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Parkrun launched in Graskop

Frieda Paton

The Jock Trail parkrun in Graskop was launched on February 23 to become one of the 187 official weekly parkruns in South Africa.

Parkrun is a worldwide movement offering weekly free and timed 5Km runs or walks.  The movement has taken South Africa by storm – since it was introduced to our country seven years ago over one million South Africans have registered.

It was a great disappointment to the organisers when the launch had to be postponed for a week because heavy rain had flooded the route.  Even so, 84 participants took to the course on launch day.  There was considerable support from runners from other areas, judging by their times and the number of parkruns shown against the names of many of the participants.

The first finisher

Pierre Veldtmann recorded a time of 22.21 by Pierre Veldtmann. The Jock Trail parkrun is one of the more challenging ones.  At the same time, participants are rewarded with the breath taking vistas that the Panorama Route is known for.

Run Director for the Jock Trail, Grant Bosman, is the one who came up came up with the vision for a parkrun in Graskop and put in a lot of work to make it a reality. He continues being supported by his wife Belinda and by Nick van der Merwe, who is Co-Director, and his wife Patsy.

Bosman expressed his gratitude for the core of volunteers who assisted with clearing the route and worked as volunteers during the parkrun.  Also for the 23 different businesses, and The Graskop Chamber or Business and Tourism, for their sponsorships – mainly for signage and costs for clearing the route.  “There was no main sponsor since they all contributed equally to the parkrun setup,” explained Bosman. “As far as I’m concerned Graskop can be proud of their ability to work together to get the parkrun launched. It was a great team effort.”

At a parkrun, you compete only against yourself but it really motivates you to increase your level of fitness. If you want to become part of the movement you can get more information on www.parkrun.co.za.  You also register on this site to get your personal barcode and then your times for each run – irrespective of where in the country, or even overseas, you participate in a parkrun.

Furthermore, the survival of parkruns depends on volunteers. If you are prepared to assist you can contact Bosman on 082 822 1929.

 

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