As we await the return of parkrun in South Africa, we have asked some parkrunners to share their reasons for taking part. This week, we hear from parkrunners at Gillooly’s parkrun in Bedfordview.
The picture above; that’s one of the reasons I do parkrun: scenes like this (and the views in the picture below), friendships developed, weekly exercise and trying to get fit, serving others, coffee and Stefo’s muffins and Heidi’s brownies, Event Directors and volunteer coordinators who put up with me, milestones and celebrations, and don’t forget the vitality points.
I parkrun because it gives me a chance to compete against the toughest competitor ever – myself. It gives me a sense of achievement and a great sense of community. The friends I made as a volunteer are the best ever and I love it when random people in the shopping centre walk past me saying “Thanks marshal”.
Why I do parkrun; the challenge, fitness, service to others, camaraderie, belonging, to get my daughter out of the house, for the vitality points and Gillooly’s family who always make me feel so welcome.
In 2010 I was diagnosed with lung cancer. It was stage one. I had an op and they cut away a piece of my right lung. I have one and half lungs. The doctor told me that walking is very good. Then after three years was introduced to parkrun. I enjoy it so much that it has become part of my life. When I visit my brother in Australia, I found out that there is a parkrun on his door step. So I am part of the family as well.
parkrun has become part of my life especially now that I have become a volunteer. And I must say that the volunteer family Gilloolys is the best and I really miss you all. This is why I parkrun.
parkrun started as a fun thing to do with my dog, Gadget, sort of mother-daughter bonding time. It has become a bit of an obsession, for both of us. A 5K run, walk or crawl is a great way to start a weekend. Apart from the sense of camaraderie and community I have found within the volunteer circle, as a woman in South Africa, it is a wonderful opportunity to get in some exercise in a safe, welcoming environment.
For me personally, what I love the most about parkrun is the inclusiveness. At parkrun we are all South Africans, doing a 5k together on a Saturday morning. As a marshal, I get to see people from all walks of life, races and age groups come running or walking past. The best part is seeing a smile break out on a parkrunner’s face when you give a few words of encouragement. My favourite come back is when a walker looks at me and replies “It’s not like I’m doing very well,” and I get to reply “But you got out of bed and made it here.”
When lockdown started, I set myself a goal of wanting to be able to run 5ks so that when parkrun returns, I can see how well I do. Hopefully I will be able to put my hard work to the test soon.
Earlier this week we announced we had completed our COVID-19 Framework, describing how events will operate in countries where an underlying level of community infection still remains. We’d also like to stress that as part of our strategy to return we took the decision to separate defining the way events should be reopened, from…
As I took to the road yesterday, another glorious meeting up with fellow parkrunners, suitably masked and keeping our obligatory distance, I could not help but think how important these moments of meeting on a Saturday morning have become for me. Now in our 5th month of lockdown and for many who live on their…