parkrun in the north of England welcomed two new events on Saturday (22 February), Lyme Park (Cheshire) and Gibside (Tyne and Wear). Both celebrated their opening events in style with impressive turnouts. The Cheshire run attracted 374 participants while 268 turned up at Gibside.
Located south of Disley, the Lyme Park course starts with a tough uphill section (almost 800m) and provide runners with panoramic views of Manchester. Trafford AC’s Christopher Leigh took first place in the debut event with a time of 18:28, followed by Gareth Hurst (19:19) and Gareth Griffiths (19:22).
Feedback was extremely positive, with one competitor, Geoff Render, later commenting on the Lyme Park Facebook page: ‘A lot of perfect parkrun boxes ticked. Brilliant course, entertaining, friendly, well organised and marked, great views, location and facilities.’
Meanwhile, the north east welcomed its 16th parkrun event. Starting on the beautiful Gibside Estate on the Gateshead and County Durham border, the course, like the Cheshire event, was said to offer a fairly stern challenge with several climbs over the 5k. Tyne Bridge Harriers’ Tony Carter took top spot in 17:44, with Philip Sanderson second (18:11) and David Moir third (18:22).
After their exertions over the 5k, runners visited the Potting Shed Café within the Gibside grounds for celebratory refreshments and cake. Post-race Helen Allen commented: "Excellent parkrun, beautiful location, fantastic organisation and free cake! Challenging course but well worth the effort. We will be back! Congratulations Gibside and good luck.”