On Saturday 29th June Whitehaven Parkrun will celebrate its 1st birthday with a special parkrun with spot prizes from New Balance and cake after the event at the Top of the Shops community Café.
It’s been an amazing first year for the parkrun, attendances and enthusiasm have steadily grown to a stage where, in total, more than 1,000 different people have tackled the 5K Mirehouse to Moor Row course by running, jogging or walking, just over a third of these being first timers to parkrun.
592 people have now registered Whitehaven as their local parkrun, the remaining are referred to as ‘parkrun tourists’ coming from other parkruns across the Country and beyond to take part in the event, the farthest away was Australia.
More than 70 people have also taken part as volunteers, the volunteers make parkrun happen; they run the local events doing all of the high-profile tasks at the event (like marshalling, timing, result recording, etc), and all the behind-the-scenes roles too.
The event takes place at Whitehaven Cycle Track, behind St. Benedict’s Church, just off Whinlatter Road, Whitehaven at 9am every Saturday.
Richard Metcalf from Active Cumbria said: “We’re encouraging everyone to get involved in the 1st birthday event. We are very excited about how well Whitehaven parkrun has established and the numbers that have taken part. It’s becoming a real part of the community now in Mirehouse and it’s been great to witness this first hand. Parkrun isn’t just for runners, it’s for all, we have seen a diverse range of people with all abilities benefitting from this parkrun whether running, walking, pram pushing, walking the dog or volunteering. I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the volunteers because without them parkrun simply would not happen.”
Deborah Earl, Cumbria County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services said: “Over the last couple of years as Cabinet Member I have seen Mirehouse really come together as a community. I’m grateful for the support that Active Cumbria has given to this community in the delivery of a local Parkrun. Whitehaven Parkrun has had a successful first year with thanks to the many volunteers who give their time week in week out and I hope to see go from strength to strength for years to come”.
Parkrun in Whitehaven has been supported by Copeland Community Fund, Whitehaven Town Council, Prospect Union and Cumbria County Council.
Douglas Fielder was inspired to take up running when his son, who’d never run before, entered the London marathon. He was so impressed with this but couldn’t find anything accessible until he found out about Whitehaven parkrun. Douglas’ first parkrun was during Storm Deidre in December when it rained non-stop but he said to himself “If I can do it today, I can do it any day!”
Douglas has been a regular runner since that first week and has taken part in 30 parkruns, with his time shrinking by a massive 9 minutes. He is very modest about his parkrun personal best or P.B., but is confident with a little more weight loss, he can improve further. He is well aware that diet plays a huge part in weight loss, but has found the exercise at parkrun to be of great benefit to him.
Douglas compliments the friendliness of Whitehaven parkrun; “It’s very encouraging when I’m going up the track as other runners are always very supportive and shout out Well Done.”