Brooklands Parkrun wins active community award

A LARGE number of puddles and a virtual lake failed to deter runners celebrating their group winning a prestigious award.

More than 250 people splashed around the Brooklands Parkrun route last Saturday morning.

George James shows off the Active Community Project of the Year award before the start of the run

They were marking the event winning the Active Community Project of the Year accolade in the 2019 Elmbridge Sports Personality of the Year awards.

It was the 52nd Brooklands Parkrun, a weekly event in which people run or jog against the clock around the community park on the border of Byfleet and Weybridge.

Frimley Flyers members Emma Malcolm, Sam Benson, James Ball and Andy Carter

The organisers came close to cancelling Saturday’s five-kilometre run because of the many puddles, including a particularly large one, on the course.

But the volunteer marshals ensured the 254 participants all got around safely, said Isobel Paton, one of the teenage runners. “An unwelcomed lake joined us in the middle of the course this week,” she added. “One or two of the keen triathletes could have been forgiven for taking a swim.”

The Active Community of the Year award is given to a group which has increased levels of physical activity in Elmbridge borough, with an impact on physical and mental wellbeing and individual and community development. “What a big moment for Brooklands Parkrun,” said Isobel, 13, who is reporting on the run as part of her bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award programme.

Ava Lord pushed three-year-old Richard around the course

“A big thank you to everyone who made this possible. Firstly, to all our core team, who set up our parkrun. They recruit volunteers to carry out all the various roles and seamlessly organise us.”

Three of Saturday’s runners – Sinead Rawson, Patrick Rawson and Andrew Hawki – were first-timers who completed the course. James King, Jane Packman, Jim Thomson, Alison Foyle and Tom O’Neill all celebrated their 50thparkrun.

Many of the 28 volunteers who help organise and marshal the run were from St Mary’s Church, Byfleet, led by the Rev John McCabe.

The next Brooklands Parkrun is on Saturday, starting in Sopwith Drive at 9am, when the runners are being encouraged to wear Santa hats and other festive clothes.

The event is free, but all participants must register and received a barcode before taking part. More details at www. www.parkrun.org.uk/brooklands.

For more pictures, see the 19 December edition of the News & Mail

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