Kanti N Soma (pictured centre, above) is a regular volunteer at Rose parkrun, Lenasia, having volunteered on 52 different occasions, and has completed the 5km course some 40 times. Uthmaan Abed, a young parkrunner at Rose parkrun, interviewed Kanti to find out more about his running journey.
What is your favourite volunteering role?
Marshal. My marshal position is located just before our participants begin their second lap and I have a shady spot under a growing tree.
Why do you enjoy volunteering at parkrun?
Getting smiles from the parkrunners is a big plus. Not to forget the month end Saturday volunteer breakfast. You are spoilt for choice by all the treats sponsored by the volunteer team. We have the best laughs, catch up sessions and conversations. The volunteer team are not just friends, they have become family.
What makes you look forward to parkrun every Saturday?
Every Saturday morning is eagerly anticipated. Rose parkrun is a beautiful park and field venue, a flat 2 laps run, walk or jog for people of all ages. It is open to everyone of our beautiful Rainbow Nation in a ‘camaraderie atmosphere’ welcomed by the residents of Lenasia and parkrun tourists. Fun, cheerful and excited participants and volunteers creates an unforgettable experience every weekend.
How did your passion for running start?
Having arrived from India where I was born to South Africa… Rain or shine the streets were our playgrounds. The Queens Park Ground in “Fietas” was our only sports facility.
What are your your most memorable running events?
My first 21km was in our very own Lenasia Cricket Stadium. Followed by The Rocky Road Runners marathon in 1981 at Sun City, running on a temporary license. The Nashua Marathon 1985 from the Rand Stadium was next. In Jaguars colours of red and white, I ran almost my best time’s.
My personal best race was the Rocky Road Runners Half marathon at Zoo Lake. Running almost 6 min/km. I finished in the race in 1 hour 57 minutes.
You hand paint banners for our special event parkruns. what other creative interests do you have?
I was fortunate to have my father being a sign-writer, and learning “All the tricks of the trade”. Most of all my talent is in painting, Aunt Krishna of Creative Sense from tiny tots to adults is a specialist in water colors and acrylic. She teaches me all I need to know. This means I never stop learning.
What are your other passions and interests?
I am a chocoholic, bibliophile, and a crossword puzzle enthusiast. I also have a keen interest in Bonsai,
Thank you for interviewing me Uthmaan. I cannot wait to see our runners, walkers, and joggers again.
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