You can find Moors Valley parkrun in Ashley Heath, near Ringwood, in Dorset, South West England.
Event Director Gary Tyler tells us more…
I was one of a number of regular parkrunners from both Poole and Bournemouth who were approached by the original Event Director to help set up our event.
As a local to Moors Valley and a regular at Poole parkrun some 40 minutes away who enjoyed running in the park at other times it seemed a no brainer when approached to be on the core team and host an event in such a lovely location closer to home.
If I was describing our course to a first-timer or a tourist, it’s a single lap course with a few gentle undulations, predominantly on gravel paths (road shoes are fine) with the last 1k on tarmac.
We’re situated in a beautiful country park, so completely traffic free. Most of the run is on Forestry Commission land so very tranquil with plenty of wildlife.
There are many great trails throughout the park to run and some great attractions for the family. Come for parkrun and spend the day.
We have many great landmarks along the route. We start by a giant totem pole and finish in front of a lake with plenty of wildlife and a couple of inquisitive swans, however my favourite is one of our own making
‘The cone’ has many names! We have a short out and back section at approximately 3 ½ k and although more than half way, it always feels after turning at the cone that you’re homeward bound, and you get to see your friends as you approach and turn at it.
With the nearest parkrun to the north being Salisbury and Bournemouth in south, it’s no surprise that the majority of our runners are from the local towns of Verwood, Fordingbridge Ringwood and outlying villages in the New Forest.
Since founding Moors Valley parkrun there has been a noticeable increase in runners attending local clubs, C25K courses, or seen out running on their own. There is also now a Moors Valley junior parkrun event too.
One of our parkrunners, Paul Lambert, was a regular runner, cyclist and kayaker. He found Moors Valley parkrun early in 2017 and relished the improvement he was seeing in his running and new friends made.
Unfortunately, towards the end of 2017 Paul suffered a series of strokes affecting his left side and short-term memory initially confining him to a wheelchair.
However, not one to be defeated he was soon walking (albeit slowly) with a stick, and with the assistance of family he attends parkrun whenever he can to cheer on the other runners and have a sneaky walk around the final part of the course.
He’s gradually extending his distance and with his determination we’ll no doubt see him parkrunning again one day.
We regularly have between 300-400 parkrunners each week, and have been averaging even more than that so far in 2018.
After parkrun we decamp to Seasons Restaurant, situated in the main park visitor centre where a warm cuppa, bacon role or the parkrunner’s favorite, cake, can be had.
We love our parkrun, and we always love welcome parkrunners new and old to beautiful Moors Valley!
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