Ready, set go! Parkrun finally returns to Telford Town Park

Telford's popular parkrun returned this weekend as dedicated runners rejoiced to be with friends again.

Parkrun returns to Telford Town Park
Parkrun returns to Telford Town Park

In normal times, every Saturday morning, keen runners and novices alike turn up to Telford Town Park to take part in the weekly 5k run.

Then during the Covid pandemic this ground to a halt. But people were celebrating on Saturday as the popular keep-fit event finally returned.

It was one of 500 parkruns taking place across the country as the popular weekly timed running event returned.

Even Spidey joined in
Telford Harriers members Mark Griffiths, Thomas Hales and Steve Walker celebrate

Jennifer Willort was waiting at the start line for her friend, Danny Seabry, who was completing his 100th parkrun on the day.

She said it just hasn't been the same having to run on her own during lockdown and when restrictions were in place.

"I got into parkruns in January 2019," she explained. "I lived in Aberystwyth at the time and I only started it because my friend kept trying to get me to join. So I went along for the first time and got addicted.

"I did 50 within my first year. When I moved to Telford I then joined a running club. Running is just a great way to meet people and I even volunteer at a junior parkrun on a Sunday now as well. I've really got the bug – I'm even training for a marathon now.

Clocking up his 250th parkrun is Paul Waters, from Little Dawley
Parkrun returns to Telford Town Park

"The team organised Telford Together Alone so we could all run online and post updates and things which was brilliant, but it's just not the same as in person every weekend. Being here in person with a community feel is amazing. People are just so friendly and happy to be here."

Paul Walters from Little Dawley was marshalling as a tail walker on Saturday but was also completing his 250th parkrun.

"Being a tail walker is just for little things really so if people don't want to be the last person, there will always be someone behind them," he said.

Parkrun returns to Telford Town Park
Doing his 100th parkrun was Dan Seabury, joined by Jennifer Willott, from Telford, and doing her first parkrun Khai Jackson, from Wellington

"There were something like 170 of us in the world who were stuck on 249 runs when the pandemic started. So it's great to be back out here completing this milestone.

"You meet a lot of new people through parkruns and the more you come the more people you meet and get talking. My first time I came down and didn't know anybody and didn't know what I was doing. I approached two women who looked like they knew what they were doing, and we've actually been friends since then.

"The social side of it is very good and it's just a great way to keep fit."

Parkrun returns to Telford Town Park

Friends Jacky Lloyd and Howard Mostyn, from Madeley, were so happy to be back together and in the park once again. Jacky said she got emotional on Saturday morning when she met everyone again.

"For 70 weeks we haven't been able to do it, it makes me emotional just seeing everyone and being back," she said.

"It's the first time I have seen Howard in so long. We watched each other's updates through Telford Together Alone but it's just not the same."

Howard added: "The community kept going, we just went underground. It has been fantastic to be back. My wife, Stella, is starting her first parkrun ever today, which is so exciting."

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