IN two years, the Tamworth Parkrun group has run a combined 58,150km – and this Saturday they’re celebrating their second birthday in style.
Runners are dressing up as “anything starting with the letter P”, so expect to see plenty of pirates, princesses, Pokemon and even a pair of Power Rangers.
The Tamworth branch co-founder Heather Hunt said she was hoping to break the attendance record.
“Our biggest attendance to date was 177 with an average of 112.9 participants per week,” Ms Hunt said.
“Over the last two years since we started here in Tamworth, we’ve had 1,821 different participants complete a total of 11,630 runs or walks.
“This means we have covered 58,150km between us which took a total of 265 days, 9 hours, 23 minutes and 8 seconds of running and walking.”
Ms Hunt said she had seen so many people start of walking just part of the distance, and slowly work their way up to running the whole route.
Jeoff Bartlett only started about 12 months ago and has seen an enormous turn around in his fitness and health.
“In a year I went from not being able to walk three and a half kilometres to running 10 kilometres in the Sydney Running Festival,” Mr Bartlett said.
Tamworth Parkrun co-event director Margaret Love said the group runs rain, hail or shine.
“We haven't cancelled a run yet, though we got close to the other weekend when the Peel was running high,” she said, laughing.
“The smallest group we’ve had is 44, which is still pretty good.
“The important thing is you don’t have to run, you can walk, or you can do a mixture, whatever you’re comfortable with.
“It’s just a fun and social way to get some exercise.”
The second anniversary also coincides with Ms Hunter and Ms Love's 50th Parkrun.
“This is a major milestone for the adults,” Ms Love said.
“The juniors' first milestone is 10. We have two fellows who are 14 runs shy of being our first 100 runners.
“We have seen a number of people transformed from walkers to runners, beating their PB’s week in week out.
“One of our local doctors has the record for the most personal bests in a row, which is 10.”
Ms Hunt encouraged anyone interested to join in the fun.
The group kicks off at 8am every Saturday at the car park at Hungry Jacks, but people joining for the first time need to register at parkrun.com.au .
They run 5kms, through Bicennitial Park, to Blight Street and back. For more information, search “Tamworth Parkrun” on Facebook.