The 10th Suffolk parkrun is launched at Sizewell as event powers on in county
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The parkrun phenomenon gained further momentum in Suffolk this weekend as the county’s 10th event was launched.
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.
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.
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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.”
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.
“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.”
More than 2,000 people will typically take part in Suffolk every weekend.
These were the finisher numbers at each event on Saturday:
• Ipswich parkrun – 268
• Kesgrave parkrun – 314
• Brandon parkrun – 114
• Bury St Edmunds parkrun – 288
• Felixstowe parkrun – 244
• Great Cornard parkrun –130
• Lowestoft parkrun – 369
• Haverhill parkrun –95
• Clare parkrun – 93
• Sizewell parkrun –214
Total in Suffolk: 2,129