If you are keen to take up running, or just looking for company while you train, Parkrun is perfect for you. Every Saturday, people all over the country gather together and go on brisk 5 km run. It is a great way to get some exercise, meet people and enjoy some time out in the sun.

Parkrun is a global initiative aimed to increase participation in running and other sports. It has taken the world by storm, with events taking place in numerous countries including the UK, USA, Australia, and New Zealand. If you are interested in joining Parkrun in the Western Cape, here is everything you need to know.

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When and where does it happen? 

Parkrun happens every Saturday at 8 am in various locations across the province. Some areas choose to start at 7 am if the weather is too hot. The runs normally happen in picturesque places that offer a great backdrop for your session. Currently, there are 11 Parkrun events that happen all over the province. Each place has i’s own course page, so you know where you’ll be running and what to expect.

Here is a list of Parkrun spots:

Langebaan Country Estate
Imbuko Estate in Wellington  
Hermanus Forest  
Root44 Audacia Wine Farm in Stellenbosch 
Fish Hoek Sports Fields
Rondebosch Common 
Constantia Greenbelt, Alphen trail
Green Point Park
 Eden on Bay in Big Bay
Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville
Jack Muller – Danie Uys Park in Bellville

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How fit do I have to be to join? 

The great thing about Parkrun is that it is completely inclusive. You can register under a club or on your own. Everyone, young and old, is encouraged to join, and you can do it at your own pace. You can run, jog or stroll – it’s really up to you. You can even bring your baby or dog along for the outing. The runs are timed, so you can track your progress and see how other Parkrun participants are doing.

How much does it cost? 

Since Parkrun is an NGO, and organised by volunteers, it is completely free. You do however have to register to join. You can register online here. You only have to register once; if you move or want to join another area’s run, all you do is access your profile and change your information. You cannot register at the actual run, so be sure to do it before hand.

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Feedback from an avid Parkrunner

Petrus Malherbe is a frequent participant of the Green Point Parkrun. Here’s what he has to say about the event:

‘I enjoy Parkrun because it’s fun and laid back. The runners don’t aim to break a world record. Some people stroll along, others run fast. You see dads with prams come rushing by, and then you realise, I should probably pick up the pace a bit.

Running with a large group also helps improve your stamina and fitness level: you don’t want to be the sod that can’t finish the race half way. So you push ahead. I keep on going back because it is always fun, and always great. You start early and you’re done in less than half an hour. It gives your Saturday a sense of accomplishment. And it’s always good to do exercise!’

Photography courtesy of Rondebosch Commons Parkrun, Green Point Parkrun, Root44 Parkrun 

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