IN 2018, Clifton parkrun in Nottingham joined the parkrun family. Matt Pickles from Clifton tells us how the event came to fruition, and the impact it has had in that time…
My nearest parkrun was getting too busy, so I found myself feeling reluctant to go. I was advised that Clifton parkrun was starting up, so I jumped at the chance to be involved in being responsible for helping the community in Clifton, an area which is an historically deprived area, get active and outdoors.
The Clifton parkrun course is a fully grass, two and a half lap course, with our local molehills! We have a few different options depending on the weather. As you can see, so far we have had everything from snow and freezing temperatures, to blazing sunshine.
Whilst the course itself may not have any famous landmarks as such, at Clifton when you are standing on the start and finish field you don’t feel like you are in a local housing estate, as it looks out onto the countryside.
Clifton parkrun is a good example of what the local community can achieve despite people’s perception of that community. We are a small but very friendly parkrun, that offers a different terrain to other local parkruns.
During the recent snow storms we were one of very few parkruns to be on, as we are on grass, so therefore it didn’t affect us.
We are already seeing some parkrunners going on to achieve great things away from parkrun. One local resident has completed his first organised run outside of parkrun – a 5k in under 27 minutes. When he first came to Clifton he wasn’t a runner, and has taken his time down from 35 minutes.
Also the locals are all coming to Clifton to help out and get involved in the community event. In addition, parkrun is being promoted on social media daily as well as other local activities and events.
After parkrun, we go for coffee in the building close to our start and finish where we have a local charity provide tea, coffee and hot chocolate and snacks on a serve-yourself basis in exchange for donations, which help the charity to feed those in the local community who can’t afford to feed themselves.
As we are relatively new, we long-term impact of the event on the local community is still to come, but so far we have seen an increase in runners across the estate.
As well as that, our local MP has both ran our course and volunteered with us, and the local police have also taken part, helping to form closer links amongst the community.
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