Park Runs in Lincolnshire have just had their most popular weekend yet.
The weekly 5km runs are held in parks around the country. They are completely free to enter and cater to runners of all abilities.
Janet Inman said: “Park Runs are a huge success, and they’ve just had their largest weekend ever. Three years ago, there weren’t any in Lincolnshire. Now there are regularly 650 people running 5K’s on a Saturday morning.”
The adult turnout for Lincolnshire Park Runs on Saturday 25th March 2017 were:
- Scunthorpe – 509
- Lincoln – 394
- Cleethorpes – 221
- Newark – 197
- Boston – 120
- Gainsborough – 34.
This totals 1475 runners, over twice the turnout for an average week.
According to the results, the vast majority of Park Runners aren’t attached to a club. Over a tenth of those who finished the Lincoln Park Run were doing so for the first time ever.
The Park Run website put the increased turnout down to practice for the Lincoln 10K, which will be held next week on Sunday 2nd April.
The free events have been praised by coaches and senior runners for helping to get more people into running.
Rob Lewis, the coach for Lincoln Wellington Athletics Club, said: “Park Runs have been fantastic for participation in running. I’ve had several friends and relatives who never showed the slightest interest in running asking me to make them training plans so they can participate in park runs. And when they’re completed it once, they always want to come back and improve!”
Janet Inman said: “Lincolnshire Sport is trying to organise another Park Run further south in the county to give more people access to it.”
Notably, there is a large gap around Spalding. People living there currently have to travel 20 miles to their nearest run in Peterborough.
Park Runs began in Teddington in 2008 as a regular Saturday morning run between friends, and quickly spread to other parks around the country, and eventually the world. There are currently 961 weekly Park Runs in 14 different countries – all of them free.
However, despite this success, Lincolnshire currently doesn’t have a single junior park run. These are 2km events open to under 14’s which run alongside the 5km versions.
The Junior run at Lincoln was discontinued for unknown reasons, and Park Run officials have declined to comment.
Young runners now have to travel to Nottingham, Sheffield or Leicester to participate.
To find a park run near you, view ParkRun UK’s map.