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by Bruce Fordyce
16 December 2018

This is the last newsletter of the year and so I would like to thank everyone for helping to make 2018 such an exciting year for parkrun SA. The bare facts are that we opened 50 new events in the year bringing our total number of Southern African parkruns to 178. There were 2,150,000 runs and walks in 2018 (30% up on 2017). There were 105,000 volunteer instances (45%  up on 2017). We had 225,000 new registrations which is about the same as last year and our total number of registered parkrunners grew to over 950,000 registrations. Early next year we will reach the magical 1 million mark.
150,000 barcodes were scanned for the very first time and 33 million kilometres were covered on foot by our parkrunners at an average pace of 41 minutes for each 5 kilometres. That’s several trips to the moon and back.
Finally 1,750 parkrunners  ran or walked at more than 20 different parkrun venues this year.
Those are the cold statistics of parkrun SA 2018, but as we all know this year there were countless examples of stories of selflessness, courage, humour and joy.
And there is every reason to believe that 2018 will be just as exciting. We opened our last new venue at the Silveroaks parkrun just outside Heidelberg at the beginning of December and on the last Saturday of January 2019 we will start the ball rolling when Piet Retief joins the parkrun family. After that there is a queue of parkruns eagerly waiting to get started. The demand is so intense that we anticipate starting new parkruns on a regular basis next year often with dual openings on Saturday mornings.

At the beginning of this newsletter I mentioned all our parkrun highlights and emphasised what a successful year it has been; however it has also been a tiring and at times stressful year and so I would like to thank everyone, once again, for their contributions. In particular I would like to thank the volunteers who made this all possible and the new volunteers who assisted for the first time. Here’s wishing  everyone at parkrun SA a restful and happy holiday break. Happy parkrunning.
Cheers for now,

(Article courtesy parkrun SA)

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