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Local park runs see Bank Holiday boost

By Connor Steel

LOCAL PARK RUNS again proved a successful pastime over the Bank Holiday weekend as hundreds of runners started their Saturday morning with a sprint in their steps, with both Fareham and Lee-on-the-Solent editions of the weekly 5km race recording larger than average attendances.

Held in the Cams Hill Estate, the Fareham parkrun saw a total of 206 finishers as it continued its streak of two hundred or more; the fastest being Thomas Wallace who ran a time of 18:00 exactly before crossing the line. Leading the way for the female was Laura Anning of Cornwall-based St Austell Running Club, who completed her first ever visit to the event in 21 minutes and 13 seconds.

Pushed forward by a team of 26 volunteers, fourteen people ran their first park run with another twenty five participants achieving personal best finishes. But the highlight was eighty-five year old and regular Peter Adams, who finished the race in thirty-four minutes, nine seconds to become the 153rd finisher of the morning and has no signs of stopping as he talked to Portsmouth News.

Similarly Lee-on-the Solent parkrun was popular for runners under beautiful sunny skies on Saturday as they saw 426 finishers including many milestones and personal bests; one of the largest numbers in 2022 as Gosport Road Runners took over the volunteering roles. It also featured two pacers and determined but happy faces as a packed promenade lined up for the start line at 9am prompt.

And it was a first-time visitor who ran quickest as Giles Oldershaw finished the 5km race in just under eighteen minutes with a time of 17:54, whilst Gosport Road Runners’ regular Lee course extra Nikki Moxham became the quickest female as she crossed the finishing line in nineteen minutes and thirty two seconds on the flat surface featuring many lovely sea views in a gentle spring breeze.

Both park runs will be running this Saturday (May 7) as organisers look to maintain high attendances seen over the Easter and May Bank Holiday weekends; participants able to run, jog or walk at their own pace. Newcomers are always welcome to join but must register before attending in order to get a scannable barcode, with more information available on the Fareham and Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun Facebook pages.

PICTURED BY ALLAN HUTCHINGS (060670-4534): Runner poses for a picture at the Fareham park run.