Thank you to Umfolozi parkrun’s great volunteers who made us feel so welcome. A great morning.
In August I went to Clarens parkrun. With an average temp of 2’C and a minimum of -1’C not considering the wind chill factor (exact effect unknown but significant), the conditions were certainly interesting!
I wore two pairs of jeans over my running shorts, a t-shirt, a long sleeve t-shirt, a thin windbreaker, padded bush jacket, tactical gloves and favourite safari hat, and still nearly froze on the way to the start!
At that stage I was going to be the only participant, but then a second (clearly fast) participant arrived. Meet Jared McDonald…. somehow he ended up with a PB that day, which was amazing considering the temperature.
20 or 30 years ago I could easily complete a 5km but these days my pace is a little slower. But, do I still enjoy it? Of course!
I was excited to be parkrunning again as the volunteers explained the challenges of the course.
Off we went, Jared quickly disappeared in a dust cloud, which made me appreciate the excellent route markers all over the course. They were really well placed and clear even in a blistering wind.
After leaning into the wind for ages I finally saw a sign that I hoped was the finish, only to discover that it was only the 1km marker! I considered bailing here, but was determined to carry on as I knew I could do it.
By about 2km I saw a dam and decided to take a breather on the bench (which looked very inviting), and send an update to my wife (just in case they need to come rescue me by lunch time, at least they would know where to start!).
By this time my fingers inside my gloves were so cold that my phone would not recognise them as live digits….. after some thought I figured out my nose (kept warm by my handy Covid mask), was my only way to press buttons or take pictures! It was quite an experience doing it all with my nose!
A few more stops to take pictures (or to catch my breath) later I was at the highest point! This is always nice point to reach.
On my way back into town I took a final breakonly to discover that I was a mere 40 meters from the finish, where eight volunteers stood waiting for me to come home! This was the best feeling ever, and that’s what parkrun is all about.
I will remember this as a beautiful route, which was by far the coldest I’d ever done, but best of all, it was unique as there were only two participants!
After a COVID-19-induced hiatus of more than 13 months, the Hoedspruit parkrun organisers received the go-ahead to resume their event in May, due to the fact that we are one of the smaller events and therefore better able to ensure that all COVID-19 safety protocols can be adhered to with ease before rolling it out…
After a big life move, Naomi Dawson found herself in a brand new country, knowing nobody. Local parkruns helped her integrate into new communities, and make many long-lasting friendships along the way. I wasn’t a runner, never had been. Then, in 2013, someone told me about parkrun. I completed the Couch to 5k programme, after…