The town of Macclesfield in Cheshire joined the parkrun family in April 2018, and in just over a year more than 3,500 parkrunners have taken to the “undulating” course.
Co-Event Director Tim Marsh tells us more…
I started parkrunning in 2012 at Bramhall parkrun, by the time I joined the 100 club, 80 of my runs had been at Bramhall.
It was a shame that a town the size of Macclesfield didn’t have a parkrun, I was a member of Macclesfield Harriers & A.C. and there had been some interest in setting one up but no-one willing or able to take a lead.
When Macclesfield Town Council advertised that they were supporting the setup of Macclesfield parkrun I was keen to get involved. The core team that came together following a number of meetings and runs in South Park is a great group and it was clear from the beginning that the event was going to be in good hands!
The two Ambassadors that were involved in helping to set it up are also from Macclesfield so to have that level of expertise in the core team is a huge benefit
Since our inaugural event we have had so many highlights, great feedback, great numbers – participants & volunteers and an amazing BUZZ & atmosphere in South Park every Saturday morning! I love it!!
Our course is an undulating mix of tarmac paths and grass, starting and finishing near the bandstand. We start & finish with a flat, tarmac loop around the tennis courts.
After the start loop you cross a small bridge and head out into the park – starting up our ‘infamous’ grassy “That’s not a Hill, it’s an Upwards Flat Section” – for two large laps – yes, you do the ‘Upwards Flat Section’ TWICE before crossing back over the bridge for the finish loop and a slightly uphill finish on grass.
That may all sound fairly unpleasant… but you are rewarded for your efforts with amazing views of the Peak District from the top!
Aside from the hills, our most famous landmark is the bandstand as it provides a great focal point for the start/finish – there’s a real buzz around the bandstand and the Run Director has a purpose-built platform to deliver the pre-run briefing from!
We realise that we might be biased, but we think our parkrun is just perfect. We are a super friendly event with lots of families taking part. Our start and finish are right by the park bandstand which is a great place to congregate before and after the run. It’s always got a great vibe.
The course is really varied with plenty of ups and downs and if you can take time to look up, the views across Macclesfield and beyond to the Peak District are amazing.
After parkrun, for our coffee we go to the Park(run) Tavern for a post-event coffee and Rebecca and the team there, always make us feel very welcome.
We held our early planning events in this pub and it’s brilliant that we can continue to support a local business. The bacon butties are very popular.
We have a number of very active families at Macclesfield parkrun. Here are the thoughts from one of those, Jane Walker:
“When the parkrun launched, something pretty awesome hit Macclesfield. I’m not the only one to be thoroughly delighted that this parkrun is well and truly up and running!
parkrun has now become a regular Saturday Morning fixture in the Walker household, as it has done in many other Macclesfield households. I think it’s safe to say, we’re parkrun converts and there’ll be no going back to lazy lie-ins or sitting on the sofa all morning watching mindless kids tv programmes!
So just why do we love Macclesfield parkrun quite so much? I think the answer is that it’s a growing community of people week in, week out turning up to run, jog and walk the course on their own, with their partners, kids, friends, workmates, neighbours, their babies in buggies, or even their dogs!
parkrun really is for everyone. Everyone has their own reason for being there, be it wanting to set a new PB, achieve a milestone run, support someone else in their quest to take part, be a parkrun tourist or just for the feel-good factor of actually doing it!
The core team of run directors and volunteers are some of the friendliest bunch of people you’ll ever meet.”
The impact our event has had on the local community has been fantastic. This is what Helena Gowler, Community Engagement and Events Officer for Macclesfield Town Council, had to say:
“When Macclesfield Town Council decided to bring parkrun to the town and we put out a few feelers in the community, we could never have imagined the impact it would eventually have in the town.
The group of volunteers who run the event are so committed to the whole ethos behind parkrun and have got involved with the community group associated with the park which is fantastic.
The feedback we have received about Macclesfield parkrun is wonderful. So many people have started running for the first time ever and even elderly people are using the parkrun as an opportunity to visit the park, have a chat and watch the runners.
Our aim is to make physical activity a fun and easy option. Without a doubt, Macclesfield parkrun has brought so much fun, energy and sense of community to our town.”
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