People from all ages participate in the parkrun.

PICTURES: Hundreds show up to first Sheffield parkrun in 18 months

Eager runners went out in droves across Sheffield on a cool Saturday morning as parkruns return after 18 months of absence due to Covid restrictions.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 10:21 am

The free weekly events which are overseen by volunteers were opened in four of the city's free 5K routes - Graves Park, Manor Fields, Concord Park and Endcliffe Park.

In Graves Park, around 200 participants turned up before the traditional 9am start time, excited to be part of the community event that they have missed the most.

Event director Jo Eccles said it was a "great atmosphere" at the park, although she admitted she was a bit anxious at the start as Covid pandemic still grips the nation.

She said: "We were a little bit nervous, a little bit giddy, but it's all gone to plan. It’s all worked out really well.

"We had the people rolling out and spacing out before they actually set off so we've had a nice, spaced out volunteers and runners.

"It's a great turnout and definitely a great start... 200 is a perfect number actually because we don't want a massive number of people that could overwhelm the event."

A 63-year-old participant Andy Caswell said it was great to be back as this was his first run in 18 months, despite the struggles he faced in his bid to complete the run.

“The run was horrible.. I hated every second it. I kept asking, ‘Why the hell am I here, what the hell am I doing this for?

"But it’s just something that I’d do and I’d still want to come back next week and keep doing. There’s just no cure for insanity,” he said, laughing.

Helen Dickinson, 45, a regular parkrun runner said it was nice to see familiar faces especially after being cooped up at home for so long.

She said: “I’ve done quite a few of parkruns all over Sheffield If I go on holiday, I’d look for a local one and go there.

"It’s been fantastic to do it. The park here has lots of hills, something you don’t normally get at any other parks.”

Jo said the park will host a junior parkrun every Sunday, where children will run on a 2K route.

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