GALLERY: Parkrun becomes golden

Benedict Jackson (left) enjoys the final 300m of the Golden Harvest Park Parkrun.

A whopping 426 residents attended the first Parkrun at Golden Harvest Park, forming a stream of bodies winding their way through Randburg’s largest park. Parkrun is a movement of people engaging in free 5km runs, often with dogs, babies and young children, in parks around the world on Saturday mornings. Times are kept, although most people adopt a leisurely pace.

Golden Harvest Park is the 61st park in South Africa to start hosting Parkrun. Nine-times Comrades Marathon winner, Bruce Fordyce opened the event on 8 August, telling runners that the terrain was not easy, with many hills. Nevertheless, the crowd enthusiastically took up the challenge.

Francois Joubert (16), a Hoërskool Randburg pupil, finished first with a time of 00:17:54. “The hardest part was 2km from the end,” he said. “There was a hill and I slipped. But hills are my bread and butter. It was fun. I will definitely come again.”

Event director Kim MacCallum said that she and Friends of Golden Harvest Park chairperson Adri Albertyn brought Parkrun to the park to benefit the community and the park itself. “The more people utilise the park, the more willing City of Joburg will be willing to help improve it,” she said.

Albertyn explained that the park has had a history of crime, and the more people get involved in activities in the park, the more crime will be reduced. Bruce Fordyce, who finished 80th with a modest time of 00:23:03, commented that “the park has beautiful scenery”. “It is tough if you run the whole way,” he said afterwards. “But if you walk you can enjoy it more.”

Related article:

A run for the masses

Nicholas Zaal
News Editor

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