Once again, Saturday’s Willen Lake parkrun took on a distinctly green tinge as the latest group of over 100 beginners tackled the 5k distance to cap off their 10-week course delivered by the Redway Runners.
A total of seven beginners groups started in April each led by a member of Redway Runners’ Beginners Run Lead Team supported by a large team of helpers. From not being able to run a whole minute in the first session virtually every beginner ran the whole route on Saturday. Run Lead and Beginners Coordinator Annette Smyth said “It’s fantastic to see how much they develop in just a couple of months and it’s this that makes it so worthwhile for me and all the other Run Leads”.
The ‘graduation’ parkrun is a real celebration event for all concerned. Each beginner had a Redway Runner buddy to support them round the route, offer encouragement and help them with the process of getting their time recorded at the end. By sheer coincidence, one of the beginners was paired up with buddy and former midwife Sheila Quinn who cared for her when she had her baby several years ago. The baby is a teenager now and was there to cheer her mum over the line!
The standard Redway Runners beginners courses are 10 weeks long but they also provide an extended version for those who feel they need more time to build up their running ability. The courses are free and are intended for all abilities. They are hugely popular and always oversubscribed. The club aims to provide them at different times and on different days of the week to cater for as many people as possible. They’ll be taking a break now for the summer but will be back again in early September. Anyone interested in joining a future course is recommended to check the club’s facebook page or the website at www.redwayrunners.com .