Global parkrun phenomenon


Windhoek joins the global parkrun phenomenon as from this weekend. Swakopmund was the first town outside South Africa to join this global phenomenon when in April 2017 almost 200 participants took part in the first event. Walvis Bay then followed in February 2018 in which an overwhelming 338 participants took part.

parkrun fever has now firmly entrenched itself in Namibia with the capital, Windhoek becoming the third town to host a weekly parkrun with the inauguration event to be hosted by Southern African parkrun CEO and running legend, Bruce Fordyce and Gill Fordyce COO tomorrow, Saturday, 10 August.
The parkrun concept is simple – turn up every Saturday at 08:00 and walk, run or volunteer. All events are 5 km, free, open to everyone, and are safe and easy to take part in. The only requirement is that you have to register once off, beforehand on the website
Says Fordyce: “parkrun is all about inclusiveness and wellbeing.  There are no winners. It is just you and the clock. We want as many people as possible to feel part of a real local community brought together by our events, as well as the global parkrun family.”
parkrun as a concept had humble beginnings when only 13 runners participated in the first parkrun in London’s Bushy Park in 2004.
Since then the event has spread to 21 countries worldwide, with neighbouring South Africa first adopting the concept in November 2011 when only 26 participants arrived at the first event. Now more than 50,000 participants pitch up every Saturday morning to run or walk 5 km in 212 different locations across South Africa including Namibia and iSwatini.
At present the Namibian parkruns are hosted as a separate region within South Africa, but according to Fordyce, when there are several local parkruns, Namibia will establish its own identity.
The first Windhoek parkrun will take place on Saturday, 10 August at 08:00 at the Windhoek Golf and Country Club, in Windhoek. There is no cost involved and participants are only required to register for the first run. In order for your time to be registered, participants are required to bring along a printed copy of their registration barcode.
According to Michelle Wilson, parkrun Ambassador Namibia, the event is organised in its entirety by volunteers. If people wish to become part of the volunteer team, they can email windhoek helpers or contact the Event Director for Windhoek parkrun, Sammy Gorman on 081 438 1889 or to register visit the Windhoek parkrun website at or contact Michelle on 081 360 7007.

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