Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffordshire is home to one of the quirkiest named parkruns in the world… The Wammy parkrun!
Gareth Copley-Jones from The Wammy parkrun tells us more about his home event…
Kevin Stanyer regularly volunteers to deliver our briefing for first-timers. He eloquently shares the impact of parkrun:
“I have been a runner for over 30 years. I had heard of parkrun and even registered for a barcode, but without taking the step to participate. When I found out that a parkrun was being set up just over a mile from my home I couldn’t resist turning up for the first run.
The friendliness and inclusivity of the Wammy parkrun hooked me from the off. As a runner who trains alone, parkrun gives me a weekly opportunity to join in with other like-minded souls to “scamper” a 5k!”
I always tell first timers that The Wammy is the best parkrun in the UK! Tourists tell me that they heard exactly the same description from the parkrun they visited the previous week, so I guess that we all have the same script!
Our course is a gentle out-and-backer, having a welcoming elevation of just 30m over the whole 5k, which is as flat a 5K you are likely to find in North Staffordshire.We also have lots of hi-vis heroes eager to encourage you on your way.
The track we walk, jog and run along is an old mineral railway line which is tarmacked and tree-lined, offering smooth running in shady conditions, and it is PB hot-spot, also making it perfect for first timers. The Wammy is popular but the track is narrow so the golden rule at the Wammy is “keep left”.
We aren’t blessed with famous landmarks on The Wammy but we do have a corner named after regular volunteer Ken Richards who hosts our parkrun café at Newcastle (Staffs) AC clubhouse, approximately 400 metres from the finish.
If you want to go for a parkrun PB, then the Wammy is for you. If you want to enjoy a Saturday morning with a moderately gentle parkrun with a bunch of funsters then get yourself to The Wammy too!
Our parkrun, of course, has a unique name. If you want to find out why the area we use is known as the Wammy then come and visit us and we might let you in on the secret!
Our most regular volunteer is Phil Jones, he’s not missed a parkrun since he started to volunteer. He’s a regular fixture at The Wammy parkrun café. He has never seen the start or the finish of the parkrun as he’s far too busy preparing post-run brews for thirsty parkrunners.
The Wammy goes from strength to strength in terms of participation. Never a week goes by without us welcoming first-time parkrunners into the family. parkrun “takeovers” by local running and other sports clubs are becoming a frequent occurrence. Organised couch to (Wammy) 5K courses are booming.
Local GP practices are signing up as partners as part of the parkrun practice initiative. The Wammy parkrun is bringing individuals and community groups together as a great example of social inclusion in practice. Participants fitness is improving, health and general wellbeing are spin-offs from the increased exercise and social interaction which are well documented.
The opportunity to volunteer to enable parkrun to take place provides a further feel-good factor. Efforts by the team to improve the appearance of The Wammy, such as litter picks, have also improved our surroundings.
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