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Runners at Shrewsbury parkrun

Emotional day as parkrun returns in the Midlands

Northampton parkrun celebrated Bob’s 400th.

Good things come to those who wait as parkrun restarted in the Midlands on Saturday 24 July after the 16 months pause due to the pandmic. It was a special day in more ways than one for 88 year old Bob Emmerson at Northampton parkrun.

Runners across the region dug out their barcodes along with their trainers and headed off to Northampton, Shrewsbury and locations across the Midlands to participate again in everyone's favourite free, weekly 5K. The global pandemic has negatively impacted people’s mental health but the return of activities such as these provide a much needed boost as the country moves to the final step in the road map out of lockdown.  

Northampton Racecourse saw Bob Emmerson, who at 88 years old was aiming to become the oldest person to complete 400 parkruns. Bob took part in his first parkrun 9 years ago and was on target for his 400th in March 2020 when Covid arrived and events were halted. A well respected and inspirational figure at Northampton, he was glad to be amongst friends doing what he enjoyed and was clapped and cheered as he crossed the line at his celebratory 400th parkrun.  

Over in Shropshire, 477 people ran or walked at Shrewsbury parkrun which also had the honour of being the 9th biggest parkrun in the world! There was fond rememberance of volunteer and timekeeper Eric Pridding who sadly passed away at the start of the year. A ‘finish post’ sign created in memory of a popular ‘gentle giant’ was fitting tribute.

There were a range of emotions at these and other parkruns as people soaked up the atmosphere, caught up with old friends and remembered those no longer with us. All continue to be grateful for the hard work and effort of the teams of volunteers who keep everyone safe whilst voicing their support from start to finish. 

It was good to be back...

Image courtesy of Shrewsbury parkrun.

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