123 adults and children laced up their trainers to take part in the first Haverhill parkrun, despite the somewhat soggy conditions on Saturday. The group was a mix of beginners and experienced runners, and it was particularly pleasing for organisers to see that 29 runners were completely new to parkrun, and 17 volunteers helped to make the event a success.
The latest of the parkrun events will take place every Saturday at 9am in Haverhill, starting from Puddlebrook Playing Fields, Greenfields Way.
For anyone unfamiliar with the parkrun concept, it’s a free, weekly, 5km timed run (not a race) suitable for experienced runners or complete beginners and run entirely by volunteers.
Event Director Annette Hall was thrilled with the turnout for week one of the Haverhill parkrun and said “We couldn’t have asked for a better first run, even though it was a bit wet underfoot, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and there was a real buzz enjoying a piece of cake afterwards, kindly supplied by Shirley. She went on “parkrun is all about getting active in a fun, safe environment and I would like to thank all the volunteers who helped. Finally, I would encourage anyone to come and volunteer, as it’s a very social event”.
The Haverhill parkrun was made possible through a partnership between Suffolk County Council, St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Haverhill Town Council and Abbeycroft Leisure.
Cllr Tony Goldson, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, said “parkrun is massively successful in getting people moving at scale. Over 33,500 people have already participated in one of the eleven parkruns established in Suffolk. Haverhill parkrun will see this number increase even further and in doing so help towards our ambition of becoming the most active county in England. I wish everybody involved huge success.”
Cllr Jo Rayner, St Edmundsbury Borough Council Cabinet member for Leisure and Culture said, “I am really pleased to have helped Suffolk’s fourth largest town set up its own park run, and pay tribute to Haverhill’s friendly running community for their voluntary support in giving anyone wanting to try running this great opportunity. Five kilometres is 3.1 miles, which would take you perhaps an hour if you chose to walk it all. As you get better, you could aim to run it in about half an hour, or even less! It is run entirely on grass with a welcome coffee van at the finish”.
Ian Evans, Sports Development Manager at Abbeycroft Leisure said “We were very happy to support setting the event up in Haverhill as we’ve seen how successful parkrun can be for the local community, and we’re passionate about giving local people every opportunity to get active and stay active”.
It is hoped more volunteers will come forward for the Haverhill parkrun, as the success of the event relies entirely on volunteers. To register your support as a volunteer please email. email@example.com.
Anyone interested in taking part should register once at www.parkrun.org.uk/haverhill, there is no charge to do so.
(Photo: Taken from the first Haverhill parkrun event on Saturday 9th March 2018. Thanks to Phil Morley Photography)