It’s well known that parkrun spawns new runners but it’s perhaps less recognised for bringing retired runners back to life.
A case in point is our volunteer hero Theo van der Merwe. Theo has performed volunteer duties an astounding 278 times but perhaps even more amazing is that he only came back to running after a 20-year hiatus (he gave up running due to injury in 1995 after a long career in which he earned his OMTOM Ultra blue number and ran 3 Comrades into the bargain) purely because of parkrun.
He’s the first to tell you that parkrun gave him a new lease of life. Once some relatives had prised him off the couch he started by walking his first parkruns, as so many parkrunners do, until this year, after 230 parkruns at 33 different venues, he not only ran a sub-30 minute PB but he took part in the Two Oceans Half Marathon in an impressive time of 2:42:27.
Theo’s only regret running OMTOM 2019? That he had to break his 128 consecutive parkrun streak to do so!
Theo became a newly minted 70-year old this past Saturday, 27 April, and we’d like to take this opportunity of wishing him a happy birthday and many more years of inspiring parkrun performances.
This heart-warming story just further illustrates how parkrun enriches lives.
Welcome to this month’s volunteer update. Here is some of the key information for the coming period: Volunteer Coordinator Virtual Volunteer App Survey Accessing parkrun Emails 1 Volunteer Coordinator The Volunteer Coordinator is a very important role. This is the person who is in direct contact with the volunteers and will…
Upington parkrun launched on 29 March 2014 and was attended by 52 runners. With one of the furthest distances to a neighbouring parkrun in the country, this event at the heart of the Northern Cape is a real community parkrun, but visitors are always welcome. Event Director Raymond Du Plessis tells us more: Who was…