June 21, 2015
140 take part in first national 'Parkrun' at Highbridge's Apex Park

Over 140 people took part in the first of a series of new weekly community running events at Apex Park in Highbridge on Saturday (June 20th), which are being funded by local councils to promote good health.

Burnham and Highbridge's Mayor Michael Clarke and Sedgemoor District Council's Chairman Ian Dyer started the new event, which was won by Daryl Milford from South Devon.

Burnham Harriers running club is overseeing the 5km runs, which sees competitiors jog 5km around Apex Park's lakes, the River Brue footpath and then along Burnham seafront and back.

The free races are being held every Saturday at 9am as part of a nationwide 'Parkrun' initiative to promote health.

Organiser Reg Huxtable told "The first event went so well - we had 144 runners finishing which is great for our first race. Of these 59 were running their first ever Parkrun! Others had come from miles away, others from down the road. It was great to see young and old taking part - the oldest runner was over 80."

"We had lots of positive feedback about the scenic course and organisation, and a special thank you goes to all the volunteers for helping to get this event off the ground."

The Mayor said: "It's great to see these events underway in Highbridge and I hope that it will grow over time. It was great to see lots enjoying taking part in the first event."

The runs are intended to not be competitive, but instead held to help people improve their health and fitness.

Funds have been given to the project by Burnham & Highbridge Town Council, Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset County Council, who in total have provided £3,700 to achieve the costs for start-up.

All runners need to register here to get a free unique barcode via the national website, then they'll be able to record their times after each run and continuously improve their fitness and health.

The organisation parkrun oversees many weekly, 5km timed runs across the UK. "These events take place in pleasant parkland surroundings and we encourage people of every ability to take part; from those taking their first steps in running, to Olympians; from juniors to those with more experience; we welcome you all," said a spokesman.

The first winner was Daryl Milford from South Devon, pictured here.


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