Stonehaven is a beautiful coastal town just south of Aberdeen on the North East coast of Scotland. It is also home to Stonehaven parkrun!
Kate Robertson from Stonehaven parkrun tells us more…
I always felt that parkrun was such a great initiative, gathering experienced and beginner runners alike for a free, no-pressure, weekly event. It fosters a lovely community feel and is a great way to meet new people and get some exercise.
Three years ago, my nearest parkrun was a 40-minute drive away so I decided to set one up closer to home, I had only run parkrun a few times when Stonehaven started and initially, I volunteered more often than I ran but I have now got my 50 t-shirt and working towards my 100.
We welcome a lot of tourists at Stonehaven but we have also built up a lovely group of regular runners and I love my Saturday mornings hanging out with them.
The event takes place in Mineralwell park in the heart of Stonehaven. It is a multi-terrain, three-lap course which skirts the perimeter of the park. It is very varied, partly on grass, partly on trail, with some ups and some downs and great views.
It could be described as a challenging route but with a friendly, welcoming and supportive team of volunteers, everyone finishes with a smile!
Mineralwell park is set in the shadow of Glenury viaduct, a railway viaduct built in the 19th century. The viaduct isn’t on our route though, the most famous landmark enroute is The Hill – a short, sharp rise which takes runners to the very edge of the park (three times) before they can enjoy the descent and great views.
The Hill is always a talking point and, a bit like marmite, people either love it or hate it!
For our coffee after parkrun, we go along to Terryanne’s café which is inside the local bowling club near the entrance to the park. Terryanne is always on hand with a smile and a bacon butty or yummy tray bake to refuel us after our efforts.
With an average number of 46 parkrunners, some may say we are a small parkrun, but we like to refer to ourselves as ‘boutique’. It means we get to know our walkers, joggers, runners and volunteers and we have formed a great community. Plus you’ve got a good chance of a high finish position!
Every year in July we share the park with the campsite for the world-renowned Stonehaven Folk Festival, where else can you be serenaded as you run?!
One of our regular parkrunners, Garry, has a thing for numbers and is ‘collecting’ finish positions – he has finished in every position between 1 and 18. Oh and he also loves to entertain!
He has run the course dressed as Elvis and Splasher the Dolphin (to promote the opening of the local open-air pool) and at New Year he piped the runners at the start (then ditched his bagpipes and ran the course!).
Since our event launched in September 2016, we have welcomed nearly 2,000 different girls, boys, women and men to our event.
We like to think the local community benefits when tourists visit Stonehaven parkrun and then go off to explore the local area afterwards. We also have lots of Duke of Edinburgh volunteers from the local school.
We would love to welcome any tourists or first-timers to our event, but either way, we love our ’boutique’ event just the way it is!
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