Heslington parkrun in York launched in January 2018. Rob Hunt, Co-Event Director at Heslington, gives us the low-down
A few regulars at York parkrun, including two Run Directors (RDs), were keen to set up another course as York parkrun attendance numbers merited more than one parkrun in the city.
As a regular parkrunner myself, and an employee at the University of York, I was keen to see if a suitable course could be found on campus. It could and somehow I found myself as Co-Event Director! But with a great group of eight RDs, including an experienced RD from York.
After seven months of parkrunning, we love it every bit as much as the first run, mainly for the fantastic sense of community, an interesting course and great support from our “landlords”, York Sport Village (YSV) and the University of York.
Our course is easy to follow, scenic and flat. One lap of the smoothest tarmac ever on the YSV cycle track, followed by a slightly bumpy out and back 3k along a block-paved private drive, Lakeside Way, with views over the lake, and then a final lap of the cycle track.
We don’t have any particular landmarks, but we do have a very large resident gaggle of geese and a family of swans that can make for an interesting view on the course if they decide to waddle, very slowly, across it!
It has everything for tourists – it’s a great course with plenty of variety and a very friendly welcome. Parking, toilets and changing facilities available. We then go for coffee at the cafe at YSV, or Starbucks at the University Piazza Building. YSV also very handy for a post-run swim!
Our event is quite unique in the sense that we’re one of only a handful of parkruns hosted entirely on University campuses (but we are open to all!) and we regularly act as an alternative course for our “big brother”, York parkrun, when the horse races are on – hence our attendances can fluctuate significantly.
We are particularly pleased to have attracted a number of students to volunteering roles. Paul Williams, a postgraduate Computer Sciences student, was relatively new to parkrun but now is one of our regular timekeepers and won a Vitality Volunteer of the Month award in May.
Heslington parkrun has helped the University progress towards its wellbeing and engagement objectives including improving local community engagement and increasing footfall on campus – most regular parkrunners having no other connection to the University.
We are also in talks with a couple of local surgeries about them becoming “parkrun practices”. The future looks even brighter for Heslington!
Congratulations to Tees Barrage parkrun who have won the Community Sport category at the 2018 Catalyst Achievement Awards. A presentation evening was held at Wynyard Hall, which celebrated the work of those involved in the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector in Stockton-on-Tees Borough throughout that year. Pictured are the Event Director…
Many of you will be familiar with the sunny smile of our ambassador Susie Chan, and this month she’s got even more to smile about as she’s just received a new bundle of running gear from our very own range, Pro Touch. Endurance runner Susie is the perfect person to try out our latest range…