Rushmere parkrun continues to grow in popularity as more records tumble

Rushmere parkrun
Rushmere parkrun

More than 100 runners took full advantage of drier conditions at the latest instalment of Rushmere parkrun.

An impressive 28 people recorded their fastest time on the five-kilometre (3.1 mile) circuit, which takes in two laps of the park and is run entirely on forest paths.

The emphasis is strongly on fun and fitness, with many of the participants and volunteers meeting in the café after the run.

Jon Hull, one of the volunteers who helped establish the event, said the mix of running and helping out is a perfect combination.

“My kids are 16 and 12 so it’s great to go up to the Country Park each Saturday morning together.

Sometimes we run and other times we volunteer, which is great for all of us in terms of spending time together as a family, keeping fit and learning loads of new skills through volunteering.

“Rushmere is just one of 750 parkrun events across the globe and each one is coordinated entirely by volunteers from the local community.

“We have people marking out the route, doing timekeeping, registering participants, marshalling on the course, taking photos, writing our run reports, taking photos and coordinating our social media.

“There’s really something there for everyone.

“I would encourage anyone to come along as a participant or volunteer to get involved, have some fun and meet new people.”

Rushmere parkrun is a timed run, not a race, with each finisher receiving an age grading that is calculated according to their age and gender.

Katie Van De Linde recorded a new best time in the women’s 45-49 category with a time of 24:05, while Cheryl Sacks did likewise in the women’s 40-44 field as she stopped the clock at 24:26.

Frederick Watt set a new mark of 26:31 in the men’s 65-69 category, and Gordon Hill became the fastest man in the 70-74 age group after crossing the line in 32:14.

In the juniors section, Thomas Hirst-Mitchell became the fastest runner under the age of 10 to complete the course, with an impressive time of 25:07.

The two biggest improvers on the day were Frances Meichtry (34:02) who reduced her best time by two minutes and 44 seconds, while Diane Latimer recorded the biggest personal best with 42.54, more than three minutes faster than her last outing.

Rushmere parkrun takes place at 9am every Saturday throughout the year. It is open to all ages and abilities and registration is free at www.parkrun.org.uk/rushmere or email rushmereoffice@parkrun.com for information.