Nestled in the picturesque Lake District, North West England, you’ll find Keswick parkrun. A beautiful trail route out and back along an old railway line, taking in the views of Blencathra and Skiddaw.
Adam Campion tells us more about Keswick parkrun…
Having heard all about parkrun from Tom Williams in his Marathon Talk podcast, I was really keen to have a parkrun in Keswick. After waiting for someone else to set one up so that I could join in, I realised that it was down to me, and after loving my first experience of parkrun at Southsea on a family visit to Portsmouth during Christmas 2013, we immediately set about bringing the idea to Keswick.
Keswick parkrun launched in April 2014 and our relatively flat route, teamed with our Lake District location give some of the finest views there are. I am sure the other Lake District parkruns will make similar claims, so you’ll have to visit them all!
parkrunners Mike and Maureen who are, let’s say, no longer teenagers, got involved in Keswick parkrun right at the beginning. Having been runners earlier in their lives, they had felt unable to take part in events as they got older, and so had drifted out of running with others. They wrote to the local paper soon after our inaugural, to say how wonderful parkrun is, and that they were once again able to join in with a group environment. Mike even created our unique turn around post at the midway point, welded together from van disk brakes and lovingly painted.
Our marshal at the 2.5k turn around post, Duncan Booth, is another inspirational character in our local community. An MS sufferer, who has climbed the Old Man of Hoy, and cycled to Sweden, among other things, shows us all what’s possible, as well as cheering us on for the return leg of the run.
In 2015 we were probably the parkrun to be hit the hardest by Storm Desmond, one of the bridges on our route was washed away, and much of the rest of the course was made unsafe. We had to relocate for a short while. While we are ‘home’ again now, we may be on the move again whilst our bridges are reinstated!
After everyone has finished, we head to our post-parkrun cafe, Café West, is superbly run to help young people with learning difficulties into employment, which fits with parkrun like a glove. The bottomless refill coffee and bacon rolls keep the cafe full all morning, in fact, I’m not sure that all of the runners go home between parkruns!
The route is a beauty, and the welcome is always warm. As a popular holiday location, often up to half our runners are tourists. Come and see why!
Click here to visit the Keswick parkrun website and follow them on Facebook here.
More information about bringing parkrun to your community can be found here.
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