New craze just a run in the park

A FITNESS craze that’s swept the globe will make its Tamworth debut in the next few months.

The parkrun movement began in the United Kingdom a decade ago, revolving around free, weekly, 5km timed runs in a park setting.

It made its way to Australia about five years ago and Tamworth is set to be the latest city to come under its spell.

Tamworth woman Heather Hunter is leading the charge as plans are finalised with Tamworth Regional Council for the use of Bicentennial Park every Saturday at 8am.

Ms Hunter said she heard about parkrun on Facebook last year and loved the idea.

“I’m not really a runner, but it was the community side of it I liked and the fact it was getting people out and moving,” she said.

“It’s free and open to anyone ... and is something families can get out and do together.”

She said you didn’t have to run and it wasn’t a competition – there’s no 

“winner” as such each week, just a “first finisher”. 

Some people aim to continually better their time each week, while others are in it just for a chance to enjoy the great outdoors. 

This is the next challenge for the Tamworth organising group, getting enough people on board who can be trained up as timekeepers and course marshalls.

Ms Hunter had her first taste of a parkrun a few weeks ago when she went to one in Newcastle where, in the rain, 480 people participated.

She said in nice weather the Newcastle group reported they attracted up to 600 people.

It’s hoped the inaugural Tamworth event can be held within a few months and anyone who’d like to know more can go to the group’s Facebook page at “Tamworth parkrun”.

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