Friday, 26 April 2019

Too many choices for Freedom Day

The past few years I have done the Freedom Day parkruns on 27 April. These Freedom Runs for Freedom Day started five years ago, organised by some friends. At that stage there were only 9 parkruns in Jo'burg and they planned a route that did all of them in a day. This involves driving-running, driving-running throughout the day. I missed the first year as I was away, but I've run the last three years.

This year, as there are so many parkruns there is a Jo'burg East, Jo'burg West and Pretoria options for Gauteng. I am sure there are also runs in Cape Town. And we have four parkruns in this Vaal area, Parys is one of them.

Part of the appeal for me is not only to spend the day running, but to catch up with friends from Jo'burg who I mostly get to see once a year at this event. With people now split east and west... I've been indecisive. When there was only one version, I didn't have to make a decision.

I concocted a plan for doing a long run here in Parys; but as Event Director of our parkrun here, that we're newly on the new scanning system and we have the additional Freedom Run, it looks like I'll be at home providing support to our Run Director for the day.

I'm doing a long paddle this afternoon as the river is up after the recent rains, so it maybe isn't a bad thing that my long run is shifted from tomorrow.

Back in the day there were only three adventure races a year - 180km, 250km and 500km. It was like this for about three years. Everyone who participated in adventure racing, came to these events from all over the country. Then came mountain biking events, the start of growth in trail events, the introduction of sprint adventure races... and 10 years after adventure racing was introduced to South Africa there were fewer teams at a 500km than there were in the early days.

in addition to parkrun, we also have a myrun event here in Parys - on Sunday mornings. They recently introduced a 2.5km run in addition to the standard 5km. While this is superb for children and those walking or starting out, it does give those who would do 5km an easier alternative. This past Sunday, there were very few people on the 5km, with the majority opting for 2.5km.

Choice is nice and choice is good. But too much leads to inaction or a spread of fewer people at each event.

Rusty and I at myrun Parys

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