The small town of Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire is home to parkrun every Saturday morning.
Sarah Ockendon from Rickmansworth parkrun gives us the inside story on her home event…
I became involved in parkrun when I was encouraged by a fellow Core Team member and local running club member to become a VI guide at another local parkrun. I felt that it would be unfair to guide someone if I did not know the course and had not taken part in a parkrun.
Therefore, I turned up one morning in April 2015 to take part in this free running event not knowing that it would change my weekends forever! And not just my weekends but my husband’s and step daughter’s too.
He is one of the many non-running volunteers that have been bitten by the parkrun bug and his daughter joins me when she stays with us. Our Saturdays are now spent running/volunteering and enjoying a post-parkrun breakfast on a Saturday morning.
Rickmansworth is a great event because you can turn up, walk, jog or run, and go home, but if you feel like staying there is always someone to have a cuppa and piece of cake with afterwards.
Our course is flat, scenic, two-lapper. The volunteers are friendly and the coffee afterwards soothes away the aches and pains.
Rickmansworth parkrun is within easy reach by car. We are close to the M25 and have ample, free parking. We are also easily reached by train and are a brisk 10-minute walk from Rickmansworth train station.
Our event takes place at a famous local landmark – The Aquadrome. This is a local nature reserve which is home to lots of sporting activities including yoga, kayaking, water skiing, fishing, model yacht sailing and of course, Rickmansworth parkrun!
The two lakes that we can see as we run round our parkrun course, were created by gravel extraction. Some of the gravel extracted was used to build the original Wembley Stadium.
At certain times of the year it can be necessary for our parkrunners to have to adopt duck and geese avoidance tactics as they waddle out of the Aquadrome lakes to and from the River Colne the other side of the path!
For our post-parkrun coffee, we are very lucky to have the Café in the Park, close to both our start and finish areas. The café opens at 9am and serves hot and cold drinks along with amazing cakes and delicious hot snacks and meals from fresh local produce.
Since we launched in March 2017, we have welcomed almost 10,000 different people, averaging around 500 parkrunners each week.
Feedback from our Rickmansworth parkrun community has told us that our event has created community spirit; friendships; volunteering opportunities for our runners, and also for Duke of Edinburgh participants.
On top of that, an inclusive, encouraging environment for all walkers, joggers and runners, some of whom have gone on to take part in half marathons and marathons.
Full-time Dad Martin, and twin boys Hugo and Rory, choose a fancy dress theme for their parkrun every Saturday. Spending the week learning about their chosen theme, the whole family are always really excited when the time comes to get out there, get dressed up and parkrun! Here’s Martin’s heartwarming story. Before…
Andy Ratcliffe went along to his first parkrun aged 49, having never ran in his life. After having surgery for Crohn’s disease, he found a new drive to stay fit. Andy tell us the part parkrun has played in his fitness journey. Before my first parkrun I was really nervous about being with…