News - 9th July 2020

Invercargill parkrun represent South Africa


As New Zealand became the first country to resume parkruns last Saturday, Invercargill parkrun was respresenting parkrun South Africa, and they even dressed up for the occasion! Event Director Liz Henry tells us more about their first event back.


We had a wonderful turn out of 159 parkrunners, walkers and 21 volunteers.


On Friday the temperature locally was -3 degrees celsius, so thankfully we had a mild 5 degree celsius temperature, with overcast conditions as we completed the briefing. We did have some showers scattered through the event, but it certainly didn’t dampen our event!


As Event Directors in NZ we got together when it was apparent we would probably be the first country to restart, to try and think of a way to recognise that we were fortunate to be able to start, but still recognise those that are waiting patiently for their countries to be able to open parkrun as a whole. We decided to adopt a parkrun country to represent for our first event.


We have a community of South Africans who are parkrun regulars, which is the big reason we at Invercargill parkrun jumped to represent parkrun South Africa.




As soon as we announced our adopted Country we have had immediate support and positive messages coming to us from our local parkrunners, but also from all over the world, and in particular from parkrunners in South Africa. We thank you all for your amazing messages of support, it truly has demonstrated what an amazing international parkrun community we have!


Today at our event, our parkrunners wore a rainbow of colours (which was great to see, often we have many parkrunners in dark colours!). We also had several volunteers dressed as safari animals (including 2 giraffes and 2 gazelles).




Two of our parkrunners (Regan and Ruth Prattley) painted a large flag which we had at the briefing and finish line as a reminder of who we were representing today.


We had lots of positive comments from our parkrunners today regarding representing South Africa:


  • “I cried when I saw my home flag, I have been restricted from travelling and I miss my family”
  •  “It means a lot to me as a Kiwi parkrunner that we are acknowledging that not all of our community is able to parkrun at the moment”
  •  I truly had no idea how global parkrun was, when you shared posts about some of the events in South Africa I checked them all out, and also looked into what other locations parkrun was in.
  •  “22 Countries worldwide, I am excited for them re-opening, I now have another reason to travel in the future”
  •  “So happy to be back! and happy to show gratitude for our restart, and think of those who will join us soon”


We wish you the best of life as you gradually get back into the new world! Best of luck and joy as you complete your (not)parkruns. We will be cheering for you as you make steps to restart!


Photos of the event can be found on facebook, and the run report is on Invercargill parkrun’s news page.

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