A NEW Parkrun, set up at one of Leicester’s best known beauty spots, is gathering pace, with over 200 people taking part weekly.
Watermead Country Park Parkrun started back in October 2021, and since then has gone from strength to strength, with an average of 230 people taking part every week, according to organisers.
The free 5k event takes place every Saturday morning at 9am, with participants asked to meet at the park’s North Entrance, on Wanlip Road, Syston.
Runners of all abilities are encouraged to take part, from children, through to professionals and club runners.
Dogs can also run the 5k route with their owners, as long as they are kept on a short leash.
The Watermead Parkrun is the latest park run to become a success in Leicestershire, which is now home to seven park runs in total.
It has also recently been named the UK’s fourth fastest park-run, out of a total of 700 in the country, owing to to flatness of the course.
Organisers predict that ‘The Magnificent Seven’ will become a popular unofficial challenge, where people look to complete all seven of the park runs across the city and county – Braunstone, Leicester Victoria, Conkers, Dishley, Market Harborough and Melton, along with Watermead.
“Participants decide what they want a park run to mean to them. It might be a casual run, a more competitive challenge or simply a place to catch up with friends and clear the mind,” said Dave Snutch, event director for the Watermead Park Run.
“Parkrun is as much about volunteering and supporting as it is about running,” he added.
“The event needs at least 30 volunteers every week to be held safely and we are very keen to hear from anyone in the community who can help.”
The current record for the Watermead Parkrun, is held by Sam Stabler, who completed it in a time of 15 minutes and 17 seconds back on October 16.
The female record was set by Claire Fitzpatrick on December 12, with a time of 17 minutes and 53 seconds.
In order to take part, runners are required to register online at Parkrun ahead of the event, and to bring a scannable barcode along with them on the day.
To get involved with volunteering, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more, or to register as a runner, visit: www.parkrun.org/watermeadcountrypark
By Louise Steel