Seven months ago, I arrived in Kimberley - sad, frustrated, and facing a never-ending string of settling-in challenges. Will had just started a new job, the kids were struggling to adjust to their new surroundings, and I was missing the very happy and peaceful existence that we had back in Bloemfontein. I missed our old neighbourhood, our friends, our nanny, and I missed my weekly Naval Hill parkrun fix - I was a sad, sad mama.
Fast forward seven months and things are thankfully looking up! Will has settled into his new job, Miss K loves her new playgroup and J Bear adores his new nanny - can someone do a happy dance?! I've joined a new running club and met some fantastic people, I've rediscovered the joy of regular cake-and-movie dates with besties Tanya and Annemarie, and this past weekend was the icing on the cake (drum roll and bated breath, please): The inaugural Kimberley parkrun, whooooooooooooooooop!
After six months of meetings, site visits, e-mails flying back and forth, and more meetings, the dream has finally come true. And it was the perfect day: Cloudy and cool, but not rainy, with the best of the best Northern Cape sunrises in the background; the group of volunteers calmly chatting and setting up; parkrun SA Country Manager, Bruce Fordyce and his lovely wife, Gill, stealing hearts wherever they went; the contagious enthusiasm of the delightful parkrun tourists; and the locals showing up in their masses. My heart sang.
|No better view on a warm-up run. [Photo by Corne Pretorius.]|
|Setting up. [Photo by Corne Pretorius.]|
|And they're off! [Photo by Corne Pretorius.]|
One hundred-and-fifty-seven runners and walkers crossed the finish line on Saturday - some having travelled almost 1 000 km to get there. But it wasn't by any means the numbers that made this event such a personal highlight. For me the best part of this entire experience has been seeing and experiencing the dedication and enthusiasm of everyone involved in the project - it has completely blown me away. Every, single person involved went above and beyond what was asked of them to put together something that I hope and trust will become a weekend highlight for many Kimberlites.
And Kimberley? I think I'm starting to love it here...!