Saturday 6th February this year saw the launch of the Bevendean Down arm of the popular parkrun, a weekly timed 5km run for people of all ages and abilities which is free to attend and gives local people the opportunity to exercise and volunteer. parkrun is a worldwide phenomenon and the largest running event in the world with 120,000 runners every week at 700 runs in 12 countries, and 2.3 million registered runners. There are 400 parkruns across the UK, all of which are run by volunteers.
Aimed primarily at residents of Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, the Bevendean Down run takes place on a Saturday morning at 9am and consists of two laps of the large open area at the top of Bevendean Crescent followed by coffee and breakfast at The Bevy.
East Brighton Trust were able to support the parkrun team with some funding to help them with the costs of setting up which involved paying for things such as kit (stakes, tape, HiVi vests, cones, signs, laptop, timers, scanners, finish tokens), software (licensing ,website, results and volunteer processing) and training.
A new run typically costs £6k to set up and we were happy to contribute £500 to this through our small grants programme.
As well as helping towards the initial set-up costs, our contribution was spent on some extra equipment that was not provided as part of the package from parkrun HQ – a storage shed located at the Bevy so that the volunteers don’t have to transport equipment home every week, a trolley to move the equipment up to the Down, a megaphone, and storage boxes for kit, etc.
The Bevendean Down parkrun has had hundreds of runners take part so far with around 50 runners joining in each week, and the number continuing to grow as word gets out. The parkrun team got in touch to let us know about some of the participants - the runners include a wide range of people, from the 30 year old course record holder (19m14s) to the over 75 lady and her dog with 55 mins. parkrun are keen to encourage more local people particularly those who will walk or jog, and are also keen to find new volunteers.
Are you tempted? Everyone is invited to run – just make sure you register online first. You can watch a video of the opening Bevendean Down parkrun and more details on how to take part can be found on the parkrun website.