Express & Star

On your mark...Wolverhampton Parkrun set to hold 500th event

Wolverhampton Parkrun is preparing to celebrate its 500th event.

Runners pictured celebrating the Parkrun's 7th birthday in 2020

The Parkrun is a free, volunteer-ran event held in West Park every Saturday from 9am.

Participants are invited to lace up their trainers and walk, run, or jog a 5km route around the park at their own pace.

Next week's Parkrun will however be made extra special, as it is the 500th to be held in the city since it started in 2013.

It has proven continuously popular more than a decade on, as dozens of runners roll themselves out of bed early on a Saturday morning to exercise in the fresh air and catch up with friends.

The event attracts people of all ages and abilities – as well as the occasional four-legged friend.

To celebrate the milestone Parkrun, organisers have invited participants to share their memories and appreciation for volunteers on a dedicated web page.

Writing on the thankbox website, one woman commented that her weekends "wouldn't be the same without it".

She said: "Congratulations Wolverhampton parkrun on your 500th event.

"Thank you to all the volunteers who work so hard every week to make this event run so smoothly, rain or shine you are there with smiles on your faces and it is very much appreciated."

One man said: "Although I've been running for 40 years, I didn't start doing Parkrun until 2019. Now it's an essential start to my weekend."

A fellow-runner added: "As a volunteer and occasional runner at Wolverhampton Parkrun, I really enjoy seeing people socialise and challenge themselves whilst both participating and volunteering.

"(It) has become a great weekly institution. Many thanks to all involved."

The Wolverhampton Parkrun is part of an international initiative, founded in London in 2004 by Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE.

Parkrun events have been held in cities all over the country and in 20 different countries around the world.