Knowsley parkrun takes place in Whiston, Liverpool every Saturday morning, and has been part of the parkrun family since December 2016.
Run Director David Dodd takes us on a tour of his home event…
Our parkrun was established in December 2016 by a group of people that all ran for Knowsley Harriers. We have Event Director Chris Wills, and three Run Directors – Nick Bartlett, Richie Deane, and myself, David Dodd. We try to take it in turns to act as Run Director each Saturday.
In terms of succession planning, we are also excited that Richie Deane has been accepted and promoted by parkrun North West to a Co-Event Director.
To strengthen our core team, we also have two additional Run Directors. Angela Boland and Paul Hanley are part of our core team of volunteers, and have taken on the extra training and responsibility involved with organising the weekly parkrun event.
Our mission was to facilitate the first parkrun in Knowsley and bring a regular running event to the community. We have a fantastic team of volunteers who turn up each week, rain or shine.
Our parkrun is like a family affair. We have all age groups, from 8 to 81. That community spirit and friendliness is evident at every event. We thrive off the positive feedback that we get from people who come and participate at our parkrun.
Knowsley parkrun is set in the beautiful Stadt Moers park. The park actually used be an industrial site but has now been returned to a place of natural beauty. There is a lake where you can often see swans, geese and moorhens, among others.
As you walk, jog or run around the park, there are some amazing nature trails and scenery to enjoy. The course itself is a two lap course. It is a mixture of paths, trails and a small field section (about 150m). It is undulating in parts. Not too steep, but it is a good test. We often train here in the week.
There are lots of amazing views around the park. We have two excellent photographers in Paul Hanley and Richie Deane, who take some amazing photographs of the runners.
The lake has to be the most breath-taking feature though, as it does attract some beautiful wildlife to it.
If I was trying to convince a parkrun tourist to try our event, I would say we are always told that Knowsley parkrun is a hidden gem. The volunteers are so friendly too. You will be made to feel very welcomed by the whole team.
We have created a warm and friendly parkrun, set in a beautiful park, where people can come and run, jog or walk, and feel totally welcomed and inclusive.
I am sure she would not mind me mentioning it, but we have a lovely lady named Eileen, who attends most weeks. She has turned 81 now, we even sang to her on her birthday.
She walks the two-lap course, and is a friendly and wonderful lady. It is great to see her out being physically active and enjoying the park.
After parkrun, our “usual” is at The Chapel Brook, which is attached to Premier Inn on Wilson Road, Huyton. They do a lovely cooked breakfast and a continental buffet. All parkrunners are welcome to join us for a coffee, while the Run Director processes the results.
We have had so many wonderful events. Richie Deane was an integral part of obtaining a defibrillator for our parkrun. He did this by raising money and receiving charitable donations.
We often have cake days, especially if there is a special birthday or milestone to be celebrated. After 5k, there is nothing better than a slice of Richie’s lemon drizzle or coffee & walnut cake.
We have also witnessed so many runners improving their personal best times, getting more confident about themselves, bringing their young children and seeing them also enjoying running in the outdoors, making life long friendships. That is the wonderful thing and the allure of parkrun.
Exciting news: parkrun is coming to the Netherlands! In 2020, parkrun will be launching in the Netherlands, becoming the 22nd country in the parkrun family. We are in the process of confirming start dates and locations, but there has been an overwhelming amount of interest from all over the country. Plans are currently in development to see…
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