Michel Bega
Multimedia Editor
1 minute read
27 May 2017
11:02 am

How the parkrun became the latest easy living, fun activity for Jozi residents

Michel Bega

Each week approximately 35 000 people around South Africa wake up early on a Saturday morning and head to the starting line for the 8am start of their local 5km parkrun.

Roodepoort parkrun, at Len Rutter Park in Roodepoort. Finishers last week: 688. The parkrun team has contributed significantly to reviving this park as a safe space for locals and visitors. It also takes runners past the Rand Society of Model Engineers mini-train station and an old steam-locomotive. Picture: Michel Bega

There are 106 parkruns around the country and Joburgers have a fair number of runs to choose from. We explore a few of them here.

parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in.

The parkruns are open to everyone irrespective of running ability. The concept was introduced to South Africa by nine-time Comrades Marathon winner Bruce Fordyce who has completed 263 parkruns to date.

The South African record for the quickest run is held by Adam Lipschitz and is 14:17, but many walk the routes finishing in just over an hour.

To listen to Bruce Fordyce interview and see more pictures watch the video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-aVU3opCV8

On 18 May parkrun South Africa was awarded the Participation Event of the Year Award at the 2017 Discovery Sport Industry Awards.

Since its inception in the UK in 2004, parkrun has grown to have hundreds of events in countries such as the USA, Australia, New Zealand and even the Camp Bastion British military base in Afghanistan.

* All photographs were taken with a mobile phone camera.