Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

The return of Park Run! Will any of us be able to run more than 2m?

The starting pistol for #HastingsParkRun will fire again this Saturday!

After all these months of staying-at-home, binge-eating, binge-watching, napping and possibly solo-jogging, we are delighted to celebrate the return of Park Run! HOT’s Erica Smith dusts down her trainers and sweat-pants and considers whether she should set the alarm to get up in time on Saturday for the first Hastings Park Run in over 16 months.

The last Park Run was on 14 March 2020. It was the 252nd Hastings Park Run and Sam Brown finished first, with a time of 18:48. One minute and one second later, Karen Murdoch was the first woman to finish. If I had been running, I’d have crossed the finish line about 15 minutes after Sam.

After a break of 70 weeks, the Park Run community are itching to dig out their barcodes and get back on the prom.

A month ago, West St Leonards councillor Matthew Beaver expressed his frustration with HBC and the Foreshore Trust for refusing permission for Park Run to restart. Other towns along the coast including Eastbourne, Seaford, Peacehaven and Brighton and Hove – as well as Ashford, Canterbury, Folkestone and Tunbridge Wells had committed to blowing the starting whistle after a year and a quarter of the veto on group running.

As things turned out, no Park Runs commenced in June – Hastings Borough Council’s caution was wise.

As a regular(ish) Hastings Park Runner, I have felt ambivalent about the stopping – and re-starting – of Park Run. I have missed Park Run SO MUCH over the last 16 months. I am in my late 50s, at least one stone over an ‘ideal’ weight and have never been a ‘sporty type’. This means that I’m exactly the target group for Park Run. It’s not about Olympic firsts, it’s about encouraging ordinary people to exercise more and, in the long-run, save them and the NHS from health-related incidents.

Equally, in these Covid times, I really don’t fancy running in the wake of hundreds of faster people who may or may not be puffing and panting Coronavirus in and out of their lungs. I haven’t yet decided whether I’ll be there on the starting line this Saturday. But even if I’ll be lying in bed at 9am on Saturday, I’ll secretly be glad that the starting claxon will be sounded down by White Rock Gardens. In my dreams, I’ll reach the finish line before you.

Volunteers needed!

Hastings Park Run will be desperate for volunteers to help on Saturday!
If you know you can’t run, but want to help out, then please email to volunteer on Saturday.

Important: the Park Run organisers remind you that if you have any possible symptons of Covid-19, please stay at home on Saturday, rest up and get a test before embarking on any group activities.

If you are a first time runner and want to join Hastings Park Run this Saturday, visit the website and register so you can print out your barcode and take it with you. Remember – it’s not who you beat – it’s your Personal Best that counts!

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Posted 21:28 Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021 In: Health Matters

Also in: Health Matters

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