So far this month the late autumn/ early winter weather has been surprisingly mild, if not warm. Winter just refuses to arrive. I can remember running through thick frost in years gone by at a similar time of the year. The annual Boksburg / Colgate 32km. run held the day after, but at the same venue as we hold our Boksburg parkrun is normally accompanied by frost and very chilly winds. Not so this year where the temperature was positively balmy. Long may this lovely weather continue.
But the weather hasn’t always been so accommodating;
Lashing summer rains forced the team at Jock Trail parkrun (Graskop) to have to cancel their inaugural run. It was a sad but wise decision. Gill and I had planned to attend Jock Trail that morning but were unable to. Happily, we were able to run last Saturday, and it was a treat worth waiting for. Jock Trail is a “bucket list” parkrun and the community there is very welcoming and friendly. There is something very special about pausing to take a “selfie” high above the clouds while standing on the edge of the escarpment. Congratulations to Grant and Clive for establishing this special parkrun.
While I was enjoying coffee with friends at a quaint Graskop restaurant after the run, I was reminded of how parkrun allows us all to enjoy the parkrun experience in so many different ways. Sitting at our table were walkers, runners, parkrun tourists, parkrun milestone holders, and volunteers, and of course there were several of us who have enjoyed parkrun in all those roles. We all know and understand the health benefits of parkrun but put into the context of our very recent National elections, I am easily persuaded that parkrun’s ability in bringing communities together is possibly its greatest contribution to society. Sitting at that Graskop restaurant were people from all walks of life who all had one thing in common; the fun of parkrun.
The people of Nigel have been clamouring for a parkrun for some time now and last Saturday Blue Valley parkrun, Nigel joined the parkrun family. Ambassador, Mariette Rossouw and Event Director Jaco Lubbe were delighted that 158 parkrunners arrived to participate in the Blue Valley inaugural. Jaco is visually impaired and yet has no problem with volunteering to be Event Director at Blue Valley parkrun. Once again Jaco’s contribution helps to emphasise the inclusivity of parkrun. As I was away meeting my commitment to run at Jock Trail that Saturday I could not attend the inaugural but I am told the parkrun is run on the Du Toit family farm and runs through farmlands past a lovely dam but with a sting in the tail in the form of a tough climb at the end.
This Saturday, I am looking forward to running the new Westonaria parkrun. Apparently, this West Rand parkrun is run on fast, flat terrain, sections of which are part of a CGA cross country course. Joint event directors, Tannie June Beukman and Nelson Komani , and core volunteer, Drieska Fivaz have been hard at work ensuring the course is perfect for Saturday’s inaugural run. Nelson used to coach Zithulele Sinqe, one of South Africa’s greatest ever distance runners. I am intrigued to discover what the “One tree molehill tree” landmark is on the course. Saturday morning will reveal all.
I would like to encourage you all to follow and share your parkrun journey on our official social media pages where you will get feedback to questions from officially appointed parkrun ambassadors. Follow these links to the parkrun South Africa Facebook or follow the official @parkrunSA Twitter or share your photographs on our official Instagram
Cheers for now,
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