Ready, steady, go for B&FC running event

Published on 09/02/2017 by pfi

B&FC is bringing one of the UK’s most popular running events to Blackpool for the first time.

The College has teamed up with Blackpool Council to bring Parkrun to the resort’s Stanley Park this weekend. The event, which aims to encourage people of all abilities to become more active, will take place every Saturday from 11 February.

As with Parkruns across the country, the 5km course will be staffed by volunteers from the local community as well as Blackpool and The Fylde College students and staff, to support runners on the two-lap route around the park.

Jo Kershaw, Head of Leadership and Management at B&FC, said: "Having taken part in various Parkrun events myself I know how popular they can be and as a town with a major tourism economy I can’t think of a better location than Blackpool.

“My staff have put a lot of work into bringing this event to Blackpool and we believe it will become a welcome addition to the town’s tourism calendar, while providing our students with the experience of helping run a public sporting event.

“It will also be a great opportunity for local people who may not be confident in their running ability but have been looking for ways to get more active in an organised and supportive environment.

“It is a free event and people are usually finished within an hour so we are hoping visiting runners and their families will make the most of their time by visiting Blackpool’s many attractions.”

The run will take place every Saturday morning at 9am with the route taking participants along East Park Drive past the BMX track and model village, back along the boating lake, up to the bandstand and then via the rose garden and the tennis courts back past the clock tower and on to the finish.

Following each run, the competitors are invited for post-event tea and coffee  in the pop-up café at Blackpool Sports Centre.

Cllr Maria Kirkland, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure Services, added: “We’ve been extremely keen to bring Parkrun to Blackpool for a while now.

“Stanley Park is the perfect location to host the event as it is already a popular spot for people to go for a run. This isn’t just for regular runners however, the spirit of Parkrun is that it is free and anybody can take part – no matter how quick or slow you might be.

“Hosting a regular 5km race every Saturday morning is a challenge and we’ve been extremely fortunate to find some fantastic members of the local community and from the College to volunteer their time to make sure it goes smoothly.

“Parkrun is a great way for families to start becoming more active. There is no prejudice about your fitness levels and the entire event is all about enjoying yourself in the park. If you happen to get fitter at the same time then that is just an extra bonus.

“I will be dusting off my trainers and taking to the park for the first run and I hope to see lots more families joining in with me.”

All runs are timed and competitors must register at www.parkrun.org.uk in advance and print off their bar code confirmation to bring along. Children are welcome but under-11s must stay with an adult.

Following the event, runners can go to the website at www.parkrun.org.uk/blackpool to receive their final times.