The first ever Parkrun in Stafford was launched at the weekend.
Parkruns have proved to be a huge success across the UK and on Saturday, Stafford joined the list of venues when nearly 200 runners lined up for its first event.
The route takes place on the town’s Isabel Trail with the runs going ahead every Saturday from 9am. More than 20 volunteers were on hand to make sure the first went smoothly.
Thousands of the free to enter 5k runs take place across the globe since Parkrun was launched in 2004 in Bushy Park in Teddington.
County Councillor Jeremy Pert, who helped fund the event, said: “We were determined to bring a Parkrun to Stafford as there are so many benefits to the community regarding health and wellbeing so it is was really pleasing to see this get off the ground and to have taken part in the first ever run.”
Runners of all abilities are welcome and are timed for their own personal development. There is no cost to take part although participants need to register with Parkrun.
Councillor Mike Smith, Cabinet Member for Leisure, at Stafford Borough Council, said “Parkrun offers an opportunity for the whole community to come together on a regular basis to enjoy the Isabel Trail and keep physically active as well as taking the opportunity to socialise.
“It is great to see the event come to Stafford and, with almost 200 runners taking part in the inaugural run, the foundations have been laid for this to be a big success.”
He added: “Thanks to all the organisers and the dedicated volunteers headed by event directors, Lee Edgington, David Panton and Gemma Phillips.”
A number of organisations have come together to help plan, fund and facilitate the run including the Borough Council, County Council and Freedom Leisure, Stafford Harriers, Rising Brook Runners and Stafford Triathlon Club.
Sainsbury’s are storing the equipment and allowing the runners to use their facilities before and after the run.
Press Release No 5496