Thetford Park Run clocks up a year of success
- Credit: Sonya Duncan- Archant
When 124 people turn up to your outdoor event despite biting wind and freezing rain, it must be worth coming for.
And when half of those people are wearing shorts and t-shirts, you are definitely on to a winner.
That is the situation Thetford’s Park Run found itself in on Saturday, with a packed line-up of runners of all ages and abilities braving the elements for the event’s 51st week.
Having started in February last year, the event has grown week upon week, breaking the 100 participant mark just before Christmas and giving the fitness of a host of runners a new lease of life.
Its success is summed up by 43-year-old Melanie Floyd, one of its organisers, who only took up running at 39, and has now run more than 40 marathons.
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She will take part in her 50th marathon in London in April, and said her passion for running was a complete transformation from her past lifestyle.
“Before I started running I was working full-time, doing a masters degree and I’d put on a lot of weight, and doctors were telling me to exercise.
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“Now I’ve done more than 40 marathons and raised about £6,000 for charity,” she said.
Ms Floyd said she has seen the Park Run develop a sense of “community”.
Runners as a young as five and as old as 70 have taken part, with all welcome, she said.
“It’s very friendly and supportive. You always see the more experienced runners helping out new ones and we make sure that everybody feels welcome,” she said.
Further runs have been set up off the back of the event, including 5k and 10k runs on a Tuesday night and Monday morning.
The park run meets every Saturday at 9am at the bottom of Water Lane, near the entrance to Thetford’s Priory.