Whiteley parkrun has had so much great support

Runners take part in the Whiteley parkrun on Saturday. Picture: Neil Marshall (170310-6)
Runners take part in the Whiteley parkrun on Saturday. Picture: Neil Marshall (170310-6)
Pearson Atkinson and Tanisha Gray. Stokes Bay junior parkrun takes place on Sundays. Picture: Neil Marshall (171348-30)

Great fun at Stokes Bay junior parkrun

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It’s only 11 weeks old but the most recent addition to the parkrun family in the area is already an established part of the community.

On Saturday Whiteley parkrun had 211 finishers, with 56 first timers to the event, and 50 recorded new personal bests.

The cake club on tour at Whiteley parkrun on Saturday. Picture: Neil Marshall

The cake club on tour at Whiteley parkrun on Saturday. Picture: Neil Marshall

The event was made possible by 17 volunteers.

Event director Martin de Wied is very happy with the reaction he has received from those who have visited the parkrun either to do the 5k or help out with volunteering.

He said: ‘We have just completed event number 11 at Whiteley and our parkrun has gone from strength to strength.

‘We regularly get comments like “what a lovely location, what a friendly parkrun and what fantastic volunteers”.

‘From an offer of funding, a discussion with enthusiastic friends about how it could be done, the support of parkrun HQ and local councils and before you know it we have more than 200 runners each week, running, jogging or walking our 5k route.

‘The figures are incredible, Whiteley will encourage something like 10,000 runs in it’s first year, requiring 1,000 volunteering positions to be filled.

‘What’s also very satisfying is so far we have welcomed more than 250 new runners who had never visited a parkrun before.

‘The unknown for Whiteley was how many runners would we attract, would we get enough volunteers each week, would the route be okay and how would the runners and other park users operate side by side?

‘Now all of those worries have vanished one by one and our confidence has grown.

‘We see many regular volunteers and we appreciate each and every one of them.

‘Already we see regular faces among our runners and watch their improvement week by week and with Whiteley parkrun being located in the heart of the community it is the ideal location for mums, dads, friends and children to wake up on a Saturday, walk to Meadowside and run. Simple as that.

‘So the team are at the point where we are able to relax, to stand back and watch the success of the event.

‘We are very proud to be part of the Whiteley community and the global parkrun phenomenon. We are very grateful to the volunteers, the core team and of course every runner that has helped put Whiteley parkrun on the global map.’

Sam Costley was first on Saturday with a time of 17min 12sec, with Russ Coleman second in 18.36.

Nikki Roebuck was first female (22.18), while Birgit Pontoppidan was second with her 23.27 clocking.

All parkruns are free to take part in and are on every Saturday (9am).