Ficksburg parkrun started in February 2019. In its first year, this event in the Free State has been completed over 2,700 times. Fiona Viljoen tells us more:
Who was responsible for launching Ficksburg parkrun? Karin Schuld got it off the ground and did all the footwork to ensure that Ficksburg has its own parkrun.
What have been the highlights of Ficksburg parkrun so far? Definitely the way all people of Ficksburg come together to do the parkrun on Saturdays. The competitive spirit to be the 1st to cross the finish line. The commitment of some of the older parkrunners and the joy it brings to their lives. We had a special farewell celebration for Karin Schuld, who has moved away from Ficksburg. Even though it was a sad day, all stayed longer to have a chat with her. We had a cupcake for all the parkrunners and volunteers.
Who is responsible for the continued success of Ficksburg parkrun? We have a few committed volunteers who would always come forward if we have open positions. We try to involve as many volunteers as possible, but some weeks we have to fall back on the regulars.
What makes Ficksburg parkrun unique? The scenery as well as the view of the Maluti Mountain range and Lesotho.
What is the course like? The route is a good combination of flat, upward and downward slopes. It is off-road as it is on the golf course.
What is the average Ficksburg parkrunner like? There is a mix of parkrunners, including couples, families, young school children as well as some older members of the community. We have a grandmother deep in her 80′s as well as a newcomer who turned 80 earlier this year. I would say that about 20% of the parkrunners run, 20% combination of running and walking and the rest walk.
Can you share any achievements of Ficksburg parkrunners? We have a lady that started off as a walker but she is running about 70% to 80% of the route. She is in her 70′s and aims to improve her personal best every week. So far, I know of 1 parkrunner that did the 10km as part of the Surrender Hill race last year. She was planning to do the 21km this year, but due to health issues she will have to postpone those plans.
What are the facilities like? The parkrun is on the golf course. The carpark is not far from the start or finish at most 300m. Toilet facilities are available. The golf club has a pub, but it normally opens after the end of the parkrun. There is no other café on the golf course.
What should a first timer to Ficksburg be aware of? First timers are alerted to the markers on the route to ensure that they do lose the way. The route is well marked and safe.
You can find out more about Ficksburg parkrun on their website or facebook page.
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