City Run replacing Naval Hill Parkrun

Residents of the Mangaung Metro gathering for CityRun. Photo: Facebook

Permission has been granted the Mangaung Metro Municipality for CityRun, under the leadership of Leon Engelbreht to host a 5 km CityRun event every Saturday between 07h00 and 09h00 on Naval Hill, Bloemfontein.

This comes after Leon Engelbrecht was fired as the run director of Parkrun Naval Hill on 4 March 2019 by Parkrun SA. Both Leon and more than 30 volunteers tried tirelessly to settle this matter with Parkrun SA.

According to a statement released by CityRun, Parkrun SA flatly refused to talk to the volunteers or any external mediators. Attempts by external mediators such as Dr FP du Plessis were unsuccessful.

Parkrun’s will still be available for residents in Langhenhoven Park and Heidedal. As a result of the official permission by the Mangaung Metro, Parkrun SA officially loses their right to host a Parkrun event on Naval Hill on a Saturday morning.

On the 13th and 20th April 2019 at 07h00, CityRun is will be hosting informal runs on Naval Hill and there will be no timekeeping at these events. The official launch of CityRun will be on Saturday 27 April 2019 at 08h00. CityRunners will be able to register from 27 April 2019 and registered runners will get their official times via social media and the races will be recognized by medical aids such as Discovery Vitality.

According to Jan van der Merwe one of the objectives of CityRun is to give a professional service to the running / walking community of Bloemfontein. “We want to make Navalhill a place where people will want to come when they want to exercise. CityRun is going to create a friendly and safe environment where everyone will feel welcome. We always were the best – but now we are going to be even better. A dream of CityRun is to take this success story countrywide and we want to go BIG,” Van der Merwe wrote in the statement. – Pierce van Heerden