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A RECORD number of walkers and runners took part in Melksham parkrun’s first birthday celebration event on Saturday 15th December.
Over 200 people of all ages and abilities braved the wind and rain to make the event one of smiles and personal achievements.
Amongst those taking part were over 30 members of Avon Valley Runners, several members of Devizes Running Club and staff from Spa Medical Centre.
The event was started by Gaynor Cole, their practice manager, and several of her colleagues ran or took on volunteer roles. The centre was the first in Wiltshire to become a ‘parkrun practice’ with GPs embracing the proven benefits of parkrun to many patients and staff.
42 of those taking part in the event were first-timers and a large group of walkers showed that parkrun really does welcome those of all abilities. Over 30 volunteers gave their time as they do every Saturday to make the event happen.
The team said, “A special thanks to Suzanne Atkins for our fantastic birthday cake and to our great photographers. We are encouraging anyone who is hesitating getting involved to give it a try walking, you’ll receive a warm welcome even if it’s a cold day!
“Just Google Melksham parkrun, register on the website, print off your barcode and simply turn up with it just before 9 o’clock Saturday morning. No need to check in.”
John Adcock wrote to the Melksham News to tell of his parkrun story, saying, “After knee surgery in September I wasn’t expecting to complete the course. Even walking on a wet and slippery course. However I received encouragement throughout and I felt brilliantly afterwards, it was much better for me than watching TV or staying in bed.
“I would recommend it. If you want to join me walking at about 3 miles an hour, see you next Saturday at the back of the pack.”
The group also celebrated a record number of runners during their New Year’s Day run.
A record turnout of 295 turned out with visitors from places as far away as Adelaide in Australia and Calgary in Canada.
Above: Runners and walkers of all ages and abilities! Below: Birthday cake made by Suzanne Atkins.