Mitchells Plain parkrun in Cape Town launched in December 2016. In the first three years, it has seen over 3,500 different runners complete the course. Event Director Fagmidah Eksteen tells us more.
How did Mitchells Plain parkrun come about? Wisaal Osman and her husband Junaid Francis were the ones responsible for getting this parkrun off the ground and we had our inaugural event on 16 December 2016.
Who helps to make Mitchells Plain parkrun a success? We have some very dedicated volunteers – there is Boeta Cassiem who the people love, he is our spokesperson – he brings the PA system and mike and trea ts for the kids and for our “young pensioners”. He brings the gees by informing the runners as they pass him what their times are, and people look forward to hearing that so that they can see if they will do a PB that day.
The following volunteers are always the first at the venue to setup and ensure that the finish funnel, table and every else is setup before 8am: Salie Eksteen, William Solomon, Richard Haywood and myself Fagmidah Eksteen.
What makes Mitchells Plain parkrun unique? It’s not just the course and how beautiful Westridge gardens are with their flowers and trees, but the volunteers – we bring the gees by always encouraging runners and walkers especially the ones who walk slow, we never rush them but guide them and cheer them on.
What is the course like? Our route is like a cross country course, a bit of grass, gravel and hills.
What are the typical parkrunners who come like? There is a mixture of runners/walkers – we have our die hard youngsters who belong to a running club and use our parkrun as training. There is a bit of competition within our top 10.
We have the “Older generation” who come and walk just to keep fit and meet new people. A few have said that its like their Saturdays are not complete if they have not been to parkrun.
We also have families who just enjoy a walk in the park.
Have you had any notable visitors? We get a lot of visitors from different parkruns. Word spread of how beautiful our course are and people comment by saying it is a bit tough especially with our two hills. They also have lots of compliments for our volunteers.
What else do your parkrunners do? One runner, Peter Bull, started at parkrun and then joined the Mitchells Plain titans running club and went on to run 21Km and 42Km races.
What are the facilities like? There is lots of parking in the road – the area to park is in the road which is literally outside the gate of the gardens – so no need to walk far unless you had to park at the end of the road. There are public toilets available, but no cafe.
What is the one thing a first timer to Mitchells Plain parkrun should know? To have fun and if they need anything, come and speak to any of our volunteers.
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