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The Westville Parkrun has re-opened and is back in action!

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The Westville Parkrun has re-opened and is back in action!

Have your running shoes been languishing for weeks? Trapped in a desolate, dark place. Say, like the back of your wardrobe? Well, it's time to drag them out, dust them off and let them see the light of day again because the Westville Parkrun is back in action! 

Westville Country Club Eco Trails
The global parkrunning phenomenon celebrates 18 years of operating based on the founding principles: "free, weekly, for everyone, forever". And these were adopted wholeheartedly by Westville locals keen to start their own event - and they had the perfect place picked out - the famed Westville Country Club Eco Trails.

This natural paradise in the heart of Westville has become a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts eager to run, hike and mountain bike through its carefully conserved landscape of indigenous flora and fauna. 

Such natural beauty also made for the perfect trail running route. The Westville parkrun event established a path that wound around switchbacks, meandered over a stream and up the daunting "Heartbreak Hill". Twice for lap 2! Before the customary post-run coffee at the Squash & Bean coffee shop by the start/finish! It proved a hit. Parkrunners of all abilities were drawn to the participants' camaraderie, the volunteers' friendliness and the event's challenge.

No more raining on the parkrun's parade!
Sadly, when the heavens opened in April, the original trail suffered enormous damages - sections swept away, mudslides and exposed pipes. The rain-ravaged route was closed to parkrunners as the community and Westville Country Club set about the challenging task of restoring the Eco Trails. It took over 5 months of hard graft to complete the mammoth undertaking. But boy, has the result been well worth the wait!

Westville parkrunners have been rewarded for their patience with a new single-lap route. You heard right - you only have to hit that hill once now! The trail boasts 66 waymarkers to keep you on track and helpful volunteers for directional and motivational support. 

The inaugural event for the new trail was held on 1st October to great fanfare and enthusiasm. The re-opening saw 217 parkrunners don their trail shoes and hit the track, with 72 celebrating personal best run times and a rather astounding 100th parkrun for 8-year-old Daniel Cason. Despite all the exciting changes, some things remain the same - the traditional post-run Squash & Bean meet-up is still going strong, and long may it last!

All you need to know to enjoy the Westville parkrun
If you're game to give it a go, swing by the Westville Country Club in Dawncliffe and park by the squash courts. The parkrun is held every Saturday with an 8 am start time. The new trail is a single lap covering 5km  - which means bring your trail shoes but best leave prams and dogs behind (due to the nature of the single-track path). If "safety first" are words you live by, order a wristband for a parkrun ICE ID (in case of emergency ID) from https://iceid.co.za/parkrun/. And don't forget your barcode (issued on registration) so that volunteers can provide you with timed results.

The immeasurable value of volunteers
Speaking of volunteers, there would be no event without these fine folk putting their hands up and saying, "I'll help". They act as timekeepers, marshals, cheerleaders and trail walkers. Now the role is expanding to a new breed of volunteers - the pathwalkers.

This initiative is designed to demonstrate that walking at the parkrun is not only acceptable; it's encouraged. Volunteers are taking to the trails and walking their way to the finish. Situated behind the runners, these way-walkers will tackle the course with fellow strollers to make everyone - no matter their pace - feel included, appreciated and applauded for their efforts. 

So if you are interested in running or walking - the way is now open for all! For more information visit www.parkrun.co.za/westville/ or follow on www.facebook.com/westvilleparkrun

Author Shelley Residential
Published 20 Oct 2022 / Views -

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