People who take part in this Sheffield parkrun has just run a million kilometres between them

Runners, joggers and walkers at one of the UK’s largest parkruns have clocked up their millionth kilometre, writes David Bocking.

Saturday, 28th September 2019, 7:37 am
Brian Rossiter (left) is congratulated as the runner of the millionth kilometre at Sheffield Hallam parkrun by Ben Heller from the Hallam volunteer team

At the same time as the team at Sheffield Hallam parkrun reached this milestone, organisers of a new city parkrun at Millhouses Park geared up for their first event in October.

After taking part in the run around 200 times Brian Rossiter was surprised to receive a special round of applause after crossing the Hallam finish line on Saturday as he was runner who clocking the collective 1,000,000th kilometre.“I do it because it’s fun, to keep fit and to keep my weight down,” he said. “But I never thought I’d run a million kilometres.”

“It's such an amazing achievement to reach a million kilometres,” said Sheffield Hallam parkrun event director David Knapton, adding that the Sheffield Hallam University team who launched the event over nine years ago would never have thought such a figure was possible.

Since the launch with 36 runners in 2010, over 22,400 people have taken part in the free five kilometre run around Endcliffe Park, totalling now 1,002,290 km between them.

The weekly event beat its attendance record twice this year, in January, when 868 runners took part, and also in May, when 884 runners took part.

Local parkrun volunteers then decided to find an alternative south Sheffield run to help manage demand.

Organisers at Millhouses say the first run will take place before the end of October and, subject to occasional cancellations due to other events in the park, will then operate at 9am every Saturday like Sheffield’s other parkruns at Graves, Concord, Manor Fields, Hillsborough and Endcliffe parks, and Rother Valley just over the border in Rotherham.

“I’ve been delighted to be part of the team bringing a new parkrun to Millhouses park,” said parkrun ambassador volunteer Fran Marshall.

“Sheffield City Council was supportive from the start and we secured funding from local running clubs and Sheffield Town Trust. There’s a great core team of volunteers in place ready to bring the new parkrun to Millhouses.”

Volunteers and participants are welcome at all seven city parkruns, and directors encourage runners to try the picturesque but slightly smaller runs at Concord and Manor Fields, which usually have 50 to 70 runners rather than the 700 or so of Sheffield Hallam.