Parkrun cel­e­brates one year an­niver­sary

Mansfield Courier - - Sport - By LOUISE BRETHER­TON

SATUR­DAY, Jan­uary 4 will mark the first an­niver­sary of Mans­field Botanic parkrun.

It’s hard to be­lieve that it has been al­most a year since Mans­field parkrun launched.

Thanks to the hard work of peo­ple such as Louise Hop­wood, Ron Crack­nell and David Jones, Mans­field joined the 1000s of parkrun venues across the world.

Who would have thought a sim­ple 5km event would spark so much in­ter­est and en­joy­ment?

Over the last year, both lo­cals and vis­i­tors of all ages, hu­mans and dogs, have been walk­ing and run­ning the 5km course at Mans­field’s Botanic Park.

Parkrun rules en­sure that there’s no drive­ways or roads to cross, but there are no rules re­gard­ing hav­ing to run up hills in­clud­ing Mans­field’s own iconic zig-zag hill to get the heart rate up.

Mans­field parkrun could also be called the Satur­day morn­ing so­cial, as some par­tic­i­pants am­ble along chat­ting to some­one else who just wants to wan­der along, give en­cour­age­ment to those who want to race the course as they go past, trun­dle along with ba­bies in prams, or set off with their best four-legged buddy.

And af­ter­wards, there are plenty of coffee shops in town to re­tire to and con­tinue the chat.

You will never be last across the line at parkrun, as there is al­ways a vol­un­teer tail walker keep­ing an eye on ev­ery­one for safety.

Many parkrun chal­lenges are there for you to at­tempt.

Maybe an event in ev­ery state, or like the re­tired Can­berra cou­ple who were run­ning their way through the A-Z of parkrun and chose Mans­field for their M, or the group of friends who choose a place where there is a parkrun to have their girls’ week­end away.

Peo­ple from far and wide vis­it­ing love to dis­cover Mans­field is a parkrun venue and ea­gerly join in, al­ways re­ceiv­ing a warm wel­come from our lo­cal parkrun die-hards.

What a great way to visit places and meet peo­ple.

The best bit is that it’s free to reg­is­ter and run; just re­mem­ber to bring your trusty bar­code with you.

Dogs that join in with their owners don’t need one as they have their own ‘bark-code’.

Par­tic­i­pants look for­ward to the email you re­ceive let­ting you know your time and place, over­all, gen­der and age cat­e­gory, you can find it all out.

Some chal­lenge them­selves to bet­ter their time, or se­cretly chal­lenge them­selves to beat a friend or fam­ily mem­ber.

And each week, the many photos that are posted on the Mans­field parkrun Face­book page are ea­gerly sought af­ter­wards.

Vol­un­teer­ing is a crit­i­cal part of the event, so if there is a week you don’t want to run the 5km, put your name down for one of the jobs re­quired to keep it run­ning and en­cour­age the par­tic­i­pants out on course.

It’s as sim­ple as sign­ing up, print­ing off a bar­code and ar­riv­ing in time for the warm wel­come, even on a cool morn­ing for an 8am run start.

Parkrun fa­nat­ics ad­mit to hav­ing bar­codes in all sorts of places so they don’t for­get them wher­ever they are on the Satur­day morn­ing.

Come on down and check it out on any Satur­day, as you can par­tic­i­pate with­out be­ing reg­is­tered to see if it’s an event for you.

Also join in on Jan­uary 4 for Mans­field’s one-year birth­day, with cel­e­bra­tions post event.

Some stats on Mans­field Parkrun (as at week 48)

Num­ber of events: 48; Num­ber of run­ners: 868; Num­ber of runs: 3296; Num­ber of first fin­ish­ers: 44; Num­ber of clubs: 69; Num­ber of PBs: 806; Av­er­age num­ber of run­ners per week: 68.7; Av­er­age num­ber of runs per run­ner: 3.8; Big­gest At­ten­dance: 251; Av­er­age run time: 00:37:25; To­tal hours run: 0Years 85Days 15Hrs 38Min 28Secs; To­tal dis­tance run: 16,480km

Fe­male record holder: Si­mone MCINNES - 20:21 - Event 23 (08/06/19)

Male record holder: Ty­nan MIMS - 17:04 - Event 4 (26/01/19)

Age graded record holder: Mark PURVIS - 81.32 % - 19:54 - Event 3 (19/01/19)

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