Aaaaand, Bloem now has its own parkrun. Sela.
I was running late, as usual, and made it to the parking area on top of Naval Hill at exactly 07:58 this morning. Parkrun starts at 08:00. (I have two children aged 2 and under - don't judge). Perfect timing, some would say, except for one small little detail...
Drat. There I was, stuck in the parking area alone with an ostrich, and I had two minutes to get to the starting line. On foot. Foo. I kind of evaporated out of the front door of my car and kept a low, low profile until I deemed the distance between me and my feathered friend adequate enough to start running. Ha, I was actually anticipating Leon Schuster to jump out from behind a bush at any time!
Thankfully Bruce Fordyce's pre-run briefing was quite lengthy (and included the fact that the ostrich in the parking lot is very tame and friendly, pfffft), giving me a few minutes to catch my breath before we were off.
|Pre-race briefing at Madiba's feet.|
I was just in time to hear that every parkrunner who completes 50 parkruns gets a free tech t-shirt sponsored by Adidas... Well, say no more. You'll know where to find me for the next 48 Saturdays.
I simply love the route (they're still busy with construction on Naval Hill, so the route might slightly change in future) - it starts at the foot of the statue of former president Nelson Mandela, and then winds along a gravel road for the largest part of the route.
|The entire route winds through the Franklin Nature Reserve.|
I spotted no game en route this time around (perhaps I was too busy panting), but I'm sure that there will be lots of game viewing on future runs.
The route ends back at the Madiba statue, where runners are treated to an amazing view of Bloemfontein.
|View from the finish line.|
|The finish line.|
Bruce said in his pre-race briefing that parkrun is addictive, and I can totally see why. A free, safe, timed 5 km every single Saturday of the month; incentives to keep participating (in addition to the 50 and 100 parkruns milestone t-shirts, each parkrun venue also hosts a points competition throughout the year); and quick and accurate feedback on your performance at each parkrun - a concept that is sure to attract many more runners and non-runners alike in future.
See you next Saturday!