Parkrun opens opportunities

Noluthando Centane has become an avid runner since taking part in her first Hout Bay parkrun a year ago.

Tomorrow, Saturday October 13, marks the first anniversary of the Hout Bay parkrun.

The local edition of the parkrun has proved enormously successful, with an average of more than 100 runners and walkers taking part each Saturday.

The route takes participants through Hout Bay’s picturesque wetlands.

“We are seeing about 20 to 30 first-timers each week. We are very happy with what we have seen, and the event is going from strength to strength,” said event co-director Fred Nebe.

“What we are particularly pleased about is that we are seeing a lot of new faces from Imizamo Yethu, particularly women and girls.”

For one of these women, Noluthando Centane, 38, the parkrun has opened up a whole new world of opportunities.

“The last time I had run was while I was at school in the Eastern Cape,” the mother-of-two said.

“I did the first one on October 14 last year and have now done 48 of the runs. In that time, I have gone from 82kg to 75kg, so the event has really helped me lose weight.”

The parkruns have allowed her to meet other runners from Imizamo Yethu, and her regular group now comprises 12 women and six men from the settlement.

Most importantly, however, the parkruns have served as a springboard for her to take part in some of Cape Town’s most prestigious running events.

These include the Two Oceans Marathon, the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN, Noordhoek 16km, Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, Gugulethu Race and Totalsports Women’s Race.

“Since I’ve started running, I feel like I’ve got so much more energy. I would like to take part in other parkruns in Cape Town, but the Hout Bay parkrun is very special. If I miss it on a Saturday, it’s like I’ve missed out on something very
big.”

To further her running ambitions, Ms Centane has also joined the Hout Bay Harriers running club, which she said has been very supportive.

Mr Nebe said while attendances had decreased slightly during the winter months, these were expected to rise again with the warmer weather.

“We are very thankful to Ambleside School for again giving us permission to use their grounds as a parkrun base for the coming year,” he said.