parkrun profile - 27th November 2018

parkrun profile: Stutterheim


When was Stutterheim parkrun set up? Stutterheim parkrun was started on 1 November 2014 and was the 42nd event in South Africa!


How did it come about? Event Director, Linda Lanz was initially introduced to parkrun by her son at Root 44 in December 2013. In April 2014 her daughter registered her for her first official parkrun at Shongweni. On completion of that first event she got chatting to Robin and Ruth Archer about the concept of parkrun and how to get one started. Robin put her in touch with Bruce and as they say ‘the rest was history!’


What have been the highlights of your event so far? Two of the most memorable events have to be the inaugural in 2014 which was held in pouring rain and very muddy conditions, and the first tourist #Recordmustfall event aiming to break the attendance record, held in very, very muddy conditions in April 2018.




Who makes the parkrun such a success? We have numerous dedicated volunteers, several of whom have been volunteering since the first event and who have stood out in all kinds of weather to make parkrun happen. This means that we have never yet had to cancel an event.


What makes Stutterheim parkrun so unique? Stutterheim parkrun takes place at the Stutterheim Country Club which is easily accessible to most areas of town and a short drive from East London. Not only is it very scenic with views of the Amatola Mountains, but it is secure, with a small attendance so regulars and visitors are treated like long lost friends. Stutterheim is also one of the few places where the endangered Cape Parrot is found and runners can hear and view these birds flying around at certain times of the year. For #Recordsmustfall we punted it as PPP – parkrun, parrots and putt-putt (for those who wished to play a few holes of golf.)


What is the route like? Being on the golf course the route is mainly trail and there is an elevation of around 50m with the main ‘uphill’ starting at the 3km mark. It is a single lap route.


What are the typical parkrunners at Stutterheim like? We have a large number of families who come regularly and ages vary from 4 years to 81 years. Recently the children at the local school hostel have been encouraged to do parkrun. There is an even spread of runners and walkers with our male record being just over 16mins and female record being around 19 mins and an average time of 40 mins.


Have you had any notable visitors? We have had numerous visitors from all over SA, Australia, UK, USA, Canada and Korea. Some of the “Windgat” tourists who have visited us are Bruce  and Gill Fordyce, Jabu Mkize, Jaco and Joanne van der Walt, Tracy Rankin, Rob Millerd, John Kollen, Louis Janse van Rensberg, David Drake and the Blounts.


Have any of the parkrunners gone on to completer longer events? One of our great success stories is that of Clinton Ford who started doing parkrun when we launched and has since gone on to complete several Two Oceans, Comrades and other Ultras including 3 Washie 100 milers. Locals who got into running after attending parkrun have been instrumental in the founding of the Stutterheim Athletics Club and many of these parkrunners have now run marathons and half marathons.


What are the facilities like? Being at the Stutterheim Country Club there are secure parking facilities within 50m of the start/finish, ample toilet facilities with showers and the Club serves reasonably priced breakfasts.


What is the one thing a first timer to Stutterheim parkrun should know? Being a small event visitors/first timers are easily spotted and so made to feel welcome. They arrive as strangers and leave as friends.

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