Park runners flock to Shrewsbury in their hundreds on a record-breaking day
26th December 2023
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What a Christmas weekend it has been for park runners in Shrewsbury where the course record was broken not once, but twice.

Hundreds of park runners turned up to push prams, wear festive fancy dress, and help each other run, jog, walk and hobble over the undulating course on Christmas Day.

Even dogs were there in their red and white festive colours.

And the Eric Pridding Finish Post, placed in memory of the dedicated timekeeper, was adorned with a Santa hat.

A good pile of free food, donated by Shrewsbury Food Hub, was there at the finish line to help the happy band of runners a filling breakfast.

Like their fellow park runners all over the country some 674 dedicated pace setters turned up at The Quarry, for an early morning 5K run on Christmas Day in the mild conditions.

Jack Pickett was the pick of the bunch, taking the male course record in a blistering personal best time of 15 minutes and 13 seconds. The Wolverhampton & Bilston AC member has 286 park runs under his belt and finished clear of the field.

He had claimed the course record by just one second. The former record had been in place for two days before Jack claimed the crown.

Only two days before, on Saturday, Matthew Collins had crossed the line first in 15 minutes 14 seconds. He too had shaved a mere second off the previous best.

Matthew must have thought he would have the record for longer because he had taken it from Andrew Davies who had set his speedy time of 15 minutes and 16 seconds almost exactly five years ago on December 22, 2018.

A club member had written a prophetic post on the park run's Facebook page when they wrote on Friday: "It might be a while before that time is beaten, but then again, there is another parkrun on Christmas Day."

The Park Run's Simon Meredith congratulated the new champ online.

Simon said: "Amazing effort by Jack Pickett at Shrewsbury parkrun this morning, breaking the course record set only on Saturday by Matthew Collins, with a time of 15.13.

"Well done Jack and thank you to all the volunteers, and everyone who turned up to run, jog, walk and watch. A fantastic way to start Christmas Day."

Park running isn't all about how fast people are but the fact that they roll out of bed and take exercise as part of the free, fun, and friendly weekly community event. People can walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate.

The Shrewsbury Park Run takes place at The Quarry every Saturday at 9am.

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