With restrictions easing, parkrun is making a gradual return across South Africa. Saturday morning events are now back in 65 locations, with the remaining able to restart from Saturday 30 October.
Here are five things we love about the return of parkrun (in no particular order!)
1. Getting communties back together
parkrun is, at its heart, a community event. Whilst (not)parkrun continues to encourage us to keep physically active, there is nothing like meeting others to catch up, volunteer, and cheer one another on.
As we return, parkrun is bringing local communities, friends and families back together once more. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, or whether you’re walking, jogging, running, volunteering or spectating, parkrun is for everyone.
2. The joy of volunteering
From Run Director to Barcode Scanner to Tail Walker, there is something for everyone – and there’s no better time to start looking at your event’s future volunteer roster than now. The chances are you’ll be won over by the warmth and fellowship of your local volunteer community and life will never be quite the same again.
If that wasn’t enough, there are now milestone t-shirts available for volunteering, too. So whether you have volunteered 25, 50, 100, 250 or even 500 times, you can wear your t-shirt with pride!
Sandra Bruyns took part at Amanzimtoti parkrun and said, “to all the volunteers this morning, well done for making it such a great comeback.”
3. We’re a family
parkrun is for everyone and becoming part of the family is easy. Children can also be registered for a barcode from the age of four and there’s no upper age limit to taking part, whether it’s walking, jogging running or volunteering.
Now that we’re on our way back across the country, why not target your next parkrun milestone? In addition to the 50, 100, 250 and 500 milestone t-shirts. there is now a brand new milestone that you can purchase once you have completed 25 parkruns. More milestones means more chances to celebrate with friends and family.
Like this! Here’s the Mallick family in their 250 milestone t-shirts at Malmesbury parkrun.
5. First timers
We know that parkrunners love to spread the encouragement to first timers. We’ve seen people register for their barcode and log (not)parkruns who have never been to a parkrun event. Now is the opportunity to get in contact with your local event and get ready to join in the fun in the coming weeks. Why not invite your friends and family to join you?
parkrun President Bruce Fordyce reflects on the restart across South Africa
“I think it was the sight of happy parkrunners proudly wearing their milestone T-shirts and apricot parkrun gear that first made me realise that I was not in the middle of a dream and that I was indeed at a parkrun. Any last lingering doubts were dismissed by the volunteers setting up on a beautiful sunny morning on the grassy banks of the Vaal River.
parkrun was indeed back.
I was not alone in being emotional. 18 months ago the parkrun lights were suddenly switched off all around the parkrun world. But I had forgotten how resilient and positive parkrunners are. We were never going to let our favourite weekly pastime simply fade away. When it became obvious that there was light at the end of the tunnel, the parkrun enthusiasm just mushroomed throughout the parkrun community and everyone was suddenly enthused with energy and excitement.
It was so exhilarating to view happy photographs and comments on social media and to watch parkrun results flowing in from events scattered all around Southern Africa.
Now there is an exciting but busy time ahead for us. There is still much work to do.
To learn more about the status of your favourite parkrun you can contact your home event directly by checking the relevant website, or social media pages.”
Want to get involved? To find your nearest parkrun, just search our simple event map here.
Whenever it is, wherever it is, we can’t wait to see you at a parkrun soon.
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…