Gallery: Whiteley parkrun birthday celebrations

Whiteley parkrun birthday celebrations
Whiteley parkrun birthday celebrations
Elliott Evans, coach Terry Price and Hollie Thurgood. Picture: Paul Smith

Multi-talented athletes on the up

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It was a great first birthday celebration with 275 finishers for Whiteley parkrun on Saturday.

Event director Martin de Wied is delighted with the success at Whiteley Meadowside.

He said: ‘Well, that’s our first birthday complete.

‘It’s a special feeling to stand and watch more than 200 runners, joggers and walkers test themselves each week against a 5k challenge.

‘No matter if you are a 20-minute, 30, 40 or 50-minute runner each of us has their own pain or celebration after each event and we share those with you.

‘We are particularly pleased to see so many under-18s have joined us and among them are some very quick runners.

‘We’ve also seen many graduate from Whiteley parkrun to Stubbington Green Runners, how amazing is that? Is it possible some never dreamt of joining a running club before coming to parkrun?

‘Huge congratulations to all who have made that transition in the last 12 months.

‘Of course none of this would have been possible if the core team did not initially fully support the idea for a parkrun in Whiteley.

‘Dave Robbins, Jack Goozee and Danielle Cranstone were quickly on board and their positivity kept the momentum going when things got tricky.

‘During the year we have welcomed two new run directors into the fold.

‘Richard Jacks and Scott Spafford have joined our happy and inclusive team. We are always pleased when people ask join the team.’

The volunteers make the parkruns happen every week and give up their own time to ensure everyone can take part and enjoy the 5k.

For Whiteley’s event director it is great to see how the parkrun has been received among the community in the area.

He added: ‘We cannot fail to mention our wonderful regular volunteers and every runner owes you a huge thank you. As do the run directors.

‘Volunteers make the life of a run director so much easier. Thank you.

‘It’s been so pleasing to hear the Whiteley community is all the better for parkrun.

‘People keep telling me that through parkrun they know so many more people now.

‘Isn’t that exactly what we are all about? A community coming together to inspire one another, to enjoy being fit and to enjoy how inclusive the event is.

‘So it is with deep appreciation then that myself and the core team say a huge thank you to everyone who either runs, volunteers or stands and applauds each week.

‘It’s been amazing and long may it continue.’