News - 10th April 2019

parkrun profile: Kettering

Kettering - pontoon 2

The town of Kettering in Northamptonshire has been home to Kettering parkrun since Saturday 24 September 2016.


Event Director Rob Parkes tells us more about his home event…


Rob Parkes ED Kettering


Kettering parkrun has already become an integral part of the local community, with close to 7,000 people experiencing our event since 2016.


As recognition for this impact, we are humbled to have been recognised at the Kettering Borough Council Sports Awards – winning The Get Active Award in October 2018. 


Kettering - pontoon


Christine Henshaw runs with her family and is a regular volunteer with our core team. As she explains, she is a perfect demonstration of the power of parkrun:

“Kettering parkrun is my superhero because right from my very first one, which I was terrified to do, everybody has been friendly and encouraging. It helped me start on the road to losing weight along with Weight Watchers as you can see from the photos 1 year apart.


I have volunteered too and love it. It is so social and inclusive for all ages and abilities. Thank you!”




The Kettering parkrun course is located in Wicksteed Park, which is the UK’s first theme park – a Grade 2 Listed Park and Garden – offering healthy outdoor fun for all the family since 1921.


The route is a varied two-and-a-bit loop, with ups and downs, a lake, boardwalk, pontoon, train-crossings, trees and wildlife, all on different terrains!


For our post-parkrun coffee we head to the Ideas Cafe, which is just a short walk from the finish area – and serves fantastic coffee, snacks and cake as well as pet-friendly doggie ice-cream!



Selfie frame 050419


The most famous landmark on our course is the water chute that we run past. It is the oldest in the UK, is still in regular use, and is listed by Historic England –  it was built by Charles Wicksteed in 1926.


If you want a parkrun, that’s a bit of a challenge with a varied, interesting route and lovely encouraging volunteers – followed by a day out in a historic family theme park – then try Kettering parkrun.


Plus there can’t be too many parkruns that have resident Alpacas!



Alan Sprage 050419


As Event Director, I can vividly remember the Saturday we held our “secret” practice event the week before our launch. A lady came up to me and asked if we were setting up a parkrun - I said yes – and amazingly she said she had been coming to the park every Saturday at 9:00am for the past few weeks hoping beyond hope that one would be set up!


That lady is Val Nix (below) – and she has been at every Kettering parkrun since then, running and volunteering with us ever since! It’s just one of the stories that make parkrun, and our event so special.


Val Nix 050419


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