Record turnout for running event’s landmark event

NUMBER ONE: A record turnout celebrated a year since the popular Great Cornard parkrun first started with this aerial pictured from Kier
NUMBER ONE: A record turnout celebrated a year since the popular Great Cornard parkrun first started with this aerial pictured from Kier

Great Cornard parkrun celebrated its first birthday on Saturday with a record attendance of 136 runners backed by a large turnout of supporters, beating the previous best of 91.

And the runners put on a show for them, with an amazing 40 achieving new personal best (pb) times for the 5km course.

Mick Cornish and Pam White, previous and current chairs of Great Cornard Parish Council were thanked along with manager of hosts Great Cornard Sports Centre Dan Lawrence.

To celebrate the first year some awards were made to regular runners and volunteers: Female of the Year went to Katrina Sparkes; Male of the Year went to Richard Flutter; Community Star awards were made to Daniel Cooper and Barbara White, who both attend regularly and who have shown great improvement, and Volunteer of the Year was given to Robert Edge, who has attended 48 out of 54 events through the year and who does a lot of work behind the scenes.

In its first year the free Great Cornard parkrun started 775 different runners, including participants from 77 athletics clubs, completed 3,125 runs covering a total distance of 15,625km, and there have been 737 new pbs.

This week there were 136 runners, of whom 33 were first timers and 40 recorded new personal bests.

Representatives of 13 different athletics clubs took part.

Saturday’s first three men were: Graeme Knott (VM35-39) Harwich Runners, 16 minutes 42 seconds, Kieran Hayles (SM30-34) (unattached) 17.59, Thomas Challener (SM25-29) of Sudbury Joggers, 18.05

This week’s first three women were: Kate Hodgkiss (VW35-39) of Harwich Runners, (fourth overall) 18.22, Megan Newton (JW11-14) of West Suffolk Athletics Club (seventh overall) 18.34, Debbie Cattermole (VW50-54) of Colchester Harriers AC, (11th overall) 20.01.

For more information visit www.facebook.com/greatcornardparkrun