Parkrun growing in strides

18 February 2019 | Health

Otis Finck - The weekly free 5 km timed Walvis Bay parkrun celebrated its first year anniversary recently.

It was also the 48th event of its kind being hosted at the lagoon each Saturday.

A total of 213 park run enthusiasts including 33 first timers were in action on the occasion.

Michelle Wilson, coordinator of the Walvis Bay parkrun, explained the event is organised in its entirety by volunteers and that the concept is quite simple.

“Participants are required to turn up every Saturday at 08:00 and walk or run 5 km. Everybody does it for their own enjoyment and at their own pace. All events are free. The only requirement is that you have to register beforehand. In order for participants’ times to be registered, they should bring along a printed copy of their registration bar code.”

The biggest number of participants attending a Walvis Bay parkrun event stands at 346. Erich Goeieman is the male record holder with a time of 15:04 established during the 11th event on 21 March 2018.

The female record is shared by Emilian Erago with a time of 21:39 established during the 6th event on 10 March 2018 and Joy Lana Kabooy who equalled the first established record time during the 16th event 16 on 26 May 2018.

To date 18 clubs and 1335 runners produced 199 days, 2 hours and 23 minutes of running over a distance of 35 640 km since the inception of the event in Walvis Bay.

Southern African parkrun CEO and running legend Bruce Fordyce attended the inaugural event on 6 February 2018.

According to Fordyce parkrun South Africa welcomed its 1 millionth registered member recently.

“This seems incredible when we consider that just over seven years ago we numbered just 26. None of us could have imagined the future would be this spectacular. In those seven years a staggering 6,8 million runs and walks have taken place. We are able to deliver these amazing numbers thanks to our growing number of volunteers and ambassadors, a weekly team of over 2 000 persons who do all this without any reward except for the gratitude of the runners.”

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