In and around the Leicestershire town of Melton Mowbray there are 28 ancient monuments, 705 listed buildings, 16 sites of special scientific interest, and one parkrun. It is best known for the Melton Mowbray pork pie, or at least it was until a new contender came on the scene in January 2015.
Melton Mowbray parkrun Event Director Shane Sharkey picks up the story:
The idea behind Melton Mowbray parkrun was to showcase my running club and to provide a guaranteed speed session every week. But over the past three years my perceptions of parkrun have transformed significantly and I now see parkrun as less of a running event, and more of a community where it is strongly encouraged to feel good. I love our event because we are blessed to have such a wonderful park in which to run, the people are phenomenal, and we always get great feedback from our tourists. It’s sum is so much greater than its parts and I am proud to be a parkrunner.
Our two-lap course in Melton Country Park certainly isn’t the easiest parkrun route you’ll find, but at every point you have something completely different to look at – whether it is trees, bridges, fields, lakes, allotments or football pitches – you’ll certainly not get bored. The whole course is on pathways and can be run in road shoes all year round. But the most famous landmark without a doubt is ’40 Oaks’. Well, that’s its official name, but it is now known to parkrunners and non-parkrunners alike as simply ‘parkrun Hill’!
We have a post-parkrun café at the Visitors Centre near the start and finish lines. The café is run by the local educational learning hub – providing alternative educational provision for young people who have not been able to succeed through mainstream education. All profits from the café is reinvested back into the learning hub so it is a great community project.
The proceeds from the café are reinvested into the learning hub, which has helped to ease the pressure on the hub and further enhance the quality of provision that they are supplying to their learners, many of who come from a disadvantaged background.
The number of people who now see parkrun as a staple beginning to their weekends is perhaps the most profound impact Melton Mowbray parkrun has had on the local community – around 3,500 different people have walked, jogged, run and volunteered. Christmas and New Year’s runs are phenomenal. There are so many people who would not usually be involved in the running community who are taking part, often with their whole families. It has become something to bring people from all walks (and runs) of life together and created some fantastic friendships and relationships alike.
If you’d like to find out more about bringing parkrun to your community, we’d love to hear from you using this form.
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