Hazelwood parkrun launched in March 2018 and has welcomed more than 2,000 people to the event in Sunbury on Thames, in Surrey.
Phil Wigglesworth from Hazelwood parkrun tells us more…
When the announcement was made late summer 2017 that a new parkrun was proposed at Hazelwood and volunteers were needed to establish the event, I jumped at the chance to be involved.
We are now over a year old and we have a really dedicated group of regular parkrunners.
Our event is unique in that it takes place at the training ground of a professional rugby club, London Irish RFC, and we are lucky enough to be able to use most of the facilities during our events.
Hazelwood has also allowed parkrun participants to use the café, boot/trainer wash area, showers and changing rooms.
The course is a two-and-a-half lapper on grass and trail between the rugby pitches, walking, jogging and running and around the perimeter of the centre’s grounds. The start and finish are close to the main clubhouse.
Our course is extremely flat, making it popular with both first-timers and those looking for PBs.
After parkrun we head into the clubhouse where you can catch up with a post-run coffee and breakfast roll. You can also use the showers and changing rooms here. During the regular rugby season, you may also spot a few of the London Irish first team in the clubhouse!
We have a really friendly group of regular runners and volunteers who are always happy to welcome tourists to our event. We also have ample parking on site. Oh, and did we mention the café, showers, and changing rooms??
One of our regulars is Dorothy McLennan, who at the age of 83 has made Hazelwood parkrun part of her weekly regime. She has also won numerous titles for pole vaulting and heptathlon.
She was competing in these events well into her 70s winning gold for the heptathlon in Poland in 2006. She also won gold for the 75-80 age category in the pole vaulting event in 2012.
The response to the establishment of a parkrun in Sunbury has been met with great support from the local and wider community. We now have a dedicated group of participants that continues to grow as word of the event spreads, both verbally and through the use of social media.
We continue to welcome a group from a local residential home that works with young people with learning disabilities and complex needs. It is seen as a great opportunity to participate, and reap the benefits, of a very successful community venture, and we hope it continues for many years to come!
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