Fish Hoek parkrun in Cape Town celebrated their 6th anniversary in December, and they pulled out all the stops to celebrate. Brigitte Horne tells us more:
We had the most amazing birthday bash on 21 December 2019 for our 6th anniversary of Fish Hoek parkrun. The planning to make this an extraordinary day had started a few weeks prior to the big day, and all the effort was really worth it, as we saw many happy faces and many smiles on that day.
Our celebrations started off by lining up all parkrunners to form a big 6 on the sports’ field, while a drone took a few pictures. Afterwards the Run Director for this event, Richard Healy, who started Fish Hoek parkrun 6 years ago, mentioned a few stats about our parkrun:
At the inaugural parkrun, Fish Hoek parkrun had 65 parkrunners, including Bruce and Gill Fordyce and many parkrun tourists. The following week, there were only 25 parkrunners completing the 5 km. Nowadays, we regularly have 200 – 300 runners every Saturday from all walks of life. To quote Richard Healy: ‘Looking back at the photos from those early days, there are some visible changes in people, especially at the junior end and the senior end of the age spectrum. What we don’t see in the photos, are the back stories of how parkrun has changed peoples’ lives, being able to get out and exercise in a fun and supportive community.’
Our oldest parkrunner currently running (and walking) at Fish Hoek parkrun, is Basil Murray, who turned 89 on 25 November 2019 and still manages to finish in less than 45 minutes. He also regularly volunteers. Another member of our parkrun community, Doreen Gowans (aged 82), yesterday openly admitted that she had recently been through a health hiccup, which left her feeling very sorry for herself. After having listened to Paul Sinton-Hewitt’s speech, when he received the RCA medal, she pulled herself together, and ‘was out of bed like a shot. If he could do it, so could I…‘ Being part of parkrun left her feeling ‘alive’ and she ‘was blessed to be part of Fish Hoek parkrun’.
The sixth anniversary run saw quite a lot more than the inaugural 65 runners at the start. 335 people finished the course, of whom 50 were first timers and all this was made possible by 27 volunteers. The first timers included visitors from Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, San Francisco, Jersey, Peterborough, London, Ireland, Swakopmund, Gauteng and Durban. There were also the non-parkrunners accompanying their active family members, helping to organise the event.
Fortunately, we were able to set up our table for snacks inside the Clubhouse of the Fish Hoek Athletics Club who had generously offered to open their facilities for us to limit the risk of a Black Southeaster blowing our cupcakes and snacks away. We are most grateful to the Club.
The festive mood with Christmas around the corner was enhanced by the loving touch of fresh flowers, candles and decorations on the beautiful and inviting cake table, all organised and supervised by our regular parkrunner, Jillian Altern.
Once again, a very BIG thank you to all the volunteers and supporters of Fish Hoek parkrun! The inspiration many of us get from you and parkrun cannot be emphasized enough. You are an amazing crowd!
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