Neil Munro.

Parkrunners shine at Inyoni Creek

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Retirement often invites thoughts of relaxation and enjoying the simpler things in life. However, for Neil Munro and Marinda Looyen, retirement at Inyoni Creek has transformed into a platform for extraordinary accomplishments and light-hearted competition.

Neil recently celebrated a truly remarkable milestone – completing an impressive 200 parkruns! Not to be overshadowed, Marinda, Inyoni Creek’s deputy manager, achieved her own significant feat by completing her 150th parkrun. While not exactly racing to the finish line, the friendly rivalry between them adds a touch of excitement to their achievements.

Neil’s journey with parkrun kicked off on September 1, 2017, in Modderfontein. It all started with a friendly invitation from a neighbour to join a parkrun. Although Neil hadn’t yet registered for parkrun, he was instantly intrigued. After that inaugural event, Neil wasted no time and promptly signed up to become a dedicated parkrunner.

Since then, he has participated in an impressive 205 parkruns, exploring a staggering 114 different locations. Choosing a favourite proves challenging for Neil, given the array of breathtaking spots he’s ventured to. From the scenic Umfolozi in Natal and Umdoni on the South Coast, to various venues in Mpumalanga, and even partaking in 11 international parkruns – including iconic sites like the Eden Project and Severn Bridge – Neil’s parkrun journey reads like an adventure-packed travel itinerary.

Beyond discovering various parkrun locales, Neil’s accomplishments also extend to achieving a personal best time of just over 43 minutes, a record he set at the Modderfontein parkrun before its closure. A testament to his dedication, Neil completed the Modderfontein route an impressive 37 times.

Yet, Neil’s journey isn’t only marked by records and numbers; it’s enriched by the friendships he’s forged. Engaging with fellow parkrun enthusiasts has fostered deep connections and a sense of camaraderie. Coming together at new venues and connecting with parkrunners from diverse backgrounds has woven a cherished aspect into Neil’s parkrun adventure.

Embracing the lively traditions within the parkrun community, Neil has delighted in various unofficial challenges. From crafting his name using letters from different parkruns to nearly completing the alphabet challenge – in which each parkrun starts with a letter of the alphabet (with only ‘Y’ remaining) – Neil’s sense of fun knows no bounds. He’s also dabbled in stopwatch bingo, aiming to finish with times that feature every second from 00 to 59. And, of course, the tutu tradition – a whimsical touch to runs that fall on the 22nd – adds an element of playfulness.

Marinda, an integral part of Inyoni Creek, has also etched her presence in the parkrun world. Achieving her 150th parkrun is a notable accomplishment, showcasing her dedication and enthusiasm. While Marinda’s total number of parkruns doesn’t match Neil’s, her milestone contributes a friendly and motivating energy to their parkrun adventures. Despite the difference, she remains enthusiastic about completing many more.

Marinda Looyen.

With four parkrun options within a mere 5km radius of his home in Huddle Park, Glendower, Greenstone and Gillooly’s, Neil’s parkrun journey continues. Donning his running shoes, he chases not only personal achievements but also the bonds, experiences, and enjoyment that go hand-in-hand with every parkrun event. And Marinda, ever determined, is sure to add to her parkrun journey with new milestones.

Congratulations to both Neil and Marinda on their incredible parkrun achievements – may their footsteps inspire us all as we embark on this enriching voyage of health, camaraderie, and fun.