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Preston parkrun prepares to celebrate one year of running in Avenham Park

Posted on - 10th May, 2013 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Events, News, Recreation
The parkrun at Christmas attracted some runners in fancy dress

The parkrun at Christmas attracted some runners in fancy dress

It’s fast approaching a year since Preston runners pulled on their trainers and pounded the course around Avenham Park.

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Preston parkrun has become a staple of Saturday mornings in the city with the Victorian parks the perfect surroundings for Michael Ash-McMahon and his fellow runners.

The parkrun has over 150 runners turning out every Saturday to run a total of 2,100 hours during the course of the year.

Mr Ash-McMahon who founded the Preston run in May 2012 said: “Since the turn of the year the numbers have been going through the roof and we have broken our attendance record on four or five occasions.

“It has even only rained during four of our 48 runs. The response from the people of Preston in making this a feel good, family event for the local community where everyone, regardless of ability, can take part, has been amazing. From the runners to the volunteers the response has been superb and Saturday mornings just would not be the same without parkrun.”

Over 1,600 people are now registered parkrunners and it’s expected to keep on growing.

Paul Shaw, 35, has been making the trip across from Blackpool to take part in the event since February.

He said: “I do the parkrun because it adds some competition to my normal run, plus there are a few of us from work who do it together.”

Phil Jones in the zone during a parkrun

Phil Jones in the zone during a parkrun

Another runner Pita Oates, from Walmer Bridge, said the fantastic setting is a big factor in taking part.

She said: “Preston parkrun is unique to me as an intermediate runner as it has helped to improve my shorter distance running and is timed and completely free.

Pita Oates taking part in a parkrun

Pita Oates taking part in a parkrun

“It has been a fantastic event that has helped to extend my training and personal running goals.

“2012 saw my entries into the 4 Guild series races and having completed the Half marathon in less than a year of running I owe thanks to Preston parkrun for the opportunity to continue with my training and although it can sometimes be a strain getting out of bed so early on a Saturday morning.”

The current Parkrun record holders for the 5k run are Craig Ruddy who ran it in 15 minutes and 44 seconds in April this year.

The female record is held by Louise Wiker since November last year running it in 18 minutes and 51 seconds.

You can view photos from the parkrun’s on the Flickr group and find out more on the parkrun website.

Do you take part in the Parkrun? Let us know what you think of it in the comments below

Image credit to Lynn Brown

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