118 runners and 18 volunteers joined Whitehaven Parkrun to celebrate its first birthday on Saturday 29th June with prizes and cake.
It’s been an amazing first year for the parkrun, attendances and enthusiasm have steadily grown to a stage where, in total, more than 1,000 different people have tackled the 5km Mirehouse to Moor Row course by running, jogging or walking, just over a third of these being first timers to parkrun.
To celebrate their first anniversary, the weekly free run had spot prizes from New Balance and cake after the event at the Top of the Shops community Café. Prizes went to Craig Starkie, Claire McKee and Douglas Fielder.
Richard Metcalf from Active Cumbria said: “Since the first event, 1,136 participants have completed 3,738 parkruns covering a total distance of 18,690km. A total of 81 individuals have volunteered 429 times. We have smashed the targets set by funders and all agree that the parkrun has been a great addition to the local community in Whitehaven.
“630 people have registered this parkrun as their home parkrun, and it has encouraged 506 tourists. One such tourist is Dale who I met on Saturday, he lives in Newcastle and was ‘home’ visiting his Dad who aged 74 joined Dale for the parkrun on Saturday.
“Parkrun isn’t just for runners, it’s for all, we have seen a diverse range of people with all abilities benefitting from this parkrun whether running, walking, pram pushing, walking the dog or volunteering. I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the volunteers because without them parkrun simply would not happen”
Mike Hawkins, Cumbria County Councillor for Mirehouse said: “I’m delighted to see Mirehouse as the home for Whitehaven parkrun, the cycle track provides an ideal venue for it. On learning it was coming to Mirehouse I decided to give it a try, not being a regular runner myself, I did find it a bit difficult at first but paced myself.
“A year later I now really enjoy my Saturday morning parkrun, it really wakes you up and gives you a great start to the weekend. It’s been great to see people like myself starting out and giving it a go. I find everyone is friendly and encouraging and it’s great to see people returning week after week to try for that personal best. I look forward to seeing its continued growth over the next year.”
Parkrun in Whitehaven has been supported by Copeland Community Fund, Whitehaven Town Council, Prospect Union and Cumbria County Council.