Boost for new parkrun in Harrogate district

Success! Working towards a new parkrun - Members of Knaresborough Striders James Wright, Mark Taylor, Linda Dodsworth and Sean Brennan. (1901261AM1)
Success! Working towards a new parkrun - Members of Knaresborough Striders James Wright, Mark Taylor, Linda Dodsworth and Sean Brennan. (1901261AM1)

The fundraising target needed to launch a brand parkrun has been hit in double-quick time.

The much-anticipated new weekly event in Knaresborough, which is expected to be a real draw with visitors to the town, needed £3,000 to transform this exciting idea into a reality.

But thanks to an impressive all-round community effort, especially by Knaresborough Striders running club, the sum has already been raised and it’s all-systems go for the Conyngham Hall parkrun, as it will be known.

Parkrun organiser Sean Brennan, who started out as a volunteer and is a member of Knaresborough Striders, said the support from everyone had been amazing.

He said: “The event team have worked brilliantly with the local community and there’s a real buzz about having a parkrun in Knaresborough.

“I’m not surprised with the success. Knaresborough Town Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Harrogate Borough Council, Conyngham Hall working group, GP practices and a lot more people have all been behind it.

“The event director Linda Dodsworth has done an amazing job of bringing it to life for everyone.”

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Held in towns and cities across the UK and abroad, parkruns offer a 5km, run, walk or jog to people of all abilities - even someone pushing a baby buggy.

Free to enter, the Knaresborough one is expected to give the town a boost each Saturday morning when it takes place at 9am.

The launch date for the new event is expected to be in a few months’ time and the first run is likely to be a low key affair.

The route for the Conyngham Hall parkrun will involve going around the pitch and putt golfcourse at the hall, to Horseshoe Field and following the River Nidd towards Bland’s Hill.

To protect paths, it will be rotated when necessary.

Sean Brennan said: “The route around Conyngham Hall will be stunning, challenging and open to everyone of every ability.

“There’s still a lot more to do to ensure a soft, sustainable launch but we’re really looking forward to it.”

“The start will be a few months away yet and we will keep it really really quiet!

“Other start-ups have been inundated by tourists and that can cause problems all round.”

The Conyngham Hall parkrun team are also aiming to raise additional funds to provide a portable AED defibrillator for the site.

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