My parkrun journey started by chance back in August 2015 at Ebotse. A year earlier, I had a life-changing accident which prevented me from participating in many fitness activities. A colleague at the time suggested that I try this new craze called parkrun that her and her family had become addicted to. So, off I went on Saturday 22 August 2015 with my wife and mother-in-law to give this parkrun thing a try. Never could I imagine that I would become hooked!
Not being a runner at the time, what fascinated me when I arrived at my first parkrun was the welcoming and energetic vibe from the volunteers. I got the immediate impression that parkrun is an activity and event for everyone no matter how young or old, fit or unfit you are. The simple nature and continuous encouragement from the amazing volunteers ensured that it was perfect way to get a Saturday started – and a great excuse to go for a coffee or breakfast with family and friends afterwards!
For those with a competitive nature, parkrun gives you that freedom to push yourself to beat your PB, but there is no pressure. The main purpose is to participate, enjoy the experience and have fun, finish the event with a smile on your face and then give a volunteer a high five at the end. For me, the most attractive aspect of parkrun is that it provided an escape from my daily life pressures, but it also provided a great opportunity to spend time with my family and friends.
parkrun has allowed to reconnect with some old mates and expand my network. I have been privileged to meet some amazing and passionate parkrunners from across the country over the past 5 years.Five years and 167 parkruns later, I really had high hopes of achieving the 200 mark by the end of the year. Unfortunately, as we all know, the year 2020 has sadly become too synonymous with COVID-19 and it’s meant that I will need to wait a little bit longer to hit my double-century. However, in its absence, (not)parkrun has encouraged me to become a more active runner during the week.
Thanks to parkrun, I have become a keen runner with the ambition of one day joining the #parkruntocomrades club. My two-year-old son is a parkrunner in the making as he often joins me on my (not)parkrun adventures. I cannot wait to enjoy the traditional parkrun experience again with my wife and son, and the rest of our amazing South African parkrun community that have contributed so much over the past few years in making Saturday mornings #parkrunday throughout our beautiful country.
Giulio Di Stefano
With current government guidelines in South Africa allowing for gatherings of up to 500 people in open spaces such as parks, we are delighted to be able to announce that some more 5k events in South Africa will be able to restart from Saturday 9 October. Given the current legal gathering limits, we won’t…
Been wondering what a parkrun looks like? Where do you go? What do you do? How do you sign up? Whether you’re joining us for the first time, or a more seasoned parkrunner that just needs your memory refreshed, we’ve put together this handy guide to everything you need to know about parkrun. …