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News - 1st July 2019

parkrun profile: Weymouth

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Down on the south coast of England, in the seaside town of Weymouth, Dorset, you can find Weymouth parkrun.

 

Weymouth parkrun Co-Event Director Kathy Davis tells us more about this coastal parkrun…

 

Core team

 

I’ve been running for quite a while and loved the idea of parkrun, but the nearest parkrun was in Poole about 45 minutes drive away.

 

When Weymouth parkrun was proposed, I volunteered from the start and have been on the core team for about five years. I still volunteer a lot, but try to run now as well.

 

In six years of Weymouth parkrun we’ve watched it grow from less than 100 runners to regularly close to 500 walkers, joggers and runners. Being a seaside town we get a lot of parkrun tourists on holiday in the area.

 

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Our event takes place in Lodmoor Country Park, in Weymouth, the course is an out-and-backer, with a loop of the park at the start and finish.

 

It’s fairly flat and very friendly as you get to pass everyone on the out and back part of the course. We also have some awesome marshals volunteering out on the course.

 

There are statues of pineapples which are located at the gateway to Weymouth, which is our turnaround point. We always refer to this as the pineapple, which amuses many visitors!

 

During the winter we vacated the park and relocated across the road to the seafront with beautiful vistas of Weymouth Bay. David our regular “pineapple” volunteer turned up with a pineapple fancy dress outfit to wear at one of the turnaround points. We had a human traffic cone at the other turnaround.

 

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Since our first event in August 2013, we have welcomed just under 12,000 different people to our course, and we love it every week, whatever the weather.  

 

For our all-important post-parkrun coffee, we tend to use the Lodmoor pub, which is just across the car park, and everyone is always welcome to join us when visiting Weymouth parkrun.

 
One thing unusual about our event is that my Co-Event Director, Michael, sings the theme to “Happy Days” at the start of the announcements! This has recently been mentioned on the parkrun podcast, Free Weekly Timed.

 

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Weymouth parkrun is so friendly and all our volunteers are fantastic. It’s strengthened the running community in the area and improved the health and well being of so many people. I’ve met some truly inspirational people and have made some amazing friends.

 

We have had incredible support from the four local running clubs, Egdon Heath Harriers, Dorset Sole Sisters, Weymouth St Paul’s Harriers and Royal Manor of Portland Running Club since day one. In turn, parkrun has brought the running community together.

 

The clubs run regular couch to 5k courses with the graduation at parkrun. We’ve helped the Friends group that support our park, and we’ve provided a defibrillator for community use. We love our event, and we hope you will too!

 

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