Franschhoek parkrun launched in March 2016. To celebrate their third birthday, they encouraged participants to dress up in French colours to celebrate the French Corner. Just over 110 people joined in the celebrations, and the local restaurant even prepared cupcakes for the occasion. Event Director Angela Frazer tells us more about the Cape Winelands parkrun.
How did Franschhoek parkrun come about?
Like most parkruns it was born out of a desire to initiate a platform for the local community to embrace togetherness and create a cohesion in our very diverse & small Franschhoek community. From the first chat with Bruce Fordyce to eventually getting it off the ground there were loads of Franschhoek groups and locals involved. The primary stumbling block was finding a venue – Rickety Bridge Wine Estate graciously came on board with their full support. From there on it was plain sailing. Deb & Tony Van Niekerk and Jean Jefferies were primarily responsible for getting us going!
What have been the highlights of your event so far?
Being a tourist destination, every event has it’s own unique flavour which is what makes Franschhoek parkrun such a special experience. Labelled a ‘boutique’ parkrun, by our bigger and larger neighbouring events we have frequent funny and memorable moments. Aside from that, what is an absolute constant every Saturday, is our volunteers sense of love and enthusiasm for the core principles of parkrun that permeates all our events, making them all memorable. There is no doubt that sharing a Saturday morning with diverse groups of people from around the world, all sharing the same experience is both beautiful & entertaining to watch. Every run is characterised by hellos and chatter that reminiscent of a family get-together.
Who helps to make Franschhoek parkrun a success?
Having a community where some are only here in summer months, others frequently travelling we believe that the Franschhoek volunteers, who are a relatively small bunch of amazing individuals, are all dedicated in whatever way or capacity they can be and all contribute to our success albeit on different levels and in different ways. Like all parkrun events without their passion we would not exist.
What makes your parkrun unique?
Everything about Franschhoek parkrun is unique! The ever changing group of the parkrun ‘community’ that joins us at our event is seldom made up of the same groups, so although we are a comparatively tiny event, the sense of ‘belonging’ to something much larger because of the cosmopolitan nature of Franschhoek, is what possibly defines our uniqueness.
What is the route like?
Our circular route is relatively flat with a nice long down and two mildly hard ups – we run through the vineyards of the Rickety Bridge Estate & Basse Provence Farm. More trail than not. Its a great all round route that wont leave you feeling broken but certainly not under challenged either. It’s a perfect pre event to that long lazy Franschhoek lunch afterwards.
What are the typical parkrunners who come like?
Franschhoek parkrun is definitely a melting pot of beautiful ages, capabilities & cultures. There will always be someone new to meet or chat to. No two events are EVER the same.
What successes have Franschhoek parkrunners had?
Many – the most notable is probably Betty Maffa – who not only went onto running marathons but also met her future husband at our inaugural event, where they got into an argument over Betty’s parking abilities. Having said that there are countless local individuals that have gone from starting parkrun and completing in over 45mins to now coming in under 30mins. This is what makes parkrun such an awesome event worldwide.
What are the facilities like?
Loads of easy parking & toilet facilities available. The main Franschhoek village is a very short drive from Rickety Bridge where parkrunners can find excellent post exercise sustenance.
What is the one thing a first timer to your parkrun should know?
If you are a tourist bring a camera – you will definitely want to capture the beautiful route
If you have small kids an off road pram is necessary, especially in wetter winter months
If you plan to do parkrun either pre or post wine tastings bring water!
Dont be surprised if you meet or hear at least a couple of German, Dutch, Xhosa, French, Afrikaans, Italian individuals all chatting together about their awesome morning – Franschhoek parkrun is definitely a melting pot of beautiful cultures.
Just the fourth parkrun to launch in South Africa, Nahoon Point recently marked their seventh anniversary after a prolonged hiatus. Event Director John Paul Lee Sun shares more about this Eastern Cape event. When did Nahoon Point parkrun start up? Nahoon Point parkrun was launched on 11 August 2012 and became the fourth parkrun…
Marie Eyre was born with Spina Bifida, is wheelchair bound and cannot drive. I met her through church and she offered to help when she heard Pongola parkrun was short of volunteers. The first time Marie volunteered, I introduced her to a timekeeper, Andre Steyn, who took her under his wing and quickly taught her perfect…