The Comrades marathon in almost upon us. There are just 9 sleeps to go until 20,000 runners run the “ultimate human race”
A substantial number of those runners will be parkrunners, and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our parkrun Comrades the best of luck. I know how many months of training have been dedicated to this great adventure, and I’m sure that running parkruns regularly was part of many a Comrades training programme. On race day, as the Comrades draws to an end and the mountainous Polly Shortts has been conquered, I know many runners will think, “I’m nearly there, just a parkrun to go!” Come to think of it the Comrades itself is just over 17 parkruns run back-to-back.
The Comrades marathon will also welcome many overseas parkrunners and I would like to wish these special parkrun visitors good luck as well. Our Global COO, Tom Williams will be running his second Comrades, running with his Father, Brian Williams, whose home parkrun is Delta Park in Johannesburg. Chrissie Wellington is another parkrun management personality running Comrades this year. Chrissie is legendary for winning 4 Hawaii Ironman titles about a decade ago. She recently ran a 2:52 marathon at the London marathon proving that hers will be a serious challenge at this year’s Comrades.
The numbers of parkrunners running the World’s most famous ultra has led to an amazing group of runners , who having never run before, start running at parkrun, then try longer distances and then finally the Comrades itself. #parkruntoComrades.
But now there is an even more amazing group of not inconsiderable size; #parkruntocomradesinayear
All this means, of course, that there will be greater than usual numbers of runners and walkers at our Durban parkruns. North Beach, Umhlanga, Durban Point and Blue Lagoon parkruns can all expect extra runners, I should rather say “slow joggers and walkers” as most just make their parkrun experience a slow saunter in the balmy Durban winter sunshine.. Only very foolish runners would run hard the day before racing the very hilly 87 kilometres of the Comrades marathon.
I am looking forward to attending Bulithando parkrun this Saturday. There I will meet Victor and Nelisa and their very enthusiastic team of volunteers. I will also be giving a Comrades marathon talk to runners from the clubs in and surrounding Kwa-Thema. Apparently there are many eager Comrades runners from the area who are eager for last minute tips and to learn more about parkrun.
With Comrades looming we will not be starting any new parkruns this Saturday or next Saturday (8th June) but we will be launching 3 new parkruns on 15th June; Randfontein, Cradock and Lusitoland. If there aren’t too many cancellations on the 15th we may be very close to reaching the significant milestone of 200 different South African parkrun sets of results that day.
Cheers for now,
Hogsback parkrun in the Amathole Mountains of the Eastern Cape launched in April 2016. This parkrun has a great community feel, with an average of 25 parkrunners completing the course each week. Event Director Vannessa Kruger tells us more. How did Hogsback parkrun come about? I did my first parkrun at Nahoon Point, which…
On Saturday 8th June, the day before Comrades, I saw a wonderful video on Instagram of a large group of excited Comrades runners doing North Beach parkrun in Durban - gliding along the promenade in jovial song and chants! The post included the hashtag #parkruntocomrades – what a great hashtag. It is truly amazing and inspiring, and…