200 people take part in Chipping Sodbury's first parkrun

First published in News Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury

NEARLY 200 runners took part in Chipping Sodbury’s inaugural parkrun, the free 5km run which has taken the world by storm.

In total, 197 men and women completed the course on Saturday (February 22) morning.

They each ran three laps of the newly-opened Jubilee pathway, a circular route around The Ridings training and recreation area.

Event director Stuart Wilkie said: “We had guests from Swindon, Reading, Newbury, Croydon, London and Sorrel Judith Langley-Hobbs chose to run and celebrate her 100th event with us. There were even two ladies celebrating their birthdays with a run with us.

“It truly was a spectacle to behold and inside me I felt very proud and humble to now play an important part in the ever growing parkrun family.”

He added: “It was a terrific start to the event and we look forward to welcoming more runners back to the Riding in the future.”

David Coales, from Team Bath AC, was first over the line setting the male course record at 17 minutes, 13 seconds and Rachael Elliot, from Team Kennet, was the first female to finish in 22 minutes.

The first Parkrun was started by Paul Sinton-Hewitt in 2004 and now events are held all over the UK every week as well as in Australia, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa and America. All runs are free to enter but participants need to register first. In December, there were more than 760,000 registered runners worldwide.

The Chipping Sodbury event was started by Ashton Court Parkrun director Geoff Keogh and saw 57 runners taking part in their first ever parkrun.

For further information or to sign up to the Chipping Sodbury Parkrun visit www.parkrun.org.uk/chippingsodbury

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