On Saturday we at parkrun SA will be celebrating our 9th anniversary and remembering our very humble beginnings all those years ago when 26 of us ran the first parkrun at Johannesburg’s Delta Park and a handful of volunteers assisted. Back then we had little idea that we would grow to over 200 parkruns in Southern Africa with 1.2 million registered members and over 50,000 participating each Saturday morning.
Sadly, our celebrations are sightly muted this year because as we all know the Covid-19 lockdown measures have meant we cannot operate at the moment. However, we are optimistic that parkruns will be back fairly soon and that they will be eagerly supported by South African parkrunners when they do resume. We are assured of this by the number of enquiries we receive each day about parkrun’s return and by the amount of enthusiastic support we continue to receive.
The popularity of (not)parkrun has been a pleasant surprise, with hundreds of South African parkrunners participating on a regular basis. Most of us understand the benefits, both mental and physical, of getting out into the fresh air to walk or run with family and friends. It is impossible to measure the benefits. I would like to encourage all of you to take the time for yourself and walk or run with friends and family outdoors. It is extremely important to reboot your mental health and wellbeing this way. You can always add this as a (not)parkrun in celebration of our anniversary.
In the meantime we will continue to explore every option of bringing parkrun back to you enthusiastic parkrunners so that our 10th birthday, next year, is a truly joyous celebration.
President, parkrun South Africa
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