Port Alfred Parkrun launches

AFTER months of planning and putting together a team of volunteers to coordinate, Parkrun Port Alfred will officially launch on December 9 with special guests Bruce and Gill Fordyce, and Bob Norris.

This weekend, December 2, Parkrun will hold a test run. The race will start at the library lawns at 8am and follow a 5km route around the river bank and finish at the Sunshine Coast Tourism office. Port Alfred Parkrun will take place every Saturday at 8am.

Parkrun is free and open to any interested persons, young and old, dogs are welcome as long as the owner keeps them leashed. Any interested runners must register online at www.parkrun.co.za/portalfred/ and must bring their printed barcode to the start the race. Runners can also register at the library.

Port Alfred Parkrun race director, Martin Neethling, said the idea for starting and registering Parkrun in Port Alfred was due to local demand. “Parkrun is an international weekly running event. It’s all about getting people active,” Neethling said.

“It’s about fun, not about breaking records.”

Neethling said they looked at several routes and concluded the river bank route is the best one. As a bonus to any Discovery medical aid members, Vitality members get vitality points.

“We decided to get serious about Port Alfred Parkrun due to the demand from visitors, locals and surrounding families. There are people who plan their holidays around the Parkrun,” Neethling said.

Currently Port Alfred Parkrun has two race directors, Neethling and Pauline Weed, and a group of over 20 volunteers to assist with marshalling and scanning.

Parkrun takes place all over the world, and at the moment locals are traveling to Grahamstown to take part in one. In South Africa Parkrun is six years old and there are hundreds of registered Parkrun courses in various cities and towns. In Port Elizabeth, the Hobie Beach Parkrun attracts as many as 800 runners on any given Sunday.

Please join the Facebook page Port Alfred Parkrun for regular updates and news.

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