Langebaan parkrun in the Western Cape launched in August 2015. In the first four years over 7,000 parkrunners have completed the course a total of almost 40,000 times. Event Director Annemarie de Kock tells us more…
How did Langebaan parkrun come about? About a year before the first parkrun in Langebaan, Dewald Herbst was looking at Vitality’s website to try and find out how we who live on the West Coast, can earn points. I read about parkrun and Dewald spoke to Chantelle van der Merwe who got excited and contacted parkrun. Chantelle did all the hard work and negotiations until we finally had all the right people here to set up our parkrun in 2014. Chantelle relocated in 2015 and I (Annemarie de Kock) took over from her. We now have a competent, committed team of regular volunteers.
What have been the highlights of your event so far? One of the highlights for us was being involved in supporting the Yzerfontein team in their start-up phase. The volunteers at Langebaan parkrun all have a good sense of humour and we have enjoyed many laughs together. Every Saturday when we have a parkrun it’s really special to see folks from accomplished runners to walkers with canes doing their parkrun and looking like stars when they cross the finish line.
What have been the running success stories at Langebaan parkrun? One of our runners, Hasie Terblance, started parkrun on 28 May 2016 as part of his aim to do his first Sprint Triathlon. In October 2016, aged 66, he completed his first ever triathlon and since finished another twelve triathlons and also completed 10km, 12km runs and one half marathon.
Who helps to make Langebaan a continued success? We have a bunch of dedicated volunteers but two stand out. Uncle George never ran a parkrun, and just came with his wife but now he is a marshal every Saturday and enjoys the vibe with us. Then there is Uncle John at 80 years old each Saturday in his golf cart at his marshalling point seeing our runners don’t take a shortcut
What makes your parkrun unique? We often have a racing springbok or bontebok herd crossing our route and the view of the lagoon and harbour from the top of the koppie is certainly spectacular.
What is the route like? We are on the Langebaan Country Estate with a fun climb for about 2 km and then downhill with lovely views on a dirt track with a finish at The Range coffee shop, in time for a parkrun brekkie or pancakes!
What is the average Langebaan parkrunner like? We have everyone, from toddlers in buggies to seniors and parkrun vets with more than 280 parkruns under their belts.
What are the facilities like? Wonderful parking attendants welcome our guests to ample safe parking within stone’s throw from the start. The run finishes at the Range coffee shop that serves special treats to parkrunners. There is complimentary clean drinking water at the finish and jungle gym facilities for the little ones waiting for their parents to arrive. Lovely clean bathrooms are available.
What should a first timer to Langebaan parkrun know? No printed barcode, no results! Unfortunately, we cannot allow dogs because our route is in a nature conservation area. Bring your best gear from Mr Price for that special selfie on the top of the climb! Langebaan is a lovely town with excellent guest houses and restaurants. It’s a famous wind surfing destination come and stay for the weekend. In flower season there is Postberg inside the West Coast National Park with the best flowers around.
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As parkrun continues to grow across South Africa, it is not only helping people to get active, but also to bring communities together, and restoring a sense of pride in previously neglected public spaces. Martin Woodbridge tells us how Goodwill parkrun has made a difference: Mahikeng (meaning place of stones), is a medium-sized town and…