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Parkrun could come to Sheppey

By John Nurden

Sheppey could get its own weekly Parkrun.

Organisers are hoping to set up a version of the popular 5k family work-out along the seafront from Sheerness to Minster.

They want to hold the first in September to coincide with the Round The Island sailing race.

Sittingbourne Parkrun at Milton Creek Country Park. Picture: Gary Browne
Sittingbourne Parkrun at Milton Creek Country Park. Picture: Gary Browne

Kent Sport’s Louise Milne, who heads up new group Active Sheppey, announced the plan at the Sheppey Community Development Forum at the Oasis Academy last Tuesday.

Oasis founder Steve Chalke, who chaired the meeting, said: “This is fantastic news for the Island.

“People travel from all over to go on Parkruns. It is incredibly popular with more than 200,000 signed up.

“I could never understand why Sheppey doesn’t already have one. This is a huge gap in the market. People will love the chance to run along a seafront.”

Running along the seafront at Sheerness
Running along the seafront at Sheerness

There are 16 courses across Kent. The nearest to Sheppey is the Sittingbourne Parkrun at Milton Creek Country Park which has just celebrated its third anniversary.

Initial thoughts are to start the run from Tesco in Sheerness which has free parking and then run along the promenade and walking track along the coast road to Minster and back.

All Parkruns are free and start at 9am on Saturday. Louise said: “There are already running groups on Sheppey and the popular Island Run so we know there is a need.

“It could also form part of training for sports clubs.”

But she added: “The great thing about Parkruns is that runners of all abilities can take part. Everyone who registers is given their own bar code.

Sittingbourne Parkrun at Milton Creek Country Park. Picture: John Westhrop
Sittingbourne Parkrun at Milton Creek Country Park. Picture: John Westhrop

“The challenge is to beat your own time. But some people prefer to walk. It is all about getting people out into the open air and doing some moderate activity.

“The number of people who leave school hating PE is quite shocking. Adults should have 150 minutes of moderate activity a week. This will help get people out for a couple of hours.”

But she warned: “We will need a group of volunteers to help marshal the event. You don’t have to be a runner to be involved.”

She is meeting Parkrun organisers on Thursday, March 21, to thrash out details.

For more details email her at louise.milne@kent.gov.uk or call 03000 410696.

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