Parkrun - walk, jog, run - choice is yours

2016-02-18 06:00
PHOTO: supplied The Uvongo parkrun takes place every Saturday at 8am.

PHOTO: supplied The Uvongo parkrun takes place every Saturday at 8am.

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THERE’S a simple, easy and cost-free way to stay healthy and meet new people at the same time - it’s called “Uvongo parkrun” and takes place every Saturday at 8am sharp.

Initiated by locals, Jason and Nicci Morsink and Margate Round Table, the event started in 2013 with 26 runners and the rain pouring down on them as they made their way from St Mike’s beach (in front of C-Bali restaurant) to the Uvongo beach and back.

There are now 2 784 registered participants who have experienced the five-kilometre trail.

Comrades Marathon champion Bruce Fordyce introduced parkrun to South Africa at Johannesburg’s Delta Park in 2012. The events take place in parklands, around lush lakes and along beachfronts.

“The Uvongo parkrun was the 11th South African parkrun to start. South Africa now has 70 parkruns around the country,” said Jason.

On 11 May, 2013 deputy mayor Johnny de Wet and Fordyce ran and oversaw the first Uvongo parkrun.

It all began when Margate Round Table saw the need to establish a community event that was free to the public.

“Parkrun was the perfect vehicle for this and ticked all the boxes. It is a free, weekly, five-kilometre, timed run around the world that is open to everyone,” he said.

“It is also safe and easy and encourages locals to get out of bed on a Saturday morning and exercise.”

The event has grown exponentially on the South Coast. “Over the past four weeks we have had regular attendance of over 200 runners every Saturday. To date we have clocked 3 593 runners who have completed a total of

20 882 runs covering a total distance of 104 410km at Uvongo parkrun. It is truly unbelievable,” said Jason.

To register visit and click on “register”. Fill in your details and you will be emailed your unique barcode. Use this barcode at any parkrun anywhere in the world.

“We suggest you carry spare barcodes in your wallet, car, bag, etc. It’s yours and you can print as many as you want,” said Jason.

Halfway Toyota has played a major role in supporting this event.

“For this we are very appreciative. Our new national sponsor is MRPSport, which will be giving a running shirt to every runner who completes 50 parkruns. Other national sponsors are Discovery Vitality (you earn points), Dis-Chem and Blue Label Telecoms.”

Jason added that many parkrunners, locally and internationally, plan their holiday destinations according to where a parkrun venue is available.

“Ugu South Coast Tourism and Hibiscus Coast Municipality understand this and have been very supportive of Uvongo parkrun. We thank them for improving the facilities and amenities.”

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