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Newark Parkrun marks five years on the run


By Warwick Lane


Parkrun participants and volunteers marking the fifth anniversary are, left to right, Claire Simmonds, Karen Borrill, Jacqui Walton, Victoria Heath, Angela Brown, Faye Hemingway, Netty Stevens and Gill Goode.
Parkrun participants and volunteers marking the fifth anniversary are, left to right, Claire Simmonds, Karen Borrill, Jacqui Walton, Victoria Heath, Angela Brown, Faye Hemingway, Netty Stevens and Gill Goode.

Woodland characters were spotted in Sconce and Devon Park, Newark, as a free weekly running event celebrated its fifth anniversary on Saturday morning.

Newark Parkrun marked the occasion with an Into The Woods theme, with 244 participants tackling the rain in a timed 5km run.

Fiona Houghton, who helped to set up the weekly run five years ago, said it was continuing to grow.

"It has been brilliant. It now pretty much runs itself and we have good teams of volunteers," she said.

"The local running community really get behind Parkrun and the clubs often take over the event to make sure it continues to run smoothly.

"There are some people who have been here since day one, and there are so many people to thank for making Parkrun what it is today.

"A lot of friendships have been forged and for a lot of people there is a great social element to it.

Robin Hood’s Merry Men are, left to right, Stuart Hawkes, Jim Lovett, Richard Borrill and Cliff Robinson.
Robin Hood’s Merry Men are, left to right, Stuart Hawkes, Jim Lovett, Richard Borrill and Cliff Robinson.

"People often stay behind for a cup of tea and a cake at Rumbles. It is great that we are also supporting local business."

Participants of all abilities meet every Saturday at 9am to run, jog or walk a three-lap route through the park.

Those who completed the course on Saturday had a slice of celebratory cake at Rumbles Café.

The first Newark Parkrun on June 1, 2013, attracted 153 people. The event now consistently attracts around 100 more people on a weekly basis.

Its popularity has spawned Newark junior Parkrun, which gives children aged four to 14 the chance to complete a 2km route.

This weekend, Newark Parkrun will be taking part in a national event to mark 70 years of the NHS. Staff, from doctors to domestics and paramedics to porters, will join runners, walkers and volunteers at more than 300 local parkruns.

Participants are encouraged to dress in NHS-themed clothes.

As well as recognising the NHS milestone, it is hoped Parkrun For The NHS will encourage new participants to get more involved in physical activity and volunteering.

In woodland-themed fancy dress for Newark Parkrun are, left to right, Sharon Palmer, Brian Thompson and Henrietta McCabe.
In woodland-themed fancy dress for Newark Parkrun are, left to right, Sharon Palmer, Brian Thompson and Henrietta McCabe.


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