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Free Fun+Fitness=Parkrun

Frieda Paton

Every weekend thousands of people join a free, timed Parkrun event at one of 110 venues across South Africa.  Parkrun is a global movement which started in 2004 and was brought to South Africa by Comrades legend Bruce Fordyce in 2011. In May this year, Parkrun SA received an award as the best participation event at the prestigious Sports Industry Awards.  Every Parkrun is a 5km course in natural surroundings, which participants can run or walk at their own pace.  The only competition, if you choose, is against your own previous best time.

Parkrun participants range from committed athletes to those who bring the whole family to enjoy an outing and to get fit.  The second event of the Hazyview Parkrun, newly established at Sabie River Sun, was held on July 22.  Participants included Grant Bosman, who has completed 20 Comrades Marathons,  and first-timer Marlene Miln who recently turned 70, which made her the oldest participant.  A father carried his toddler on his shoulders for most of the way, and children, juniors and seniors, all participated.

“I joined to get fit, which is important even at my age,” said Miln who completed the course in 50.06 minutes. “If you don’t commit yourself to something you don’t actually do it.  The walk showed me that I am not fit enough and I feel encouraged to come back and improve my time.”

Miln described the course in Hazyview as lovely and not at all strenuous.  It circles the golf course with large parts running next to the Sabie River in which, for the second event, a large group of hippos provided a special treat complete with vocals.

In the Kruger-Lowveld area, there are Parkruns at Hazyview, Halls and White River every Saturday morning.

Visit www.parkrun.co.za  for more information.

Caption:

The start of the Hazyview parkrun

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