Sterkfontein parkrun in Gauteng joined the parkrun family in September 2018. Over its first year, the event has seen over 4,000 different people complete the course. Event Director Deryn Venski tells us more:
What is the Sterkfontein course like? This is a beautiful, yet challenging course. It is a trail course where you get to run/walk through a forest which sports two waterfalls and then climb to the summit which has a spectacular view of the valley below. It is a course for the fit to run, and for the unfit to become the runners they want to be. Ensure you bring plenty of fluids.
How did you get involved with Sterkfontein parkrun? Being an ex cross-country runner, when my wife suggested that I volunteer at Sterkfontein (I had injured my leg in an accident) I jumped at the opportunity. I saw it as an opportunity to try something new, and to set myself goals in my rehabilitation. Sterkfontein was friendly and I immediately felt part of the family. I became the Event Director in April 2019. I volunteered regularly and have now completed a few runs proving that my leg is growing stronger. This run is a huge challenge to any runner/walker which is set in a beautiful part of the country. It challenges the most dedicated runners but is loved by all.
Who goes above and beyond to help make Sterkfontein parkrun a success? Recently, we had a problem with our bridge being vandalized. With the help of the team, we were able to get a new bridge built. Francois Buys donated the material, Peter van Broekhuizen coordinated the planning, and brothers Gideon and Tommy Joubert organized and supplied the labour to re-build the bridge.
Why should tourists visit Sterkfontein parkrun? This is a parkrun that offers both beautiful scenery as well as a good challenge. It is a drawcard for both the fitness fanatic as well as the sightseers.
Where do you go for post-parkrun coffee? The parkrun is held on the property of the Sterkfontein Heritage Lodge. This lodge has a full restaurant for those seeking a breakfast and coffee, and, during the summer months, a lapa is utilized where the runners can enjoy a drink, meal, or snack besides the pool, which is also available for the runners’ use.
What impact has your parkrun had on the local community? The parkrun has become a well known event in the Krugersdorp area, with some of the schools sending their cross-country teams to the run for practice. It has also been promoted by one of the local Occupational Therapy companies in Krugersdorp as an outlet to those they counsel.
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