News - 4th June 2019

parkrun profile: Hadleigh


Hadleigh parkrun in Essex launched in October 2016, and since then has welcomed more than 3,500 different parkrunners.


Amie Bright from Hadleigh parkrun tells us more about her home event…




I became a core member after volunteering a few times and absolutely loving the atmosphere.


I have so much fun volunteering on a Saturday morning in such a beautiful location, it gets me out in the fresh air, I feel like I’m giving something back to my community and I can take my dog too.




I really enjoy getting to know the runners or walkers and love to see them all getting better each week. 


Our Hadleigh parkrun course is challenging because it is hilly but the scenery is so beautiful its worth it. My advice is to make the most of the downs and take the opportunity to take in the views during the ups!




We pride ourselves on being a very warm, friendly and welcoming parkrun, and everyone is welcome at Hadleigh parkrun. For our post-parkrun coffee, we’re lucky enough to have a cafe on the country park site, so this is where we all go for a cuppa or a snack after our 5k.


We are located on the same site as Hadleigh Castle. The castle itself is not much more than ruins but is a famous local landmark.


In addition, we are also in the same location as the 2012 Olympic Mountain bike track. It’s as a result of the Olympics and the Hadleigh park Legacy project that we now all get to benefit from this amazing location.




We are lucky enough to have some very dedicated volunteers at Hadleigh parkrun. One, in particular, is a lovely lady called Valerie.


Valerie lives locally but is not a runner. Valerie’s daughter Karen lives around 20 miles away and does like to run, so she often used a Saturday morning to visit ‘mum’ and also run our parkrun.


Karen saw our Facebook page asking for volunteers for Saturday 31st March 2018 and spoke to her mum Valerie to see if she would help. And the rest, as they say, is history…. 




Valerie has volunteered in the same spot more than 25 times since then and even brings her own chair. Valerie has become such a regular face at our parkrun that she tells me that so many people say hello to her when she’s out in our local town now!



Our event has had a huge impact on the local community and has transformed Saturday mornings at the Hub, the cafe near the start of our course.


People come to the park for parkrun but now stay for the open water swimming, mountain biking or the coffee! Like all park runs it’s great to see such a wide variety of people coming along, all ages, all speeds and for so many it’s now become part of their weekly routine.



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