Dorset Police and Blandford parkrun joined forces for the 148th event last month to take part in a Cops 'n Robbers fancy dress run. Eight real cops had no need for fancy dress as they wore full uniform and with Chief Inspector Rob Chalkley and Inspector Danny Thompson (pictured) in action there were plenty of pips at the post!
Pips At The Post At Blandford parkrun
The plan was to raise awareness of the importance of health and wellbeing within the Police Service and to promote community engagement. There were so many runners and families dressed up as comedy robbers, complete with stripy jumpers, masks and swag bags, that it prompted a record turnout of 286; over 100 more than the usual numbers attending.
PCSO Luke Goddard and his wife PC Charli Goddard started running in an effort to get fit and healthy when Blandford parkrun was set up in 2014. They were both hooked instantly and became great friends with many fellow runners. Wanting to do his bit, Luke signed up as a volunteer and soon became one of the run directors.
Being acutely aware of the perils of junk food on the hoof in a busy and often stressful job the couple committed to a healthier lifestyle through running and Charli ran her 50th parkrun on Blandford’s first birthday. They have since run Virgin Money London Marathon for charity.
Several of the local Blanford-based officers are regular parkrunners and when they are unable to run due to work pressures they often visit in uniform to engage with the community. Many parkrunners would jokingly ask: “Are you running in that today then?” referring to the safety equipment and uniform, which planted a seed for the Goddards' idea…
To be able to give people an idea of what it is like to not only carry but also run in full uniform was an eye-opener for many. PC Gavin Newbury put in the swiftest 5k foot patrol (23:03) and the fun part was followed by the serious business of providing defibrillator training for 14 parkrun volunteers through the Dorset Police First Aid Training Department.
More information and photos from this excellent initiative is available here. To find your nearest parkrun click here.
Image courtesy parkrun