More than 200 runners, walkers and joggers took part in the first ever Hogmoor Inclosure parkrun in Whitehill & Bordon on Saturday (10 March).
The 5km course was introduced to the town as part of East Hampshire District Council’s Healthy New Town programme to encourage residents of Whitehill & Bordon to live healthy and active lives.
The concept of parkrun, a free event organised by the community, for the community, has become a phenomenon across the UK and internationally.
Runners of any ability can register online, turn up at their local parkrun and take part. Participants can choose to walk, jog or run – you can even bring your dog or push a buggy. Every parkrun is available to all and completely free.
In total, 32 running clubs were represented at the event, including local clubs from across the district and all 203 participants were put through their paces by the course which featured a variety of terrain and obstacles.
To make the event work, parkrun appoints a volunteer event director to help with the day-to-day organising of the event. For Hogmoor Inclosure parkrun, this came in the form of Joanna Guy, a resident of the town, who has worked closely with EHDC and parkrun to make the event a great success.
She said: “After completing 63 parkruns over two years, I heard on the grapevine that there were plans to start a parkrun in Whitehill & Bordon as part of the regeneration and the Healthy New Town project.
“Having lived in the town for the last six years I was excited at having one on my doorstep – little did I know that eight months later I would agree to become the event director of Hogmoor Inclosure parkrun.
“Once the run finished on Saturday, the feeling and sense of achievement as I walked back to the finish line with my timekeepers was amazing – I was buzzing and a little emotional at what we had all achieved.
“Without the hard work of the 18 volunteers who gave their time on Saturday, this event wouldn’t have been able to happen or be anywhere near as successful.
“Out of the 203 participants, 26 were completely new to parkrun. This is a fantastic number of new ‘parkrunners’ and a great achievement for those 26. I look forward to welcoming many more to the event in the future.”
Cllr Ferris Cowper, EHDC’s Portfolio Holder for Whitehill & Bordon, said: “It is brilliant that we have been able to start a parkrun in Whitehill & Bordon.
“The runs give residents the opportunity to keep active and socialise with others which will bring the community closer together.
“I am pleased to see the success of the inaugural run and I would like to thank everyone involved in getting this set up for their hard work. Here’s to many more!”
Hogmoor Inclosure parkrun will take place every Saturday from 9am. For more information and to sign up, please visit: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/hogmoorinclosure/