My first introduction to parkrun was back in mid-2012 when my boyfriends mom mentioned to me casually that her and a friend had started walking around the neighbourhood park, and there were a few other people there too. They had beacons set up, and even Bruce Fordyce came through one day.
The way I assumed it… it was a bunch of people who happened to be strolling around the park, catching a bit of fresh air. Needless to say, I decided to join her one Saturday morning as I wanted to start walk-jogging as I called it.
Well when I got there, I was blown away. This casual Saturday run/walk get-together I had envisioned was actually a well organised event called parkrun, (brought into the country by Bruce Fordyce and his team in November 2011 – Delta Park playing host). And not only were there beacons, but flag markers, volunteers and a start and finish line! Say what?!
The rest as they say is history… and now parkrun is as much part of my weekend routine as watching my favourite cartoons used to be as a kid (ok I still watch them… don’t judge 🙂 ).
What is parkrun?
- A free organised weekly 5km timed run.
- Takes place every Saturday at 08:00.
- Yes it’s FREE, and open to all.
- With Discovery Medical Aid, and have Vitality? Awesome! You get 500 points for very race you do, regardless of your time.
- Located in parks all across South Africa (Just in Johannesburg alone, you have 9 parks to choose from – from Bryanston to Rietvlei in the South).
- Once you register, you have access to all 40 parkrun locations across the country (this number is growing all the time though), and more the world over! To register, go here: http://www.parkrun.co.za/
In just short of 3 years, the numbers across all of the parkruns has grown tremendously, with more and more people registering in South Africa – over 73,000 to be exact. AND REMEMBER, it doesn’t matter if you think you are the next Bruce Fordyce in the making or have never walked further than 2km before.
EVERYONE IS WELCOME!
I was never a runner before I started parkrun, and now, with determination, I have entered more and more races and continually aim to better my PB (personal best). I feel fitter, healthier and happier thanks to parkrun. And whatever your motivation for joining in, know that you are doing your health a huge favour!
Regardless of whether you are a walker, runner or sprinter… bring yourself, your girlfriend/boyfriend, kids and even mom and dad along for the fun.