More than 400 turn out for Felixstowe’s first weekly parkrun event
- Credit: Harman Hopkins H3 Photography
A crowd of 443 lined up for the start of Suffolk’s newest parkrun event in Felixstowe.
The latest addition to the calendar could claim the most enviable views of any parkrun route, with participants touring a long stretch of the seafront prom.
Felixstowe is now the ninth community across the county to host a parkrun – designed to give people a way of improving health and fitness on a regular basis.
Sarah Fitch, a member of Felixstowe Road Runners, helped bring the event to the seaside town, where almost twice as many people as anticipated turned up on Saturday for the first official run, following a trial last weekend.
A diverse field saw first-timers lining up alongside experienced local club runners, and even included a knight in armour.
Mrs Fitch said: “It went ever so well and everyone seemed pleased.
“I was optimistically expecting about 250 to come along, so it was amazing to see so many more.
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“I think word must have got round on social media. It goes to show the popularity of parkrun.”
The free to enter, timed five-kilometre runs are open to adults and children at locations across Suffolk. Despite the name, the events are not restricted to taking place in fields and green spaces.
Felixstowe has already hosted a coastal 10-mile race on five previous occasions, so Mrs Fitch considered it perfectly suited to a shorter, informal run.
She had been travelling to parkrun events elsewhere and thought, rather than having to drive to run, she would contact the organisation and start one nearby.
“We had a bit of rain at one point, but it wasn’t too windy and nothing could put us off,” she said.
“We welcome runners of all abilities and ages, although children under 11 should be accompanied by an adult.”
Joshua Entwistle was the first male finisher in 16:42, with Rachael Hamblyn the first female in 21:06.
The 5k route starts on the green area at the rear of Felixstowe Leisure Centre, goes along the prom to the Martello Tower and Landguard, before turning back, running towards the Fludyers and then returning to the pier.
It takes place at 9am on Saturdays, full details available on the group’s new Facebook page.
Finance for the run has been provided by the county council and Felixstowe Rotary Club.
Other parkruns include Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Kesgrave, Great Cornard and Lowestoft.