Our local Park Run was launched in Telford on 16th February 2013 by a very enthusiastic guy called Chris Richards. He worked tirelessly to include as many people as he could in the birth of Shropshire’s very own event and there have been 25 to date. Last week 10th August I was one of the 211 runners enjoying their Saturday morning outing. Lots of encouragement and no stress. As a supporter of Shropshire Disability Network I am working with Chris to encourage the less able bodied to join and I wear my SDN T shirt to highlight the work of the charity. The Telford Town Park route is easily negotiated so an ideal venue. We aim to make it accessible to as many people as possible. If you are unable to run the volunteer rota has vacancies.
The beauty of this sort of run is that it is all things to all runners. If you are an elite athlete it can be a tough training run, but it is targeted at the less competitive side of life. The ones who need a little encouragement to get active, to lose a little weight or gain self confidence. Those who might need more support than usual. Or to just get out with the kids and jog, trot, or walk the 5km. A sweeper runner at the back ensures no one is lost, left behind, or injured along the way. Plus the social side afterwards, a quick coffee and a chat might be all someone needs to cheer them up.
For those not addicted to running and sport it all may sound a bit odd, but I have been around athletics for 30 years+ and I have seen the positive effect it can have on both mental and physical health. Because the Park Runs are just a very simple idea to get people moving they are an overwhelming success.
Just to prove that theory the newest Park Run in Shrewsbury is being launched as we speak and will debut in the next few weeks, so why don’t you have a go! You might enjoy it!