A little over a month ago, we launched the new Adrenalin Addo parkrun in the Eastern Cape. It is a lovely parkrun with an enthusiastic community of local and visiting parkrunners.
Etienne and Marizel Kruger and their team of volunteers have created a beautiful course that winds its way through citrus orchards, past ponds and a lake, finally finishing on an open field. Until we met the local farmers we had no idea that the Addo area is one of the most important citrus growing areas in South Africa. We certainly saw thousands of oranges and lemons as we ran the route.
Somewhere near halfway, I was passed by a flying Wolfgang Geiger and his Herculean black cross bull mastiff/Great Dane. My competitive juices started flowing and I tried to tuck in behind the pair. I was hanging in desperately (Was Wolfgang being towed?) when we suddenly came to a stop against a fence. It was obvious that we had taken a wrong turning. Somewhere in the confusion of combat we had missed a directional arrow camouflaged in amongst the bright gleaming oranges. We both turned around and hunted for the correct route. Eventually we found it and chased each other to the finish. Wolfgang’s dog won. I think we probably lost a minute or so while we were lost. Were we upset? Not at all. It was a beautiful run, we had fun, and more importantly it was, after all, just a parkrun. Now I know the next time I run The Adrenalin Addo parkrun I’m almost guaranteed a PB.
From time to time we receive complaints from parkrunners who tell us their finishing time does not match that of the parkrun results;
“According to my watch I ran 27:30 but your time- keeper has given me 27: 45. Please will you correct this error”
We always remind these runners that our results are completed by volunteers whose levels of expertise aren’t always quite the same as International athletics’ officials.
“The timing volunteer might have started her watch a couple of seconds after the parkrunners set off,” we reply, “or he may have clicked it a few seconds after you crossed the line. Relax, it’s not the Olympic Games 5000 metres final. It’s a parkrun.”
We generally try to correct glaring errors, and our event teams are often very busy on Mondays ensuring that the results for over 200 parkruns are finalised; but is it really worth the effort of complaining about a handful of seconds.
I know it can be frustrating to be denied a PB but parkruns are run every Saturday so there’s always a chance of returning and achieving that PB. I know I’ll return to Adrenalin Addo one day and I look forward to setting that record straight.
Cheers for now,
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