The popularity of Rushmere parkrun continues to grow as nearly 100 people ran last weekend, and half of them making their debuts.
Of the 95 runners, 29 improved their times, while 48 were taking it on for the first time at the free 5k (3.1 mile) run that is a weekly fixture at Rushmere Country Park.
The event, which is organised entirely by local volunteers, was coordinated for the first time by 36-year-old Carrie Tyas.
“Previously I had taken part in other parkruns and really enjoyed them. Rushmere Country Park is one my favourite places to spend time at so when this event started I jumped at the chance to spend every Saturday morning there.
“I must admit I was pretty nervous coordinating the event for the first time, but everyone is so friendly and the runners are really grateful and supportive. I’m always amazed at the effort people put in to get up early on a Saturday and come along and try their hardest, and they do it with a smile on their face. It’s a great community to belong to and hopefully the group will continue to grow because everyone is welcome to take part and volunteer.”
Pierrick Vincent recorded the biggest improvement on the day, reducing his best time on the forest trails by more than three and half minutes to stop the clock at 25 minutes 11 seconds.
Not to be outdone, Martin Davey slashed three minutes off his personal best to finish in 30:52, while Richard Batten sliced a sizeable chunk off his previous mark as he crossed the line in 28:26, a course best by more than two minutes.
Sidney Mead was the biggest improver in the junior males as he lowered his time by two minutes to 28:18.
Tania Bailey and Ella, who takes part in the junior women age category, completed the route together in 27:45, almost two minutes faster than their previous attempt. Charlotte Keen improved her time by a similar amount as she crossed the line in 27:02.
Rushmere parkrun takes place at 9am every Saturday. It is open to runners, joggers and walkers of all abilities and registration is free at www.parkrun.org.uk/rushmere. For information email firstname.lastname@example.org