious races. Indeed some of these are extremely talented runners who go on to compete at the highest level.
We are looking for a power point or keynote specialist who could help us with our presentation for our parkrun conference in April. If you think you can help us please contact Gill at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheers for now,
One day in early November 2019 we received an e-mail from a parkrun tourist from Gauteng by the name of Doris Dondur who indicated her plan to attend Outeniquasbosch parkrun (Mossel Bay in the Garden Route) and asked whether she could volunteer if we need an extra pair of hands – which we, of course,…
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