The running community celebrated the 200th edition of the Grahamstown parkrun on Saturday 21 July. Not only is this an achievement worth celebrating, but the record time for the course was equalled by St Andrew’s pupil, Tony Rubombora.
The Grahamstown parkrun started in September 2014 and since then, runners have cumulatively covered 113 525 km. Over that time, many runners have reached their 50th milestone and a few have even notched 100 runs. Within the next 18 months, two local runners are expected to go green when they join the prestigious 250 club.
“To have been a part of putting on 200 events is an incredible feeling and we really couldn’t have done it without our amazing volunteers,” said Nicola Brown, one of the organisers for parkrun. “I am very lucky to be supported by a very dedicated core group of Run Directors and I would like to thank them as well as thank all the other remarkable people in this community who put their hand up to help with various weekly tasks like timekeeping, marshalling, barcode scanning etc. I am so appreciative that you give of your time so generously and I am very grateful for your involvement in parkrun’s success.”
After coming first in the 200th race, St. Andrew’s Rubombora was surprised to be told that he had equalled the course record for parkrun. “Glory to God,” said Rubombora. “Coming from last week when I was feeling sick, this has really been a reward from God for my work over these past three months, so for that I am truly grateful.”
Added Brown: “Five kilometers is a distance anyone can achieve, even a walker so it really is a fantastic place to start exercising. We have seen plenty of walkers go on to be joggers and ultimately sign up for a race such as the [GBS Mutual Bank] Mountain Drive Half Marathon or The Oldenburgia Trail Run which are both coming up – it’s almost like a feeder school for longer distance events.
“If you followed the Comrades Marathon this year you probably heard about #parkrun2comrades which speaks volumes about how the parkrun movement is changing the lives of many South African’s one Saturday at a time.”