How did Bronberrik parkrun come into being?
With the imminent closure of Voortrekker Monument parkrun on 28th Jan 2017 it was decided by the core team that we needed to get a few venues started up asap. The 1st one ready was Valhalla, then Midstream and Bronberrik followed. With my husband, Derek & daughter, Anita we did the major part of setting-up of Bronberrik, as it is only a couple of hundred meters from our home. We also had the help of our Ward councillor, Peter Sutton, who is also a parkrunner.
What have been the highlights of your event so far?
The highlight was the filming of the inaugural (arranged by Bruce Fordyce) with Daniel Nichol, Jason Goliath & Chris Forrest for the Dan Nichol TV Show. They stopped half way to buy boerewors rolls. This clip is available on our Facebook page.
Who helps to make your parkrun a success?
We have a very strong team of dedicate volunteers who help each and every week.
What makes your parkrun unique?
Every parkrun is unique. Our area was a total ecological disaster in many areas and the almost 200,000 km run through it since we launched have changed this, reclaiming a neglected area back for the community. The local council departments of Parks & Nature Conservation have assisted greatly.
What is the route like?
The route is not flat nor fast. After 200m you head up a hill and this hill is done twice. It is cross-country and you do have to watch those feet on the downhill. Many runners have ploughed the hill, but fortunately nothing serious. The course record is 16:18, by Michael PIENAAR, but he is obviously an exceptional runner. The average time is 43:58 at present. Our average number of runners is 366, which is ideal. The field at the inaugural of 897 was more than a few too many for the terrain.
What is the typical Bronberrik parkrunner like?
We have families, couples and individuals. Normally the individuals are the runners, the couples joggers or walkers and the families walk with a dog or buggy. We have a great number of dogs, but the rule of 1 dog per participant is very strictly applied. We have had a 93 year old, Edith Pauwels, complete the course and achieve the highest age grade (68.54%) for the day and we often have very young babies in prams. We have also had a visually impaired walker start off with his father and guide dog and then after a few weeks he and the dog were able to complete the course without guidance.
Our average age is slowly decreasing and we typically have more women than men and an average of 48% walkers. We have one 6 year old, Arthur Drake who has done 100 runs.
One of our young runners, Anton STASSEN, under 14 has been first finisher on 11 occasions of the 41 he has run at Bronberrik. He has also on occasions helped as scanner when he has completed the run.
Have you had any notable visitors?
We have had many notable Comrades runners visit us – Frith van der Merwe on Christmas Day 2017 along with Bruce Fordyce. Another was Louis Massyn, A good number of our volunteers are past comrades runners.
What are the running success stories from Bronberrik?
Lamda Chetse is one of our regular volunteers. He started his running career in February 2015 with parkrun. Now he is running Wally Hayward and in two weeks time he will be doing Two Oceans.
What are the facilities like?
We have a parking area at the finish which can hold 120 cars, but there is ample parking at the shopping centre about 600m away (a good warm up for the event). There is a cafe and toilets there but on the course which is through a wetland and a small park are no facilities.
What is the one thing a first timer to your parkrun should know?
Please arrive to park by 7:30 and listen to the First Timers Briefing at 7:50. This is a challenging course, where you cannot get lost, but probably rating a 5 with North Beach at 1 and Thousand Hills at 10.
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