A sparkling white, 20 metre high sculpture was a talking point at the inaugural Sutton Manor parkrun last Saturday (7 December) in St. Helens. Although many of the parkrunners were trying to catch their breath after the sharp climb instead of contemplating it.
Titled ‘Dream’, this 66ft (20 metres) structure of the head and neck of a young girl 'looking towards the future' dominated the landscape at Sutton Manor as a small group of runners and volunteers launched the new event. The organisers went for a low-key approach, inviting this group to take part before it becomes a regular fixture in the parkrun schedule.
They were not disappointed. The 230 acre area - the site of the former Sutton Manor Colliery with its twists and turns proved to be a challenge, but an enjoyable one nevertheless. The colliery closed in 1991 but in 2001 the Forestry Commission leased the site and after talks with the local community, transformed the area into woodland. Now flora and fauna have replaced coal dust and slag heaps.
The out and back course on gravel paths contained more than a few hills and runners had to dig deep as they made their way to the top where the sculpture was situated. Once there, they were rewarded with stunning views across to North Wales, Cheshire and the Pennines that were well worth the climb and followed by sweeping descents.
Jamie Ford of Liverpool Harriers & AC was the first male home, finishing in 18:26. Kelly Anne Towns of Wigan & District Harriers & AC was the first female in 23:57.
95 parkrunners and 16 volunteers made this event memorable. They won’t forget the hills in a hurry...
Image courtesy of Paul Crosby