News - 5th September 2018

parkrunners Spring into Action


All over the country parkrun SA celebrated spring with spring flowers and festive costumes. We also welcomed Drumblade parkrun to the parkrun family, when over 300 runners and walkers participating on a course that still looked decidedly wintry. The veld was brown and dead and the course was very dusty but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves despite the tough climb at 4 kilometres, and all agreed the route will be beautiful in summer. Congratulations to Cheryl and Mark for a superbly organised inaugural run.


In complete contrast to Drumblade, we launched a green Cape winter parkrun at Villiersdorp the week before. Villiersdorp parkrun runs through wooded areas, past orchards and vineyards and over a few gurgling streams. Like Drumblade, Villiersdorp has a very steep climb and descent at 4 kilometres but it is one of the most beautiful parkruns in the country. It’s an absolute “must’.


This Saturday we will start another township parkrun, this time in Kwa-Thema. Bulithando parkrun will be run in a park named after two school children, Nombulelo and Thando who sadly drowned in the stream while running to school. What better way to celebrate their memories than by running a parkrun in their park.


In the next few weeks we will be starting several more parkruns, occasionally opening two each Saturday. With 900,000 registrations and close to 40,000 participants each Saturday we are one of the most successful parkrun countries in the world and with every new milestone that we reach I am increasingly grateful and proud of the strong community we have built. I am particularly proud of the contribution of the parkrun volunteers whose numbers grow each week. And all for no reward. The future of parkrun depends on this spirit and also relies strongly on the integrity of our runners.


On this note I would like to remind all parkrunners that a parkrun is 5 kilometres in length and if you’re not able to complete 5 kilometres please don’t enter the finish funnel at a parkrun. Sometimes the lure of a quick coffee nearby and a sneaky barcode scan for bragging rights or Vitality points is tempting, especially during the colder months, but this undesirable behaviour has far reaching implications for the sustainability of parkrun and is not in the true spirit of our parkrun community.


For an incredible example of the spirit of parkrun please read Peter Knottenbelt’s story in this newsletter. Peter we salute you.


Cheers for now,


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