I read about the parkrun initiative in a magazine. I have been running for 4 years now, yet am still not a member of a running club, and although I have in the past run regularly with CRAG and the Celtics Thursday trail group, I am generally put off any kind of organised running activity. I finally went to join them on the lawns at Big Bay, Blouberg.
The goal of parkrun is to have a timed, marshalled run every Saturday 08h00 at venues internationally:
“Parkruns are free, timed, 5km. runs which take place every Saturday morning. The concept was started by Paul Sinton-Hewitt, a South African living in the UK. He started with one parkrun and 10 runners. This weekend there were about 200 parkruns around the World with over 380000 registered runners. No money changes hands at parkruns and the timing and marshalling is done by volunteers. Parkrunners are of every ability, from fast international runners, to couples walking hand-in-hand people walking their dogs and mothers pushing prams. The concept does wonders for people’s health and there is a wonderful community spirit at parkruns. Bruce Fordyce has brought the concept to South Africa and we now have 6 parkruns in South Africa with over 4000 registered runners. To learn more about parkruns go to www.parkrun.co.za”
It’s all very efficient and you just pitch up and run. If you have registered and have your barcoded card, your time is recorded by scanning you in at the finish line. A mail with your results is sent out on the same day, and the results on the local and international sites are updated.
I attended my first run on Saturday, and clocked 21:50 which is a PB and does not leave me much room for improvement. I have always wanted to crack 20 minutes for 5km so I guess I have my work cut out for me in the shape of some 70 seconds! The course is along the coastline with beautiful views of Table Mountain and False Bay. It is fast and flat.
People of all ages and all levels are welcome to come and join this fun, free social running phenomenon!
What to do if you are keen on joining in on the fun:
- Find a parkrun near to you: http://www.parkrun.co.za/events/
- Register: http://www.parkrun.co.za/register/
- Print your barcode cards
- Go and run!
|Number of events: 649||Average number of runs per athlete: 4||Number of clubs: 335|
|Number of runners: 16,948||Average runs per event: 105||Number of locations: 19|
|Number of runs: 68,173||Total Distance: 340,865 km||Total Run Time: 5Yrs, 0Days, 20Hrs, 0Mins, 40Secs|
|Female record holder: Jenna CHALLENOR (16:35, 03 Aug 13)|
|Male record holder: Gladwin MAZAZI (15:12, 15 Jun 13)|
Stats last updated: 07/10/13 00:19:35