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Mansfield parkrun celebrates first anniversary

Mansfield parkrun - the free, weekly, 5km timed run at Manor Park, Mansfield Woodhouse, celebrated its first anniversary on Saturday (28 September 2013).

Mansfield parkrun, which takes place every Saturday at 9am, has been a winner with the public, with the number of participants doubling over the last year. Currently, up to 100 runners take part.

A total of 69 runners, several wearing fancy dress, took part on Saturday including five first-timers. Andrew Wetherill of Redhill Road Runners finished first and Tania Clayton also of Redhill Road Runners who completed her 50th run on Saturday was the first woman to finish.  

Afterwards the runners had a breakfast in the Manor Sports Complex and celebrated with a cake that was decorated to show a runner on the parkrun course.

One person who has benefitted from Mansfield parkrun is the Rev Barbara Greenwood (49) of Blidworth. Rev Greenwood lost 7st before taking up running and says parkrun has helped to maintain her weight loss and increase her fitness. 

Rev Greenwood, who started going to parkrun in April, said: "I love the atmosphere at parkrun. It is very welcoming and sociable. Even the fastest runners are very encouraging and nobody is too slow, fat or old to do it. It is great for your health and you can run at your own pace and go as often as you like."   

Cllr Philip Shields, Portfolio Holder for the Environment, said: "Mansfield parkrun has really hit the ground running and it's fantastic to see so many people taking part. It's a great way of becoming more active and improving your health for free."

Mansfield District Council worked alongside its partners Nottinghamshire County Council, The Manor Academy and the Nottinghamshire County Council Councillors' Divisional Fund to launch the Manor Park event, which was only the second parkrun in Nottinghamshire.

The runs are suitable for everyone of all ages and abilities, including competitive runners wanting to use it as part of their training, casual runners who want a more structured social run, or complete beginners who want to improve their health and physical activity levels.

The event is organised entirely by a group of up to 12 dedicated volunteers, most of whom are regular runners, who spend about an hour and a half at each race assisting with roles such as timing, registration, marshalling and dealing with runners' enquiries.

All runners must register online before their first run and print off a barcode, which they take with them each week. This is used to record their finishing position and time. Runners can use the barcode to take part in any parkrun in this country or worldwide.

Results are emailed after the run and posted on the website with historical results and statistics including age-graded performances.

For more information on parkrun, visit www.parkrun.com To register your interest in volunteering at Mansfield parkrun, email mansfieldhelpers@parkrun.com

Published 30 September 2013

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