Wednesday 11 October marked the ninth anniversary of parkrun at Panshanger Park, with celebrations taking place on Saturday 14 October.
The very first 5K Panshanger parkrun took place on Saturday 11 October 2014, with 289 people taking part and 98 of those being first time runners. The quickest male and female on that day were Daniel Davies, who ran the course in 16:44 (minutes: seconds), and Lotte Rowedder finishing in 20:18.
Last Saturday saw 245 people take part in the 410th run, with first position being taken by Matthew Cummings, who achieved a personal best time of 18:38. The fastest female was Alex Goodwin, a first-time runner, with a time of 24:11. However, the overall fastest times since Panshanger parkrun began are held by Annabel Gummow at 17:16 and Paul Pollock at 14:42.
It’s not just about the front runners though as parkrun is an inclusive organisation that encourages everyone to take part in a free, non-competitive event where all participation, whether walking, jogging, running and volunteering is welcomed. As well as celebrating the significant anniversary, a few milestones were gained on the day. Peter Hyatt completed his 100th parkrun and serial parkrunner Jas Newington ran her 350th (pictured left).
Over nine years, the weekly parkruns – that happen every Saturday at 9am – have been aided by more than 1,000 volunteers and there were 30 strong in attendance on Saturday to help with the event. Infact, many DofE (the Duke of Edinburgh awards) youngsters have volunteered as part of the route to gain bronze, silver or gold awards and learn new skills.
The special occasion was not only celebrated with the run itself, but with a blue number nine balloon and complimentary food and drinks provided by park owners Tarmac, from Planted Coffee Co, for all the participants.
Michael Charlton, estates manager at Tarmac’s Panshanger Park, said: “What a wonderful occasion to celebrate! Panshanger parkrun means a lot to the local community, and we are very proud to host them every weekend. I look forward to next year when we shall be celebrating the tenth anniversary.”
Rab Harley, Panshanger parkrun co-event director, said: “Tarmac has been a great supporter of Panshanger parkrun since its inception nine years ago. This has allowed over 107,000 grateful participants to run the beautiful 5K course around the park.”
For more information on Panshanger parkrun, go to https://www.parkrun.org.uk/panshanger/
All photos were provided by Charlotte Jones.