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The 10th Suffolk parkrun is launched at Sizewell as event powers on in county

PUBLISHED: 17:00 25 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:32 26 August 2018

Runners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Runners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

The parkrun phenomenon gained further momentum in Suffolk this weekend as the county’s 10th event was launched.

All ages took part in the inaugural Sizewell parkrun, with the nuclear power station in the background. Picture: NICK BUTCHERAll ages took part in the inaugural Sizewell parkrun, with the nuclear power station in the background. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

More than 200 runners took part in the first Sizewell parkrun on Saturday morning.

The 5k course started and finished close to the nuclear power station.

Parkrun has become a global phenomenon since it was launched in 2004, with free 5k timed runs – which encourage people of all abilities to take part – now held across the world every Saturday morning.

There are already nine other parkruns held in Suffolk every Saturday, with volunteers playing a vital role in making the events happen.

Runners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach.
Picture: Nick ButcherRunners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

At the weekend, they attracted a combined field of more than 2,000 runners.

But Rory Marriott, who was event director of the first parkrun in Suffolk at Ipswich and is now the East of England parkrun ambassador, said it could grow even further.

Runners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach.
Picture: Nick ButcherRunners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

He said: “It is only scratching at the surface when it comes to the full potential in the county. Current events are predominantly at the edge of the county and there is nothing stopping growth in other areas which have a willing team to lead it and a traffic free space to hold it.

“Despite the name, a parkrun event does not need to happen in a park, in fact three in Suffolk are on a promenade and two are in school playing fields.”

Runners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach.
Picture: Nick ButcherRunners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

He said one of parkrun’s great strengths is how it had created communities and friendships at local events – which are known for their supportive atmosphere.

Mr Marriott, who is also event director for the Ipswich junior parkrun, encouraged anyone who may be thinking about taking part to take the plunge.

Runners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach.
Picture: Nick ButcherRunners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

“My message to anyone anxious about doing it is to get themselves along to their local event either as a runner, volunteer or supporter to witness first hand how empowering parkrun is.

“We are adamant that parkrun is for everyone whether they want to run, jog or walk. It’s your event and only works if you can participate in the way that works for you. parkrun globally prides itself on the fact that the average time to complete an event is getting slower as that demonstrates that the appeal is reaching beyond the traditional running base.”

Taking part in parkrun is fun!  It's all smiles at Saturday's first-ever Sizewell parkrun. Picture: NICK BUTCHERTaking part in parkrun is fun! It's all smiles at Saturday's first-ever Sizewell parkrun. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

More than 2,000 people will typically take part in Suffolk every weekend.

These were the finisher numbers at each event on Saturday:

Runners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach.
Picture: Nick ButcherRunners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

• Ipswich parkrun – 268

• Kesgrave parkrun – 314

Runners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach.
Picture: Nick ButcherRunners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

• Brandon parkrun – 114

• Bury St Edmunds parkrun – 288

Runners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach.
Picture: Nick ButcherRunners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

• Felixstowe parkrun – 244

• Great Cornard parkrun –130

Runners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach.
Picture: Nick ButcherRunners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

• Lowestoft parkrun – 369

• Haverhill parkrun –95

Runners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach.
Picture: Nick ButcherRunners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

• Clare parkrun – 93

• Sizewell parkrun –214

Runners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach.
Picture: Nick ButcherRunners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

Total in Suffolk: 2,129

Runners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach.
Picture: Nick ButcherRunners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

Runners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach.
Picture: Nick ButcherRunners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

Runners tackling the 5K course at the Sizewell parkrun, the 10th parkrun to be established in Suffolk.. Picture: NICK BUTCHERRunners tackling the 5K course at the Sizewell parkrun, the 10th parkrun to be established in Suffolk.. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

Runners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach.
Picture: Nick ButcherRunners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

Runners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach.
Picture: Nick ButcherRunners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

Runners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach.
Picture: Nick ButcherRunners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

Runners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach.
Picture: Nick ButcherRunners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

Runners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach.
Picture: Nick ButcherRunners taking part in the first ever parkrun at Sizewell beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

Today we can finally reveal the names of the people selected to be on our first ever Inspiring Women of Suffolk list.

This is a list that Suffolk should be proud of - 100 women who are positive role models for future generations, women who have achieved success in a diverse range of fields from business, the arts, sport and education to the third sector.

The list was put together by a panel of judges this summer after we asked readers for their nominations.

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