Park run­ners are a nui­sance

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Active -

I AM re­ally dis­ap­pointed that ‘Park Run’ has set up in Hes­keth Park, South­port.

Paul Sin­ton-He­witt had a won­der­ful idea to set up the not for profit runs in the vast Lon­don parks more than a decade ago.

How­ever, in my opin­ion, it is now an overblown com­pany whose ‘not for profit’ ti­tle and em­pha­sis on re­liance upon vol­un­teers does not re­flect the huge spon­sor­ship deals and paid staffing lev­els that are re­ally in­volved.

The com­pany now has ‘part­ners’ and CEOs to sat­isfy and so ex­pan­sion is a must.

Even so, who on earth de­cided that it was sen­si­ble to have up­wards of 150 peo­ple run­ning at speed around the com­par­a­tively tiny Hes­keth Park with its blind bends and cor­ners?

At 9am, as the race starts, oth­ers are ar­riv­ing too.

Young and old, some with dogs some with­out, those who pass through for a peace­ful walk on their way to work and some who sim­ply sit and look at the lake on a beau­ti­ful morn­ing.

The Park Run news­let­ter smugly re­ported that ‘a few dog walk­ers were sur­prised on Christmas Day.’ Why not re­port hon­estly? The lit­tle com­mu­nity of el­derly dog walk­ers and their com­pan­ions were run off the paths, couldn’t stop to chat with their neigh­bours and had their walks spoilt.

On the whole it’s the fast run­ners try­ing to im­prove their PBs (per­sonal best times) that are the real prob­lem, el­bows out and side by side with their speedy bud­dies ev­ery­one is obliged to make way.

Why not keep the fam­ily groups and find some­where more suit­able for the fast run­ners?

It is re­ally charm­ing to see the be­gin­ner jog­gers, par­ents with chil­dren and those push­ing bug­gies as the pace is gen­er­ally stead­ier and they weave in and out of the usual park users.

What about util­is­ing the mu­nic­i­pal golf course more?

Some days half the town seems to be shoe­horned into Hes­keth Park whilst the nearby course stands rel­a­tively empty.

I am sure there are other equally suit­able large open spa­ces.

Parks need to re­main shared space with no group con­sid­er­ing that their ac­tiv­ity is some­how more im­por­tant or worth­while than their fel­low park users.

Name and ad­dress sup­plied OVER the holiday of Christmas and New Year I watched a TV rom­com about two win­dow dressers who were com­pet­ing to be the ‘head win­dow dresser’.

Each was given a win­dow and which­ever win­dow at­tracted most peo­ple, thus mak­ing them stop and en­ter the shop, would be the win­ner.

When was the last time you looked in a shop win­dow, ex­cept to check the open­ing times? I am just as guilty. We are too busy look­ing at our phones be­cause for many peo­ple our shop win­dow is on­line.

To re­ju­ve­nate our high street we need win­dow de­signs that make us stop and stare.

When was the last time your lo­cal cham­ber of trade held a win­dow dress­ing com­pe­ti­tion? BJ Pow­ell, South­port

KEEP AS­SETS IN TOWN

I AM dis­mayed to see that the YMCA trustees have closed the Com­mu­nity Cen­tre on Hoghton Street.

Only last month, they an­nounced an am­bi­tious strate­gic plan and a merger with Liver­pool YMCA.

The YMCA’s strate­gic plan ap­pears to have been some­what de­ceit­ful by an ‘ir­re­spon­si­ble charity’ which has no con­sid­er­a­tion of its im­pact on the lives of young peo­ple in South­port.

South­port YMCA has pro­vided a ma­jor leisure fa­cil­ity for young peo­ple in South­port for more than 100 years and was break­ing even on its op­er­a­tions un­til the new man­age­ment team ar­rived

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