NINE-time Comrades Marathon champion Bruce Fordyce will kick off the first sociable, hassle-free and open-to-all Jeffreys Bay parkrun at Global Leadership Academy (GLA) at 08:00 on August 12.
“Í am delighted that Jeffreys Bay is joining the international parkrun community,” says Fordyce. “I am looking forward to visiting Jeffreys Bay for the first time.”
Event Director Ron Miles (74), who has already completed 77 parkruns, and volunteer Michelle Ohlhoff (36) are the driving force behind the Jeffreys Bay parkrun.
Miles made park run history when he, his son Greg Miles, and grandson Robert Miles won their respective age categories at the inaugural Lady Slipper parkrun. The parkrun was attended by over 400 participants.
The 5km route consists of a mixture of grass and trail running around the perimeter of ravine bush before circumnavigating a large dam at the bottom of the ravine.
Compared to a typical running event, parkrun has money advantages.
“It does not cost participants any money,” says Miles. “There are no registration fees or licence numbers. It is open to all ages and takes place in a safe environment. Off-road prams are also welcome. Runners need not belong to a club.
“We expect some 500 participants to attend the inaugural event.”
To take part, log onto the parkrun website - www.parkrun.co.za - and register. A barcode will be issued, which can be used at any parkrun event, anywhere in the world.
The barcodes are used to log data and they help participants to track their progress and challenge their previous best time. Results are posted to the parkrun website and are also sent by SMS.
“Volunteers play a pivotal role in parkrun, helping with scanning, timing and marshalling,” says Miles.
It is about enjoyment
Miles says, “It is about enjoyment, and then there is a huge community spirit to it too.
“People look forward to seeing each other every Saturday. It is all about people getting together and it works all around the world.”
The Jeffreys Bay parkrun is 5km and takes place at GLA at 08:00 every Saturday morning. For more information, contact Miles at 083 654 7676. Alternatively, visit www.parkrun.co.za.