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More than 400 turn out for Felixstowe’s first weekly parkrun event

PUBLISHED: 17:09 07 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:43 08 April 2018

Felixstowe's first parkrun. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS H3 PHOTOGRAPHY

Felixstowe's first parkrun. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS H3 PHOTOGRAPHY

Harman Hopkins H3 Photography

A crowd of 443 lined up for the start of Suffolk’s newest parkrun event in Felixstowe.

Felixstowe's first parkrun. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS H3 PHOTOGRAPHYFelixstowe's first parkrun. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS H3 PHOTOGRAPHY

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's first parkrun. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS H3 PHOTOGRAPHYFelixstowe's first parkrun. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS H3 PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

Felixstowe's first parkrun. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS H3 PHOTOGRAPHYFelixstowe's first parkrun. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS H3 PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

Felixstowe's first parkrun. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS H3 PHOTOGRAPHYFelixstowe's first parkrun. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS H3 PHOTOGRAPHY

A diverse field saw first-timers lining up alongside experienced local club runners, and even included a knight in armour.

Felixstowe's first parkrun. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS H3 PHOTOGRAPHYFelixstowe's first parkrun. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS H3 PHOTOGRAPHY

Mrs Fitch said: “It went ever so well and everyone seemed pleased.

Felixstowe's first parkrun. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS H3 PHOTOGRAPHYFelixstowe's first parkrun. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS H3 PHOTOGRAPHY

“I was optimistically expecting about 250 to come along, so it was amazing to see so many more.

Felixstowe's first parkrun. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS H3 PHOTOGRAPHYFelixstowe's first parkrun. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS H3 PHOTOGRAPHY

“I think word must have got round on social media. It goes to show the popularity of parkrun.”

Felixstowe's first parkrun. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS H3 PHOTOGRAPHYFelixstowe's first parkrun. Picture: HARMAN HOPKINS H3 PHOTOGRAPHY

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 parkrun. Picture: ADELE CHAPLIN PHOTOGRAPHYFelixstowe parkrun. Picture: ADELE CHAPLIN PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

Felixstowe parkrun. Picture: ADELE CHAPLIN PHOTOGRAPHYFelixstowe parkrun. Picture: ADELE CHAPLIN PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

Felixstowe parkrun. Picture: ADELE CHAPLIN PHOTOGRAPHYFelixstowe parkrun. Picture: ADELE CHAPLIN PHOTOGRAPHY

“We had a bit of rain at one point, but it wasn’t too windy and nothing could put us off,” she said.

Felixstowe parkrun. Picture: ADELE CHAPLIN PHOTOGRAPHYFelixstowe parkrun. Picture: ADELE CHAPLIN PHOTOGRAPHY

“We welcome runners of all abilities and ages, although children under 11 should be accompanied by an adult.”

Felixstowe parkrun. Picture: ADELE CHAPLIN PHOTOGRAPHYFelixstowe parkrun. Picture: ADELE CHAPLIN PHOTOGRAPHY

Joshua Entwistle was the first male finisher in 16:42, with Rachael Hamblyn the first female in 21:06.

Felixstowe parkrun. Picture: ADELE CHAPLIN PHOTOGRAPHYFelixstowe parkrun. Picture: ADELE CHAPLIN PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

Felixstowe parkrun. Picture: ADELE CHAPLIN PHOTOGRAPHYFelixstowe parkrun. Picture: ADELE CHAPLIN PHOTOGRAPHY

It takes place at 9am on Saturdays, full details available on the group’s new Facebook page.

Felixstowe parkrun. Picture: ADELE CHAPLIN PHOTOGRAPHYFelixstowe parkrun. Picture: ADELE CHAPLIN PHOTOGRAPHY

Finance for the run has been provided by the county council and Felixstowe Rotary Club.

Felixstowe parkrun. Picture: ADELE CHAPLIN PHOTOGRAPHYFelixstowe parkrun. Picture: ADELE CHAPLIN PHOTOGRAPHY

Other parkruns include Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Kesgrave, Great Cornard and Lowestoft.


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