Hyde parkrun in Cheshire joined the parkrun family in January 2017. Ryan Sproat, Co-Event Director, tells us more about the event he calls home…
I got involved in Hyde parkrun after seeing a Facebook post from my local running club, Hyde Village Striders. It was advertising an interest meeting, I turned up, listened intently, signed up and the rest is history!
The thing I love most about the event is the people it has brought into my life, the volunteer team are some of the most inspiring and enthusiastic people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. It’s given me and my family so much enjoyment and long may it continue.
Our course is a three-lapper, walking, jogging and running on a mix of tarmac path and woodland trail. There are loads of places where the route passes spectators more than once, so you are never far away from a friendly face.
The buzz of the finish line is in the heart of the park and can be heard from all over the course. Especially if James is on the finish line, then you can hear him from the coast….with ear muffs on! Brilliant.
We meet at the fantastic 96 year old bandstand in the centre of the park. The bandstand used to have moveable glass partitions and hosted many concerts throughout the 1930s and 1940s, and in recent times even Bananarama have performed there.
It’s given us a base, shelter, a place where new and old friends meet and even a hashtag! #seeyouatthebandstand
We also have a Manchester Bee plantation memorial for the 22 victims of the Manchester Arena attack last year.
If I was trying to convince parkrun tourists to visit our event, I would say that Hyde parkrun is renowned for it’s super enthusiastic volunteers.
We have Roman and Joel, aged 5 and 6, and they lead the volunteer band of horns, rattles and whistles all around the course, with over 120 volunteering instances between them.
If you come as a tourist you’ll leave as a friend and hopefully with fond memories of our parkrun.
After parkrun, there is opportunity to grab a coffee and bite to eat at the cafe in the park and they serve the local delicacy known as the Bury Black Pudding Barm!
We have an inspirational man that goes by the name of ‘Spike’, Ray Howarth, who has never missed a Hyde parkrun – 81 consecutive parkruns! Not only does he run every week, he arrives an hour before and sweeps the full course of leaves and debris.
At 73 years young he’s a real character, a great friend and a man that our younger volunteers see as a real life superhero. He’s also still knocking on the door of the 25 minute mark too and doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon.
We also have a regular photographer Tony in attendance and he captures the spirit of parkrun each and every week with some super snaps.
The impact on the community has been significant, it’s brought the running community together, the local running clubs and organised groups are booming and the local running shop is back in business.
Secondary to that the beginners, previously inactive and junior running community is absolutely incredible. Success story after success story and our junior parkrun team are doing fantastic work engaging the younger age group.
We are currently working with Armed Forces Veterans, local health and well-being groups and GPS as part of our community engagement and parkrun practices work and our core team are a real driving force in getting us out there and into these avenues to sell the love of parkrun to the wider community.
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Lara Adams is Event Director at Forest of Dean junior parkrun, which takes place in Coleford, Gloucestershire. Lara tells us more… I became involved with junior parkrun through friends from the athletics club where I am a member. I was invited to join the core team as apparently I appear organised… I think I…