It’s probably not a good idea to start a newsletter with negative comments but I would like to start this newsletter with two warnings.
In recent weeks a few parkruns have had to be cancelled because of rain, and as the Highveld rainy season ends and the Cape rainy season begins, it is likely that there will be more cancellations because of rain. I would like to encourage all parkrunners to consult the website of the parkrun they wish to visit before setting off for a run. I did just that for Phoenix Park parkrun in Vanderbijlpark before visiting it last Saturday. The course was muddy in places and when I arrived a thick mist was enveloping the park, but the course was still safe and great fun to run. I strongly recommend Phoenix Park parkrun not least because it has a keen dedicated volunteer team led by Marcel de Pierres who make their parkrun such a special morning, but also because of its unique starting signal, a raucous Hadeda call.
A fortnight ago, we started The Farmstead parkrun near Hartbeespoort. It is a very exciting parkrun, and Devon and her team are to be congratulated on their commitment to creating a parkrun full of surprises. Conditions were wet and a little muddy for the inaugural run. However it was not the slippery mud that posed the biggest problem, but rather a small herd of Blesbok which became spooked at the colourful, noisy parkrun intrusion into their peaceful world. And this is my second warning; We are fortunate to have several parkruns that are run in nature reserves and game farms where there are herds of buck and antelope. These animals have to be treated with respect. The antelope at The Farmstead cantered around for a while before calming down. However, we all learnt that the safe answer to galloping buck and antelope is to stop running and stand still. It may be annoying to watch a PB slip away but these animals appear to be less panicked when runners stand still.
Last weekend, Bob Norris, Danie Bessinger and their team launched Kei Mouth parkrun in the beautiful Cape Morgan reserve. 173 enthusiastic first timers can’t be wrong. Kei Mouth parkrun is on my bucket list.
This Saturday Noble Village in Hekpoort near Magaliesberg will join our parkrun family. I helped to make changes to the original proposed route, and I can report that is a challenging but fun one lapper with spectacular views. Highlights are the herds of game including beautiful Sable antelope and a Golden Wildebeest.
I would like to wish all the parkrunners running the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town this Saturday. Obviously, I am biased and there are very few races that would persuade me to skip a parkrun but the Two Oceans is one of them. It is a contender for the title “World’s most beautiful marathon” and in addition on Saturday we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 56km classic.
I have deliberately left the best news until last;
Yesterday we sent out over one million emails with the following announcement to all our parkrunners,
“As you will have seen in the email you received yesterday, we have announced that we have finally found a solution to the milestone t-shirt challenge. The milestone t-shirt team of ambassadors have been working on a solution to this since early last year and we can now supply the shirts. I am particularly pleased that the backlog of approximately 11,000 t-shirts will be dealt with now. I know this has been incredibly frustrating for many and I thank you for your patience.”
Cheers for now,
During May and June, Vic Stander, a parkrun Event Director from Canada, and his family participated in three South African parkruns as tourists. Vic explains how incredibly inspiring his experience was, and how hugely motivated it has left him feeling – here Vic outlines just 5 reasons why! 1. The numbers We launched our local…
Jacques was initially a reluctant volunteer shortly after the launch of Vaal Marina parkrun. Now he is the first to volunteer every week as a marshall. As his marshalling point is a little after the halfway point he always has a bowl of water ready for the dogs. More recently his role has extended…