Off and running -new parkrun makes its debut in Alnwick

Alnwick now has its very own parkrun - with the first event attracting more than 200 runners.

The debut Pastures parkrun was held last weekend and will now be a weekly fixture, starting at 9am.

The 5k event - the most northerly in England - is staged in the shadow of Alnwick Castle and takes participants on a three-lap course. It is open to all standards of runner (and walkers for that matter!), from beginners to club runners.

Although the event is not run by Alnwick Harriers, it was fitting that the first run was won by the club’s Dan Turnbull, while Alnwick Junior Millie Breese was first woman home,

The Pastures parkrun is the 585th parkrun in the UK and event director Mike Henry and Run directors Conrad Stewart and Jenna Moffat are delighted that the event has started, after 15 months of hard work.

Mike said: “Although called a parkrun, you don’t have to run. Runners, joggers and walkers of any standard are welcome. Age too is no barrier although children under 11 years must be accompanied by an adult, even if that means waiting for mum or dad.”

The Pastures parkrun organisers would like to thank Rory Wilson, from Alnwick Castle Estates, who has been so helpful and supportive in making the Pasture available.

The setting up of the parkrun has been a community effort with support from Blackshaws Garage, Alnwick Town Council and Alnwick Harriers, as well as individual contributions from Mark Miller and Collette Stewart.

The event team would also like to thank Coun Gordon Castle, who not only contributed a major part of the funding, but also gave his help and support in getting the event up and running. Not content with giving his backing to the event, Coun Castle participated in the debut run and came first in the over 70 age category.

One of the special things about the parkrun initiative is that the events are entirely co-ordinated by volunteers.

Run Director Jenna Moffat said: “The run and its future is only possible due to the volunteers who set up, marshal and record the times. A big thank you to all those who rallied to the call on Saturday and a warm welcome is guaranteed to anyone who would like to participate or volunteer to marshal.”

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